Advanced Analytics

Pharmaceutical Analytics and Business Intelligence using Power BI

Pharmaceutical Analytics and Business Intelligence using Power BI

Pharmaceutical Analytics and Business Intelligence using Power BI 2400 900 Xcelpros Team

Introduction

Modern pharmaceutical companies are undergoing a significant transformation with new opportunities from digitization, big data, and analytics. In response to COVID-19, businesses are seeing an increased need for an agile enterprise Business Intelligence (BI) architecture to leverage these opportunities in order to grow. Successful Pharmaceutical companies are looking beyond standard operational and statutory reports to implement more powerful Analytics and AI-driven solutions. These new solutions provide actionable insights and useful KPIs to help make better decisions. This leads to more empowered teams and new engagement that drives additional revenue.

Pharmaceutical companies generate massive information every day through their day to day operations. But the data is not always being put to the right use. Some companies tend to look at reports with a traditional eye that doesn’t drive a ‘call to action’ to grow the business.

The strength of any analytics software lies in its ability to help users easily create quick insights, especially for an agile business like pharmaceutical manufacturing. Creating reports in days instead of months frees up hundreds of hours in unnecessary spend to gather these hidden insights. This allows business leaders to repurpose cost savings towards other operational improvements and growth.

There is a right and wrong way of reporting – one provides overwhelming numbers, while the other means to understand those numbers and make them actionable.

As the pharmaceutical industry continues to undergo significant adjustments to new opportunities presented by digitization, big data, and analytics, more enterprises continue to see the need for an agile enterprise Business Intelligence (BI) architecture to leverage these opportunities & seamlessly deliver business-critical insights to executives.

The Strength of PowerBI

Power BI, Microsoft’s business analytics solution, lets you visualize your data and make it accessible to your Organization. Insights can be easily shared through various platforms of your Organization by embedding them in your app, portals, or website, collaborating on Teams, and integrating them into your ERP or CRM applications. Microsoft’s Power BI makes it easy to combine these numbers from different sources, streamline analytics onto a single dashboard, act on newfound insights, and enhance visibility to other teams in your organization.

Leveraging PowerBI interactive reports in a few quick and easy steps

  • Onboard
    • Access PowerBI either from powerbi.com or any of the Microsoft ERP/ CRM applications.
    • Connect to your data wherever it lives.
    • Explore your data with interactive visuals.
  • Collaborate & Share
    • Publish reports and dashboards.
    • Collaborate with your team.
    • Share insights inside and outside of your Organization.
  • Access insights from anywhere
    • Act with seamless access to data insights from your desk or home.
    • Access on the go with Power BI visual reports built rapidly.

Book a free demo to learn how Power BI can boost your pharmaceutical analytics.

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Turning Industry Data into Smart Decisions

Leading Pharmaceutical companies who are transforming into agile organizations need 360-degree insights for business-critical functions such as manufacturing execution, sales productivity, financial management, purchasing raw materials from approved suppliers, quality assurance & quality control.

Today’s pharmaceutical organizations collaborate, monitor, and communicate on available live data to achieve operational excellence. Pharmaceutical business intelligence enables these organizations to monitor real-time data from multiple sources and combine them into one pharmaceutical dashboard with the ability to drill-down into the report to identify issues, as necessary.

Figure 1: Pharmaceutical Analysis using Power BI

Pharmaceutical Analysis using Power BI

Usage in the Pharmaceutical Industry

01.Interactive Reports

Power BI is an analytics software that brings to the table a strong background in delivering end-to-end BI analytics to modern Pharmaceutical companies such as

  • Efficiency Reports On Lot Production
  • Trending And Analysis Of Quality Control Data
  • Recommendations Based Clinical Trial Reporting
  • And Financials Per Batch Produced For Each Product
  • Product Go to market assessments (how much spend and types of activity is involved, expected and actual results)

02. KPI Reporting

Accurate decision making occurs when reporting provides clarity on both good and bad data points on prime KPIs. With business analytics in the pharmaceutical industry, companies can acquire intelligence in real time and can track key performance indicators like:

  • Machine utilization
  • Process efficiency
  • Cost of Sales
  • Inventory levels
  • Batch Losses and cycle times
  • Quality standards of a product line
  • Customer engagement and customer experience

03.Real-Time Analytics

One of the essential requirements for agile Pharmaceutical companies is to have real-time analytics of overall operations, and to be able to make quick corrections and proactively handle situations before they turn into risks. Especially for manufacturing execution and pharmaceutical inventory management, knowing the work is progressing and inventory is turning around helps production supervisors to manage batch production processes much faster and make on the fly corrections. This real-time reporting on screens throughout a production plant gives needed visibility to both the managers and operators who can be alerted and fully aware of any issues.

Figure 2:Real-Time Data Tracking with Power BI

Real-Time Data Tracking with Power BI

Benefits of PowerBI enabling business improvements

  1. 1. This information gives the ability to make changes to processes based on how well resources are functioning to increase productivity, and how each product lot produced is performing in the market.
  2. 2. Getting real-time alerts with Power BI mobile apps makes your operations more efficient, allowing you to achieve a higher level of organizational agility and minimize response times.
  3. 3. Power BI enables monitoring of your supply chain end-to-end, letting you identify problems and potential bottlenecks before they can affect critical processes.
  4. 4. Monitoring quality inputs and outputs from all sources, including your customers, allows you to make quick and meaningful decisions that will improve the quality of batches that are manufactured.
  5. 5. The ability to share your dashboards with suppliers and partners is a plus and accommodates adjustments to the latest information available to work towards making your processes leaner and smarter.
  6. 6. Microsoft’s Power BI is a full-featured BI solution that offers a number of benefits to many different organizations on their path to success such as –
    • Global Scale – Local Speed
    • Agile Business Processes
    • Predictive Analytics
    • Machine-to-Machine
    • Employee Onboarding

Basic analytics used by the Pharmaceutical Industry

  • Products & Inventory
    • Full Track & Trace Functionality
    • Enhanced Global Marketability
    • Customer Requirements
    • Product Quality
    • Product Recalls
  • Sales
    • Quotes & Order analysis
    • Pricing and Cost reporting
    • Available-to-Promise reporting
    • Order Profitability
  • Supply Chain Management
    • Match demand and supply
    • Improved Supply Chain Responsiveness
    • Updated and efficient Logistic analysis
  • Financial
    • Product Profitability reports
    • Batch costs
    • A full audit of transactions
  • Manufacturing
    • Safety and sustainability analysis
    • Realtime production data reports
    • Equipment failure predictions
    • Production rescheduling

Final Thoughts

A big step towards change today comes from enhancing visibility across all operations including manufacturing execution, sales force productivity, procurement, and financials. Power BI brings to the table a strong background in end-to-end BI services for modern pharmaceutical companies – covering BI strategy, managed services, implementation & support, and even more. From the moment you start considering a BI solution for your growing Pharmaceutical company, the benefits of Microsoft’s Power BI become evident very quickly. Microsoft’s Power BI will continue to be a must-have product for leading Pharmaceutical companies by delivering a 360-degree insight of operations.

