ERP for Pharmaceutical Industry in the UK – A Comprehensive Guide
ERP for Pharmaceutical Industry – An Overview
The work of pharmaceutical companies has a direct impact on the very lives and well-being of consumers. That’s why such organisations shoulder a huge responsibility. As a result, they need to keep their process tightly controlled in terms of quality. And at the same time, the pharmaceutical industry is hugely competitive. Only those companies that have a streamlined process will be able to survive in the cut-throat business landscape. This is where ERP for pharmaceutical industry comes in. Modern ERPs are used not just to streamline processes, but they are also used to build a construct around processes – making sure that the production process does not deviate even a bit from the standard. However, not all ERP can serve the Pharma industry equally well. Companies in this industry have some specific requirements that an ERP has to fulfil. In this informative article, we’ll be delving deeper into what an ideal Pharma ERP should look like and how it can address the pain points of the industry.
ERP For Pharmaceutical Industry: What It Is and How It Differs From Other ERP Systems
At its core, a Pharmaceutical organisation is a manufacturing company that manufactures healthcare products like medicines. Now since we are talking about human health here, these companies need an ERP that can wrap the manufacturing process within a strictly defined construct. And at the same time, these companies need traditional ERP features as well.
Here are the functionalities that a Pharmaceutical company needs in an ERP-
- Manufacturing automation allows the creation of BoM with strict measurement of raw materials and strict process flow
- Efficient Material Resource Planning module to keep up with the orders and to maintain supply chain agility
- An inventory management system that is intrinsically connected with the above two module
- Sales and purchase modules
- HR module
- Data analytics capabilities
Now that the requirements of Pharma companies are clear, we can define what an ideal ERP software for pharma should be like.
An ideal ERP for pharmaceutical industry should focus on manufacturing and process management. A Pharma ERP is an ERP software that offers automated planning and scheduling capabilities and associates these capabilities with inventory management. Apart from this very specific functionality, a Pharma ERP also automates and manages traditional business processes like sales and purchase management, financial management, and CRM. However, modern ERP software for pharma – like Odoo goes a few steps further to provide advanced capabilities like omnichannel marketing, IoT support, data analytics support and more.
Why Do Pharma Companies Need ERP?
Every year, people in the UK spend more than 10 billion GBP to buy pharmaceutical products. This figure itself is a testament to the demand for pharma products in the UK. At the same time, there are around 700 companies in the country that are jostling for market share in the same industry. As a result, Pharmaceutical companies can’t depend on manual, slow business processes because of the huge demand for healthcare products. On the other hand, thanks to the intense competition, Pharma companies also need to ensure that the process flow in their manufacturing plant remains smooth and agile. This is only possible with the help of an ERP for pharmaceutical in the UK.
Here Are the Specific Challenges That Are Faced by Companies in the Pharma Industry
To answer the ‘why’ of ERP, you need to first understand the ‘what’. What ails Pharmaceutical companies in terms of process and operations? Let’s find out-
- Pharmaceutical companies in the UK and the entire world need to make sure that they are capable of keeping up with the growing demands of consumers. An ERP automates the backend of the manufacturing process by removing paperwork and manual monitoring. With the BoM and MRP modules of an ERP, it becomes easy for Pharma companies to maintain strict standards while producing medicines and other healthcare products.
- Manufacturers of consumable products need to keep track of batch expiry in order to keep their customers safe and to stay compliant with the laws. An ERP system makes the process of tracking the expiry date and quality of medicines and other pharmaceutical products fast and effortless. So even if a Pharmaceutical company already uses production management software, it would still require an ERP to ensure strict monitoring of the quality of products.
- Just like any other manufacturing company, Pharma companies need to work with both the raw material provider as well as the distributors, wholesalers and stockists. This means that a Pharma company’s sales activity is intrinsically connected with its purchasing activity. It is necessary for such companies to keep the backend of the sales and purchasing departments smoothly connected.
- As we said, maintaining a Standard Production process is a must for Pharmaceutical companies. Manually adhering to Standard Operating Procedures can be too hectic for a Pharma company. A manufacturing ERP with a special focus on the manufacturing process of Pharma products can go a long way in enabling companies to stay compliant with strict production guidelines.
You May Also Like to Read: Odoo ERP For Inventory Management Software
Benefits of ERP for Pharmaceutical Industry That Can Address These Challenges
ERP software for the Pharma industry manages and automates processes that can only be seen in this industry alone. Yes, you can use a manufacturing ERP for this purpose, but it should be purposefully configured to meet the needs of the Pharma industry.
