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Global Pharmaceutical Enterprise Systems

Mike Romanov, Tyler Lepore, Dylan Levine, Anik Patel


Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Strategy
Professor Hany Salama
December 1st 2015

Global enterprise technology systems are the backbone to todays highly integrated and complex
pharmaceutical business environments. An enterprise system refers to a set of interfacing software
applications that are targeted at solving enterprise challenges or problems. These end-to-end business
management software systems allow large global organizations to integrate and aggregate companywide resources, information and operational components ensuring data-driven decision making and
strategy. There is a multitude of enterprise applications that are available to businesses both small and
big. The most common types of enterprise software include: Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP),
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Supplier Relationship Management (SRM), Strategic
Sourcing, Quality Management System (QMS) and Business Continuity Planning (BCP) which includes
elements such as disaster recovery planning (DRP) and business resumption planning. We will evaluate
the specific features and merits of each of these systems and their respective pertinence and efficacy in
the life sciences industry in later parts of the paper.
We first need to consider which systems are most vital to a success of a global pharmaceutical
organization and what the key drivers are for an ERP system adoption in the pharmaceutical industry.
One of the biggest drivers for ERP and QMS software implementation and system reinvigoration in the
life sciences industry is the increasing regulatory pressure of government bodies and agencies. Very few
industries face such a large number of regulatory agencies mandating and overseeing products
manufacturing and controlling procedures as the pharmaceutical industry (Webster 1). With so little
room for error, rising rates of counterfeiting and potentially millions of lives at stake the regulations
around quality, compliance, risk and security management have been getting more and more stringent.
In the past, as a result of many uncertainties in drug manufacturing, the FDA exercised extensive control
over virtually every aspect of the manufacturing process (Jotwani 3). Recognizing the reluctance of
many pharmaceutical companies to change their processes, the FDA launched a new initiative titled

Pharmaceutical cGMPs for the 21st century: A Risk Based Approach to encourage the use of
integrated systems and to design manufacturing processes based on scientific and engineering principles
that can hedge against poor product quality and mitigate risk (Jotwani 3) (see Exhibit 1). In order to be
proactive and be able to continually adapt to such demanding and fluctuating conditions, pharmaceutical
companies must have the right systems, processes and methodologies in place to keep off the radar of
the FDA while meeting and maintaining the criterion of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
Specifically, pharmaceutical companies need more robust enterprise management systems to
successfully handle manufacturing, financial and distribution audits and enable full compliance in those
areas. These systems must have vital components such as: audit controls and e-signature capabilities,
record retention and avoidance of overwriting old data, security management, process documentation
and change control capabilities (Webster 1). In order to meet these standards, the need for an integrated
and fully functioning QMS and ERP system cannot be understated.
Having demonstrated the importance of these systems in the pharmaceutical industry, how does a
global company select, qualify and implement a global enterprise system?
The Software Acquisition Process is usually divided in 4 stages:
1.

Planning

2.

Selection

3.

Implementation

4.

Acceptance

5.

Full assimilation and regular operations

Before selecting a vendor and a system, a company will typically go through a planning stage
where an internal evaluation is conducted and documents with required functionalities are drafted
(Norwich 3). The decision to implement enterprise software is based on a precise list of selection criteria

and internal requirements that are then compared to and matched against the various options and
offerings in the marketplace (Ovidiu 85, 86). During the selection phase, the company identifies
potential software vendors and rates vendors on pilot demonstrations and the vendors capability to meet
key organizational requirements. There are three categories that software applications generally fall into:
generic/horizontal software solutions, vertical solutions and custom built solutions (Burns 6). A generic
system appeals to a variety of different industries with many buyers and resellers. Vertical systems are
tailored to a particular industry and utilize knowledge of best practices. Customized software solutions
will start with a base product which is then highly customized according to the customers specific
preferences and requirements. Companies who decide against purchasing a fully integrated enterprise
system will buy the best-of-breed applications and consolidate them to achieve the desired level of
operational efficiency. Most conglomerate pharmaceutical companies use consultants to aid in the
evaluation, selection and integration process due to the size, complexity and the inherent risk of the task.
Criteria most common for systems selection include:
1.

