Marc Osterhaus, Supply Chain Senior Director at Eiger Biopharmaceuticals, presented his experience taking Eiger through a digital transformation of the supply planning process. The company was rapidly growing in both the U.S. and Europe with several commercial products. The planning environment was becoming too complex to manage on Excel. They considered using their ERP for planning, but ERP would take too long. It also lacked important industry functionality and would constrain Eiger’s agility to adjust as the business continued to change.
In the end, that ERP system wouldn’t be what we hoped for and by then it probably would be too late.
Since Eiger had already implemented about a dozen cloud-based solutions in other areas, Osterhaus began looking at cloud-based planning solutions for biotech and pharma companies. He selected ABC-Plan, a “light” cloud-based planning solution built specifically for the life sciences industry.
According to Osterhaus, the functionality of ABC-Plan supports this industry’s unique requirements, such as expiry management, lot-based tracking and effectivity dating for network changes. He emphasized the ability to conduct instant scenario planning – for which ABC-Plan serves as a single source of truth instead of having to export data manually for analysis and waiting for results. Other areas of functionality that drove the selection included comprehensive S&OP functionality, an easy-to-use graphical user interface, and simple data import/export. Osterhaus also emphasized the VERY quick implementation and setup – just a single day!
Osterhaus shared his lessons learned from the experience:
- Have a roadmap for both short-term and long-term plans
- Document needed requirements along the way
- Do not be afraid to explore new technologies
- Plan for the need to conduct internal selling in the planning stage
- Manage expectations from the start
- Demonstrate successes whenever it happens
He ultimately fielded questions from webinar attendees regarding cost of the solution, Eiger’s implementation, and data challenges. He revealed that the solution has saved Eiger both money and time, and not only was the implementation easy, transferring data was also “a piece of cake” from Eiger’s existing Excel spreadsheets.