Here are the benefits of an ERP that’s specifically configured for the pharma industry-
Management of Every Aspect of the Business
A pharmaceutical products manufacturing company has to focus on multiple aspects. Its primary activity involves manufacturing pharmaceutical products. Without ERP software, the company has to use a separate production management system to manage and automate the manufacturing task. The problem is, a production management software can’t talk with other departments using other systems. Thus the company has to work with multiple internal systems that don’t remain in sync. This is where ERP comes in.
An ERP software beautifully connects all aspects of the internal business operation in a pharma company. For example, the Bill of Materials module of an ERP remains connected with the Material Resource Planning module, which in turn remains connected with the inventory module. This is how the entire production process stays in sync with the raw material inventory of the company. This visibility into the raw material levels ensures that production never gets delayed.
Automation of the Information Flow
Picture this- your company has received a large order from a medicine stockist. You approve the production order. However, while producing the medicines, you realise that your inventory level isn’t sufficient to fulfil the entire order. This causes unnecessary delays in fulfilling the order and spoils your relationship with your customer.
The exact opposite can happen as well. To ensure there isn’t any inventory issue, your Pharma company stocks too much raw material, which remains redundant for a long time. This unnecessarily keeps your capital locked in.
This issue seems like an inventory management issue. But the root of the problem lies in the poor flow of information. A smart ERP system gives you clear visibility into the inventory level. Once you have this visibility, the information can be leveraged by production planning modules of an ERP, namely the MRP module and the BoM module.
Strict Standardisation in Manufacturing
We have said time and again that a Pharmaceutical company can’t afford to be lenient when it comes to the production process. Even small mistakes in the measurement of raw materials needed to produce a healthcare item can lead to serious repercussions – including a negative impact on the health of the public. It is, therefore, very important to set a strict standard that would make sure that every time a certain medicine of a certain quality is produced – the production process and the measurement of raw materials remain the same.
Maintaining such a strict production standard requires an automated production controlling system. There are many such external systems available. However, the problem is, these systems don’t remain in sync with other aspects of the Pharmaceutical company. This is where ERP software for the pharma industry comes in.
- The inbuilt Bill of Materials modules automates the act of adhering to a strict standard in the production process.
- Furthermore, the Bill of Materials module remains connected with the Material Resource Planning, which automates the planning done before a production order is commenced.
- Since the Material Resource Planning is connected with the inventory- the module has a real-time view of the inventory levels. It can accurately figure out whether there is enough raw material in the inventory for the production order to finish successfully.
- The Material Resource Planning module can be set up to automatically create a purchase order in case there aren’t enough raw materials available in the inventory to commence an order.
Automation of Batch Tracking and Quality Monitoring
A Pharma business needs to make sure that it can call back the products whenever even a single complaint is raised. It should also be able to release finished goods that are nearing their expiry dates earlier than those with enough time left to expire.
Keeping track of the finished goods, ensuring that the company can pull up the production logs for a certain batch of products, recalling products under a certain batch number, using FEFO (First Expiry, First Out) method – all these things can be effortlessly managed using an ERP for pharmaceutical industry.
Smooth Synchronisation Between Sales and Purchase
As we mentioned above, Material Resource Planning seamlessly connects the inventory of a pharma company with its production department. So, the production department has a clear visibility of the amount of raw materials present in the inventory. It can send a purchase order for the purchasing department to approve. On the other hand, the sales department has complete visibility of the finished goods inventory. Once the company receives an order from the stockist, it can look up the inventory level and either go ahead with creating a purchase order or ask the production department to proceed with the production order – depending on the inventory level.
Odoo ERP: Smart ERP For Smart Pharma Companies
When it comes to choosing an ERP for a company, most people think that there are just one or two big ERP systems to choose from. This is not true. Apart from legacy ERPs, there are modern ERP systems providing cutting-edge functionalities and user-friendly UI.
Odoo is one such modern ERP that is used by leading companies like Toyota, Energia Pharma Services, and Premier International Pharmaceuticals, among others. Among all those complex ERP software, Odoo has appeared as a breath of fresh air with its user-friendly UI and modern app-like interface.
How Odoo ERP Can Revolutionise the Business Operations of Pharma Companies
Odoo ERP software for pharma offers a complete suite of ERP functionalities that a Pharma company needs for its entire operation – from manufacturing to distribution, from sales to purchase, and from accounting to analytics.