General functionalities (computerization of processes, industry specific applications, etc.)

2.

Adaptability and customization

3.

Structural Modularity (each module feeds into all others and can be included or detached

without affecting any of the adjacent modules)


4.

System security

5.

Scalability

The planning and selecting phase is focused on drafting a long list of suppliers and further narrowing
down the list to just a few suppliers who have the capabilities to meet the companys internal
requirements. During all five phases of execution, a company will assign a project team to oversee and
coordinate all the moving parts of the process. Depending on the nature of the project, the team will be

assembled cross functionally for the purpose of contributing a broader functional perspective. The
implementation will consist of vendor demonstrations and pilot programs designed to simulate real
world operations. The product acceptance phase consists of a final reviews of systems functionalities
and features and its ability to demonstrate successful integration and effective performance. Finally, the
full assimilation or operational phase involves the full integration of the system, regular maintenance
and intermittent updates. Validation documentation must be completed every time a significant change is
made to the system (Norwich 3). Validation is defined as "the development and execution of a written
plan to control your documentary evidence. This documentary evidence provides the confirmation that
your computerized system will accurately, reliably and consistently perform the regulated functions that
you require. (Norwich 1).During implementation, the vendor will need to provide thorough training to
the customers employees. This element is absolutely critical. As forewarned in this article about critical
ERP implementation issues, Training and updating employees on ERP is a major challenge. People are
one of the hidden costs of ERP implementation. Without proper training, about 30 percent to 40 percent
of front-line workers will not be able to handle the demands of the new system. The people at the
keyboard are now making important decisions about buying and selling -- important commitments of the
company. They need to understand how their data affects the rest of company. Some of the decisions
front-line people make with an ERP system were the responsibility of a manager earlier. It is important
for managers to understand this change in their job and encourage the front-line people to be able to
make those decisions themselves. Training employees on ERP is not as simple as Excel training in
which you give them a few weeks of training, put them on the job, and they blunder their way through.
ERP systems are extremely complex and demand rigorous training. It is difficult for trainers or
consultants to pass on the knowledge to the employees in a short period of time. This "knowledge
transfer" gets hard if the employees lack computer literacy or have computer phobia. In addition to being

taught ERP technology, the employees now have to be taught their new responsibilities. With ERP
systems you are continuously being trained. Companies should provide opportunities to enhance the
skills of the employees by providing training opportunities on a continuous basis to meet the changing
needs of the business and employees. (Bingi, Sharma, Godla). The implementation and integration is a
phase most fraught with risk and potential failures and needs to be treated with unwavering commitment
from senior management. Companies need to fully understand how the new system will impact their
business and employees, and to strategize around the pitfalls they will face.
Global integration occurs very slowly in a multinational pharmaceutical company. The
integration is usually employed region by region to avoid total systems failure or disruption and ensure
continuity of business operations.
Before proceeding to analysis of each of the modules, it is worth evaluating the advantages and
disadvantages for introducing a global enterprise system and the key drivers for implementation of an
ERP system in pharmaceutical organizations. One of the primary advantages of having a global ERP
system is having the ability to share and aggregate data. Having access to a uniform set of data can yield
tremendous visibility, facilitate company-wide incorporation and streamline business processes and
operations. Further, considering the geographic discrepancies intrinsic to global expansion, ERP systems
allow organizations to move out of functional and departmental silos of data and systems resulting in
standardization and optimization of processes as well as faster and more accurate data exchange,
communication, and collaboration. A well-integrated ERP system has the capacity to significantly
improve endeavors and provide opportunities within such functions as supply and demand planning
(S&OP), finance, strategic sourcing and procurement, inventory management, manufacturing,
marketing/sales, project management, process improvement, compliance, quality control, risk
management and many more. Another auspicious facet of ERP implementation is cost reduction. With

