Order Management System with Demand Forecasting

Industry: Pharmaceuticals
Country: United Kingdom
Scope of work: Solution Design, Software Development, Maintenance
Technology stack: .NET, React, MsSQL

Introduction

Streamlining Partner Collaboration with Order Management System and Demand Forecasting Technology 📉

Our client is a prominent British pharmaceutical company with over 50 years of specialization in women’s reproductive health. The company has been at the forefront of helping millions of patients achieve their dreams of starting a family. 

Their specialists have developed a unique pharmaceutical formulation available in various strengths to support women all around the world. With distributors in 55 countries across many continents, these partners play a key role in placing and fulfilling orders on behalf of our client. 

As the company expanded, it faced the challenge of managing an increasing number of distributors and manufacturers.

The client’s leadership team recognized the crucial role of automation of forecasting in production planning and control. They needed a comprehensive software solution to streamline orders and enhance operational efficiency.

Right Information was up for the challenge!

Challenge

Transition from Excel Spreadsheets to Digital Order Management System

Before implementing our demand management tool, the client juggled multiple Excel spreadsheets. Its team also had one master file for forecasts and orders. This manual, spreadsheet-based system was prone to errors and extremely time-consuming. Clearly, automation was necessary.

With over 20 distributors and two manufacturers in their network, the client faced the intricate task of coordinating a three-way communication channel. This channel required seamless interaction among distributors, our client’s team, and the manufacturers.

Additionally, the forecasts were limited to a short-term view, conflicting with the company’s need for long-range planning. 

The drug’s varying dosages and packaging options added complexity in order accuracy. Further, managing diverse accounting methods, discount programs, and distributor shipping options introduced more challenges.

Solution

Development of Order Management System with Demand Forecasting Capabilities

We addressed these challenges by designing and developing a comprehensive orders demand management system. Our secure web-based application automates workflows, eliminates errors, and creates a unified platform for forecasting and order management. 

The demand management solution functionalities were tailored to align perfectly with the unique requirements of our pharmaceutical client. We introduced our data import solution called ‘Data Checker,’ which enables seamless data import from the existing spreadsheets. The system reads and operates on the data, ensuring accuracy and ease of use.

For the contracted distributors, the system offers an intuitive interface for inputting forecasts with the flexibility to make adjustments as needed. While they have access to the demand forecasting tool, their view is limited to their own information, ensuring data security and privacy. 

As for our client, the system offers multiple strategic features, providing a streamlined and efficient solution. 

Let’s delve into these functionalities.

Distributor management 📦

This section of the demand planning software enables making precise sales forecasts for several months ahead for each distributor. It’s designed to handle distributor-specific commercial conditions and offers direct access to relevant information about the purchasers. 

The demand forecasting system manages the unique attributes of each distributor, including price lists and minimum order requirements. It also supports various delivery methods, as per our client’s adaptable approach to distribution. 

Incorporating a royalty program introduces a new level of intricacy, which our software handles with ease.

The tool’s inventory feature enables effective tracking of stock levels and helps forecast replenishment needs. This functionality is crucial for effective production planning and maintaining optimal inventory levels.

Order automation 📑

The ‘Orders’ tab revolutionizes order management by automating the generation of purchase orders to the manufacturer. 

It shows a comprehensive list of all received and approved orders. The client can view information about each order and check their status. Users can apply filters and search for specific orders or switch between different viewing formats. 

Additional functionalities, like document generation and contractual penalty calculations, further augment the software’s capabilities.

These features streamline the supply chain process, reducing manual effort and the potential for errors.

Sales and purchase analytics 📊

Under the ‘Reporting’ tab, users can access detailed sales and purchase statistics. Additionally this feature offers insightful data analysis, which is a huge help in informed decision-making and strategic production and supply chain planning.

A top feature of our demand forecasting software is that it generates advanced reports automatically. These reports deliver valuable insights into various aspects, including targets, profits, turnover, royalty tracking, achievements against KPIs, and shipping costs, among others. 

The system presents all reports in easily digestible graphical formats, allowing users to delve into more detailed data for in-depth analysis.

The reporting functionality is extremely valuable for the company. For instance, It equips managers with plenty of information to make well-informed decisions and drive strategic initiatives.

Forecast accuracy 🎯

The ‘Master Forecast’ tab in our order and demand management system offers an advanced tool for predictive analytics and accurate demand forecasting. Both are key elements in optimizing inventory management and reducing waste. It displays information in an easy-to-interpret graphical format, with options to filter by different variables for targeted analysis.

This feature collects all distributor forecasts into one comprehensive view, displaying all upcoming orders. Even though the Master Forecast remains fixed once generated, admin users can still efficiently assign manufacturers to distributors, improving the production workflow. 

Additionally, the system provides graphical representations of order trends, allowing for easy visualization and data export for deeper analysis. This feature offers precise forecasting, enabling our client to manage inventory more effectively and make well-informed decisions.

Enhanced communication 💬

Our software includes a robust communication function to streamline interactions within the supply chain network. Moreover, It allows users to send messages internally through the application or via email. Users can post comments and share files directly within the platform, fostering better collaboration and information sharing.

This feature plays a crucial role in keeping all parties informed and synchronized in their objectives and operations, ensuring smooth and effective communication throughout the network.

Real-time alerts ⏰

Our software developers designed the notifications function to provide real-time alerts, which are a key component for prompt decision-making and uninterrupted operational flow. 

These notifications are accessible within the application and via email. Furthermore, they ensure users are promptly informed about any updates, including changes in order status, acceptances, or any other critical shifts. This handy feature helps maintain a smooth and responsive workflow.

Seamless integrations 🔗

The system integrates with the client’s accounting system, which ensures seamless order processing. It automatically checks orders for consistency, and the software generates drafts for Purchase Orders (PO) and Sales Orders (SO), which users must authorize in their accounting program. 

The integration enables accurate tracking of order progress, payment status, and delivery, benefiting both the client and its distributors. 

Business Impact

The Outcomes of Implemented Order Management System

Introducing our software has revolutionized the client’s operational processes. Its impact goes beyond a sleek interface and advanced features – it transforms the entire distribution process. 

Our solution plays a key role in demand management in the supply chain. Finally, It standardized the distribution operations of this pharmaceutical expert by:

  • Streamlining operations
  • Fostering collaboration
  • Providing a comprehensive overview of the distribution ecosystem
  • Centralizing data
  • Automating processes
  • Delivering powerful reporting tools

The forecasting process, a critical aspect of supply chain management, has been significantly improved. Due to this, the sale process now undergoes several meticulously tracked stages, with the software facilitating clear communication between all parties involved. 

By leveraging predictive analytics for demand forecasting, our client can manage inventory with greater precision and make more informed decisions. 

Our full-cycle development service of design, implementation, and deployment yet again ensured a smooth integration of our software into the client’s existing infrastructure.

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