Apps, Not Modules
The user interface of Odoo is akin to the smartphone app screen. This awesome Odoo ERP for pharmaceutical industry offers each of its functionalities in the form of an app. The user interface is entirely different from legacy ERP software.
While legacy ERPs make navigating the system extremely cumbersome, Odoo’s app-based ecosystem makes the software very easy to use. Yet, the system is feature-rich and more advanced than its legacy counterpart.
A Pharmaceutical company is not an IT company. As such, it might not have the necessary professionals who can manage and make sense of the complex and outdated ERP system. This is why the user-friendly user interface of Odoo makes it easy for such companies to take advantage of the modern ERP system without feeling inadequate.
Intuitive Interface, No Need To Depend On Gut Feeling
With Odoo, you are in control. Unlike working with legacy ERP, there is no guesswork involved with Odoo. The user knows exactly what he or she is doing. This ease of use dramatically improves the productivity of Pharma companies.
The Manufacturing App – Perfect For Manufacturing Pharma Products
The manufacturing app in Odoo enables Pharma businesses to automate and put a construct around the manufacturing process right from day one. From the homepage, when you click on the manufacturing app, you know exactly what you have to do. This instruction is right there on the screen.
As you can easily understand, to start a manufacturing process, you just have to press the ‘New’ button.
Even the production order workflow is quite simple – but not simplistic. You can’t go wrong with this kind of user interface. Here’s a screenshot of the production order screen-
A Pharmaceutical business will know exactly where to put what. In the product field, if it is a new product that has not been entered into the system earlier, you can create one then and there. On the bottom of the screen, you can add components needed to manufacture a particular medicine or other healthcare products.
Odoo does not need you to go to a dedicated forecast screen to let you know how many of a particular Pharmaceutical product needs to be manufactured. From the production order screen itself, one can press the “To Produce” icon to get a data-driven insight into the amount of the product to be manufactured.
Another important to-do of a Pharmaceutical company is to ensure stringent quality checks. Odoo – the perfect ERP for pharmaceutical industry – makes it possible as well. With the Quality Points feature, a company can easily add and define a quality check against a specific product. Based on the points, the system offers an intuitive screen where the company can assign pass/fail attribution against the quality check.
All Other ERP Benefits
Apart from the functionalities specific to the Pharmaceutical niche, Odoo offers every other ERP functionalities needed to automate the internal business process. Here’s a list of such functionalities –
Don’t think that Odoo is just limited to these apps. If you click on the ‘Apps’ icon, there are more modules waiting for you.
As we said, Odoo is an ERP software made for modern enterprises. This is why it natively offers IoT functionalities. The entire ERP for pharma industry can be implemented as SaaS, enabling you to avoid high implementation costs upfront.
Boost Efficiency and Compliance in your Pharma Business
Your Success with Any ERP Software Depends Largely on the Skill of the ERP Vendor: Choose Wisely, Choose Silver Touch Technologies
The success of ERP software depends on how skillfully it has been implemented. Globally around 55% to 75% of ERP implementations fail thanks to the disconnect between the skills of the implementation partner and the demands of the clients.
If you want your Odoo ERP implementation to be successful, you need to examine the ERP implementation history of your chosen vendor. At Silver Touch Technologies, we are proud to say that we have a 100% track record of successfully implementing ERP solutions for our clients.
As an official Odoo partner, we get direct support from the ERP company. As a result, we know the inside out of Odoo. No matter what requirement you have, our dedicated Odoo experts will empower you with a successful implementation that remains in sync with your business.
Come, Let Your Pharma Business Process Be Freed From The Chains of Legacy ERP.
Use Odoo, the ideal ERP software for pharmaceutical industry and experience simplicity!
FAQs: ERP for Pharmaceutical Industry
An ERP that can support the business processes in the Pharmaceutical industry can be termed a Pharma ERP. ERPs like Odoo can handle the manufacturing process, quality checking and batch monitoring of a Pharma business. Such ERPs are meant for the Pharma industry.
Thanks to an ERP system, a Pharmaceutical company can put a construct around the manufacturing and quality-checking process. Such companies can automate the flow of information which is an important criterion for a Pharma business to succeed.
Odoo has all the apps necessary for a Pharma business to manage its process. For example, the manufacturing module in Odoo has BoM and MRP functionalities which enable the Pharma companies to plan, schedule and automate the production process. Other traditional ERP functionalities like the handling of sales and purchases, synchronising accounting with other expenses and profits etc., are also handled beautifully by Odoo.