increased efficiency and productivity, improved decision making, reduced operational costs and newly
freed up capital and resources, a system overhaul can have a real impact on the bottom line.
Nonetheless, the opportunities of ERP company-wide installation do not come without their
respective costs and risks. To begin, a system installation is a long-term commitment and requires a
substantial capital investment (Ovidiu 4). The purchasing of the software itself is commonly only a
fraction (15-30%) of the cost incurred during the setup process (Chandler 1). The lack of appropriate
hardware and infrastructure can also add another cost into the purchasing equation. Additionally, indirect
costs of customization, third party add-ons, maintenance fees (about 18% of the software list price) and
implementation services/activities must be considered and budgeted for (Chandler 1). The cost of
planning, configuring, migrating data, testing and implementation will necessitate the biggest percentage
of spend and is fiscally the least predictable. In approximation, the total cost of integrating a system can
be upwards of 3 to 5 times the cost of the software package (Bingi, Sharma, Godla). Although
implementing an enterprise system will drive significant cost reductions, those savings and paybacks
may not be realized right away and may be difficult to measure or quantify.
Another big cost is time and resource allocation. The average time for a consummate and fully
functional system integration can range anywhere from 12 to 36 months and more. This time factor will
largely depend of the size and complexity of the organization, with global and multinational companies
remaining on the far end of the spectrum. Further, if not done effectively, training and developing
employees knowledge of the newly installed system will take a tremendous investment of both time and
money.
Successful migration of data and systems failure is another critical point to mention when
considering purchasing and implementing an enterprise system. Migration of existing data can prove to
be a daunting task the achievement of which can prove to be extremely difficult. Activities associated

with performing these tasks will equally consume time, money and resources. Companys purchasing
managers need to be aware of all these hidden costs in making their purchasing decisions.

SAP vs. Oracle


ERP systems are of critical importance for pharmaceutical companies. Executive leadership will
undoubtedly make some critical decisions regarding which ERP system to implement. Currently two of
the biggest options out there right now are SAP and Oracle. Arguably both of these systems on an
overhead view provide many of the same system capabilities. What must be specifically considered in
our analysis is which one of these ERP systems is best for the pharmaceutical industry.
At its core SAP and Oracle are both global enterprise systems. While they share similar
functionalities there are some important distinctions that make the two unique. Below is a table that
provides an overview of some of the key differences.

Topic

SAP

Oracle

Implementation risk

Higher relative risk

Lower relative risk

Implementation Cost and


Duration

Higher cost option

Lower cost option

Scalability

Relative to business model

Relative to business model

Functionality and capabilities

More customizable

More standardized

Cloud utility

Less suited for cloud


computing

More suited for cloud


computing

In-Memory Technology

Centralized convenient
system

Integration with established


databases

The above table shows that there are many advantages and disadvantages to both SAP and
Oracle respectively. For instance, consider the higher implementation costs associated with SAP, but
also the ability for SAP to be more customizable. Similarly, Oracles lower implementation costs results