About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

Key Role of ERP Systems in Pharmaceutical Industry

Key Role of ERP Systems in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Key Role of ERP Systems in the Pharmaceutical Industry 1440 810 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • Disruptions brought by Industry 4.0 and digitization in the pharmaceutical sector is undeniable, and thus pharma companies need to arm themselves with state-of-the-art software solutions and tools to stay ahead in the game.
  • Tracking, tracing, and serialization needs the support of automated tools that can not only reduce manual efforts but can also mitigate the errors leading to stock-outs, delivery issues, and callbacks.
  • Pharma companies need to be sure they’re in compliance at all times. An ERP with Pharmaceutical and Biotech centric solutions help companies meet all the regulatory requirements.

Technology has taken over our way of life and way of work. All major and minor sectors are undergoing massive changes to adapt to these changing times, and the same goes for the pharmaceutical industry. Pharma companies worldwide face various challenges, such as increasing process complexities, changing consumer dynamics, healthcare reforms, a growing abundance of data without the infrastructure to leverage it, and more. These changing tides caused pharma companies to look at ERP as a panacea to solidify their IT framework and use the latest technologies (Cloud, Big Data, Automation, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Analytics, etc.).

However, merely adapting an ERP system will not give pharma companies value for their money.

In fact, according to a report by Gartner, by 2021, ERP cloud enterprise application implementation labor rates will increase by 60 percent due to high demand and a lack of skilled resources.

This realization indicates that, like other sectors, the pharma industry would need to invest in skill upgrading of their employees and get expert ERP consultants on board for a smooth implementation.

Now, let’s talk about the need for an ERP software system in the pharmaceutical industry in today’s time (especially as it needs an ERP that is tailor-made for the industry’s regulations and norms). Below are some of the key reasons for pharma companies to move to ERP

Manufacturing formulation and preformulation management

The drug manufacturing process comprises strict formulation and monitoring of raw material ingredients and finished product yields to produce a batch. The pre-formulation stage includes defining drug production procedures, stages, quantities, so forth. With a robust ERP system, such as the Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP, pharma companies can ensure automated management of these formulations without constantly monitoring productions and without the worry of manual errors.

Effective product costing

The costing of drugs involves various factors such as raw material master management, procurement cost, supply chain tracking, vendor cost management, so forth. In a legacy system, these departments work in silos, and the changes made in data or any variable takes time to get communicated to other branches. There’s centralized access to data with an ERP system, and an interconnected network is established between various functions to develop concurrency. Well captured data helps in efficiently defining product costs, and any changes made can reflect in the system, enabling finance to accommodate those changes appropriately.

Figure 1:Benefits of ERP for Pharmaceutical Companies

Get a Free Consultation to Begin With Digital Transformation and the Role of ERP Systems in the Pharmaceutical Industry.

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Meeting Regulatory Compliance

Regulatory compliance is a big one for all pharma companies. These regulations affect the brand name and consumer’s trust, but there is a factor of safety involved. Regulations and norms also differ regionally. It is essential to stay on top of safety and healthcare protocols to maintain global standards, and this is where a comprehensive system like Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP can serve as a game-changer. Its flexible interface, centralized networking features, and automation solutions allow pharma companies to keep up with the changing rules and regulations and helps drug manufacturers to track these measures and stay compliant.

Pharmaceutical companies are also mandated to maintain CFR 21 Part 11 where it’s a statutory requirement to record (or document- either in print form or electronically) the steps and procedures that comprised the production of a medicinal product. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations is compliant with this FDA regulated electronic signature and electronic record.

Systematic and Efficient Inventory Management with Real-time Tracking

Effective inventory management for a smooth supply chain and avoiding stock-outs or bottle-necks is always a concern for pharmaceutical companies. This concern has now reached the global level as governments across the world are looking to not only manufacture or procure enough potential Covid vaccines but to manage inventories so that the doses reach their population smoothly. An ERP system can help with real-time track and trace and serialization to manage the inventory and avoid plausible glitches. An ERP system can also effectively help in accelerating product recall with its high-end traceability solutions.

Managing Variability and Predicting Scalability

Manufacturing of drugs involves managing supply chain variability, understanding its sources, and gaining a hand over release failures. Another aspect is predicting the scalability of product demand to alter manufacturing capabilities/capacities effectively. Both these involve strong communication between different functions and the use of data to preempt change. With a robust ERP for the pharmaceutical industry, companies can achieve these goals through predictive analysis, data crunching, and supply chain visibility.

Final Thoughts

It’s clear that pharmaceutical companies can benefit a great deal from an effective ERP implementation. This transition leads not just to accelerated production but is a huge plus when it comes to streamlining operations and managing costs.

  • A cost-effective and flexible ERP system such as the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations is proven to enable pharmaceutical companies to take the right steps in the realms of digitization, automation, and artificial intelligence.
  • ERP system is the need of the hour, and getting expert consultants onboard can help pharma companies in meeting their customized financial, operational, and regulatory requirements.
  • Industrial dynamics are changing at lightning speed, and the pharmaceutical industry needs to keep up with these changes to stand the test of times.

About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

Manufacturing Metrics and KPIs That Matter the Most

Manufacturing Metrics and KPIs That Matter the Most

Manufacturing Metrics and KPIs That Matter the Most 1440 810 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • The manufacturing industry operates best by integrating people, tools, processes, and information.
  • The data generated from each of these facets needs to be quantified and analyzed.
  • In the manufacturing world, organizations that know their metrics tend to understand the tricks of the game.
  • It’s critical to focus on the metrics that matter the most; the ones that help your entire organization gain essential insights regarding different functionalities and business areas to continuously improve the manufacturing process.
  • One key that comes from knowing and managing your manufacturing metrics is the ability to systematically optimize your operations based on results.

In any industry, it’s essential to know exactly what your numbers are and what they mean to your business. While this sounds like it should be simple enough, we all know how difficult this can be in practice. When you’re able to gather numbers and metrics they still need to be collated, classified, quantified, and analyzed to add value to the business, especially for a multi-pronged industry like manufacturing. Manufacturing metrics can be diverse, and each metric has a different value throughout the manufacturing value chain. A cumulative study of a group of these metrics is a good way for manufacturing companies to gauge their performance and form strategies for continuous improvements.

Figure 1:Cycle of Continuous Improvement Methodology

Cycle of Continuous Improvement Methodology

As a manufacturing company, you always want to aim for a higher ROI which can mean a thorough analysis of manufacturing metrics and alignment of short-term and long-term business goals. Each of these metrics serves as a source of truth, representing a precise measurement of your manufacturing processes either in terms of quality or quantity (and sometimes, both). Let’s take a look at the manufacturing metrics that matter the most and how you can fortify your IT infrastructure to study and derive insights from these metrics.

1.Demand Forecasting Market research helps companies gain ideas to make estimates about demand forecasting. A manufacturers’ objective is to gauge the amount and type of raw material they will need for their upcoming business cycle. Planning, supply chain management, and operational alignment can all significantly benefit with the help of this metric. It’s essential to remember that demand foreshadowing is dependent on external factors and, as such, subject to sudden changes. Take, for example, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Many manufacturers found that much of their yearly estimates had taken a hit (especially sectors like automotive and luxury consumer goods). On the other hand, the demand for things like medical equipment and hygiene products increased by several fold, the world over. In this scenario, manufacturing companies can benefit from a robust enterprise resource planning system such as the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations that seamlessly enables change management, demand analysis, and order management.

