Tighter integration across all touch points, increased efficiencies and real-time access to critical data
Pharmaways Healthcare is a wholesale distributor of a wide range of pharmaceutical products and supplies stretching from PPE (personal protection equipment) all the way through to scheduled medicines. Founded in 2016, it currently services both the public and private hospital sector, independent pharmacies and private medical practices across South Africa.
“It is a tough industry and market to break into, with many established players,” says Julia Mothobi, Head of Finance, Pharmaways Healthcare. “The last four years have had their fair share of challenges, yet we are constantly learning and growing with many more opportunities still out there for us to tap into, among others we are creating for ourselves.”
Positive about the future, and determined to ensure that internal operations and systems were not only capable of helping them remain competitive, effective and efficient in a challenging industry but, similarly, were also aligned to assist with future growth, Pharmaways Healthcare took the decision to review its internal technology infrastructure.
“We had a number of challenges, specifically with regards to our inventory management,” continues Mothobi. In an industry such as this, inventory management is vital. “We need to be 100% on top of it, with as precise and real-time a view of our inventory as possible. Expired products or out of stock items would not only hamper the efficiency of those whom we supply, many of whom operate in, at times, a critical medical environment, but would also impact our internal operations and customer service.” Further, Pharmaways also needed the ability to be able to pull reports, quickly and seamlessly, to further enable effective management of its inventory.
As its initial point of departure, Pharmaways decided to review its current system to determine if an upgrade would allow it to address all its requirements moving forward. However, an assessment quickly revealed that irrespective of said upgrade, it would still fall short of being able to deliver the required functionality.
“We decided on SAP Business One from 4most, a leading supplier and implementer of SAP Business One and ERP software technology, almost immediately,” comments Mothobi. “Not only was it clearly evident that it would be able to deliver all that we required but, as importantly, with many of our suppliers making use of the same system, it would provide us with the ability to seamlessly integrate between systems. This, in turn, yielding much quicker turnaround times and greater efficiencies for all.”
A definite highlight is also SAP Business One’s inventory location and expiry dates. It allows Pharmaways to allocate different (or the same) batches across different (or the same) locations. This is exactly the type of flexibility Pharmaways was desperate to achieve, and now have, thanks to SAP Business One. “Our industry is very specific,” continues Mothobi. “There are such fine nuances, many of which are only relevant with regards to our supply chain. SAP Business One is able to be completely customised to fit our exact requirements.”
Of further benefit is the seamless integration between Pharmaways Healthcare’s various departments, and its suppliers. “Our suppliers are now able to view our inventory in real-time, place orders, log queries, to name just a few areas of enhanced functionality. Not only does this enable us to operate at the top of our game, it also allows us to build trust and confidence across our supplier base, so key for long-term business relationships,” says Mothobi.
When asked about the relationship with 4most, Mothobi is as enthusiastic about Pharmaways’ vendor of choice as she is about SAP Business One. “They have been there every step of the way,” enthuses Mothobi. “Whatever we have needed, they have been able to deliver on and their level of expertise places them in a category far superior to many other vendors out there.”
Seamless operations, both internal and external, tighter integration, increased efficiencies and greater time saving are just some of the benefits Pharmaways Healthcare is looking forward to.
“And reports! Not only will we now have access to a much wider range of reports than before, it will actually require less resources to manage the reporting process leading to yet more savings and improved efficiencies,” adds Mothobi. “With go-live imminent, we look forward to working with Pharmaways Healthcare as they continue to grow and create opportunities in a high pressured and critical industry, backed and supported by SAP Business One,” says Marius Fabian, CEO of 4most.