Healthcare / Pharmaceutical

Software applications relating to the healthcare supply chain which promote the effective management of supply chain resources.

Otsuka Pharmaceutical Europe Ltd deploys AGR to support growing and changing business

Otsuka Pharmaceutical Europe Ltd deploys AGR to support growing and changing business
Pharmaceutical firm Otsuka has deployed Demand Planning and Inventory Optimisation software from supply chain planning specialist AGR to tighten up its stock control processes and manage the Sales and Operational Planning process (S&OP) across 20 countries as the company continues to expand its business in Europe. Since installing AGR Sales Planner and Inventory Optimiser in March 2013, Otsuka has created a fully integrated inventory management system that links seamlessly with the organisation’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and other external systems. The new solution manages the demand plan and fluctuating stock levels on a daily basis and provides real-time information that facilitates faster, improved decision-making.

Otsuka was looking for a solution to manage the organisation’s complex business environment in which three main product lines operated on different supply chain planning models, and sales affiliates in six countries entered their market intelligence data manually into the various systems. Otsuka reviewed the market to identify an inventory management solution that would work best with its well-established Microsoft Dynamics NAV ERP system.

Marilyn Miller, Supply Chain Manager for Europe at Otsuka commented, “We selected AGR’s Inventory Optimiser as our solution of choice. We were impressed because it was clear from the outset that the technology could deliver the real-time information and advanced reporting capabilities required to satisfy all our supply chain needs. It also promised a high degree of flexibility, essential to handling the complexity associated with a diverse set of supply chain models and third party logistics providers across multiple countries. Furthermore, AGR offered a robust framework that enabled us to work more closely with our partners such as Bristol Myers Squibb and Lundbeck Worldwide and better promote many of the best healthcare brands in Europe.”

The AGR software solution went live in early March 2013 and from the outset it was easy to use and gave Otsuka complete visibility of vital information such as all stock inventory with expiry dates, firm order data as well as past sales history and future forecasts. Otsuka’s sales affiliates across Europe now have easy access to amend sales forecasts in the Sales Planner, AGR’s highly flexible and configurable sales forecasting solution. Information can also be stored from the Microsoft Dynamics NAV ERP system as well as from the company’s European warehouse in Germany and its two key partners Bristol Myers Squibb and Lundbeck Worldwide.

All information is automatically fed into the AGR system from Otsuka’s many internal and external data sources and then updated on a daily basis. Every morning, staff can monitor real-time stock levels across Europe and act on them accordingly. At a glance, issues such as low stock levels or medicines that are close to their expiry dates are highlighted and can be addressed quickly and efficiently.

In less than a year, Otsuka has realised a series of tangible benefits since using AGR. For example, manual processes have been replaced by automated runs between systems. Greater visibility of expiry dates and slow moving stock has also facilitated order planning and improved stock management.

Kim Petersen, Managing Director at AGR Nordic and lead consultant on the Otsuka project in the UK concluded, “Our software solution offers superior levels of accessibility and flexibility. For organisations like Otsuka, managing stock levels effectively is critical and can be a matter of life or death to patients requiring specific medication. Otsuka relies on our technology to give it accurate, real-time data that improves decision-making and ensures the right healthcare brands are available to patients at the right time. Otsuka is safe in the hands of our professional consultants who provide a wealth of expert knowledge and experience to solve some of the pharmaceutical sector’s most common business challenges, giving Otsuka a distinct competitive advantage.”

By taking advantage of AGR’s accurate stock forecasting and improved inventory control, Otsuka aims to achieve greater efficiencies by reducing its overall manual processes. Next on the horizon is a dedicated Materials Requirements Planning (MRP) project, using AGR to calculate the exact quantity of tablets that need to be manufactured from Otsuka’s Japanese headquarters, a step forward that Otsuka believes will release further time and cost savings all round.