2.Throughput & Yield of Units Produced A manufacturing company’s operational efficiency is directly proportional to its yield. Throughput is a metric that measures the average number of units produced in a particular amount of time (other coefficients being per machine, per production line, or facility). Having access to he correct yield information helps manufacturers gauge their performances accurately, address bottlenecks, and come up with plans for improvements.

63%

of manufacturing executives plan to get more out of what they already have invested within their manufacturing and supply chain network.

Source: Accenture

3.Inventory Turnover Properly managed inventory is a strong indicator of a manufacturing companies’ performance- after all, knowing how often inventory is sold or used in a particular timeframe is the measure of knowing its success in the market. This is precisely why decision-makers in the manufacturing industry focus on analyzing the turnover data of their inventories. To expedite the analysis and avoid data mismanagement, manufacturers still using legacy systems need to strongly consider investing in an automated ERP system that can track inventory data in real-time and facilitate seamless coordination between multiple stakeholders.

4.Quality Analysis The final quality of your product is one of the best indicators of production performance. A successful product is the best way to build your customer base, making it essential to have an understanding of applicable quality metrics- including monitoring and documenting raw material quality, supplier’s quality incoming, random quality checks at manufacturing plants, packaging quality, and more.

5.Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) Whether it’s a single piece of equipment or an entire production line, knowing how effective every piece of equipment is, has become essential to a timely yield that matches quality and quantity requirements. This metric is recognized by the manufacturing industry worldwide as one the most important to assess agility, downtime, and overall production quality.

Book a demo today to learn how Microsoft Dynamics 365 helps you achieve manufacturing KPIs.

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The metrics above are just a few in manufacturing that often generate mountains of data through multiple sources, all of which are constantly subject to any number of changes. The answer to managing all of this information is with a data pool – a single source of truth for multiple manufacturing metrics that can help companies track, manage, and analyze the data against their KPIs.

Figure 2:Role of Sophisticated ERP in Managing Manufacturing

Role of Sophisticated ERP in Managing Manufacturing

Implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP and Power BI lets you optimize your IT infrastructure to systematically allow real-time data access, multi-level visibility, and artificial intelligence-backed insight generation. This allows you to visualize and track the progress of your manufacturing metrics, along with a cumulative awareness of your production line.

Final Thoughts

For every manufacturing company operating today, metrics and KPIs have become among some of the most important things to understand and track. How you view these metrics moving forward, how accurate the information is, and how you’re able to leverage it will be the deciding factor in your success.

  • Every company needs to reinvent its best practices with the help of manufacturing metrics for a profitable business.
  • Investing in a fortified IT infrastructure to track and manage manufacturing metrics is the need of the hour for manufacturing companies.

About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

How Azure secures your data against cyber attacks

How Azure secures your data against cyber attacks

How Azure secures your data against cyber attacks 2400 900 Xcelpros Team

Introduction

Members of your U.S. sales team schedule an online meeting with their European counterparts, the video and audio conferencing is run through Microsoft Teams. All of your employees, from the chairman of the board to the people in the mailroom, have an email account they access through Microsoft Outlook. Your accounting department ensures everything it does is backed up on the cloud using Microsoft OneDrive. Nearly everyone in the office uses Microsoft Office 365 for everything from writing memos to generating invoices and keeping track of inventory.

What do all of these actions involving distributed computing have in common? Teams, Outlook and OneDrive and the corporate versions of Office are just a few of Microsoft’s many office programs that run on top of Microsoft Azure.

“Azure is the cloud platform that underpins all of Microsoft’s cloud services, including Microsoft Teams. Our workloads run in Azure virtual machines (VMs), with our older services being deployed through Azure Cloud Services and our newer ones on Azure Service Fabric,” ZDNet quoted Microsoft as reporting on its own blog in early 2021.

Whether you know it or not, the odds are your small to medium-sized business is using Azure, even if you have no idea what it does.

What is Microsoft Azure?

“The Azure cloud platform is more than 200 products and cloud services designed to help you bring new solutions to life—to solve today’s challenges and create the future. Build, run and manage applications across multiple clouds, on-premises and at the edge with the tools and frameworks of your choice,” according to Microsoft.

Azure is the foundational program Microsoft uses for all of its cloud computing offerings. To put Azure in perspective, consider a table. It has four legs and a top. You could not put anything on the table without the four legs, which are the core hardware components of computer processor, memory, motherboard and power supply. Just having four legs alone would be worthless without a top, which in this case is Azure’s function: it serves as the underpinning of your other programs. The tools you use, like Microsoft Dynamics 365, Teams and Microsoft Office don’t run in a vacuum: they’re all supported by Azure.

Azure provides three primary services:

  • Software as a service (SaaS), which is subscription based
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS), which lets customers run, develop and manage applications
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), which are online services

Considered a hybrid cloud product, “Azure is the only consistent hybrid cloud, delivers unparalleled developer productivity, provides comprehensive, multi-layer security, including the largest compliance coverage of any cloud provider,” while also being less expensive than Amazon Web Services, Microsoft states. AWS is Azure’s main cloud computing competitor.

One report showed 234,731 companies using Azure from 2015 to July 11, 2018. It was ranked third out of 81 competing cloud platform and service products used by nearly 2 million companies. Two offerings from Amazon lead the list. Products from Google and Rackspace complete the top five.

What Is Azure’s Best Feature?

The reason why 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies rely on Microsoft Azure is security.

“Everything sent within the Azure environment is automatically encrypted. The Azure network has automatic detection to prevent distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, similar to some of the largest services on the Internet, such as Xbox and Microsoft’s Office 365,” Cloud Business states.

Figure: 1Organizations compromised by cyber attacks

Organizations compromised by cyber attacks

In fact, according to Cloud Business; Microsoft invests $1 billion every year into security, which includes protecting Azure. In terms of security features that Azure uses to protect Microsoft’s many clients, including:

  • Automatic encryption, hiding everything that goes through it from prying eyes.
  • Automatic smart traffic monitoring and profiling that detect and deflect threats that look out of the ordinary. This approach helps reduce risks caused security threats that broke through external systems.
  • Smart access control, which routes management (i.e., administrator) accounts over separate networks from most employees. Azure lets managers control and restrict down to the individual document level, further protecting your secrets.
  • Regular hardware and firmware code revisions, which helps protect against threats before software is loaded and active.
  • Providing access to Azure through an encrypted virtual private network (VPN) regardless of where a customer is located. People in Milwaukee and Mumbai access Azure through a VPN.
  • Special computing environments known as Trusted Execution Environments or TEEs, which ensure that no matter where encrypted is—stored, in transit or inactive—is safe.

Microsoft also has 3,500+ cyber security experts on staff. Of that, 200 focus on finding weaknesses in Azure. The resulting information then becomes part of Azure’s operational security procedures.

