Covid-19

Microsoft Dynamics and Digital Commerce in the Wake of COVID-19

Microsoft Dynamics and Digital Commerce in the Wake of COVID-19

Microsoft Dynamics and Digital Commerce in the Wake of COVID-19 700 500 Xcelpros Team

Introduction

The world of business has changed dramatically with the rise of digital commerce, and companies have had to rethink their strategies and business models in order to accommodate it. What was once just an idea in science fiction has become reality, and the phenomenon’s significance cannot be overstated. Data-driven technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are at the heart of this change, which is quickly redefining the way that people buy goods and services—and companies operate. Microsoft Dynamics 365 has been at the forefront of supporting these shifts, but what does that mean for businesses?

Digital commerce reaches all industries

Before we get into how digital commerce has grown after COVID-19, it is important to recognize that it is not only retail and service industries where ecommerce channels are on the rise. For example, consider chemical and pharmaceutical firms. Many are using ecommerce channels to market and sell branded products, operate online stores, or promote product recall information. These companies benefit by limiting overhead costs like warehouse storage space, labor for packing and shipping goods, etc. And consumers benefit from convenience: with shopping available at any time on one website instead of having to navigate different websites for a particular product.

In addition to their own brands’ products, manufacturing firms have taken advantage of grey marketing opportunities by selling private labels via sites like Amazon’s marketplace or Walmart’s marketplace seller platform. They can use these channels to capitalize on popular products before they’re out of stock or completely sold out, as well as use them as a bridge to launch new brands.

While ecommerce channels were primarily used to sell direct competitors’ products, now many manufacturers are also able to sell their own branded products through these platforms. The manufacturer then takes care of logistics and fulfillment, while taking advantage of the branding expertise required for success on these types of platforms.

In terms of compliance and regulation, manufacturers need to keep up with complex regulatory requirements like FDA 21 CFR Part 11 rules when designing an electronic record keeping system. Part 11 mandates among other things rigorous change control procedures and audit trails to track data modification which may be difficult in dynamic environments.

These are all important reasons why you need a powerful solution for managing your supply chain management (SCM) processes – including business process automation tools such as Requisition Approval Management (RAM), Order Approval Management (OAM), and Warehouse Execution System (WES).

eCommerce after Covid

$571.2 billion in 2019 to $815.4 billion in 2020. An increase of $244.2 billion, or 43%.

Figure 1:Growth of eCommerce after Covid-19

Growth of eCommerce after Covid-19

Source: census.gov

It’s hard to believe that it has been just over a year since COVID-19 rocked companies and their business strategies the world over. With another year quickly coming to an end, it’s a relief to see more companies have been able to move on from recovery and start rebuilding and reinventing their digital commerce strategy. But there are key considerations for regulated industries like pharmaceuticals and chemicals.

COVID-19 came at a pivotal time for regulated industries with compliance obligations for data protection laws and supply chain requirements. Before the pandemic, executives were just starting to wake up to these regulatory trends with increasingly complex compliance mandates; but after Covid, many took note that this wasn’t a problem that would go away by itself. Industry players realized they needed to be ready for change.

This global event drove a significant change in eCommerce strategy for many industries, including B2C sales and B2B business-to-business interactions where some organizations’ data security practices may have been less diligent.

As businesses struggle with ongoing supply chain and staffing issues, many have been forced to look more closely at new ways to deliver their goods to customers faster, more reliably, and with increased safety from outside threats. The evolution of courier services has helped lead to changes in logistics processes – helping regulators maintain visibility into product movement while enabling enterprises to protect themselves against potential attacks.

Another major shift has been focusing more on customer experience rather than simply looking at what can be done internally. Companies should now recognize that it’s not only about providing an effective process or product, but now more than ever its about delighting the customer as well – a point that’s become incredibly important.

These factors are just a few driving the need for an up-to-date solution that helps achieve both goals by ensuring transparency and traceability across every channel of communication through integration with platforms like Microsoft Office 365 so your enterprise can reduce complexity without sacrificing efficacy or control.

For companies in highly regulated industries like pharmaceuticals and chemicals, it’s easy to recommend Microsoft Dynamics 365, designed specifically for global, large multinational enterprises operating in highly regulated environments who need real-time access to consolidated company data across multiple divisions around the world.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 and eCommerce

It’s no secret that eCommerce has been growing steadily for years. From big players like Amazon to newer start-ups, digital commerce is poised to make even more inroads into all corners of our economy. The last few years have also seen a dramatic change as retailers realize that online and mobile channels are needed for them to stay competitive. Of course, all this begs the question: what role does Microsoft Dynamics 365 play here? What can it do to support these new needs?

Microsoft shows its commitment to helping organizations overcome today’s business challenges through the continued development of innovative solutions and services. The award-winning Dynamics 365 platform provides customers with powerful tools to drive success across their entire organization – empowering employees to do more every day with mobile access anytime and anywhere.

Overall, Dynamics 365 enables businesses with agility, flexibility and speed when developing new capabilities or meeting evolving customer demands. In addition, Dynamics 365 Ecommerce features can offer an out-of-the-box solution for any business—regardless of size or industry—to sell their products online with robust features and functionality.

With Dynamics 365, customers get access to powerful web store templates so they can create unique shopping experiences that resonate with their customers. These include customizable pages and easy-to-manage checkout options for buyers. And of course, Dynamics 365 includes advanced payment processing integration, so retailers have seamless access to existing payment providers without having to spend time building and maintaining these integrations themselves. So, while global economic developments will undoubtedly impact how digital commerce continues to evolve in different industries over time, Microsoft Dynamics 365 is well positioned today as a flexible platform that meets the needs of companies across regulated sectors who want to leverage this burgeoning channel without sacrificing security or compliance.

Beyond support for customer service operations, Microsoft Dynamics 365 provides robust enterprise resource planning (ERP) capabilities – including finance, accounting, inventory management, and production – which can make it easier for leaders within regulated industries to maintain compliance within the evolving landscape of privacy regulations without making compromises on productivity or efficiency.

As regulations continue to evolve, many institutions will find themselves reviewing their vendor ecosystems and assessing whether there are adequate controls in place should they be subject to regulatory scrutiny. Companies should take care to review how specific vendors’ offerings align with their current compliance requirements including data governance, confidentiality and protection of personal information (COPPI), anti-money laundering (AML) or know your customer (KYC) requirements.

Next steps

So, what are the next steps for businesses looking to utilize e-commerce channels?

It’s important to do some research – companies should do their research about the types of technology that can be implemented to drive digital commerce. With any new change comes many opportunities, but also risks that need to be carefully considered.

Talk to your partner business software providers You should consider the type of retailing experience you want customers to have by speaking with the IT vendors that serve those areas. Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a powerful business solution and partners with many leading companies in areas such as forecasting, supply chain management, order fulfillment, human resources, financials and more.

The continued success of this solution stems from its robust integration capabilities. As a Microsoft Partner, we know that our clients don’t want to go through the process of switching between multiple systems; they just want one system to handle it all.

