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Friday, April 7, 2017

Pharmaceutical Company Turns to Armanino to Standardize and Improve Business Processes Using Microsoft Dynamics GP


At A Glance

Customer Profile

A small pharmaceutical company needed a sound financial infrastructure driven by standardized processes and an optimized ERP system that allowed it to deliver the advanced reporting required by its new parent company. The client turned to Armanino to upgrade and optimize its current ERP tool, Microsoft Dynamics GP, train employees in its use, and improve business processes.

Software & Services

  • ERP Assessment
  • Microsoft Dynamics GP
  • Armanino consulting, training and upgrade services

Benefits

  • Provided detailed assessment of current processes and usage of ERP system
  • Upgraded ERP system to the latest version—standardizing business processes and updating reporting structure in the process
  • Provided training plan to help employees become proficient on the ERP system

Challenge

A pharmaceutical company had been using Microsoft Dynamics GP—an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system—for a number of years when the company was acquired. What was once a relatively small, independent company became a subsidiary of a large and centralized health-science company and the business processes that had once sufficed were no longer effective or efficient.

Explains the pharmaceutical company’s controller, “When we were acquired, we had to conform to the way our new parent company operates—which meant reporting on myriad new metrics that our system had not been set up for.” Indeed, up to that point, the pharmaceutical company had relied on one-off processes and reporting that worked well when the company was smaller, but were causing definite growing pains.

Thus, when it came time to update Microsoft Dynamics GP, the controller realized that the company also had an opportunity to update the way it worked with the ERP software—redesigning and standardizing processes, initiating effective user training, and ensuring the ongoing support required to provide a sound financial structure for the business.

Solution

To achieve her goals for the ERP system, the controller knew that the pharmaceutical company needed to find the right technology partner. When the company’s IT department suggested Armanino LLP—the largest California-based independent accounting and consulting firm and one of the biggest Microsoft Dynamics partners in the United States—the controller was quick to set up an interview.

“Armanino understood our business and listened when we talked about our challenges,” says the controller for the pharmaceutical firm. “Not only were they able to fix our problems, they also recommended performing an assessment to establish benchmarks and see what was and wasn’t working. No other vendor even suggested such a thing.”

In short order, the pharmaceutical company engaged Armanino to provide the consulting, training, and upgrade services required to optimize the use of its ERP system. The Armanino team began an assessment of the business areas and processes that seemed to be causing the most pain. The Armanino representative sat down with everyone from the controller to the staff accountants and listened as they talked through their issues and concerns.

After identifying Dynamics GP instruction as a key issue for the company’s accounting and finance staff—all of whom had joined the company recently—the Armanino consultant helped the pharmaceutical company develop and implement a training plan.

Today, the conversation continues as the Armanino team helps the staff of the pharmaceutical company understand Dynamics GP while continuing to draw on the staff’s insights to improve the company’s business processes. As a result, the pharmaceutical company has already been able to implement a supply-and-demand system with the Dynamics GP inventory system and is now using the ERP system to update the reporting structure to map to the one used by its parent company.

Armanino understood our business and listened when we talked about our challenges. Not only did they say they could fix our problems, they also recommended performing an assessment to establish benchmarks and see what was and wasn’t working. No other vendor even suggested such a thing."
Controller, A pharmaceutical company

Results

For the controller and her team, working with the Armanino consultants to complete the upgrade to the new version of Dynamics GP has been invaluable in getting them up to speed in the structure of the ERP system. Explains the controller at the pharmaceutical company, “Today, we’re able to resolve many problems on our own thanks to the hands-on training Armanino has provided. As a result, we’re saving many hours per month on troubleshooting and support.”

Perhaps even more importantly, with Armanino’s help, the pharmaceutical company has begun to implement the process changes that will allow the company to be confident about its systems and data. “Everything that happens eventually lands in the accounting and finance department,” says the controller. “For instance, if you don’t have rigorous processes around purchasing, your accounts payable systems and staff efficiency suffer. Luckily for us, Armanino is helping us improve our processes and use our Dynamics GP system to its full advantage.”

Nest Steps

Going forward, Armanino will continue to support this client in its use of Dynamics GP and improvement of business processes—including continued training to improve staff expertise in the tool. Adds the controller for the pharmaceutical company, “Even as we become more advanced in the use of Dynamics GP, we will continue to look to Armanino for advice and expertise as we implement role changes, set up new business process, finalize the new reporting structure, stabilize the ERP system, and add policies as the company grows.”

Today, we’re able to resolve many problems on our own thanks to the hands-on training Armanino has provided. As a result, we’re saving many hours per month on troubleshooting and support."
Controller, A pharmaceutical company


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