Book your free Azure demo and secure your data from cyber assaults.

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Is Azure’s Infrastructure Secure?

If Microsoft trusts Azure’ security, your company should, also. In a series of four blog posts by Azure Security’s Director of Program Management, Avi Ben-Menahem, he provides three reasons why Azure’s infrastructure is able to securely keep their customers data safe.

  1. 1.A secure network infrastructure. “Management (Microsoft-managed) networks and customer networks are isolated in Azure to improve performance and ensure the traffic moving through the platform is secure,” Ben-Menahem wrote. The system is designed to help keep unauthorized people off a customer’s network. An important part of this that network cabling, the equipment to support and secure the network and the integration of systems used to monitor the network are managed by Microsoft.
  2. 2.Integrated security controls in Azure’s hardware and firmware. This ensures Azure is secure by default throughout its lifetime. Hardware security is enhanced by Project Cerberus, which is a chip containing a CPU, memory and programmable input/out that protects against unauthorized access and malicious updates.
  3. 3.Regular competition between Red an Blue teams of cybersecurity experts. Red team members try to compromise Azure’s infrastructure while the Blue team attempts to stop it. “At the end of each red and blue team exercise, the overall team codifies what they’ve learned into the Azure operational security process, so the team becomes more effective at continuous detection and response,” Ben-Menahem explained.

“Microsoft’s scale of investments across infrastructure, hardware and experts are unparalleled. Microsoft provides a secure infrastructure for our datacenters, composed of segregated networks, well-maintained hardware and firmware, and industry-leading operational security processes so that you can have more resources available to deliver business value,” he concluded.

What it comes down to is that data on an Azure network is encrypted even when it might be open on a customer network. Encryption works in the background. Data is seamlessly altered into a stream meaningless numbers when it is encrypted and then decoded into everything from words and numbers to videos, all without human interaction.

Final Thoughts

Today, businesses of any size need to give serious thought to adopting Azure as their cloud computing platform of choice if they haven’t already.

Azure’s focus on security means you don’t have to worry that some external group is going to use a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack to damage or steal your intellectual property.

Constant, ongoing efforts by over 3,000 cyber security professionals as well as Microsoft’s ongoing effort to improve their products means your data is safe, not just today, but well into the future.

About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

How Embracing IoT Enables Business Growth

How Embracing IoT Enables Business Growth 2400 900 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • $5.5 – $12.6 trillion: The estimated dollar impact on the world economy from the Industrial Internet of Things by 2030
  • 26%: The impact of IoT in manufacturing, hospitals, and other areas
  • 10 – 14%: The impact of IoT in human health-related companies
  • 55%, down from 61% in 2020: The economic value potential of the developed world

Source: McKinsey Digital

IoT in Production

The Internet of Things is continuing to have a growing impact on all industries, including the production of medicines and other pharmaceuticals.

“The IoT enables devices to connect and exchange data. In manufacturing, the IoT connects assets to processes, systems, and people. This enables better integration of plant processes, achieving higher levels of productivity and taking manufacturing to the next level of transformation, Industry 4.0,” a blog post from IBM states.

“IoT for manufacturing can harness the data from machines and equipment to transform the processes and systems of the modern factory environment. By denying or ignoring the transformation that the IoT (internet of things) will inevitably bring, manufacturers risk falling behind competitors and losing clients that value speed and innovation,”

Today, the world is in the midst of the fourth Industrial Revolution following 1783’s use of water power and steam, 1870’s introduction of electricity and the 1960’s switch from analog to digital technology.

Industry 4.0 embraces cognitive manufacturing using a combination of connected sensors, big data, predictive analysis and robotics. With the industrial internet of things (IIoT) on the rise, human workers are moving away from repetitive, mundane tasks. Instead of people dipping thermometers into vats or manually counting products, sensors can monitor temperatures in real time. Barcode labels attached to everything from individual packages to pallets let handheld devices not only identify the contents, but also where they belong.

This information flows from sensors to device controllers for each machine. Each controller sends information into a plant’s internal computer network. From there, it’s passed into individual workstations that can be anywhere in the world.

Digital Controllers for IoT

Walk into any production plant anywhere in the world and regardless of what the plant produces, changes are high you’ll see controllers made by Siemens.

“Siemens is a pioneer in framework and energy arrangements, just as computerization and programming for the Industrial Control And Factory Automation Market. Being one of the world’s greatest makers of energy-effective, asset sparing advancements, this organization gives research center diagnostics, clinical imaging hardware, and clinical IT solutions,” Verified Market Research states.

VMR lists Siemens of Germany at top of its list of seven industrial control and factory automation companies. The others are ABB of Sweden, Emerson Process Management of the U.S., Rockwell Automation of the U.S., Schneider Electric headquartered in France, Honeywell of the U.S. and Mitsubishi Electric of Japan.

Siemens markets the SIMATIC IOT ® gateways, which make it easy to, “implement forward-looking production concepts in your existing plant with SIMATIC IOT gateways – they’re open, versatile, and retrofittable,” the company states.

One of Siemen’s products is a controller aimed at cloud computing: the SIMATIC Cloud Connect 7. These types of controllers help companies with far-flung operations in multiple countries share information in real-time, letting workers know what’s going on in a machine a continent away. Industrial manufacturers sending this information through the Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform can easily access data from—or send commands to—devices using these controllers.

Siemens’ industrial robots “help manufacturers grow and develop new applications that were once unfeasible with previous robotics technology.” Combining different Siemens controllers and robots is one way small and medium businesses can boost their production and efficiency. By automating formerly repetitive steps, companies can run production lines longer with reduced errors. Fewer human interaction is required, allowing production runs without anyone in the building.

Information from these controllers produces what’s commonly referred to as “big data.” Terabytes of data can be routed from individual sensors through machine controllers into your network. Unfortunately, this information is almost worthless if you can’t make it work for you.

Figure: 1IoT Enterprise Spending Forecast

IoT Enterprise Spending Forecast

IoT Data

When it comes to IoT data, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is the next logical step in the flow of information. ERPs are designed to organize the data sent through your controllers and present it in useable forms such as graphical dashboards and reports.

“ERP systems bridge information gaps across different departments within a business allowing managers to see a more holistic view of a company’s finances and critical issues. With easy access to all company processes and data, managers can make quick and informed decisions to improve the productivity of the business,” according to Omniaccounts.

One important ERP feature is resource allocation. Modern sensors and controllers might be able to tell you what each machine is doing, but not which sequence of machines is most efficient. That’s where your ERP comes in.

Omniaccounts states “When ERP systems are implemented correctly across a business, they transform the financial, operational, and human resource aspects of an organization. Companies at the forefront of innovation are implementing ERP software to improve the way data is shared across an organization, reduce internal costs, increase efficiency, and improve processes across their organizations. An ERP system fits in with any industry, be it retail, corporate, industrial, and even small businesses, assisting with the day-to-day operations of the company and the ever-changing industry needs.”