Contact us now to see how we can support your company’s growth.

About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company and delivers 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

What Chemical Companies Can Expect from increasing their Post-Covid IT Budgets

What Chemical Companies Can Expect from increasing their Post-Covid IT Budgets

What Chemical Companies Can Expect from increasing their Post-Covid IT Budgets 700 500 Xcelpros Team

Introduction

Chemical companies across the board have been increasing their IT and technology budgets more than ever before. This increase in funding isn’t just good for consumers looking forward to new features and a better experience; it also means that your company will be safer from malware threats and cyberattacks, which can be disastrous for any type of business.

Given how focused hackers are on Chemical companies, this increased attention to cybersecurity really couldn’t come at a better time! Whether your company deals with energy or manufacturing, chances are you will benefit from these new investments in IT, so what should you expect?

A great time to increase investments in your technology

Today’s recovering economy is expected to be a boom for many industries, and chemical companies are no exception.

According to Garnter.com:

“Worldwide IT spending is projected to total $4.5 trillion in 2022, an increase of 5.1% from 2021”

Figure 1:IT Spend and Growth Forecast

IT Spend and Growth Forecast

With this kind if increased demand for their products, now’s the perfect time for chemical companies looking to invest in new enterprise technology. By doing so, businesses can streamline their operations, improve efficiency, and better meet customer needs. In addition, increased investments in technology can help businesses become more agile and adapt to changing market conditions. For example, it allows for easy updates that reflect new economic developments.

Many Chemical companies who have invested in tech recently reported being able to quickly adjust during these difficult times and make necessary changes when needed. Other benefits reportedly tied to increased investments in enterprise technology include an increase in productivity, fewer errors due to human error, greater visibility into business processes and inventory levels at all times (across multiple locations), better integration with accounting software like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations and Business Central, improved security measures against hackers, and stronger safeguards against power outages or other environmental disasters that could impact data availability.

As any technology continues to change and evolve, investments in its latest innovations will always provide long-term advantages over outdated technologies. Considering these benefits, any company looking to thrive in this rapidly changing economy should consider investing in their technology sooner rather than later.

Bigger budgets helping your business grow

Even today, the world is still filled with uncertainty, and businesses continue preparing for the worst while hoping for the best. One way that companies can set themselves up for success is by making the decision to increase their IT and tech budgets. Bigger budgets mean better tools and software to help streamline processes, as well as more resources for research and development. Additionally, increased IT spending could lead to improved customer service and support, both of which are essential for the chemical industry today. The companies that can adapt and grow their business will be the ones that thrive. Increased investment in IT and technology budgets could make all the difference when it comes to staying competitive in this fast-paced market.

Chemicals make up about 8% of GDP worldwide, so it’s important for these companies to stay innovative with their products in order to attract new customers. With an IT budget increase, these companies would have access to more reliable data systems and greater flexibility for expansion. It’s vital that these companies keep investing in their infrastructure in order to compete against other firms like Bayer AG or Exxon Mobil Corp., who have also been investing heavily into growing their own technology departments.

Whether you’re a company like DuPont Co., Dow Chemical Co., or BASF SE, every penny counts when it comes to innovation. These chemical companies need to maintain a healthy balance between maintaining their infrastructure and developing new technologies if they want to stay ahead of the curve.

Along with making investments in R&D, there should be some sort of plan for how your money will be spent. The introduction of cloud computing has made it easier than ever before for smaller firms to manage their cash flow; now any company can access massive computing power without having to pay hefty fees upfront. And not only does cloud computing allow for easy data storage, but it also allows users to remotely access applications without having any onsite hardware. Cloud computing services have reduced costs and opened the door for smaller enterprises looking to build out their technological capabilities without worrying about making large capital investments upfront.

Leveraging technology to thrive

In today’s business world, technology continues to play a more important role than it has in the past. Chemical companies that don’t invest in modern, updated technology will be left behind, putting the future of their business at risk. The growing importance of tech is a trend that can’t be ignored and only businesses who are able to keep up with changing times are likely to not only survive but thrive.

By increasing IT and technology budgets, chemical companies are setting themselves up for success now and in the future. From working on computerized project management systems to adapting current systems so they’re compatible with new tech, there are many ways that company leaders can start investing into their future right away. Investing early in updating your systems means having access to some of the latest technology out there, not just what was available when your system was first created.

There are several cost benefits to investing in updated technology – it saves time and money by ensuring everyone is on the same page, reducing overall cost through improved efficiency, freeing up staff time by automating repetitive tasks like collecting data points or following up with suppliers, etc. With so many options available for companies looking to invest into new technologies and update their old ones (whether they have outdated software or hardware), there really isn’t any excuse not to do so.

The challenges of scaling with limited resources

Scaling a business is hard enough without the added challenges of limited resources. With the right tools and technology in place, however, it is possible to overcome these challenges and scale your business successfully. In this post, we will examine some of the benefits that scaling a business with software can offer.

There are three main areas where new technology can provide an advantage over traditional methods:

  • Inventory Management.
  • Manufacturing.
  • Marketing.

These areas are all integral parts of running a successful business and when they are handled properly, they can help you keep pace with the competition.

Inventory management is often a challenge for businesses of any size. But with effective inventory management software like our own S&OP application, which allows you to set alerts and schedules for orders, as well as track purchases and sales at every level of the supply chain – raw materials through finished goods – managing your inventory becomes infinitely easier.

New technology simplifies complex processes like scheduling production orders, handling multiple batches simultaneously or even tracking job progress on production lines by integrating process data such as manufacturing flow sheets or operating instructions into one system. Thirdly, marketing has always been about creativity but unfortunately marketers don’t always have the time for creativity because their days are filled with tasks that don’t require creativity at all!

Things you should invest in first

As the world starts to come out of the Covid-19 pandemic, many businesses are looking at their budgets and wondering where to invest their money. For chemical companies, investing in IT departments and new technology is a smart move that will help them thrive in the post-pandemic economy.

For chemical companies to survive it’s becoming clear they need two things:

  • Reliable production lines.
  • A loyal customer base.

Modern technology can provide both. With new CRM systems, you can manage your client base with precision and make sure you’re keeping customers happy by providing them with what they want – when they want it. With the rise of e-commerce, this means being able to work remotely and deliver orders quickly via delivery drones or on foot. Software also helps ensure your production line stays running smoothly through alerts when there are any problems so that you don’t have to worry about bottlenecks or shortages.

If you want to empower your business with plenty of potential for growth and success, there’s no time like the present to invest in an IT department and new technology!

Using your increased investment in enterprise tech wisely

There are many ways businesses have used their increased investment in technology wisely.

  • One way is using it to improve communication and collaboration within the company. This can be done through video conferencing, instant messaging, and document sharing platforms.
  • Another way businesses have used their increased investment in technology is by using it to improve customer service. This can be done through online chatbots, live chat, and automated customer service platforms.
  • Finally, businesses have also used their increased investment in technology to improve their marketing efforts. This can be done through social media, search engine optimization, and content marketing.

