Largest Pharmaceutical Distributor Successfully Deploy SaaS solution
The client is the one of the largest distributors of pharmaceutical and care management products in North America. In addition, the client also provides third party warehousing and logistics services to many major consumer packaged goods multinationals whose products were sold to major chain store merchandisers.
For one of its multinational CPG manufacturer (MNC) customers, the client had a technology problem that severely affected the client's ability to deliver accurate and timely shipping information on behalf of its multinational customer. The product was distributed, on behalf of the multinational, to a variety of chain stores. Some of these chain stores were major general merchandisers with very sophisticated and complex shipping and logistics business rules. A minor error in the Advance Ship Notice (ASN) could lead to severe non-compliance penalties - which was embarrassing for the client and potentially expensive for its multinational client. The client's traditional infrastructure could no longer handle the complexities of sophisticated ASN requirements in a high volume environment.
Complexity Adding to The Challenge
Several business and technical issues contributed to the problem. The business-to-business integration scenario involved initially three inter-related parties were: the client, its multinational customer and retail buyers. Each party was utilizing a variety of different systems including Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), bar-code software, and homegrown (legacy) warehouse management systems.
First, the multinational would receive Purchase Orders directly from its retailer, thereby maintaining a direct relationship with its customer. PO data was retransmitted to the distributor, who created an ASN on behalf of the MNC. The distributor retransmitted the raw shipping file to the multinational, which in turn would create the EDI ASN message and transmit to the retailer.
The ownership of the PO data by the MNC and order's fulfillment through a third party distribution company created several data integrity challenges that often resulted in incorrect ASN information being transmitted to the retail customers. Business rules validation - such as matching Purchase Orders to ASN, not allowing overage on the shipment or product substitution, was technically difficult for the distributor client and for the MNC.
The distributor client evaluated internal IT capabilities to tackle the problem. It soon came to the realization that this was a complex business-to-business integration problem that was well beyond the realm of what "EDI" could solve or that internal ERP/egacy system fixes could handle. Speed-to-market was imperative as the distributor could potentially lose its customer and reputation.
The client decided to use QLogitek's L'eBIZ solution to provide a hosted ASN Integration and Validation engine. A requirements analysis quickly lead to the development of customized ASN engine that provided three-way integration (MNC, Distributor, Retailer) and business rules management capabilities. The project was completed from thought to finish in less than four weeks.
The hosted and integrated features of the L'eBIZ solution would help tie these complex relationships together without causing disruptions to the client's organization or disrupting its clients and clients' customer organizations. On behalf of the distribution client, the L’eBIZ "On Demand" ASN Integration Engine creates and transmits a clean, fully validated ASN to the MNC. Prior to ASN transmission, the distribution client gets an automated L'eBIZ ASN report that identifies all data and business rules problems in the received shipping file. This report allows the distribution company to reorganize shipment to guarantee that not only correct information is transmitted, but that necessary changes are made to the physical shipment as necessary. L'eBIZ Alerts & Notification engine allows the distribution company to run its outbound shipment environment on an "Exceptions basis" and provides a mechanism to routinely clean up its internal databases.
The Results & Benefits
The L'eBIZ ASN Integration & Validation engine, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution from QLogitek, has eliminated the ASN errors issue for their ASN and both the distribution client and its MNC customer, while bringing workflow efficiencies to both companies. Both organizations have seen a dramatic reduction in non-compliance charges and the virtual elimination of poor quality ASN information. The process of creating an ASN has been fully integrated in a three organization environment (MNC - Distributor - Retailer) without any IT disruptions.