Effective ERP

Picking the right ERP for your business can make a big difference when it comes to functionality. Among the many benefits of modern ERP for manufacturing is the ability to improve supply chain efficiency by helping track raw materials from the supplier to your warehouse. Once the essential items arrive, an ERP designed with labeling in mind makes it easy to efficiently store, trace and track products throughout production, and on to customers.

The right ERP also boosts production by enabling more efficient resource allocation.

Imagine your factory is running a dozen different jobs and one of the orders is smaller than normal. When that job completes, the ERP can indicate that a machine is available. The remaining time can then be used for preventive maintenance, to run a low-volume order for one customer, or increase production for another.

On top of resource allocation, especially when coupled with IoT data, an ERP with predictive analysis helps companies.

  • It lets you know when a part is showing wear so you can replace it before having to shut down a production line
  • It helps predict where new markets will emerge through evaluating business intelligence
  • Supply chain information, coupled with business intelligence, can predict where the next Suez Canal-type fiasco might occur, giving you the option to route your shipments through other ports

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ERPs and Pharmaceutical

Today’s modern ERPs are a great way to boost the business of any small, medium or large business. ERP Research lists six ERP software makers whose products are especially good for pharmaceutical companies.

“Many pharmaceutical companies are beginning to explore Microsoft Dynamics as their pharmaceutical ERP. The solution provides a great degree of flexibility plus a large partner ecosystem that has developed many pharmaceutical industry add-ons,” ERP Research states.

An important advantage of using Microsoft Dynamics 365 products is the company’s focus on security. Using Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform provides an additional layer of data security as propriety information travels from one company site to another.

Labeling solutions that can print either barcodes or QR codes lets pharmaceutical companies embed any and every piece of required information in each label. A scan of an individual product’s label can then provide all data required in order to meet the regulations of each country or state that item moves through after leaving the factory. Even safety data sheet (SDS) information and instructions can be embedded in a label, quickly and easily.

Final Thoughts

IoT in the pharmaceutical industry is sure to be a defining factor as more use cases develop. Any company wanting to take advantage of modern technology and move to Industry 4.0 need to look at investing in at least three types of products:

  1. 1.IoT sensors to gather information at the machine level
  2. 2.Controllers to guide that data into your network
  3. 3.A modern, efficient and scalable Enterprise Resource Planning tool like Microsoft Dynamics 365 to turn that data into information for helping your company run more efficiently and profitably.

This combination gives your company an edge over competitors locked into older products and programs. Is your business IoT ready?

About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

inventory management strategies

Top 4 Efficient Inventory Management Strategies

Top 4 Efficient Inventory Management Strategies 1500 750 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • Challenges of an inventory can be both daunting and persistently confusing for shippers/ suppliers; however, a strategic re-evaluation can do wonders to your inventory management.
  • Accuracy, agility, and quality seem to be the main driving factors in today’s inventory management scenario.
  • Companies need to make the necessary changes to their approach to inventory management strategies today to have a seamless supply chain and, eventually, a satisfied customer base.

As technologies and the latest strategic trends bring on a blanket change across various industries and their related subsets of functions, organizations need to adapt to these trends. Such adaptations can at first sound overwhelming, but proper planning and execution can help you in the long run. Inventory management has come a long way from being just a function related to buying, stocking, and selling. In today’s digital era, managing an inventory entails predicting stock-outs and preventing them, enhancing workflow efficiency, providing real-time information to various stakeholders, and supporting large scale productions. The unprecedented growth of the e-commerce sector has given rise to customer expectations that can be daunting to the sellers and suppliers. Today’s supply chain culture is all about being the fastest and the most accurate. Thus, both B2B and B2C markets continually look for ways to efficiently manage their inventories’ challenges.

48%

of supply chain and transportation executives say they are experiencing the need to reevaluate warehouse locations due to shifting trade patterns resulting from changes in the U.S. economy.

Source: A Report by Forbes Insight

Whether you are a manufacturer, supplier, or retailer, the road ahead to managing your inventory effectively is full of complexities as well as opportunities. Let us look at various good inventory management practices that will help you unravel these problems while tapping many efficient inventory management options.

01.Be Efficient When You Go Omnichannel

These days, the customers/consumers are empowered by various online applications, e-stores, and even physical shopping options to complete their order. As a retailer who wants to tap into these different distribution options, one needs to dive into omnichannel retailing. But this requires accurate and highly efficient management of stocks and their distribution across various channels. A complex omnichannel inventory requires a central data management system, effective track and trace mechanism, and sustainable storage options to operate seamlessly. An omnichannel store that operates both physically and online needs to purchase data and patterns for predictive analysis to preempt customer demands and stock their inventories accordingly.

Figure 1:An Omnichannel Retailer’s Inventory

02.Create an Efficient Connected Ecosystem

Long gone are the days when inventories were simply warehouses located close to the supplier base and managed as a separate function. With advanced, cutting-edge technologies, everything is connected today. Thus, to overcome the inventory management problems, you need to create an efficiently connected ecosystem where different functions work in tandem while sharing data, exchanging real-time developments, and being governed in an optimized way.

To help you manage your inventory’s problems with ease, speed, and accuracy:

  • Moving your data from legacy platforms to Cloud.
  • Implement process automation to simplify laborious manual tasks.
  • Use Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to preempt stock-outs.
  • Apply Advanced Analytics for accurate inventory reporting.

Figure 2:Benefits of a Connected Ecosystem for Inventory Management

03.Revisit Your Warehouse Location design

In the past, inventory locations were not always well-managed and streamlined based on supply, consumption, and demand. With cumbersome planning and different modes of transportation, warehouses would ship goods to the desired locations. However, in today’s times, inventories cater to multiple channels and changing consumers’ demand patterns. This has made companies rethink their logistics strategy. Companies are setting up distribution centers closer to the customer-base to help streamline order fulfillment. Also, these distribution centers, when integrated through a common and efficient warehouse management software, can share data and prevent stock-outs.

04.Balancing the Influx of Inventory

There has always been discord between stocking up on inventory and the actual space available in shippers/suppliers’ warehouses to store the inventory. Sometimes, shippers miscalculate the future demand, while other times, they fear the increase in the price of goods. Whatever may be the scenario, this influx of inventory and the lack of actual physical space can lead to a menace for distribution centers. This can also lead to damage of goods, loss of perishable items, and a mismanaged inventory. To avoid this kind of influx, suppliers can get supply chain experts on board to use technology to their advantage. Tools and applications like MRP with AI and Advanced Analytics can accurately forecast customer demands. A good and robust software system to track the inventory items will prevent excessive purchases and stock-ups.

Inventory problems have always been the peril of supply chain management. You can be better prepared using the latest technologies with features like track and trace through LPN, a mobile supply chain, use of barcode, labeling, etc. By rethinking and replanning your supply chain process, you can proactively streamline inventory. A smooth supply chain needs to have a well-managed inventory, and taking the right steps in this direction will help you build a higher business value.

Key Takeaways

  • No two companies can have similar inventory requirements and structures; so, you need to assess your needs to optimize and manage inventory challenges.
  • A complex inventory requires stringent workforce management, change management, skill force updating, latest technologies, and application of intelligent tools to be managed seamlessly.
  • Contingency plans need to be in place for disruptions in inventory management, giving your company the ability to plan for unexpected situations.

