Product Recalls and the Need for Pharmaceutical Distribution Software

February 25, 2015

product-recallsAs you can imagine, the pharmaceutical industry is characterized by many regulations and an abundance of meticulous standards that must be met by suppliers and distributors. As an increasing number of products enter the marketplace, the need for tight control measures becomes more prevalent in order to ensure public health and safety. The onus now lies with the suppliers and distributors to meet (perhaps exceed) the standards in place. However, despite these standards certain circumstances have arisen where products have needed to be recalled in the interest of public health. Some of the most prominent drug recalls in terms of scale and magnitude include:

(1) Fenfluramine/Phentermine (Fen-Phen) – developed by Wyeth-Ayerest Labs was recalled in 1997 after 24 years on the market. Fen-Phen was a popular weight loss drug taken by approximately 6.5 million people to help combat obesity. After many users began experiencing heart disease and other related illnesses, the FDA set a recall in motion. The result was roughly $14 billion in damages paid to victims.

(2) Cerivastatin (Baycol) – developed by Bayer and was prescribed to patients as a treatment for high cholesterol and was later linked to a severe muscle disorder. It was recalled in 2001, after roughly 4 years in the market. Damages paid to victims totaled roughly $1.2 billion. Read the rest of this entry »

3 Traits of the Perfect ERP Sales Lead

February 10, 2015

Guest Post by Samantha Hornby

Perfect Sales LeadAs a sales person, I speak with prospective customers every day to try and understand their wholesale inventory software needs to determine whether or not our solution would be a good fit.  Based on the industry they are in, features they are looking for, budget and business processes, it is easy to determine fit after only a 10-15 minute discussion.  As a software vendor however, I am also looking for certain characteristics of the companies I speak with that would also make them great to work with.  Just like companies evaluate vendors, vendors also evaluate companies and there are certain traits that make for the “perfect ERP sales lead”.  These traits usually imply that a company is looking to build a long-term relationship with their ERP vendor, are open to improving processes and believe in the power of software to help them do so. They see implementing software as a strategic investment and not a necessary evil. Below I have compiled a list of the most important traits that I watch out for, and based on my experience, having these traits plays a significant role in the benefits gleaned from implementing new software.

The best ERP sales leads…

Are not limited by budgets and timeframes that are set in stone.  I know what you’re thinking – of course an ERP software vendor would love for all customers to have open wallets, and that sales people all have dollar signs in their eyes, but this is not always the case. When it comes to a project as significant as finding new ERP software, it is important to have a budget in place and to understand what your company can afford.  But even more important is making sure that you’re finding the best solution for your company and not missing out on opportunities because of budget.  Smart and innovative companies recognize that there are a lot of unknowns when first establishing project plans, budgets and speaking with vendors.  Having some flexibility when it comes to ERP software costs is important to significantly improve business processes and find the right software for your company.  This is why costs should only be one of several factors that affect your decision, and not the end-all, be-all. In addition, having a hard timeframe, could lead to a rushed implementation in which case you don’t spend the time properly evaluating software fit and function.

Read the rest of this entry »

Stop Printing Reports from your ERP Software

February 3, 2015

ERP-reportsThe history of ERP Software, and before that, accounting software, has leant heavily on reports. In earlier, batch-based systems, users would generate reams of pre-posting edit reports on impact printers every day. At month end, several more forests were destroyed in the name of audit trails and frozen-in-time reports.

As software evolved, the accounting software system started providing users with more timely and meaningful data, and many a sales manager or business owner became accustomed to finding a stack of sales analysis reports on the desk each morning. And again, at month end we now saw management reports being printed by clerical employees and filed for management meetings, and some of these reports were even actually looked at by a manager every once in a while.

We’ve now evolved to a point where modern ERP Software provides all the information you may want in electronic form, whether by on-screen dashboards or timely auto-emailed PDF reports, and many other modalities. And for the most part you always have the ability to re-create (or reprint) any report or document retroactively. There’s really no need to print a report unless you plane to use it at that exact moment in time. And yet…so many businesses still print reports at specific times and file them somewhere – perhaps out of habit or a fear of losing data. The true cost of doing so is measured not just in paper and printer ribbons or toner, but in terms of the time it takes to print and file, and the real estate costs of all those filing cabinets.

So let’s once again examine a scenario: you print the accounts receivable aging report at the end of each month, and file that report in a filing cabinet. I don’t. We are both asked to provide the auditors with the aging report from 7 months ago. So I click my mouse a few times, get to the report selection screen, enter the report date, and generate a PDF that I email to the auditors. Elapsed time: 40 second. Meanwhile, you’re still walking over to the filing cabinet. Once you get there, you’ll have to find the report, walk it over to the scanner (or fax machine, heaven forbid), etc.

In reality, assuming you are using an appropriate, modern ERP system with proper backup processes in place, I cannot really think of any reason to print a report that you’re not going to use immediately – and even then, perhaps your tablet or notebook computer would suffice?

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