Just What the Doctor Ordered

In fact, Poo had been on the lookout for a system to handle logistics and inventory for some time now. “I had been in the manufacturing sector for about five years, and during that time I had found that while SAP solutions were highly regarded it was just too expensive for most Malaysian setups at around RM 500,000 (approx. Euro 100,000) at the very least.”
However, when Poo came across SAP Business One, he knew instantly that “it was an application made specifically for SMBs.” Poo notes that from an investment point of view, SAP Business One was an entry-level package, and one that he could build on as the company’s business grew.
Aside from pricing and a good fit to the business, it’s also a matter of strategic positioning that made Poo decide on SAP Business One. Because Continental Point is a logistics partner for Guidant – a US-based company that deals in medical supplies and cardiovascular intervention products – Continental Point wanted to ensure that its relationship with Guidant could be enhanced. “Guidant is also running SAP and when they’re ready to come to Malaysia in full force, we may also be required to have SAP installed in order to be fully integrated with their system,” Poo explains. “Moving to SAP Business One is our way of telling Guidant that we’re fully committed to the business. They’re not looking to work with big companies. They want small sized companies that can provide the right focus and I hope they can see that we’re trying very hard,” he adds.
Continental Point is investing RM 99,000 (approx. Euro 20,000) for a five user licence of SAP Business One. “We may need to scale up later, but it’s way below RM 500,000,” says Poo, noting that previously there had been no such option for SMBs if they had wanted to implement SAP solutions.
Implementation of SAP Business One at Continental Point is handled by SAP business partner, Croesus IT Solutions. According to Richard Liau, director of Croesus IT Solutions, SAP Business One fits Continental Point’s requirements because the application offers several features such as transaction authorization control, alert management and an instant reporting tool called Drag and Relate. “More importantly, these features allow the management team at Continental Point to eliminate a reliance on IT support staff to generate reports,” he says.
Part of the implementation process involves the migration of a huge amount of data from Continental Point’s spreadsheets into SAP Business One. To that end, Liau reveals that all information relating to more than 11,000 products dating back several years was successfully migrated. Poo says that the ability to preserve and reuse data in SAP Business One is indeed very important for Continental Point. “We operate up to 25 centers in Malaysia and the product list grows ever longer as time goes on. Any one center can supply products to customers in three different ways — consignment, direct or through agents,” he says.
“In this regard, we need to know within a very short time who the items were sold to, where the items went and when they were sold,” he adds, noting that this is especially important if there’s ever a need for product recall.
Another key benefit that Continental Point has derived from SAP Business One is the ease of using the system. “We’re taught to do things ourselves, including creating forms. Compared to using spreadsheets, we’ve reduced the number of human mistakes in data entry. It is essential that I have accurate data in order to enable me to make sound decisions,” Poo says.
Apart from a user-friendly environment and reduction in data entry errors, Poo can now also do more with fewer resources. This is because SAP Business One does not require that users possess specific technical skills in order to extract the information that they need from the system.
In addition, thanks to different levels of access security and authorization, Poo can now delegate the task of generating reports to his staff without the fear of confidential data falling into the wrong hands. “Previously, it would have taken time for me to do it myself. And I couldn’t get someone else to do it due to the sensitive nature of some data.”
One other benefit that Poo is very happy to share is the fact that the company is now able to tag to business accounts some form of customer relationship management capabilities. “For example, we need to know which doctors and nurses we are dealing with, as well as their likes and dislikes so that we can serve them better in future transactions,” he says.