It’s important for business owners to make sure they don’t just focus on what they need now but instead plan for future needs as well. With an increase in spending on enterprise tech comes an increased need for cybersecurity experts as well. It’s also critical that a business not only invest in cybersecurity solutions but also in training for their employees so that they have a full understanding of how these solutions work. The most successful businesses will see the value of investing in all these areas no matter what because with every new change come new opportunities for growth and innovation.

Final thoughts

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to lighten it’s grasp, more and more businesses are seeing the value of increasing their IT and technology budgets. This is especially true for chemical companies, which had been hit hard by the pandemic. What’s the outlook for chemical companies looking to increase their technology budget? The answer depends on your situation, but there are some general things you can expect.

Firms that were already dealing with ongoing IT challenges will likely see their problems worsen as they attempt to cope with increased security risks, increased regulation compliance costs, and more complex product development cycles.

In this case it may be best to implement strategies like employee retraining programs and process automation that help decrease reliance on human labor in certain areas of the business.

On the other hand, if you’re currently on solid footing when it comes to tech advances in your company – or if you’ve just started out – then an increased budget could be just what you need. For more information or help defining your new technology budget, contact us today.

About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company and delivers 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

Pharma smart operations and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations: A perfect pair

Pharma smart operations and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations: A perfect pair

Pharma smart operations and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations: A perfect pair 700 500 Xcelpros Team

Introduction

We’re seeing more pharmaceutical companies struggle when it comes to reorganizing the technology they have available in an effort to maximize the efficiency of their operations.

Unfortunately, many companies fall behind when it comes to their ability to use technology effectively and efficiently, especially with disparate systems in place. This can be especially dangerous considering how fast-paced these highly regulated industries can be, making it even more important to find a system that works well with your company’s specific goals and needs.

Smart operations and the role of technology

The pharmaceutical industry today is a fast-paced, ever-changing environment that emphasizes compliance and accountability. Incorporating smart operations into your business model will save you time, money, and resources and help lower costs through increased efficiency. One of the ways this can be done is by implementing a lean manufacturing process within your company.

With the help of robotics automation, QR and barcode scanning, production data management systems, and more, companies in this highly-regulated industry can enhance and optimize their processes for maximum productivity in everything from order processing to shipping.

The Medicine Development Lifecycle is especially conducive to modern smart operations strategies – from development through commercialization, because so many aspects of each step in the process involve repetitive tasks that are susceptible to automation or streamlined with advanced technology.

One example of smart operations strategies to increase efficiency, lower costs, and increase profitability is GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). GSK has been implementing lean manufacturing techniques for several years as part of its smart factory initiative. The goal was to make every aspect of production more efficient by reducing waste and optimizing processes throughout their facilities.

Smart operations are not just confined to pharmaceutical companies, though.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 can be used in a number of different industries, but it’s especially useful in sectors that require complex business processes and procedures.

Industry Challenges

Today, the battle for market share continues to be fierce. The constant challenges that large pharmaceutical companies face include managing their complex supply chains, avoiding product recalls due to quality failures, keeping safety in check at all stages of the manufacturing process, reducing production time for new products, ensuring compliance with a multitude of regulatory authorities throughout the globe…the list goes on.

Because of these challenges—and many more—it has become increasingly difficult for these highly-regulated companies to successfully identify the need for new medicines early in development while keeping a firm grip on costs and timelines. This is exactly where smart operations come into play.

So what can these businesses do to improve their efficiency? One key element of successful smart operations implementation is integration between systems.

To properly track medicines and other products throughout their lifecycle, each system involved must be able to talk with all other systems involved at every step. These companies can use advanced IT solutions like a Cloud ERP to address many of these challenges.

How Microsoft Dynamics 365 fits in

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for operations helps your business run smarter by integrating critical business systems. Here are some of the ways describing how Microsoft Dynamics 365 can be a natural fit with your company:

The model of smart operations is now an integral part of every enterprise as they look to innovate across all aspects of their businesses to maximize efficiency, maximize profitability, and accelerate growth; however, due to complex processes, there are often multiple systems used to complete a smart operation.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for finance and operations helps you easily manage your finances, keep track of inventory levels, streamline your supply chain, manage projects more effectively, and much more. You can even use it to help you run clinical trials—helping you stay on top of data collection from start to finish.

As mentioned earlier, the entire industry is often under immense pressure to improve efficiency and cut costs in order to maximize profitability while maintaining a high level of patient care. However, these companies also need an easy way to make changes that will affect every aspect of their business – especially when undergoing rapid growth, a trend we see growing among companies of all sizes.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers you all these tools to easily streamline operations across all departments in your company, making sure each department is communicating effectively and working together towards one goal – success in business.

At its core, Microsoft Dynamics 365 for finance and operations is an accounting system, so it tracks how much money comes into your business and how much goes out of it daily. This data will help you determine what areas of your business are most profitable and where there might be room for improvement when it comes to efficiency or cutting costs.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 also offers several features specifically geared toward companies with complex supply chains, such as inventory management, order tracking, contract management, demand forecasting, production planning, etc., helping you keep everything organized from start to finish—no matter where any part of your supply chain happens to be located.

Next steps

Suppose your company is looking to implement smart operations and partner with a tech firm with expertise in MSD operations management. The right partner can help you tailor your processes for success, guide implementation efforts to keep costs under control, and provide support throughout the implementation of your new infrastructure.

In some cases, technology implementation can be accelerated through early identification of internal resources that have demonstrated leadership abilities and a strong track record in operations-related roles. Partnering with an experienced operational systems partner will bring additional value to your investment by ensuring that you choose functionalities beyond what is available out of the box from your ERP provider.

Partnering with the right systems integrator who understands your industry can be valuable to your business. They can not only help make your processes smoother but also navigate obstacles in your path that would typically slow you down. The result is streamlined processes that experienced, qualified professionals streamline.

Being fast matters as much as accuracy and quality does—especially when it comes to getting new medicines approved for market. Any delays in production or shipping could cause setbacks for clinical trials or delays in marketing approvals.

Contact us today to learn more

About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company and delivers 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

Level up your supply chain

Level up your supply chain

Level up your supply chain 700 500 Xcelpros Team

Introduction

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the global supply chain. While eCommerce and online retail is uniquely positioned for rapid growth in today’s business climate, companies with traditional or linear supply chain models are finding it harder to adapt.

Thankfully, this change has led to the emergence of advanced technologies which provide a unique opportunity for organizations to leverage the digital supply chain network to reach new levels of operational effectiveness. This guide to digital supply chain transformation is full of useful information for businesses looking to adapt to the new paradigm in an effort to develop their supply chain into a more collaborative model.