in functionalities and capabilities that are more standardized with less ability to cater to a specific
organization and its system requirements. What must be considered here is what would be best for a
specific company. For example, a medium sized generic drug manufacturer might prefer Oracle for the
low cost and less need for extremely customizable functionalities. Contrary to this a brand name drug
company may consider the premium cost associated with SAP to be worth the ability to customize.
Considering the continually changing environments and products in the brand name industry
customization would allow the ERP system to adapt to new products and segments (Kimberling, 2014).
Strategic Sourcing
The importance of strategic sourcing in all corporations cannot be stressed enough, but in the
pharmaceutical industry, properly sourcing raw materials is paramount to continued success. Generally
speaking for most major ERP systems, strategic sourcing modules tend to come bundled with the basic
resource modules that companies include in their software packages. Due to the wide variety of
excipient and API chemicals needed to produce the medicines that pharmaceutical companies make,
procurement departments need to juggle the information of large amounts of suppliers from around the
globe. This is where strategic sourcing modules for ERP systems come into play; they help with finding,
organizing, evaluating and selecting suppliers. Once an ERP system becomes globally integrated,
branches from different parts of the world can input suppliers, or gain access to 3rd party databases with
supplier information allowing anyone in the organizations global procurement department to see
suppliers who can provide the material needed. The global integration of an ERP system with a strategic
sourcing module allows a firm to take the reins and force a supplier into meeting KPIs and various
stimulated metrics to continue getting business. Modules for strategic sourcing contain all the
information to compare a suppliers answer to an RFQ or RFI of another qualifying supplier to see how
they compare to one another. These comparisons can be used for many suppliers to simply go down a

list and eliminate suppliers who do not meet particular criteria and specifications the company sets.
Specifications can range from price for the raw materials to supplier location, supplier certifications
(ISO 9001), supplier production capacity and anything between and beyond, so long as the databases
connected to the ERP have the data listed. The strategic sourcing module typically performs actions that
a procurement department would spend countless hours researching and compiling to qualify for just a
single supplier, but on large amounts of suppliers. The strategic module functions as an advanced living
score carding method, where requisites that wouldn't normally be put on a scorecard for fear of being too
specific can be accessed with a few keystrokes when selecting suppliers. This level of data can be used
to push suppliers to meet ones criteria, or to help drive price down in negotiations. Another major
benefits of strategic sourcing modules is that it helps unite the procurement departments of each region
with unified specifications. When items sourced globally are held to the same standard as they are
domestically or locally, it keeps products produced at multiple locations at the same quality level. This
in turn will keep quality levels stable and reduce any variation a product may have when produced at
multiple locations globally. In the end, proper strategic sourcing and help derived from strategic
sourcing modules directly affect the firm's bottom line by saving money at the purchasing point and also
can affect the firms future in terms of end product quality and variance reduction.
Another ERP module that is incredibly important to a successful pharmaceutical business is
quality management software/system (QMS). While ERP systems can include quality management
systems as part of a software bundle, in industries where slight product variance can result in severe
health implications, the necessity for QMS is unmatched in pharmaceutical businesses. QMS modules
can be used to ensure many things in a business, including reducing complications and waste by
eliminating paper quality management methodologies. By eliminating the need and usage of on paper
quality management is useful to a business not only due to the obvious reduction of office material

consumption, but because managing paper documents for hundreds of suppliers and dozens of
manufacturing facilities to ensure strict quality standards are held is extremely difficult. The massive
reduction in the inefficiency of quality management will streamline internal operations and allow needed
changes to occur at a faster pace. Another benefit of integration QMS into a company's ERP is that it can
help fuel continuous innovation in processes. By constantly monitoring for variations, QMS modules
can identify variances and failures caused by inefficiencies leading to improvement of internal
processes. Further benefits of QMS modules also include helping maintain certifications, such as ISO
9001. For many companies, ISO 9001 can be used as an important selection criteria when purchasing, so
maintaining processes for ISO certification is very important. This benefit stems from the fact that
QMSs main purpose is to ensure quality, which is exactly what ISO wants to achieve by making sure
internal processes are well documented. Due to its massive importance for large scale pharmaceutical
manufacturing, many companies will acquire multiple 3rd party QMS modules to bolt-on to the overall
ERP. In effect what this does is create redundancies in the systems to make sure no piece of information
goes unnoticed when searching for variances or failures. Multiple modules used for this purpose act as a
sort of a failsafe for the firm. If one QMS fails to pick up an issue, the next ones will. Again, due to the
nature of the businesss end product, this type of redundancy is something that will primarily be a
benefit rather than a hindrance. The global integration of QMS modules in a firms ERP network will
serve the same benefits as a global strategic sourcing module would, by unifying the firms regional
specifications and tolerances for the QMS, variance between manufacturing facilities will be reduced
and overall product quality will rise or stay stable. Global integration of QMS is a key criterion in
ensuring that a firm's quality management program will be successful. When globally integrated, the
QMS can be utilized alongside other ERP modules, decisions to change suppliers or purchasing different
grades of materials can be made more quickly and employees can be more informed to make better

