Sigma goes live with its new ERP system, IBS Pharma

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IBS, International Business Systems, is proud to announce that Sigma in conjunction with IBS has successfully implemented IBS Pharma a specialised software for the pharmaceutical distribution industry at its head office and Tasmanian operations. The joint Sigma/IBS team completed this second phase on time and within budget, with a compressed implementation cycle of only eleven months from contract signing to go-live.

In April of this year, Sigma went live with the first phase - base financial functions of AP and GL. The second phase gives Sigma a fully integrated enterprise solution that covers all its core business processes of order management, pricing, rebates, distribution, warehouse management, customer service, logistics, supply chain management, financial control, profitability analysis reporting and electronic data interchange (EDI). The comprehensive IBS Pharma solution for Sigma also includes custom interfaces (e.g. to banks, other Sigma trading partners) and a rebates chargeback processing system essential to the pharmaceutical business.

While it is still too early to measure tangible performance improvements against Sigmas former legacy system, the signs are encouraging for significant benefits in customer fulfillment and operational cost reductions. Sigmas new IBS Pharma solution is highly automated, and over 90 percent of incoming order lines are being electronically received and processed. IBS new product IBS Integrator has been a cornerstone in IBS ability to deliver the full solution within the project timeframe.

I am very pleased with the teams achievement and am looking forward to the completion of the full project, as IBS Pharma provides a sound and flexible IT platform for Sigma in the achievement of its strategic goals. This is the start of a change process that drives the adoption of best practice processes, reduces operating costs while improving customer service and in doing so, provides the technological base for Sigma to grow its business rapidly and profitably. I am confident that the project will deliver its anticipated return on investment, says Jackie Toh, General Manager, Group IT and Management Systems, Sigma Company Limited.

Key benefits anticipated from Sigmas new IBS Pharma system will include:

  • Shift from separate state databases to a centralised distribution model, expected to eliminate duplication, reduce operational costs and provide management with visibility across a unified supply chain
  • Improved forecasting and optimised inventory management
  • More efficient and accurate processing of orders (for both prescription and non-prescription products)
  • Introduction of RF terminals with integral bar-code scanners expected to speed up the pick/pack process and further improve accuracy in the warehouse
  • Lot/batch tracking capability
  • Enhanced pricing and rebates handling
  • Reduction in IT maintenance costs
  • Improvements in customer service
  • Benchmarking against best practice.
In an industry that demands strict accountability, the IBS Pharma warehouse management module - combined with its in-built radio frequency (RF) technology - gives Sigma increased accuracy and efficiencies in its warehouse operations.

Building on the success of the initial project in Tasmania, Sigma will now continue to roll out the solution to its remaining 14 Distribution Centres (DC) across Australia. Full implementation across all its DCs is expected to be completed by the beginning of 2006. On completion, a total of 600 users will be active on the system.

This is a major milestone for IBS and affirms our leadership in offering pharmaceutical companies a solution that meets their operational, performance and regulatory compliance requirements. Our ability to successfully deliver IBS Pharma on time and on budget is the result of the depth of knowledge and experience of the IBS implementation team, and their ability to work closely and effectively with Sigmas highly committed and experienced project team, says Staffan Wensing, Managing Director IBS Australia.

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