Understanding Digital Supply Chain Management and Supply Chain 4.0

Today, Supply Chain 4.0 refers to the introduction of advanced technologies, like Internet of Things (IoT), big data analytics, blockchain, AI / ML, autonomous mobile robotics (AMR), and more. These new technologies enable the reorganization of traditional supply chains into the interconnected, open system of supply chain operations we know as the Digital Supply Network (DSN).

This shift from sequential supply chain operations to his new digital model sets the foundation for how companies will compete in the future by integrating information from different sources and locations in an effort to:

  • Better respond to changing market conditions
  • Drive production and distribution,
  • Create a digital record of the supply chain,
  • Enable advanced analytics of real-time data, and
  • Translate actions from digital inputs into physical outcomes.

Whether you consider this new supply chain model as a set of supply chain management best practices, or simply a cluster of technologies to be deployed, Supply Chain 4.0 provides substantial opportunities for companies to enhance the productivity, profitability, and performance of their unique supply chain.

Supply Chain Digitization is no longer an option

According to a McKinsey Global Survey of executives, digitization of the supply chain is the largest trend affecting companies in the post-Covid environment.

“Companies have accelerated the digitization of their customer and supply-chain interactions and of their internal operations by three to four years. And the share of digital or digitally enabled products in their portfolios has accelerated by a shocking seven years.”

Figure: 1Digitalization of customer interactions

Digitalization of customer interactions

When asked why their organizations did not implement changes to their supply chain before the pandemic, more than fifty percent of respondents said that supply chain digitization was not a top business priority. The Covid-19 crisis has eliminated this barrier and highlighted the need for modernization.

Executive leadership teams are now highly motivated to implement new supply chain risk mitigation strategies designed to alleviate the impact of current supply chain disruptions, as well as ant future global crises.

Consumer expectations are also on the rise: the online trend of the last several years has led to higher service expectations, and a much stronger granularization of orders. If supply chain operations want to keep up with customer service, order fulfillment, delivery, and other “value-added” tasks, more comprehensive, enterprise-wide overhauls will be required.

Want to learn more about digital supply chain management?

Let’s get started

Benefits of Modern Supply Chain Management

Modernization of supply chains enables companies to not only address changing requirements and overcome things like global supply challenges, it can also improve the overall speed, efficiency and performance of their entire operation.

Improve Proactive Decision-Making

Traditional supply chains utilize top-down management and communication for merchants and vendors alike. Distributors looking to grow their product lines tend to focus on the reconciliation, monitoring, and reporting of defects, delays, or other types of disruptions early on in the supply chain cycle.

Monitoring tools, modern ERPs, and other digital solutions help companies make better proactive decisions that increase efficiency, remove waste, and keep operations running smoothly.

Increase Agility and Avoid Disruption

The Covid-19 pandemic proved that even flexible supply chains are susceptible to unpredictable economic changes, natural disasters, and political pressure. Digitizing your supply chains provides for greater diversification of suppliers, and makes it easier to enact sourcing changes, especially during hard times.

Create a More Resilient Supply Chain

The most resilient supply chains are built on a solid foundation of transparency and efficiency that enables them to scale and adjust as circumstances change. This flexibility provides greater freedom for businesses when onboarding new suppliers, particularly in new industries or geographies. Resilient supply chains also help organizations better respond to changing demand, launch new product lines or roll out support to additional regions.

Digital Supply Chain Tips: How to Build a Digital Supply Chain

Creating a modern supply chain is an enormous undertaking, but this article will help prepare you for your digital transformation, and make the integration of advanced technology easier for everyone involved in the process.

Define Your Vision

Start with a clear vision that aligns with your enterprise goals. These goals should be related to specific business objectives, and include things like:

  • Improved supply chain visibility,
  • Better and faster decision-making,
  • Automated operations, and
  • Integrated customer engagement.

Assess Existing Resources

The next step in digital transformation is to identify the things you need to achieve your goals. The best way to identify those capabilities is to scrutinize your existing resources, alongside the new technologies that might replace them. Ask yourself the following questions.

  • Data collection and analysis – Can data be accessed easily and used to draw actionable insights?
  • Legacy systems – Will existing systems support your new goals? Is the technology aligned with business objectives? Are these digital solutions best suited to achieve the desired outcomes?
  • Workforce skills – Does your workforce have the necessary skills to work with and adapt to the new business model?

Utilize Data and Analytics

In a modern, digital network, supply chain professionals are able to rely on real-time data to make informed decisions, and collaborate effectively with suppliers, partners, and more. Access to real-time data also enhances visibility across the supply chain and helps supply chain managers identify potential disruptions before they happen.

Final Thoughts

Making the move towards a more modern supply chain will become more and more critical to capturing new markets going forward. Developing your supply chain into a flexible, open, agile and collaborative digital model requires an enterprise-wide approach, careful planning, and close collaboration with internal teams and partners.

Stop struggling with legacy solutions and aging customizations. Implementing modern enterprise resource planning software like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management can help you achieve a 360-degree view of your supply chain and better anticipate potential disruption to your operation and adjust before it becomes a problem. Book a free consultation with XcelPros to begin your digital supply chain transformation today.

About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company and delivers 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 Life Sciences CROs Are Changing To Strategic Partners: The Covid-19 Effect

How Life Sciences CROs Are Changing To Strategic Partners: The Covid-19 Effect 700 500 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • The biotechnology and life sciences industry is at a cusp of significant changes due to COVID-19. A lot of fluidity is built up due to the pandemic and a significant dependency on government rules, FDA regulations, intricate drug production and overall research and development.
  • These firms are looking for Contract Research Organizations (CROs) who can take the role of strategic partners that can manage their life sciences research & development. The preference of CROs has already shifted from traditional to technologically adaption that can handle the rapid pace needed due to the existing COVID-19 emergency.
  • The call for innovation and increased collaboration among CROs has led to a new, more comprehensive project management era. It is improving customer engagement and experience.

The Role of a Contract Research Organization

Project management is the backbone of any contract research organization. Regardless of its specialty–biopharmaceutical development, commercialization, preclinical research, clinical research, clinical trial management or pharmacovigilance-all require project management. Pharmaceutical and life sciences companies outsource research and development work to CROs for better time management, test data maintenance and focus on concrete results.

While the role of CROs was not very well defined in the early 2000s, they have evolved from being mere project management vendors to strategic partners for life science organizations. Contract work is now common in various steps of the research life cycle. Adding contractors is now a necessity for the R&D wings of any biotechnology or pharmaceutical company.

Active engagement with CROs helps accelerate the drug development process. In the Covid-19 era, these CROs must be prepared to streamline their project work without a process breakdown.

CROs have evolved from a target-based model to become more a strategic partner to life sciences and biotechnology companies.

Pharmaceutical companies conduct sponsored trials, driving their products safely and quickly to the market. Initially, these projects were outsourced to CROs with a limited scope of time and budget management. Now the CROs are expected to manage risks and maintain transparency throughout the clinical trials. The rapidly expanding biochemical industry demands that CROs keep up with market conditions.

