“I implemented the Priority ERP system at fifth of the planned budget cost.”

“There were several ERP systems in our company and we integrated them all into Priority. Within nine months we went live (a year and a half ago), and the cost was much lower than planned,” said Erez Adam, former CIO of Neopharm.

Adam spoke at the ERP conference, “The New Age of Industrial Computerization.” The conference, produced by People & Computers, was attended by hundreds of professionals in the field.

Adam is currently serving as CEO of Promedico, a subsidiary of Neopharm that acts as the supply chain company of the group. He described how he integrated diverse ERP systems into one Priority ERP system.

The Neopharm group, Adam explained, manufactures and sells pharmaceuticals and various health care products and has several subsidiaries including companies that provide nursing care services, prescription drug delivery services, etc. “The ERP project wasn’t easy. During the process many decisions were made that were not at all trivial.”

“Neopharm,” said Adam, “has a yearly turnover of NIS 1.5 billion and 600 employees. The group’s companies deal in branding, marketing and sales of consumer health products. Promedico employs 150 workers, has 100 partners and over 1,000 orders per day and 22,000 deliveries per month.”

“The journey toward one ERP system,” said Adam, “began in 2008. We had many ERP systems in the group: Promedico used Movex, Eldan used Priority, a different company used a different version of Priority, and the other companies used local ERP systems.”

According to Adam, “The planned cost was five times more than the actual cost. You have to take into account several important criteria when choosing an ERP system before implementation: the maximum cost-benefit ratio; meeting the company’s needs; maintenance; compatibility and future upgrade capability; the number of installations; regulatory provisions and choosing an experienced implementer—in our case, Medatech.”

“Today,” he said, “we’re at the point where all system operations are managed independently. We provide our own support via four employees who have been trained in Priority. This is after receiving ongoing assistance from Medatech and Eshbel. There were nights during the implementation that I didn’t sleep. At times I needed senior figures in Eshbel to intervene; I would ring up and say ‘everything is at stake here’, and the Eshbel and Medatech people would help me out.”

He described the project’s unique challenges: Creating a single integrated ERP system; connecting different company systems that don’t talk to each other; integrating different versions of Priority; cleansing data and creating a single version of truth; maintaining different logistic processes in each company; and creating inter-company processes.

“To sum it up,” said Adam, “today we have 250 Priority ERP users, 60 WMS users, 28 field reps working with the sales module, 15 mobile users for PDO supply reporting and 25 field technician module users. The system continues to expand and next month we’ll be starting a project in Europe.”

Excerpted from People & Computers, Nov. 13, 2014