After trying to implement Oracle software for several years, Jordan-based manufacturer United Pharmaceuticals turned to Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009. The business management tool has transformed operations, offering automation and instant reporting across many areas of business, including purchasing, sales, finance, inventory, and project management. With the solution in place, the firm has made significant savings and is maintaining its reputation for quality.
United Pharmaceuticals is a global pharmaceutical company based in Jordan. Its 375 employees operate within several business areas. These include a state-of-the-art production department, together with quality control, quality assurance, and research and development units—all of which help the organisation meet and exceed international pharmaceutical needs and product standards.
Supporting these areas of business with an efficient IT strategy was, until recently, a major challenge for United Pharmaceuticals. Over the course of eight years, its technical team tried to implement an Oracle-based business management solution, but this was not successful. Specific business requirements—such as the company’s bill of materials, components, and quantities for developing products—were not compatible with Oracle and couldn’t be easily integrated into the business solution.
Nidal Awartany, Information Systems Manager and Project Manager, United Pharmaceuticals, explains: “When we first tried to implement Oracle in 1999, we realised that specialist skills were needed to develop it in the way that would support our business. But, after many years, we still failed to achieve the solution we wanted. The application was too complex and there was no support for it in Jordan, so when we called for assistance it often took days to get a response.”
Previously, employees consolidated business data for inventory, purchasing, and sales using spreadsheets and a local proprietary product that offered little flexibility. There was no integration with financial systems, so managing budgets and accounts was time consuming and complex. “It’s difficult to control U.S.$5 million worth of inventory using spreadsheets and paper documents, and we wasted a lot of time trying to calculate the accurate costs of materials,” says Awartany.Solution
Microsoft introduced United Pharmaceuticals to Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Sermon Business Solutions, which demonstrated Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 business management software to the organisation. “We saw that Microsoft Dynamics AX offered user-friendly technology and a system that was easy to implement, which would significantly increase employees’ productivity,” says Awartany. “Microsoft has good local support in Jordan, and the time required to deploy the solution was significantly less than that of the Oracle-based solution or other alternatives.”
The organisation’s use of purchasing, sales, finance, inventory, and project management features has already had a profound effect on the way the business operates. Financial information is now consolidated at the click of a mouse and reviewed through graphical reports, helping managers measure performance across the business. Omar Zaidan, Chief Executive Officer, Sermon Business Solutions, says: “Microsoft Dynamics AX also integrates easily with Microsoft Office Excel spreadsheet software, so users can easily export data to a spreadsheet if they prefer to view it that way.”
Now that purchasing, sales, and inventory operations are automated, supply chain management is more effective, putting the organisation in a better position to meet demand consistently. Employees no longer have to compile stock information manually before placing orders. An accurate view of data supports forecasting and planning, and users can better manage inventory using tailored quarantine and quality assurance tools.
“Microsoft Dynamics AX gives us one central system to manage many different areas of the business. No work is duplicated between departments, no time is wasted, and users can now communicate more efficiently,” says Awartany.Benefits
Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 has renewed the organisation’s confidence in business technology. United Pharmaceuticals continues to expand the solution, and plans to roll out the manufacturing modules, including the bill of materials, work orders, costing, and production tools.
Employees are free to focus on more productive tasks. Company data is accessed from any location and instant reporting functionality significantly reduces the time employees once spent consolidating information. Awartany says: “Reports used to take weeks or in some cases months to produce, and were a full-time job for several people. Today, those employees work in more strategic positions across the business.”
Efficient administration and product management cut costs. United Pharmaceuticals can now easily monitor slow and fast-moving items, helping employees better manage ordering and inventory to minimise the costs of over or under-supplying stock. The technology constantly monitors crucial data, such as expiry dates of materials, so product waste is significantly reduced.
User-friendly interface speeds adoption. “Microsoft Dynamics AX does not require specialist knowledge to operate,” says Awartany. “It offers familiar tools, such as those you’d find in Microsoft Office applications, and integrates easily with these applications.”
Solution enhances reputation for quality. The organisation’s seamless new quality assurance processes, supported by Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 modules, help uphold its reputation for exceeding international quality and product safety standards.
Solution supports international business expansion. Since deployment, United Pharmaceuticals has changed its distribution process to meet growing demand. Awartany says: “Using Oracle, we would not have had the functionality to support international distribution. With the modules in Microsoft Dynamics AX—which help us conduct business in different languages and currencies, and comply with numerous regulations—we can sell directly to pharmacies outside Jordan.” This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.