Pilatus Pharma begun using OrderWise in 2011 when they were trading as Sagani Limited, continuing with the software when the new company was founded. Having used our software to manage their business for a number of years, we caught up with Eibhlin O’Donnell, Co-Director of Pilatus Pharma, who took time out of her busy schedule to discuss how OrderWise has helped the business successfully meet industry regulations, control expiry dated products and achieve complete end-to-end traceability.
The pharmaceutical industry of Europe maintains high standards of quality management in the development, manufacture and control of all medicinal products throughout their supply chain. Therefore like any pharmaceutical business, Pilatus Pharma must adhere to the strict regulations outlined by the MHRA (Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency) in their EU Good Manufacturing Guide with regards to full batch traceability and acceptable documentation practices.
In accordance with these tight measures, the MHRA believe that it is the responsibility of senior management within pharmaceutical businesses to maintain a high level of quality at all times, with a full commitment from all members of staff in all departments to keep this upheld. To achieve this, a pharmaceutical quality system needs to be in place which incorporates good manufacturing practice and quality risk management, with full auditable documentation and effective monitoring.
Prior to OrderWise, Pilatus Pharma were using Sage 50 to manage their daily business operations. Eibhlin explained that although Pilatus Pharma had manual processes in place to allow them to correctly comply with these regulations, as the volume of orders increased these processes were still providing the tight control over their products they needed, but coming at the expense of fast order processing and fulfilment.
“Historically all batches were logged on purchase and sales invoices which meant they could be traced, but by manually looking through all purchase and sales invoices. As the number of transactions started increasing, this no longer became an efficient way of working. So in order to eradicate this issue and still comply with the MHRA regulations, we decided to look for a new stock control system which would enable us to still have the full audit trail and high quality documentation, but also increase the efficiency of the company.”
However due to the strict regulations put in place by the MHRA, Pilatus Pharma had to ensure that any new system they decided to implement maintained data from their Sage 50 system. This included all historical data for future analysis and all financial reports used on a daily, weekly and monthly basis to produce management accounts. They also needed to be able to transfer other key information such as all opening balances of stock and aged debtors/creditors.
As well as retaining all this information, Eibhlin explained that Pilatus Pharma also had a shopping list of functionality that they wanted the new system to be able to provide in order to meet their essential requirements.
“Most importantly, we needed all stock entered onto the system to be registered with a batch number and expiry date so we could easily report on stock using these details. We also needed full traceability on where the stock was bought from and sent to, not just on with regards to the batch details but the costing of the products too. Then to continue to comply with MHRA regulations, we needed to be able to produce management accounts, audited accounts and GM documents in order to have a complete audit trail”
With their requirements carefully outlined, Pilatus Pharma went into the market for a new business management solution and started to look at possible software providers.
Following several meetings with software suppliers, subsequent presentations, review of proposal documents and internal meetings, Pilatus Pharma made the decision to go with OrderWise. Eibhlin explained that the decision ultimately came down to the designated Project Team OrderWise was able to provide to help them through the implementation process.
“All of the other systems were on a par when it came to capability and there was little in the price differential, but we felt OrderWise provided the project management that we required to walk us through the whole process. It was very clear to us that we were unable to have any non-trading days due to implementation and OrderWise provided the plans, infrastructure and expertise to make sure that this was the case.”
One of the pre-requisites Pilatus Pharma had for a new software system was they needed to be able to retain all previous data and reports should they be audited in the future. Eibhlin spoke of how they were able to achieve this through the OrderWise data migration process, which is included as standard with every OrderWise solution.
“The OrderWise Project Team gave us all the tools we needed to effectively work to our agreed implementation timetable. This included lifting data from our old system onto OrderWise, thoroughly testing and validating the software and hitting our deadline for transferring over to our new management system.”
With the help of their designated Project Team, Pilatus Pharma were able to experience a smooth implementation, successfully going live with OrderWise following data migration and training with minimal disruption caused to their business.
The OrderWise Solution
Before implementing OrderWise, Pilatus Pharma were struggling to strike the right balance between fast, effective order processing and maintaining their compliance with the MHRA regulations that they are expected to follow. Eibhlin described how OrderWise has done exactly what they wanted it to do and that is provide them with both accuracy and efficiency within their daily operations.
“Speed is not an issue here now, within pharmaceutical companies it is all about the accuracy of information so much more importance is placed on the effectiveness of our batch number and expiry date picking. But because everything here is double checked both in and out of the warehouse by OrderWise, we never have any problems”
Additionally, Pilatus Pharma wanted their new system to be able to provide them with full end-to-end traceability for all their products so that they could easily track where stock was bought from, at what cost and to which customer the goods were eventually despatched. Eibhlin explained how the tight controls put in place by OrderWise has not only helped them to achieve this but also eliminated any issues they experienced previously with expiry dates.
“Without a doubt the main benefit for us is the end-to-end traceability of our stock that OrderWise provides. Product expiry dates are not really an issue here either as the controls put in place by OrderWise means we very rarely have expired stock.”
Since implementation of OrderWise, Pilatus Pharma has continued to grow their commercial operations which has resulted in the requirements of their businesses changing over that time. Eibhlin mentioned how impressed she has been with the adaptability of OrderWise over the years in continuing to help them manage their processes effectively as the business has gradually evolved.
“OrderWise has absolutely helped the company overcome the issues we were facing. With our business ever-changing with new regulations and requirements, OrderWise has helped us by supporting system changes and providing us with new functionality for additional reporting”
So with OrderWise able to help Pilatus Pharma to meet the strict MHRA regulations they are subject to, gain complete end-to-end traceability and manage all their daily business processes effectively, the big question is what’s next for OrderWise and Pilatus Pharma?
“We have recently been looking at the KPI dashboards which, as a management tool, look very exciting. Reporting on our business using dashboards will be able to provide us with pertinent management information that will help us to make better business decisions going forward. This will in-turn help our company to increase profitability and achieve further growth.”
For more information on Pilatus Pharma, you can visit their website: www.pilatuspharma.com