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Unifarco – Production planning in the pharmaceutical sector

Manages strong production growth with CyberPlan

The Company

 

Unifarco is a joint-stock company founded and formed by pharmacists who gave it life in 1982 at the foot of the Belluno Dolomites Park. The company develops a range of cosmetic, dermatological, nutraceutical and make-up products, which are supplied to over 4,400 pharmacies customers throughout Europe.

 

The Challenge

Following many years of strong growth, Unifarco closes 2017 with an increase of 23% in the consolidated turnover in Italy, compared to 2016. The rapid and important growth in terms of products made and the breadth of the product portfolio led Unifarco to assess whether the process and the tools used for production planning were able to support this strong expansion. In fact, a growth of this size, if not adequately supported by production planning, is likely to lead to frequent stock-outs.

Production planning was previously managed with the use of an Excel file, but it was no longer sufficient to adequately manage material and production capacity. “After a series of in-depth analyzes done by the internal team, and with the support of an external consultant, we came to the conclusion that we needed to change because the used solution was not adequate for Unifarco, therefore we started to look around a bit.”

In Unifarco, we searched for a solution which could provide an objective and non-subjective analysis. Planning using spreadsheets in fact required some personal experience, which made the analysis both individual and non-impartial.

 

The solution

The search for a way to solve the situation started with the search for an implementation of the management software. Soon this route proved to be impractical due to technical reasons for the construction of ERP systems.

The word of mouth came from other manufacturing companies as well as from the same supplier of the ERP suggested to turn their attention and energy to a departmental software, and not an ERP. More specifically, the indicated software was an APS, which is the most advanced software for planning and scheduling production. The research thus turned to a solution that was proven by other companies and with a history behind it, customized and adapted around the company but not a new solution created specifically for Unifarco, so as to ensure continuity and assistance for the future developments.

The software selection process soon showed an APS solution as the most suitable to sustain Unifarco’s needs over time: CyberPlan.

The CyberPlan project started with the creation of a prototype on the real corporate data to be presented to the management. This phase allows to carry out a first analysis that allows the company to know the software and the real potential.

Once the prototype was approved, all the data were introduced and CyberPlan was integrated into the management system. Once the two systems have been integrated, the processes have been refined.

CyberPlan went live in 6 months of project, within the established times and costs. The trust established with Cybertec and the potential of CyberPlan pushed Unifarco to undertake a second project to extend CyberPlan up to the coverage of the demand planning, budget and forecast processes.

CyberPlan has been perfectly integrated with the company management system with automated procedures that have made it possible to eliminate the need to use Excel sheets. The ERP system passes to CyberPlan data such as personal data, cycles, sales orders, etc. In CyberPlan the best production plan is created with attention to the stock outs, and the production and purchase proposals are reported on the ERP system. In this cycle for Unifarco it is important to have instant alerts on the feasibility of the plan for the management of human resources and machines.

Thanks to this integration, the time needed for planning has also decreased: once the proposals have been frozen, in addition to having already instantaneous alerts on their feasibility, a series of missing reports have been created based on the frozen proposals.

Moreover, for Unifarco it was essential to have a system that allowed an objective analysis and not dependent on subjectivity. Analysis of an Excel file naturally required some experience and knowledge and therefore became subjective. Today a part of the activities is done by other people and therefore also from the company point of view there is greater security even in times like this of continuous growth in double figures in which being able to have a non-subjective instrument is fundamental.

 

Results

The advanced planning and scheduling solution of the CyberPlan production has brought numerous benefits in a short time. In particular benefits such as:

  • Strong reduction of the stock out both in terms of number and in economic terms;
  • Rapid ROI thanks to the considerable reduction in stock breakages;
  • Strong increase in the level of service;
  • Impartiality and objectivity of the analysis related to production;
  • Reduction of the workload for the planning operators and the time needed for planning;
  • Greater security of the planning and scheduling process;
  • CyberPlan management of various sales channels (ordinary, promotions, production campaigns) and forecasts and the creation of a communication channel between production and sales;
  • Greater ease in coordinating production and packaging.

In addition to this, an automation process was created in the creation of production and purchase proposals as well as for the creation of automatic alerts regarding the feasibility of the plans and the workload for the resources.

 

More info

For years, strong growth, Unifarco closes 2017 with an increase in consolidated turnover in Italy of 23% compared to 2016. The rapid and important growth in terms of products made and the breadth of the product portfolio led Unifarco to assess whether the process and the tools used for production planning were able to support this strong expansion. In fact, a growth of this size, if not adequately supported by production planning, is likely to lead to frequent stock-outs.

 

Endorsement

We chose CyberPlan for a set of things. In the first place, we are impressed by its intuitive and malleable graphics and by the coverage of the processes we need without the need for special customizations. In addition, CyberPlan is well known in the industry and we were strongly advised by our management consultants and before choosing it we also contacted companies that already used it and we had all positive feedback. “

Patrizia Zanussi
Patrizia Zanussi
Production Planning Manager

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