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

agile transformation strategy

The What and How of Agile Transformation Strategy

The What and How of Agile Transformation Strategy 1920 1080 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • The world is moving at a fast pace in terms of technological advancements, and organizations across industries are keen on keeping up with these changing times.
  • Companies are moving towards establishing integrated processes instead of working in silos by connecting the end-to-end operations.
  • Reporting real-time insights, shorter turn-around times, virtual connections, establishing multi-polar communication across locations and a flexible work environment are essential for agile transformation in an organization.

What is Agile Transformation?

Thought leaders and key decision-makers in an organization are always pursuing opportunities to enable a more efficient, systematic, and faster work environment. A strategic realignment between processes, tools, and people is required to start planning any Organizational transformation. Agile is one such phenomenon that makes this realignment possible and expedites the productivity in an enterprise. The use of advanced technology requires proper implementation and resource allocation. When combined with the up-skilling of the employees, it can generate maximum benefits from an agile transformation strategy.

Agility is not just a different viewpoint in today’s world; it is the way to move forward. Organizations need to understand and implement agile technologies to remain relevant and prosper in this world of going fast and staying connected.

According to a study published by KPMG, 68% of organizations (participants of the survey) said that faster product delivery was one of their key drivers for agility. In comparison, 45% indicated that increased flexibility was the main driver for shifting towards agility.

The study indicates that Organizational Agility is growing and is the next organic step forward for enterprises to integrate fortified IT infrastructure with results-driven, faster business models.

The Key Benefits of Agile Transformation Strategy

By now, the world knows that Agile equals faster, better, and smarter ecosystems. However, to implement Agility into your business model, you must first understand the key driving factors compelling enough to take Agile’s right steps. Let us have a look at some of these significant benefits:

  • Better collaboration amongst people inside the organization leading to reduced communication gaps, avoidance of inter-department bottlenecks, and a comprehensive approach towards newer ideas and innovations.
  • The real-time process driving and problem-solving through Agile technologies offers organizations the benefit of saving cost, efforts while reducing waste.
  • Disruption brought by newer technologies, changing government policies, or unprecedented economic factors are inevitable, and Agile gives organizations the flexibility to change priorities, customize operations, alter process flows, and make organizational changes. Agile companies have a chance to stay on top of things even in the face of any plausible disruption.
  • Faster turnaround time is possible, especially in the software domain. Companies can deliver work-in-progress or beta versions of their product and get feedback from their customer base to improve.

How to Leverage Agile Technology for Your Enterprise: The Agile Transformation Blueprint

Companies need to look at agile transformation as an organic extension toward a better, faster, and more technologically empowered ecosystem. Any change at an organizational level requires companies to make strategic decisions from the top and implement systematic alterations at a granular level. Technology and business experts help form an agile transformation blueprint that should serve as a centralized guide for all functions, domains, teams, and processes across the company.

Figure 1:Agile Transformation: Facets of Implementation

Agile transformation requires fortifying ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems in any organization. You can use Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step Agile and Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP to implement these changes. These systems allow enterprises to explore changes with flexibility and implement them at a faster pace. With automated insights generation, design, and deployment features, your organization can benefit significantly with these tools in the journey toward an Agile Organization.

Challenges of Agile Technology and Ways to Overcome Them

Any organizational change faces different challenges – in the system as well as from the people. The decision to move towards a more agile, flexible ecosystem too has its set of challenges:

  • Forming an agile transformation strategy has many hurdles- ranging for technological maturity of the organization, financial burdens, readiness of the management body, and the effort required in bringing about this change. It is this essential to get business strategy and technology consultants on board to help your organization go agile smoothly.
  • A cultural shift is a big part of agile transformation. Thus, it is essential to gauge the cultural readiness towards this change. Otherwise, organizations can find it very difficult to implement and leverage the maximum benefit of going agile. Taking out time to inform and educate people in your company about the changes and their benefits is a must when you take on the agility journey.

Agile transformation is the need and the calling of the hour. It is essential to prioritize the change and recognize the technological facets or upgrades that your IT infrastructure needs. By making the right strategic calls and planning your growth’s core, you can chalk your enterprise’s agility transformation roadmap.

Key Takeaways:

  • The agile transformation process is a continuous one that needs planning specific to an organization’s technological adeptness, cultural readiness, and growth potential.
  • It is essential to visualize the end-user and the end product to implement any change in this journey of transformation successfully.

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

new technology in pharmaceutical industry

Maximize Profit with New technology in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Maximize Profit with New technology in the Pharmaceutical Industry 1920 1080 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • Pharma industry is moving from conventional methods of research, manufacturing and distribution towards more technologically adept ways for better output.
  • The globalized nature of the pharma supply chain calls for technological transformation at macro and micro levels of every player in the industry.
  • The need for newer technologies, the cost of their adaption and the overall ROI are factors that pharmaceutical companies should consider to bring about a technology-driven reformation of their processes.

For years now, the pharmaceutical sector has been slow to adopt technologies, especially when it comes to their business models. While the past decade has seen positive changes in the way technological advancements have made their presence felt in this industry, there is still a lot to be desired. Technology can be leveraged by pharmaceutical companies (start-ups and the giants) to transform their operations, the pace of research, and manufacturing processes. Even the pharmaceutical supply chain is on the verge of going through a digital overhaul, changing how drug/ raw material distribution will be handled locally and globally.

Pharmaceutical Facets Being Transformed by Cutting-Edge Technologies

Application of Newer Technologies

01

Expedited Process, Optimized Operation, Reduced Manual Labour and Error Mitigation

02

Better Understanding of the Market and End-User Dynamics

03

Formation of a data-driven and Technologically-Enabled Business Strategy for Enhanced ROI and Profitability

04

The impact of adopting newer technologies on the business front is going to be positive. However, the pharma companies’ key decision-makers would need to align their business models with the current market needs and then choose the right mix of technologies to drive growth and maximize pharmaceutical profits.

Let us look at how technology in the pharmaceutical industry can prove to be integral in accelerating business growth for pharma companies.

01.Going Big with Big Data – Anchoring Business Decisions Based on Data Generated Insights

Big Data has made its way in almost all the major industries and healthcare-pharmaceutical integration can benefit from this technology to store, organize and leverage the humongous amount of data generated. The pharmaceutical industry can gain insights from the patient data stored on various applications. It can also leverage the data generated at hospitals to gain foresight into the current drug demands and the c-suite level executives can drive their decisions based on these insights. The global pharmaceutical supply chain can benefit from historical and real-time data sources available on Big Data platforms. This will help mitigate supply errors, prevent bottlenecks, and ensure smooth distribution of drugs and raw material. To make best use of Big-Data learn more about pharmaceutical data analytics and business intelligence here.

02.Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the Way Forward- Expediting Processes and Enhancing Profitability

The past few months are abuzz with the news of AI being used to fasten vaccine development using computerized programs. AI is imperative to complete genome sequencing of the Covid-19 virus, running humongous data through machine learning tools to shortlist plausible drugs and vaccine candidates and systematically design massive-scale clinical trials. The pharmaceutical industry has been using AI and related technologies to fine-tune operations, fasten the drug discovery processes, and minimize human efforts. Speaking of its impact on business, the pharma executives see the positive transformation of accelerated processes. The increase in profit margins caused by AI tools and techniques has encouraged pharmaceutical companies to expand AI use.