According to contract research organizations global market report, The global market for clinical trial services to biopharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies is forecast to grow at 12% year on year up to 2021.

This stat is already obsolete. The need for contract research and development services is increasing as life science companies seek to find effective treatments and possible cures for the SARS Covid virus.

Figure: 1 Steps for Right Partner Selection

Steps for Right Partner Selection

Growth and general technological disruptions in project management are leading to a progressive change in the roles of CROs while managing sponsored clinical trials.

Situations affecting CRO evolution

  • End-to-End Strategic Partnerships: CROs are no longer just outsourced vendors for life sciences companies to carry out Pharma research or conduct clinical trials. CROs are now expected to become pharma companies’ strategic partners, helping make their clients successful. End-to-end coordination with pharmaceutical companies gives these organizations the time and stability they need to focus on core research. Coordinating from the start helps the CROs capture the right kind of clinical data required to make each drug commercially viable.
  • Bringing Innovation to the Table: CRO project management is not just about completing given tasks while meeting their client’s deadlines. Working closely with their customers means changing how they work. That, in turn, requires newer project management approaches that take research from start to finish. Pharmaceutical companies expect innovative, out-of-the-box solutions to manage risks, cut costs and push the boundaries of paramedical science while complying with the government’s rules and regulations. An important change is that CRO project management has moved from being reactive and solving problems to becoming proactive, anticipating problems and providing solutions.

Figure: 2 Key Parameters CROs are Assessed on

Key Parameters CROs are Assessed on

  • Being Technologically Ahead: Companies can start with three main technology initiatives: transitioning to cloud computing; creating strong workflows to move processes and procedures forward; using online collaboration tools.
  • Each of these above points leads to faster results, fewer errors, better team management and improved communication between the client and the CRO during the project life cycle.

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Customer Experience and Engagement

A crucial part of project management is actively engaging clients when a project requires collaboration. Customer experience and engagement can no longer be ignored. Making a strategic partnership work requires communication between everyone involved.

An effective customer experience approach requires knowing what to do, how to do it and using every available tool to create acceptable results.

Connect your processes, customer data and tools with Dynamics 365 and the Microsoft Cloud

Customer Experience (CX) and Customer Engagement (CE) can be made better for a CRO

01.Process and Procedures

Some ways to improve the customer experience and boost customer engagement are:

  • Improving team management
  • Quick onboarding of clinical trial experts
  • Using effective cost management techniques
  • Proactively managing clinical trial risks
  • Mitigating probable risks strategies
  • Using detailed analytics to monitor, report and understand research data
  • Using resource planning tools to optimize resources for multiple projects
  • Simplifying milestone-based billing
  • Improving deviation-tracking methods to remove unknowns early in the project lifecycle.

Life science CROs should consider using a next-generation customer experience platform to accelerate development and drive demand. Microsoft Dynamics 365 is one such system that offers the essential tools and capabilities in one comprehensive ecosystem.

The seamless integration between Dynamics 365, robust cloud computing, artificial intelligence and tools such as Office 365 can help. Dynamics 365 is a class-leading life science customer engagement platform that functions across mobile devices, which is a large market need.

02.Digital Advancement

To enhance their customer experience and engagement, companies should:

  • Move from legacy systems to the cloud
  • Use advanced analytics for risk prediction and mitigation
  • Systematically manage their R&D database with digital applications
  • Use software tools to Improve collaboration with clients
  • Reduce human intervention and automate project management workflows
  • Create customer and supplier self-service portals to engage both
  • Use in-line reporting through key project milestones to build trust and visibility with customers

03.The Inevitable Evolution

The changing role of CROs is leading to greater expectations from life sciences clients. Pharmaceutical companies are looking for CROs that are not afraid to push boundaries and are adept at using the latest tools and techniques.

Companies aiming for greater customer satisfaction can use cutting-edge technologies to engage with CRO’s at an integral level. As a result, CROs are becoming be more innovative and agile in their project management approach.

An interdependent relationship helps with clinical trials while improving the client company’s overall research and development. A well-managed and organized workflow-based environment helps contractors and clients.

Two tools that can help build this interdependency are Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance combined with D365’s Supply Chain Management. The two modules can help create a comprehensive system to aid a CRO in becoming better strategic partners with Pharma and Biotech companies.

Figure: 3How to Create Successful Sourcing Partnerships?

How to Create Successful Sourcing Partnerships

Increase your speed of business with unified processes and predictive analytics

The speed of doing business is increasing. As companies seek to stay competitive, they must rely on technology to provide agility and the capabilities needed to excel. However, many organizations are still running on ERP systems that are complex, inflexible and impede their ability to innovate and grow.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 helps you to

  • Elevate your company’s financial performance and streamline its supply chain management
  • Innovate with connected operations in an extensible platform
  • Drive HR operational excellence through organizational agility and centralized data
  • Unify the processes listed above with predictive analytics and intelligence
  • Track and trace inventory management
  • End-to-end customer project management

Key Takeaways

CROs are transforming from time-bound project management consultants into performance and results-oriented firms.

  • As technology evolves, so do project management tools. CROs are equipping themselves with these tools for better time management, budget management and risk mitigation.
  • Technology allowing smoother customer and supplier onboarding for clinical trials is needed today.
  • Pharmaceutical companies are looking for CROs to manage R&D projects end-to-end while providing innovative solutions.
  • While time management and cost management will always be top priorities for CROs in any project, they must also offer greater returns to their clients.

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

supply chain disruption management

How to Manage Operations During Supply Chain Disruptions

How to Manage Operations During Supply Chain Disruptions 700 500 Xcelpros Team

Introduction

Even today, Covid-19 continues to disrupt every level in supply chains, across every industry around the world. The lasting effects on supply chains was unanticipated, especially concerning food and cleaning supplies. Manufacturers in those areas had an unexpected spike in demand that couldn’t be managed quickly.

The overall supply chain disruption caused many companies to start re-evaluating action plans. Areas being closely examined today include production capacity, cash flow and overall employee morale.

Let’s look at how businesses can leverage existing practices while pivoting to newer methods and meeting evolving customer needs.

Figure: 1Surviving the Supply Chain with a Digital and Analytical Backbone

Surviving the Supply Chain with a Digital and Analytical Backbone

Communication and Collaboration

The first quarter of 2020 brought new dynamics to manufacturers and distributors everywhere, faced with a challenge the likes of which have never been seen before. As market dynamics changed, internal communication became critical at every stakeholder level: management, employees, customers, suppliers and vendors. Creating a communication strategy that could work when people stopped meeting face to face became vital to avoid business breakdowns and shutdowns.

That was 2020. The lingering effects of Covid-19 are still impacting some companies’ technology roadmap plans. However, there are ways to drive innovation and growth. Regardless of industry, many organizations realize the importance of doing business from anywhere. That flexibility to work on the move is no longer a luxury: it is a necessity. Unconventional work schedules are becoming more common as companies adjust to meet customer expectations. Companies are engaging them with messaging and video call software such as Microsoft Teams. They use software such as Power Automate to deploy safety alert messages whenever the need arises.

