Pharmaceutical Commerce - November/December 2009 - (Page 21)

Information Technology Impax Labs enjoys the Fruits of Its IBm Cognos Investment With limited IT resources, the company is rolling out one business-intelligence application after another Impax Labs (Hayward, CA) is a mid-size branded and generic manufacturer that worries about all the same business-intelligence (BI) issues as its Big Pharma competitors: sales force allocations and performance; forecasting; rebates and net sales; and overall financial performance. The need for enterprise-wide analytic tools was recognized when the company acquired a license for Cognos 8 BI in 2007 (IBM acquired Cognos in early 2008). Now, after a couple years of application development, the company is winning accolades for its implementations. It was recognized by The Data Warehouse Institute in June as “Best Practices: BI on a Limited Budget” winner. And having developed a handful of critical corporate dashboards with only three IT professionals and some outside consulting help, it is now planning to keep building additional dashboards almost as a matter of course. The company estimates that it is currently saving 2,000 man-hours of IT effort (compared to pre-Cognos processes), while providing critical decisionmaking resources to upper management. The essence of BI, says Paul Hake, life sciences executive at IBM, is to be able to draw fresh data rapidly from diverse sources, perform an extract, transform and load (ETL) function to make the data accessible, and then report it in dashboards or scorecards that are customizable to user needs. In Impax’s case, these needs centered initially on tracking net sales performance against plan, using accurate forecasting to measure inventory and production plans, and measuring net sales, profitability and market share. Providing these reports used to be a manually intensive process that involves gathering data from the company’s ERP system, sales reports, third-party market data, and accounting systems. Often, the resulting reports were out of date even as they were being delivered. Now, says Jonathan Retano, associate director of BI at Impax, “Business intelligence has crossed the threshold from a novelty to an integral, critical part of our business operations.” Retano and two other IT staff worked with ISA Consulting (Blue Bell, PA) for the initial training and setup, but now build BI applications with internal resources only. A performance goal that Retano and his team held to was “Four in four,” that is, providing four key performance indicators in less than four minutes, on demand to upper management. Moreover, he says that the reporting is rigorous enough that it is being used to qualify chargebacks and rebates with a long list of customers (something that is often performed as a follow-up step after the rebates have been issued), and to have the ability to drill down into sales reports for auditing or Sarbanes-Oxley compliance. Having succeeded in corralling these diverse data streams, Retano is now looking over the hill at new applications. “One thing we’re thinking of is to extract financial data from our competitors’ 10Q reports, and use that to benchmark our own performance against theirs,” he says. • Clinical Modeling and Resource Tracking Performance Blueprint, to model studies in a consistent and reliable manner; • I n t e g r a t e d B r a n d M a n a g e m e n t Performance Blueprint, for product launches and marketing productivity; • Clinical Trial Enrollment Forecasting Performance Blueprint, to analyze enrollment trends and facilitate collaboration among stakeholders; • Clinical Trial Forecasting Performance Blueprint, to plan trial resource allocations and expenses; • Sales Quota Allocation Performance Blueprint, for managing quotas rapidly and centrally; • Sample Optimization Performance Blueprint, to develop and then monitor sample allocations in line with corporate revenue objectives. “Customers are getting comfortable not just with having current data available in a timely manner, but being able to call it up on the spot, via a mobile device,” says Hake, who adds that, in the face of the coming healthcare reform legislation, coordinating business functions with regulatory and marketing requirements will only become more complex. “There will always be more new data sources to pull into the planning process,” he says. A further enhancement of the Cognos platform in the works as IBM integrates one of its latest acquisitions, the statistics software firm SPSS, into BI implementations. PC Blueprints for success Although the Impax implementations did not involve their use, IBM’s Hake says that life sciences companies will probably be taking advantage of IBM Cognos Performance Blueprints, which are predesigned guidelines and reporting functionality for specific business applications. For life sciences applications, the blueprints (which are available at no charge) include: IT Short Takes enterprise resource planning • D e a c o m , I n c . ( W a y n e , P A ) h a s announced a project win at Supplemental Manufacturing and Ingredients, LLC (Tempe, AZ) to deploy its Integrated Accounting and ERP System to “facilitate the company’s entrance into the pharmaceutical industry,” according to a Deacom announcement. • Another ERP developer for small- to midsize life sciences companies, Compiere (Redwood Shores, CA) will be installing its open-source-based ERP at 3A Pharma, a Vietnam-based distributor of Abbott Laboratories products in the region. • Infor (Alpharetta, GA) has announced that Qualicaps Europe has purchased a maintenance contract to update its ERP implementation to the latest version of Infor’s ERP LX system. Qualicaps is also deploying Infor EAM (enterprise asset management) in its manufacturing plants. • But the big news in pharma ERP is that Pfizer has decided to convert to SAP, rather than ripping out Wyeth’s longestablished SAP infrastructure, after the merger became official in late October, according to industry sources. No official announcement has been made as yet. The decision, if final, holds no little irony as Pfizer has been called an “SAP killer” for having shut down SAP implementations at previously acquired companies. munications) and VInsights, for CRM business intelligence. Performance management • Ther-Rx (Bridgton, MO), a specialty pharma company, has chosen the Performance Management system of Verix (Mountain View, CA) for advanced analytics, reporting and dashboards for the entire Ther-Rx sales, marketing and managed care groups. The system is available in on-premises and SaaS versions. • An unnamed major pharma company has selected the SPM (sales performance management) system of Callidus Software (San Jose, CA), which manages sales onboarding, quota and plan deployment, and payment. Customer relationship management • Veeva Systems (Pleasanton, CA) has scored three recent wins in adopting its software-as-a-service CRM solutions: PDI, Inc. (Saddle River, NJ), the contract sales organization; Adamas Pharmaceuticals (Emergyville, CA), a small-molecule pharma developer; Accera Inc. (Broomfield, CO), a neuroscience company. Veeva is providing VBioPharma in various configurations, VMobile (for mobile com- regulatory compliance • Cegedim Dendrite (Bedminster, NJ) says that a leading biopharma company has selected its State Guardian solution for monitoring and reporting marketing expenditures (aggregate spending) in various states. The system is available in on-premises and SaaS versions; this client will be deploying the SaaS version which allows for ongoing updates of evolving regulations. • Axway (Phoenix) has updated to version 3.0 of its Track & Trace system, and also announced that it is the first IT vendor to have won GS1 EPCglobal certification for using the AS2 communications protocol under GS1’s EPCIS standard. AS2 is an established protocol for exchanging business information, while EPCIS is the evolving standard gaining traction among pharma companies establishing trackand-trace systems to monitor serialized products as they move through the supply chain. • Sparta Systems (Holmdel, NJ) has announced that SSL International, a consumer and healthcare goods company, has gone live with a global implementation of its TrackWise enterprise quality management system for quality control, corrective and preventive action (CAPA) management and document control (Pharmaceutical Commerce, October, p. 1). PC NovemBer/deCemBer 2009 21

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pharmaceutical Commerce - November/December 2009

Pharmaceutical Commerce - November/December 2009
Top News
Business & Finance
Brand Marketing | Communications
SupplyChain | Logistics
Information Technology
Packaging & Drug Delivery
Legal | Regulatory
Executive Training & Development
Editorial Index | Meetings

Pharmaceutical Commerce - November/December 2009