According to Gartner’s 2020 CIO Survey, AI is the healthcare industry’s top game-changing technology. These analysts predicted 75 percent of healthcare delivery organizations will invest in an AI capability to explicitly improve either operational performance or clinical outcomes by 2021.

03.Going Virtual – Catering to the Need of the Hour to Make Better Business Choices

The past few years have seen a shift in the way the healthcare sector has been operating. Patients are moving towards online consulting and self-medication via various forums and apps. The partial shift of the healthcare sector to virtual platforms has created a ripple effect on its related sectors. The pharmaceutical companies can use this transformation to their benefit and enhance customer engagement by going digital. Digital customer engagement and experience will help them in understanding the demands and expectations of their end-users. Pharma companies can align Business strategies for manufacturing and distributing generic and over the counter (OTC) drugs with insights generated from capturing the consumer behavior on these virtual platforms. A well-researched business strategy can become the blueprint that the pharmaceutical companies can replicate in other geographies to grow their business.

How Technology is Crucial in Enhancing the Pharma Business

01

Research and Development – Cloud Computing, Big Data, AI, and Machine Learning are Expediting R&D in the Pharma Sector

02

Drug Manufacturing – Automation is Proving to be a Game Changer in Continuous Manufacturing

03

Pharmaceutical Supply Chain – The Pharmaceutical Supply Chain is Getting Digitized and Optimized with Latest Technologies

04.Opting Automation – Moving from Batch to Continuous Manufacturing to Meet the Demands

There is an ever-growing demand for drugs and vaccines worldwide, and pharmaceutical companies are on the lookout to enhance their manufacturing capacity without inflating costs to the extent that it will disrupt their business models. Technology experts are touting automation in the pharmaceutical industry as the next big thing for them. Automating the manufacturing processes and facilities will enable pharma companies to move from batch production to continuous manufacturing. Business process automation will help meet customer demands and enhance their operational efficiency.

To summarize, adapting new technologies in the pharmaceutical industry during these rapidly changing times will favor these companies. The key decision-makers who are ready to think out of the box and take bolder steps by trusting the endless possibilities of technology will be remembered as pioneers in transforming the pharmaceutical sector.

Key Takeaways:

  • Adapting new technologies and up-scaling entire infrastructure as needed might be a cost-intensive process, but in the long run, it will help pharma companies cater to the needs of changing times.
  • Business executives in pharmaceutical companies have started looking at newer technologies as imperative factors in not just R&D optimization but as catalysts in the overall transformation of the sector.

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

erp trends

Top 5 ERP System Trends in 2020 to help plan for 2021

Top 5 ERP System Trends in 2020 to help plan for 2021 1920 1080 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • 2020 has been a rollercoaster ride for organizations. Companies are figuring out systems to handle remote work, disrupted supply chains, sudden changes in raw material prices, an onslaught of data, and labor shortage significant challenges globally. Many of these companies got their tasks streamlined and optimized in these times with ERP systems.
  • Going forward, ERP in 2021 will be a gateway towards more flexible and agile systems which will enable companies to aim for zero downtime, improved resource functionality, and overall better process optimization.
  • Innovation is the key to ERP’s growth, and the current trends are pointing towards organizations’ keenness for out-of-the-box ERP applications.

Organizations worldwide integrate ERP into their IT infrastructure for operational efficiency, data management, finance and accounting, and process automation. The digitization of an enterprise through newer ERP solutions raises an organization’s performance and dexterity.

ERP has come such a long way from its early inception days that the older versions are quickly becoming obsolete. Companies are moving from legacy to newer ERP platforms to gain traction in the digital ecosystem.

According to the Panorama Consulting Solutions’ 2018 ERP Report, 49% of companies (USA, EU and Asia) reported improved business after ERP implementation.

With such a tremendous success rate, it is no wonder that majority of companies have either implemented or are looking to implement ERP. However, like any other technology, it is essential to keep on top of ERP systems’ features and solutions. Here’s a look at the top 5 ERP technology trends that companies need to watch out for:

1.Integration with AI and its positive impact: Gone are the days companies would look at artificial intelligence (AI) and ERP systems separately. The upcoming ERP comes integrated with AI and offers smooth functionalities in various functions such as efficient accounting, report generation, warehouse/ inventory management, customer service betterment, and more. Another positive impact of ERP systems integrated with AI is that it helps process automation and can save manual labor efforts and cost. This can serve as a boon for companies struggling with workforce shortage due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

2.Cloud Acceleration: Another upcoming ERP trend is the much-talked-about cloud acceleration feature, wherein organizations (or individuals) will be able to expedite data delivery to respective nodes with the help of a smart ERP system. A cloud ERP system also enables organizations to seamlessly go along the digital transformation journey with real-time data feeds and verifications.

3.Agile ERP to Support an Agile Organization: Most companies are asked today if they are agile? To be agile and get away from the conventional waterfall method (where one function would complete the task before moving to the next), companies will delve into agile ERP. An agile ERP will support co-existence and concurrent working of multiple functions with a centrally accessible database. This will help companies reduce and expedite iterations, preempt and avoid operational glitches, and better manage their processes.

4.Customer-focused ERP: The business landscape is changing with digitization. Companies can now reach their customers directly and get honest reviews about their services/ products, thanks to various online platforms. Thus, in the year 2021, ERP will play an essential role in strengthening this connection and taking it in the right direction by generating alerts, reducing response time, and improving overall customer satisfaction for a company.

5.ERP aiding persona Marketing: Organizations worldwide are trying to make the most of their digital marketing spend by optimizing R&D about a customer/ prospect demographic. Cloud-based ERP systems can prove vital in that facet by serving as the data-gatherer and insight generator systems for a better, faster, and more accurate understanding of the customer’s preferences. Not many enterprises know the immense value that the current sales/ customer data provides to cross-sell/upsell/sell new products to existing customers or prospective customers within the same demographic. ERP systems can effectively streamline backend data and provide trends to aid digital marketing.

Figure 1: The Future of ERP: Comparing Features

The past year has seen numerous benefits of ERP in different business processes. A trusted ERP system such as the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations will be instrumental in helping companies manage operations efficiently. This ERP software is designed for today and the future, and it encompasses cutting-edge features that help fulfill your organization’s digital transformation quest.

New-age ERPs release updates to stay current in the market, and it is essential to upgrade by assessing the latest feature sets in the latest versions. Getting ERP consultants and experts on board can also help you in continuously improving your ERP system to adapt to the latest trends.

Key Takeaways

  • To stay ahead in the digital era, organizations need to keep up with the trends of cutting-edge software like the ERP.
  • The current and coming years will see further integration of various digital technologies into ERP to provide a comprehensive system that benefits both companies and customers.
  • The future and growth of ERP lies in digitization, agility, and enhanced process optimization features. Companies from various industries will need to upgrade their ERP systems to reap these features’ full benefits in the coming times.