Customer and vendor portals equipped with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management let companies collaborate, determine product access and make accurate forecasts without having to pick up the phone. Instead of days or weeks of delays, modern software helps firms resolve supply chain disruptions at a moment’s notice.

Manufacturers using Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management can integrate Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled devices and robots into their current operations. Using machine learning adds even more automation.

Connecting data and processes with Microsoft’s wide selection of products allows production and maintenance teams to schedule downtime when it has the least impact on production. Outlook messages and alerts let production staff stay on top of any possible repair issues.

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Agile decision making

Manufacturers must respond to the rapid changes in customer demands and delivery expectations. Having a robust system lets that happen.

Changes to your customers’ business demands can affect your supply chain. Having the ability to act quickly while still providing exceptional customer service is critical to future business success.

One way to prepare for these changes is by having internal cross-functional teams practice scenario planning. For example, they can plan what to do if a new Covid-19 variant appears and governments reinstate drastic safety measures.

Scenario planning lets your staff learn what to do when normal deliveries are delayed or rerouted, such as what happened when the Suez Canal was blocked for a week. It lets your staff examine past customer and supplier behaviors and come up with plans to minimize disruptions using what they learned.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management includes tools designed specifically for scenario planning. It helps companies adjust to unexpected changes in their supply chains. These tools include:

  • Drag and drop Gantt charts for production scheduling
  • 360 degree view into capacity, identifying bottlenecks in terms of people and resources
  • Adjusting safety stock to reflect real-time demands instead of fixed quantities
  • A vendor portal with approved suppliers listed in a supplier resource management database that includes purchase order controls
  • Visibility into warehouse operations for single and multi-site facilities
  • Transportation management
  • A customer portal with sales order management

Incorporating Data

Data in today’s operations is a moving target. Making decisions and providing insights with real-time information helps companies operate efficiently, letting them grow and scale at the right times. Identifying organizational segments that require optimizing, like the handoffs between operations and finance, can only occur when accurate information is available.

For example, the only way to truly analyze cash flow—to get a 360-degree view—is by looking at data within each division.

This is where a business analysis tool like Power BI becomes an essential part of the process. Power BI dashboards using predictive analytics in the Dynamics 365 environment automatically update with the latest data. These dashboards let companies monitor the status of multiple locations at once, saving time.

Tools such as Power BI let management share data, communicate and respond to changes in the market within minutes, not days.

Final thoughts

The coronavirus is the first disruption of its kind faced by this generation. Companies were caught unprepared, being forced to adjust almost instantly to upheavals in their supply chains. Having the right tools in place to deal with Reduced workforces internally and within the supply chain, pivoting production to new products and unprecedented customer product demand helps determine who flourishes and who fails.

With that in mind, it’s critical to consider implementing products from Microsoft’s family of partner solutions. Dynamics 365 and related products help companies predict and manage their operations transparently.

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

Revamping Your Cloud Data Strategy

Top Reasons To Revamp Your Cloud Data Strategy

Top Reasons To Revamp Your Cloud Data Strategy 700 500 Xcelpros Team

Introduction

More and more companies are moving to the cloud for easy data storage and to boost technology innovations. Modern businesses understand the strategic competitive advantage and availability of customized applications to suit their needs. Especially during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, many companies are considering letting go of their onsite infrastructure and hardware, opting instead to store their data on remote servers, a process known as cloud storage.

Cloud storage makes sense for business survival, pushing all enterprises to move faster. Going forward, more and more companies will need experts who understand what cloud computing is and how it can help their business. These same people monitor and implement an organization’s end-to-end cloud computing journey.

Now more than ever cloud migration is imperative to avoid glitches in infrastructure, as the market is trying to survive the pandemic.

Figure: 1Key reasons companies are switching their operations to cloud

Key reasons companies are switching their operations to cloud

In an Aug. 2, 2021 report, Gartner compared worldwide public cloud services end-user spending and 2022 forecasts, which suggest:

  • $171,915 million for Cloud Application Services (SaaS)
  • $121,620 million for Cloud System Infrastructure Services (IaaS)
  • $100,636 million for Cloud Application Infrastructure Service (PaaS)

Many companies are looking at how they can focus on their technological and process reengineering needs. Why consider revamping your cloud strategy and what steps should you take to successfully complete the reboot?

Figure: 2Factors that drive a cloud transformation

Factors that drive a cloud transformation

5 Reasons to Revamp Your Cloud Strategy

There are five main reasons to revamp your cloud strategy today:

  1. 1.Becoming more agile in terms of the ability to adjust to customer orders
  2. 2.Better position to adopt next-generation software
  3. 3.Monitoring the transition in terms of equipment and people
  4. 4.Improving data security
  5. 5.Building a skilled worker base

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Becoming more agile

Every organization has a specific roadmap layed out to fulfill the big picture of their IT landscape. Being agile lets your company quickly change the pace at which it adapts the transformative–and at times, disruptive—process of moving into a cloud-centric architecture. By restructuring your cloud strategy, IT departments can move from slowly delivering big, single-origin and rigid applications to rapidly deploying flexible, smaller applications. Some people call this process, “byte-sized transformations.”

Revamping your cloud transformation also affects your software development lifecycle. Making changes helps make the company and its staff more nimble. It can conduct continuous development (CD) and continuous integration (CI) using the DevOps model to boost your overall business.

Better position to adopt next-generation software

The future of cloud computing is all about speeding up the process of application development. Companies are adopting cutting-edge technological advancements like artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), data analytics and machine learning (ML). An organization’s strategists must determine if their IT roadmap can access and use these cloud-native solutions.

In today’s virtual world, everything is connected. A rapid innovative delivery model is needed to predict future customer demand after analyzing historical data. Your company IT team can achieve its goal with better accuracy by starting with cloud transformation and ending at the ultimate goal: full optimization.

Cloud technologies like Microsoft’s Azure, and Power Platform efficiently handle day to day business operations while also letting your company work toward its long term strategic vision.

Monitoring the transition

No matter what solutions your organization decides to employ, the changeover needs to be watched carefully. Implementing a cloud strategy affects the organization and its people. The entire update needs intricate monitoring of the transformation through:

  • An infrastructure supporting the organization’s cloud journey.
  • On-boarding experts who train workers while implementing the upgrades, boosting the staff’s digital skill levels.

One way to achieve your goals is a willingness to alter your implementation strategy so it aligns your roadmap with a comprehensive cloud transition plan.

Figure: 3Companies are expecting a holistic development in operations from hybrid cloud

Companies are expecting a holistic development in operations from hybrid cloud

“Through 2022, at least 95% of cloud security failures are predicted to be the customer’s fault.”Source: Gartner

Improving data security

The instant data moves online, companies start worrying about security and data privacy. Backing your cloud strategy with a robust infrastructure like Microsoft Azure ensures the security, authenticity and longevity of your organization’s data, processes and applications is not compromised. The Azure platform is continually evaluated and updated automatically to protect against potential security threats.

