Automating Logistics with P1 EDI

Our client is a specialty a pharmaceutical company offering consumer healthcare products, prescription products, and contract development and manufacturing services.

Their trading partners are pharmaceutical distributors & retailers, including McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, Walmart, Target and CVS.

As the healthcare system rapidly changes, pharmaceutical distributors and retailers are constantly envisioning new ways to move and secure the nation’s medicines, all while protecting patient safety. To assist these distributors and retailers meet their logistics goals,  pharmaceutical companies take orders sent by trading partners and dispatch the healthcare products the same day.

The Problem

Before P1 EDI was implemented our client was unable to achieve same day dispatch.

Some of the issues our client faced

  • EDI purchase orders were received from an EDI VAN in a report. These orders were then keyed into the ERP system. This led to time delays and errors.
  • No capability to send order acknowledgements or advance ship notes.
  • No ability to e-mail notifications to logistics staff to alert them to orders to be processed, picked and dispatched.
  • Unable to send EDI invoices to Trading Partners
  • No direct connection with trading partners, all communication was through a VAN.
  • Many of the business processes had a manual element to them, meaning there was opportunities for delays and errors.

The Solution

P1 EDI was chosen to solve these issues. We’re pleased to be able to say all of these issues have been solved.

  • There is now a direct connection with trading partners through AS2. AS2 (Applicability Statement 2) is a specification about how to transport data securely and reliably over the Internet. Security is achieved by using digital certificates and encryption. P1 EDI is the only software between ERP, WMS and Trading Partners.
  • All EDI transactions are now automated
  • EDI purchase orders automatically create sales orders in our client ’s ERP system.
  • EDI order acknowledgements and advance ship notes are automatically sent from our client ’s Warehouse Management System. This includes P1 EDI advance ship notes being created from barcode transactions and then sent through AS2 to the retailer or distributor.
  • EDI invoices automatically sent from ERP to trading partners.
  • Ability to create specialized automated transactions for trading partners. For instance, orders taken on target.com, are routed to the WMS by P1 EDI and the consumer healthcare products are dropped shipped directly to the consumer.
  • Same day dispatch, the logistics team say this is the most important business improvement.
  • E-mail notifications of new orders, deliveries and data errors that need correcting.

Ability to Adapt
In addition to this new functionality, P1 EDI has also been able to adapt to new business processes. Our client has launched a new consumer healthcare product range, with the products being sourced from India and warehoused and delivered from a third-party warehouse. P1 EDI was then configured to accommodate this business process.

  • An EDI purchase order comes into P1 EDI.
  • P1 EDI turns this into a ERP sales order.
  • P1 EDI then sends an EDI Warehouse Shipping Order transaction to the third-party warehouse.
  • The product gets shipped from the warehouse and P1 EDI gets an EDI Warehouse Shipping Advice.
  • P1 EDI then confirms in the WMS and generates an Advance Ship Notice and an Invoice.
  • All automated and if there are no data errors, this flows without human intervention.

P1 EDI went live in August 2016, trading partners have been progressively added since then.

Comments

Richard Kelsey, ProcessOne EDI Solution Architect says “The system has achieved the design goals we set for it, direct communication through AS2, direct communication through alerts and tight integration with ERP and WMS. It’s a tight knit automated system and it works”.

Calvin Smucker, VP Operations for ProcessOne says “The partnership between our client and ProcessOne is the key to the project’s success, plus the flexibility of P1 EDI to adapt to business practices like the 3PL rollout.”

We’re sure there will be challenges ahead as the business to grow, adds products and services and expands its trading partner network. But based on what we’ve seen so far, the combination of ProcessOne and P1 EDI will be up to the task.