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

Predictive analytics in the pharmaceutical industry: Key Use Cases

Predictive analytics in the pharmaceutical industry: Key Use Cases 1500 752 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • The digital era has given companies various tools and techniques to help pharmaceutical manufacturers optimize and streamline their operations, and predictive analysis is one such highly advanced method.
  • There are different ways with which predictive analytics can integrate with existing software setup and forecast plausible technical glitches and predict future trends, thus helping in enhancing operational efficiency.
  • Predictive analysis can help planning to execution, aftermarket services level to develop better products/ services, improve their response time, and stay ahead of the curve for delivering better customer experience.

The Role of Robust Infrastructure

Database management has become one of the topmost priorities for companies across the globe. This database is used to fabricate trends and patterns for a particular time-frame or a process or a product. Data historians have been around for quite some time now, but manufacturers have recently started to look at them as more than software that stores and retrieves data. Application of predictive analytics is turning out to be a game-changer in terms of predicting the future with maximum accuracy and helping manufacturers make the right calls across various functions- purchase, operations, consumer demands, marketing, and more.

Any business operates with the ultimate motive – to enhance productivity and profits. Optimizing operations thus becomes a must for manufacturers. Companies are riding the digital wave with cutting-edge technologies and tools such as Cloud, Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning, and Digital Analytics. By making the most of this digital disruption and using predictive analysis to their advantage, companies can achieve better operational efficiency and higher productivity.

Increased and better predictability for both structured and unstructured data helps companies in planning their operations accordingly for enhanced productivity and a faster pace of work.

Predictive Analytics in Pharmaceutical Operations

Predictive analytics is creating a buzz in the Pharma industry for quite some time now. Different pharmaceutical manufacturing companies are looking to model their business processes by gauging the future requirements. The predictive analysis makes use of data historians to accurately make predictions about future trends, possible glitches, and diversions along the road. While technology has come a long way when it comes to predictive analysis, at an enterprise level, there are many things you can do to make the most of this technique.

93%

of healthcare executives stated that predictive analytics is important to their business’ future.

Source: CIO.com

As major companies are competing to stay ahead, product sales and consumer acceptance of a specific drug are a few contributing factors that help decide on advancing to Predictive analytics.

Here are a few ways that predictive analytics helps Pharmaceutical operations become more streamlined and agile:

01.Predictive analytics assets help in understanding patient needs ahead of time

For years Pharma companies have invested heavily in market research and insight experts to understand various geographies and patient domains. This included research to understand and forecast patient needs and drug usage compliance to help both R&D and manufacturing teams prepare them ahead, thus catering to the requirements of the patient base. Predictive analysis plays a vital role in this domain by taking historian data and mining it to populate trends and patterns that can be used by Pharma companies to decide upon the demand for their product. Advanced digital analytics is also capable of generating models based on consumption density for a particular geography, demographic, and health index of the patient base. A pharmaceutical company, thus, would automatically be empowered by knowing its end customer base better and learn the composition of drugs and approximate quantities to produce. You can, therefore, produce the drugs as per the forecast and restructure your supply chain as per the demand. All this will optimize your operations by streamlining both the production department and your supply chain. This will result in enhanced productivity and reduced risks of stock-outs or inventory influxes.

02.Digital analytics plays an imperative role in predicting plausible manufacturing equipment glitches

Anyone working on a production line can vouch for the fact that faulty equipment can cost fortunes by becoming the reason for slowed down or altogether stopped production for days. What predictive analysis does is that it uses the stored equipment data and runs the algorithms to understand the working patterns of any equipment. This, in turn, helps in generating reports for plausible scenarios of equipment malfunction. The production team can get forewarned and can work on the said equipment beforehand to prevent any glitches. Apart from helping in enhancing the operational efficacy, this can also help in preventing loss due to stalled production.

One can take the predictive analysis a step further and use the trends generated to get into a proactive maintenance mode, rather than a more cumbersome and costlier reactive maintenance option.

9%

uptime improvement can be achieved by ensuring predictive maintenance in factories.

Source: A Report by PWC

03.Predictive analytics enhances operational efficiency by enabling risk assessment

Predicting the actions and production outcome of a batch record has become integral to measuring the performance of a Pharma product line. Predictive analytics helps in this assessment with maximum accuracy. It also helps in proactively foretelling issues risks related to product line performance, which allows Production Managers to mitigate these risks to raise product quality standards, and hence become a key driver in increasing product performance in the market. This could apply to both software and hardware in a production line. The cumulative phenomenon results in better risk assessment. This helps the operations team to proactively plan the course of their actions for a better outcome. The advanced predictive analytics tools integrate with different software used by the manufacturers to recognize patterns, share information with other machines and apply the principles of machine learning to automatically gauge risks and alert the users on a timely basis. For optimized operations, risk aversion plays an important role.

Figure 1Use Cases of Predictive Analytics in Pharma

01

Deriving 360 degree patient journey insights

02

Influencing patient adherence

03

Capturing genomics data to accelerate discovery of precision medicine

04

Speeding up drug discovery and development

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Improving the efficiency in clinical trials

06

Identifying gaps in compliance to streamline regulations

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Reducing cost and speeding up time-to-market

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Improving safety and risk management

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Managing operations and employee training

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Taking effective sales and marketing initiatives

04.Advanced analytics is essential in accelerating operations

The ways mentioned above with which advanced predictive analysis helps in operational efficiency have all resulted in more agility in the overall operations. Rapidly delivering drugs to the end customer, is becoming a primary responsibility for Pharma companies within the Pharma Value Chain. Companies see a rapid generation of patterns, demands met with more ease, lower risks in manufacturing processes – advancing production lines, and related functions to be more agile.

Business Scenario

Meridian Medical Technologies, a Pfizer company, continues to experience manufacturing challenges in the production of EpiPen® (epinephrine injection, USP) 0.3 mg and EpiPen Jr® (epinephrine injection, USP) 0.15 mg Auto-Injectors, and the authorized generic versions of these strengths. These challenges are expected to result in tighter supplies and greater variability in pharmacy-level access at this time.

Added to the shortage of EpiPens due to tighter supplies, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration provided additional information on lots that are about to expire creating further risk in Epipen availability for the patient base.

A good model of predictive analytics in the Pharma supply chain that provides a gauge of stock requirements based on patient demand, in-store inventory, and expiration dates would have mitigated this risk of Epipen outage before it is too late. Time to market is an essential factor in deciding the success of a product. Accelerating pharma manufacturing processes will thus help companies stay ahead in the competition.

Key Takeaways

  • Predictive analytics is highly effective in risk assessment, equipment analysis, trend forecasting, and data mining.
  • Every industry has their specific criterion to make use of predictive analysis to boost sales and with better use of such tools, enterprises will be better prepared to serve their customer base.
  • Manufacturers can benefit highly from this advanced digital technology by optimizing their operations and enhancing the speed of production.
  • Speeding up the drug to the market process by predicting demand based on patient demographic enables Pharma companies to be prepared for the increase in end-customer demand and manage stock outages without compromising patient needs.

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