Building a skilled worker base

Moving away from in-house technology to the cloud can impact roles, responsibilities and accountability across a company’s organization. Having a strategic plan to make the move should also include making sure workers are able to take advantage of the new technology.

Especially when it comes to Customer Service, the relationship between companies and their customers is more than just “order to shipments.” Solutions like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance use artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to more accurately forecast customer behaviors and needs.

Steps to Revamp Your Cloud Strategy

While every organization has its set of challenges and requirements when it comes to strategic rethinking of its cloud journey, some pointers to remember are:

  • Build and update your employees’ skills to ensure your organization’s cloud migration is successful. A comprehensive, organization-wide training plan is an integral part of any migration.
  • It’s ok to make the change one step at a time to make it easier to move from older programs to newer ones.
  • Take advantage of predictive data analytics to preempt the expected technical and operational glitches.
  • Define your cloud milestones before starting your migration. Stick to them. Your strategic roadmap to cloud reboot is going to be as unique as your requirements.
  • Create a blueprint of the cloud revamp and let it guide you at the pace of your employees’ ability to accept the changes.
  • Hire highly-skilled subject matter experts to make the end-to-end implementation of a new cloud strategy as smooth as possible.

Revamping your cloud strategy may sound unnecessary but following these suggestions will benefit your organization. Taking in a broader, “30,000-foot view” of the core of your cloud journey makes it easier to create your transformative blueprint.

Figure: 4 Strategies to successfully complete the cloud transition

Strategies to successfully complete the cloud transition

Key takeaways

  • Cloud infrastructure is a comprehensive and disruptive technology that helps businesses operate more efficiently.
  • Rethinking your cloud architecture helps you achieve your cloud computing goals.
  • Ensure your transition is compatible with cloud-native solutions such as IoT, AI and machine learning.
  • Moving to the cloud works better when your staff knows how to get the most out of it.
  • For added security, many organizations take advantage of products like Microsoft Azure.

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

DISCLAIMER:

All statements and/or opinions expressed in this article were based on experience and / or third party materials available to the authors which formed the basis of such statements/opinions. XcelPros does not warrant the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of such underlying information (or the Company’s interpretation thereof) which has formed the basis of the Company’s and/or author’s opinion. We strongly recommend that you consult an expert from XcelPros before you take action as a result of this collateral.

Jump-starting resilient and reimagined operations

Jump-starting resilient and reimagined operations

Jump-starting resilient and reimagined operations 2400 900 Xcelpros Team

Jump-starting resilient and reimagined operations

Based on a wonderful piece from our friends at McKinsey, describing the effort needed by businesses moving forward after COVID disruptions. A reminder that businesses able to maintain a certain level of speed during the transition can create a significant long-term advantage.

Get a free consultation to learn more about building resilient operations for your company.

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How Pharmaceutical Companies Get New Products to Market during Covid-19

How Pharmaceutical Companies Get New Products to Market during Covid-19 700 500 Xcelpros Team

Introduction

As the world continues to deal with one of the deadliest pandemics in modern history, governments are working overtime to protect their citizens from the deadly disease known as Covid-19.

With the potential impact of Covid-19 on pharmaceutical sales estimated to be huge, two types of drugs are being sought after:

  • Vaccines to keep humans from catching the disease
  • Therapies to treat people with the disease and help them recover

At the end of 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) modified its approval process for vaccines, issuing an emergency use authorization (EUA) to Pfizer-BioNTech for a vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The initial EUA applied to vaccines for people 16 and older. It was further modified on May 10, 2021 to include adolescents ages 12-15. The EUA lets the vaccine be distributed in the US. Similar documents were issued to Moderna, Inc. and Johnson & Johnson / Janssen. On July 9, 2021, Pfizer said it would seek approval for a booster shot to target the newer variants of the disease. The FDA and other regulators have, at this time, disagreed with the need for it. This could result in Pfizer share price climbing by as much as 66% in 2021, as suggested by analysts from investors.com

Companies might want to rethink their pharmaceutical product launch strategies. This change in the FDA approval process may require changes in pharmaceutical new product launch plans, prioritizing Covid-19 treatments over other medicines. These plans affect not only products sold in the U.S. but also in the Indian pharma market with its 1.4 billion residents (four times that of the U.S.).

Using enterprise resource planning (ERP) software can help pharmaceutical companies gain regulatory approval of their drugs and treatment plans.

By the Numbers

Expected 2021 sales from Covid-19 vaccine makers:

  • $15 billion-$30 billion: Pfizer/BioNTech (share price +1.8% for Pfizer, +156% for BioNTech)
  • $18 billion – $20 billion: Moderna (share price +372%)
  • $10 billion: Johnson & Johnson (share price +7.7%)

Five other companies are also making Covid-19 vaccines but none have been approved by the FDA yet. (Source: The Guardian)

Normal Drug Development Process

The normal pharma go to market strategy requires a clear long-term view since most medications take 10-12 years to go from the laboratory to the medicine cabinet. Full FDA approval requires six months of data plus another six months for review before official approval is given. These additional steps then come at the end of the drug creation journey:

  1. 1.Research and laboratory work begins.
  2. 2.Preclinical research and animal testing looks into the drug’s safety for human beings.
  3. 3.Clinical research begins on humans, typically comparing test results from patients getting the therapy to those receiving a placebo.
  4. 4.The FDA reviews the data and then decides to approve or disallow the medicine.
  5. 5.The FDA monitors the drug for safety once it becomes publicly available.

The Covid-19 vaccines are examples of drugs required to combat a crisis, one that has already killed more than 606,000 U.S. citizens and 4 million people worldwide. They present different pharmaceutical marketing challenges than existing medications.

“An EUA can be given if there are no adequate or approved alternatives,” WKYC of Cleveland, Ohio states. Pharmaceutical manufacturing companies still need to prove the drug is safe by thoroughly testing against thousands of study participants.

“The only difference really between the emergency use and the licensure is that volunteers are observed for a longer period of time to see the duration of protection and if there might be rare adverse events that occurred down the road,” WKYC quotes Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University as saying.

Figure:

 Normal Drug Development Process

Difference Between EUA and Standard Approval

Drugs with full FDA approval have several major advantages over those with just an EUA, including:

  • The medications stay on the market after the pandemic is no longer an emergency
  • EUA-approved therapies must be pulled from the market
  • Medicines still in the development pipeline may be tested against newer, more drug-resistant, variants
  • The pharmaceutical manufacturer can market directly to consumers
  • After full approval, businesses can require all employees to be vaccinated, WKYC states

The FDA Requires Records

According to the FDA’s Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Section 312.57

“Recordkeeping and Retention,” a drug sponsor (i.e., manufacturer), “shall maintain adequate records showing the receipt, shipment or other disposition of the investigational drug. These records are required to include, as appropriate, the name of the investigator to whom the drug is shipped and the date, quantity and batch or code mark of each shipment.”

