Passion for Life (PFL) Healthcare is a manufacturer and distributor of medical products with an annual turnover of £2.5 million ($4 million). PFL selected an externally hosted solution built on Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The new solution provides accurate, real-time management information, which enables the business to make quicker and better-informed decisions coupled with improved stock control and traceability.
Based in the United Kingdom, PFL Healthcare has a core staff of eleven, and subcontracts its manufacturing and warehousing to a number of third-party businesses in the UK and worldwide. UK sales account for approximately half of this figure, the rest come from around 30 other countries, mainly in continental Europe.
|We aim to grow the business by 20 percent next year, and Microsoft Dynamics will help us do that. It was the right decision for us.|
| Will Webb|
Until the business relocated in 2011, it was running Sage 200 on its own in-house server, managed by a sub-contracted IT professional. The system no longer met the needs of the business, according to Will Webb, Commercial Director for PFL Healthcare. “We were very unhappy,” he explains. “The planning functionality was poor, the reporting was cumbersome, and I knew from experience that there were other CRM and ERP solutions out there that were better.”
The limitations of Sage 200 led to PFL’s carrying higher stock levels than it needed to, tying up cash in the process. The analysis capabilities were inadequate, and the business was not recording sufficient customer contact information.
Webb says, “We needed a package that could handle our planning requirements, our supply chain, and management issues. We also needed a package that would give us better financial analysis, and would enable us to deploy the whole solution via the web.”
After exploring the available options, Webb concluded that a combination of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Dynamics NAV would be the ideal solution for PFL’s needs. In addition, Webb selected Technology Management as its partner, having worked with them in the past and knowing that they specialized in both systems.
For PFL Healthcare, the benefits of moving to a Microsoft platform, and the specific advantages offered by the combination of Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Microsoft Dynamics CRM, are numerous.
Faster, more relevant, and up-to-date forecasting and reduced stock
Forecasting the stock levels required to meet future sales demands used to be a complicated and time-consuming process, involving many spreadsheets. “It used to take me four days to compile these reports,” says Webb. “Now I can do them more accurately, in a quarter of the time.” This time saving has allowed PFL Healthcare to review and revise its status weekly, as opposed to monthly.
Better financial analysis, more informed decisions
Says Webb, “On the old Sage 200 system, it would take half a day to export reports into Excel and then format the spreadsheets to conduct a higher-level profit analysis. With Microsoft Dynamics NAV, it takes me two or three minutes to run a report, and now I get far more detailed profit and customer analyses.” This has enabled PFL to improve profitability, inform new product developments, and decide where best to commit resources.
Improved quality control and full traceability of items
The medical devices manufactured by PFL have to comply with industry standards, including ISO 13485. “Previously, all data about devices was manually input, often into poorly maintained spreadsheets,” says Webb. “Now we use Microsoft Dynamics CRM to manage our processes. This saves time, improves accuracy and visibility, and gives us full traceability of items.”
Partner-hosted solution removes up-front costs
“We were committed to the idea of a hosted solution from the start,” says Webb. “For us, there’s no sense in having someone in-house to manage our financial package. Now we pay Technology Management a monthly fee, and we get a leading-edge package with low capital investment.”
More personalized management of long-term relationships
Microsoft Dynamics CRM records more customer interaction data than PFL has had before. This comprehensive history allows the staff to engage in more effective communications with their customers, providing a better service and increasing customer spend. It also saves time, so the business can service more customers.
Foundation for Growth
In addition to enjoying immediate benefits from the solution, PFL plans to deploy new functionality in the coming months. A key part of its strategy includes integration with customers and suppliers via online portals. “We’re looking to implement a web portal that our distributors can access directly, so that they can see the same information as we do," Webb explains. "We’re also looking at SharePoint, and we want to get Office 365 going later this year. Our aim is to grow the business by 20 percent next year, and Microsoft Dynamics will help us do that. It was the right decision for us.”
This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Document published October 2013