decisions. In an age where information flows freely, and ERP with QMS modules and strategic sourcing
modules can really make a huge difference in the way a business operates with its information.
Streamlined operations and better outcomes can be a hallmark of a well integrated and wide reaching
ERP system.

SRM and CRM

Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) are
two important systems that businesses integrate into their organization to have a better understanding of
their front and back end supply chain. SRM is the application that allows organizations to interact with
their suppliers. According to the Institute for Supply Management, Most supply professionals view
SRM as an organized approach to defining what they need and want from a supplier and establishing
and managing the company-to-company link to obtain these needs (Cavinato 1). On the other hand,
CRM is the application allowing businesses to interact with their customers. CRM is defined as a
business strategy that helps your business to better understand your customer, retain customers, provide
excellent customer service, win new clients and increase profitably (Beal 1). However, SRM is more
applicable to the pharmaceutical industry and holds higher concern than CRM.
SRM is a process that is essential in validating a pharmaceutical supply base. SRM is a five-step
process in which the industry must qualify, segment, measure, assess, and optimize its suppliers. The
pharmaceutical company must first qualify its supply base using a subset process of AQSCIR, which
stands for Assure supply, Quality suppliers, provide Service, Cost value of these select suppliers, provide
Innovation, and abide by the Regulatory environment. Once this pharmaceutical company has gone

through this phase, it must then segment the suppliers using portfolio analysis. The company would
place these suppliers in either one of four quadrants. The two most important quadrants are the
bottleneck and the strategic supplier quadrant. These are where pharmaceutical companies will focus on
active pharmaceutical ingredients, excipients and fillers, and possibly unique specifications of their
product that only a single source supplier can meet. The next step in the process is to create a scorecard,
using various metrics to assess what the company decided of qualifying and segmenting the suppliers.
Once those metrics are in place, assessment of the metrics will begin using benchmarking of similar
products and other methods of statistical analysis. The problem with this, however, is internally there are
no systems in place to keep track of the metrics, thus the supplier will have to relay the results to the
pharmaceutical company, and assessment of these metrics needs to be taken with a grain of salt. The last
step in the process is to then optimize the suppliers and figure out what else they can supply to the
business or any additional services that they can integrate.
Since pharmaceutical companies deal with more suppliers than customers, they tend to take SRM
with high regard in evaluating their suppliers and keeping track of their performance. CRM, however, is
not taken with equally stern attention. According to an interview with William McLaury, a professor at
Rutgers University who formerly worked at Novartis, It depends on the company, most
[pharmaceutical] companies dont dive deep into it [] they dont do a lot with CRM because they
typically sell to the wholesalers. The statement is true in that pharmaceutical companies would sell to
the wholesalers and the wholesalers would then sell and distribute the pharmaceuticals to pharmacies
and pharmacy benefit managers. On the contrary, pharmaceutical companies should still be looking at
their end customer base when evaluating target markets for a new drug. If a pharmaceutical company
wants to incorporate a CRM software system, they do have inherent issues, such as its usability. CRM
systems are usually difficult to use with its complexity and most of customer data acquisition is heavily