Records must be kept for two years after the marketing application is approved or for two years after shipment and delivery of the drug for investigational use is discontinued and the FDA notified.

Traditional Recordkeeping is Cumbersome

Many pharmaceutical companies still use spreadsheets to keep track of records. However, they often get data from a single source or department. Multiple sources may mean mixed-up or missing records, slowing the approval process.

Typically, companies using older software tend to silo their data. Inventory has its records. Finance has its own. Sales and marketing have theirs.

The problem in terms of regulatory compliance is that none of this information is shared across departments.

Enterprise resource planning software (ERP) such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations lets pharmaceutical manufacturers gather information from all of these different sources. The data is combined into one unified whole.

Dynamics 365 can then automatically generate labels. It allows companies to track everything from large batches to individual doses, making FDA compliance simple and easy.

Data comes into the ERP network from sources scattered literally all over the globe. Real-time information is available with the click of a mouse or typing a few keystrokes.

Dynamics 365 data is securely stored on Microsoft Cloud servers. It’s available any time, anywhere. Executives can obtain any record in the system quickly and easily, ensuring compliance with FDA regulations. This lets executives provide accurate data to regulators quickly and easily.

Summary

Covid-19’s death toll led the FDA to accelerate its approval process from 10-12 years to a mere matter of months. Moving forward, agile pharma go to market strategies that can adapt to these changing requirements will undoubtedly be more profitable. An effective ERP software solution such as Dynamics 365 helps pharma companies adapt, and be able to quickly provide any required regulatory documents in order to remain compliant.

Get a free consultation on pharmaceutical go to market strategy during challenging 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

challenges-in-the-chemical-industry-due-to-covid-19-and-the-future-ahead

6 Challenges in the chemical industry due to COVID-19 and the future ahead

6 Challenges in the chemical industry due to COVID-19 and the future ahead 700 500 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • As the world braces itself from COVID-19 recovery, decision-makers at significant chemical companies are looking for ways to realign their operational and manufacturing strategies to be able to sustain and grow.
  • Liquidity and capital resources impact the business, causing financial pain areas for the chemical industry.
  • The industry has also faced challenges due to disrupted global supply chains, labor shortage, dwindling demands for one industry and growing demands for others, and many more issues.
  • With the strategic overhaul, reinvention of smart factories, investment in automation, and other robust enterprise software, the chemical industry can turn the tide.

Like almost every other industry, the chemical industry encountered unplanned hassles in 2020 due to the Coronavirus global pandemic. Practically every department in chemical companies has experienced the ripple effects of a market slowdown. Things are still uncertain in terms of the supply chain’s stability, workforce capacity, changes in global trade regulations, etc.

Approximately 41% in the chemical industry are concerned about the effects of Covid-19 on workforce and reduction in production.
Approximately 23% are looking at disrupted supplies are a red flag.– Per a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers

While global supply chain disruption has impacted businesses, the chemical industry can take advantage of certain factors like:

  • Increased demand for raw material required for hygiene products and sanitizers across the globe.
  • The drop in oil prices offering a chance to acquire oil-based raw material at a lower cost.
  • Dependence of many major and minor sectors on the raw material provided by the chemical industry.

There are also various strategic and operational changes that the decision-makers at chemical companies will need to help their companies sail through this crisis with minimal damage. The chemical industry also needs to prepare itself for the post-COVID era. However, before we get into plausible solutions, it is imperative to understand the challenges in chemical industry. Let us look at six major challenges that the chemical industry is dealing with due to the coronavirus crisis.

1.Liquidity and Investor IssuesThere was a sudden and steep decline in financial outcome in the first quarter of 2020 due to COVID-19. The market slowdown led to investment shortage, lower credit, etc. The financial impact has caused significant distress for the chemical industry, and top-level executives rethink their finance allocation policies to ride through these distressing times.

2.Shortage of Workforce and Reduced Production RateMany regions are still not back to normal and need to follow social distancing norms to avoid the coronavirus spread. The additional rules in place limit the ability of chemical production facilities to work at full capacity. Even the workforce that does not operate on the shop floor has to either work from home or stay absent. Current issues in the chemical industry lead to reduced productivity and lesser output from the production plants.

3.The Issue of Disrupted Supply ChainsWith the slowdown of all travel types (especially international air travel), there have been significant supply chain challenges in the chemical industry across the globe. The chemical industry is heavily dependent on different stakeholders working in harmony for seamless functioning. Businesses have taken a massive hit, and there are issues related to delays in obtaining raw material, delays in shipments, blocked consignments, and more.

Figure 1:Benefits of a Connected Ecosystem for Inventory Management

4.Discrepancies in the Demand of Raw MaterialChemical companies supply different raw materials to various industries, and they make arrangements for these stocks based on their orders, estimates, and market scenario. However, the lockdowns imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic caused many industries like automobile and consumer goods to cease their production. In contrast, other industries like hygiene goods, pharmaceuticals, and medical equipment manufacturing sectors had to ramp up their production capacity. An imbalance in the market caused discrepancies in the demand for raw materials, and the chemical companies have to realign their inventories to suit the changing needs. The market is recovering however still carries the effects of the pandemic.

5.Facilitating Social Distancing at SitesWorkers who are back to facilities require retooling to expedite work and play catch-up on customer orders that were previously halted. Many chemical companies have made drastic changes to their plants to provide a safe atmosphere for their workforce. This atmosphere involves regular sanitization of the premises, facilitation of social distancing, temperature checks of the staff, interatcion and collaboration through digital tools, etc.

6.Changes in Strategy for the Post-pandemic EraThe strategists and top executives at chemical companies have a robust and demanding job at their hands to realign their game plan for the post-pandemic era. Replanning involves gauging the market’s pulse at a granular level, understanding the varying needs for different chemical compounds, and providing investors and business partners with the plan’s visibility. Higher visibility drives the requirement to onboard agile analytical tools in conjunction with their manufacturing execution and warehouse management systems.

While there are many challenges in the chemical industry, they can get these issues addressed with comprehensive, all-inclusive technology. Companies need to evaluate a business solution that provides end-to-end Supply Chain Management, Financial Management functions plus embedded analytics to realign their processes and gain in depth visibility of the operations.

2020 has seen a massive shift in the overall functioning of chemical companies, which has enabled the need for proper planning, extensive use of robust integrated tools, and timely actions. By retooling to make themselves more agile, chemical companies can ride this storm out and progress forward. Ability to adapt to rapid changes in business is now one of the major OKRs within a Chemical company. Enterprises that wish to differentiate themselves in the Chemical industry need to transform from traditional to becoming new-age companies.

Key Takeaways

  • The chemical industry needs to be agile and flexible to gauge the changing needs and serve their best during these trying times.
  • The right digital tools help chemical companies to not just strategize but also effectively execute to grow.

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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.

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