dependent on technology. Due to this, with each new advance in technology, [] customer
relationships are being managed electronically (Beal 1). All the data that is being absorbed into the
company is electronic and needs to be stored in a specified location. Thus, there are benefits of CRM
that could be useful to the organization. Before CRM systems, customer data was spread out across
various files, but now they can be stored in a single location. With this data now all stored in one
location, departments can collaborate with ease, and CRM systems help organization to develop
efficient automated processes to improve business processes (Beal 1). This improves visibility for
pharmaceutical companies in which they can see past the wholesaler to directly the consumer being
prescribed the drug.
In the article Good For What Ails: CRM in Pharmaceuticals, Customer relationship
management is important to every business in every industry, but it often seems that Big Pharma has a
bigger stake in the outcome of customer interactions (Lager 1). It takes a sizable investment to start
producing new medicines and in doing so it would take years for the drug to reach the market with only
a short period of time for exclusivity. That being said the pharmaceutical company has to optimize its
profits in that given time frame and if they do not understand their target market and forecast correctly, it
could be extremely detrimental to the company. The article also states it's long been considered too
resource-intensive to actively market new drugs to the entire medical community, so manufacturers have
to focus on what are known as key opinion leaders (Lager 1). A KOL is a respected physician who
influences his or her peers for a certain medical practice. A strong relationship with KOLs can thus help
pharmaceutical companies reach their target market. Pharmaceutical companies, however, cannot make
their relationship with KOLs look construed due financial and legal matters and thus have to regard
themselves in the confines of the law and ethical standards. A KOL is there to support the drug and its
effectiveness to his or her fellow peers and not be succumbed to marketing a drug for personal financial

gains. Therefore, pharmaceutical companies must not only look for CRM systems, but also KOL
management systems as well. Pharmaceutical industries must adhere to KOL management; KOL
management, then, is all about making sure each KOL gets just the right amount of attention; not so
little that they cool toward your products, but not so much that it taints the relationship. Traditional
CRM software isn't particularly well suited to this part of the pharmaceutical business, so specialists
have turned up to take that role (Lager 1). Thus, KOL systems and CRM systems need to be integrated
together to be fully effective and bring value to the pharmaceutical business.
Nonetheless, as lucrative as CRM software has been, is still not enough to obtain a satisfied
customer experience. Jeremy Cox, an analyst at research house Ovum, suggests that CRM solutions
such as these offer you "tactical" benefits [] when it comes to dealing with sales, marketing and
customer service. But to stay relevant to customers [] enterprises have to go further. The key to
success is to become a customer adaptive enterprise (CAE) (Rubens 1). A customer adaptive enterprise
is a business that delivers value based upon the changing consumer market by forging a deeper
understanding of the customers and how they relate to the organization in the first place. This
information, however, is usually placed in silos, which does not allow a fully integrated analysis and
scarce CRM solution is available that can obtain this information. Some CRM software can integrate
well with ERP systems and other back-end solutions, which may be useful in its endeavor to find true
customer needs and satisfaction, but this will not be a viable solution in a rapidly changing marketplace.
In the pharmaceutical industry specifically, it is difficult to adapt due to the long process of discovering
a drug to the point of its commercialization, yet pharmaceutical companies need to take into account
what the future marketplace will morph into and have some preventive actions and support strategies
taken in place to adapt and strive to bring a better customer experience.

DRP
DRP, also known as Disaster Recovery Planning, is one of the most important parts of a
companys enterprise system. For the pharmaceutical industry disasters can cause an organization losses
of millions of dollars within a short amount of time. Whether it is a man-made or a natural disaster, huge
disruptions can occur in the supply chain. Disasters will inherently happen and its important for
companies to have preventive strategies in place to hedge against impending losses. To understand the
importance of a DRP system we must understand first the type of disruptions that can occur. Secondly,
we must understand how to prevent/hedge against these disruptions and ways to ensure the most
efficient recovery and business resumption.
Disruptions in the supply chain are caused by a number of things. From an academic perspective
disasters are defined a sudden event, such as an accident or a natural catastrophe, which causes great
damage or loss of life. With this definition it is hard to pinpoint exactly what we are trying to explain as
a disaster. For our practical purposes we will define a disaster as any possibly significant event that
1

disrupts regular supply chain activity for an abnormal amount of time. We specify possible because of
the unpredictable nature of disasters. Acknowledging these events as unknown possibilities encourages
management to recognize the need for preventative measures. For example in DRP planning, we would
be concerned about a forecasted hurricane or tsunami. We would not care, however, about regular
occurring events such as rush hour traffic jams for DRP purposes. Specifically for the pharmaceutical
industry disasters can create disruptions in the supply chain that can result in millions of losses. If a

natural disaster hit an important supplier of the API for a product then millions in potential products to
be sold could be lost.
Now that we can sufficiently identify what a disaster is we must understand the ways to prevent
and or respond to them. In the event of disaster is it almost guaranteed the normal course of business
will be disrupted. For a pharmaceutical company, this may mean you do not have access to its
manufacturing site, or perhaps its transportation systems will be disrupted. Depending on the nature of
the disaster it may also not have key personnel to work on these issues. What this means is that a
company must have plans in place to bring these business functions back to a normal level so other areas
are not affected.
The types of ways to do this depend on the type of disaster that occurs. We can narrow this down
to two types: Preventative man-made disaster and Natural disaster. Preventative man-made disasters are
what they sound like which is any disaster that occurs from the actions of the company. An example of
this type of disaster would be an electrical fire in a manufacturing facility. Natural disasters are any
disasters that occur in nature such as a hurricane. Man-made disasters have the inherent ability to be
prevented to some extent. For example, an electrical fire can be prevented through adhering to building
standards and completing recurring audits on these standards. From knowing this we can deduce that the
best way to plan for man-made disasters is to prevent them. When this does not work we must still have
plans in place to recover from an event that ends up occurring anyway. Recovery plans are best suited to
natural disasters that cannot be prevented. While a hurricane cannot be prevented the costs associated
with the disaster can be reduced drastically with the right DRP in place.
In summary, global enterprise systems are the endoskeletons of any successful and profitable
pharmaceutical company. The various modules help businesses specialize ERP systems into a highly
advanced yet meaningful part of their daily operations. In the past, managing customer relations or

quality was to be a nightmare of paperwork and documentation, but with current technologies, all
functions of the business can be controlled and monitored through the ease of system use, streamlining
internal operations and reducing operational costs. Coupled with the ongoing innovation of enterprise
systems for use with the cloud and other technological advents, more and more businesses will have
access to this high level software. There are plenty risks associated with a system implementation.
Nonetheless, in a highly regulated pharmaceutical and life sciences industry the opportunities far
outweigh the risk and pitfalls. The future of global enterprise system systems is bright and due to its
unparalleled value in the pharmaceutical industry it should be regarded as a value driven investment for
the company, its suppliers and customers.

Appendix
Interview Questions for William McLaury:

1. How does a major pharmaceutical company go about selecting a global enterprise system
or other resource management system? Do companies utilize consulting before
integration?
2. How long is the integration process for ERPs?
3. Who oversees and coordinates integration?
4. What kind of interdepartmental coordination is required to make the integration work
properly?
5. What is a DRP for pharmaceutical companies?
6. What are the different types of ERP systems that pharmaceutical companies actually
utilize?
7. Are there any widely utilized or unused systems from this list? DRP, strategic sourcing,
QMS, CRM?
8. How do companies qualify ERPs for use internally? Is there any trial run, or is it a sales
pitch from the providing company?
9. Once an ERP is selected, will companies be able globally integration, or will the
integration be taken region by region?
10. What are the benefits of having a global ERP system in place?

11. What type of systems would companies use before an ERP is implemented?
12. What departments take part in deciding what ERP to select
13. How much do ERPs generally cost?
14. Is the cost/time investment usually worth it?
15. What are the big players in the ERP market?
16. Are there security risks associated with ERP implementation?

Exhibit 1:

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