What Are The Top 5 Business Issues Faced By Medical Device Manufacturers and Distributors, and How Does Microsoft Dynamics GP Help to Handle Those Issues?

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By Mike Kean, Altico Advisors

As the President of a company that specializes in Microsoft Dynamics GP systems for manufacturing and distribution with a sub-specialty in the medical device sector, I asked two of our Dynamics GP clients in the medical device sector to answer that question, i.e. how does Dynamics GP (formerly Great Plains) help them handle their top 5 issues.  They actually came up with 6 points each!  Here are their answers:

 Responses from Expert #1

 1.  Strict industry regulations.

The Medical Device industry must adhere to strict regulations.  Most prominent are FDA and ISO.   GP can help handle this issue by giving them an easy solution to tracking all processes and documentation.  For example, they must keep track of any revisions made to an original document whether it is a form to fill out or a documented procedure.  Microsoft Dynamics GP allows them to store all versions directly in the system.  The documentation can even be attached directly to a particular part or item.

 2.  Tracking leads/prospects.

Important to all industries, including Med Device.  The fact that Microsoft Dynamics CRM integrates with MS Outlook, can be accessed remotely, and can also be integrated with Dynamics GP is powerful/compelling from a business growth perspective.

3.  Inventory control.

Med Devices companies must have traceablity/tracking for all products made.  Microsoft Dynamics GP assists them keep in keeping  track of materials from inventory to inprocess to finished goods.

4.  Tracking quarantined items

Out of spec materials must be quarantined in the Med Device world.  The ability to make separate locations and/or bins in Microsoft Dynamics GP is a huge benefit to segregating quarantined materials/products.

5.  Inventory Control/Materials Planning

Microsoft Dynamics GP is an invaluable tool for knowing how much you have on hand and on order. 

6.  Reporting for Business Planning

 Dynamics GP offers management reporting that allows you to budget as well as to see what is selling and what is not.  It assists you in understanding what your cost drivers are by tracking all of the relevant information

Responses from Expert #2

 1.  Regulatory compliance
As far as FDA reporting requirements and the whole regulatory environment, Microsoft Dynamics GP does a good job of tracking the necessary information.

2.  Lot and serial number tracking

This is part of regulatory compliance but bears mentioning because it is one of the key elements of regulatory compliance.  Microsoft Dynamics GP does handle lot and serial number tracking.

3.  Component to parent/inheritance

This is also part of regulatory compliance.  To comply with the FDA requirements, it is critical to track which components are used in which finished products.  In the case of a recall, it is not enough to have data on the finished product only.

4.  FDA approval process for new clinical trials

This is actually handled outside of GP, but because GP is built on a platform that allows for integration with most third party applications, this is also a benefit of Dynamics GP.

5.  Inventory control in Microsoft Dynamics GP

This is not important for regulatory compliance, but for implementing business practices that reduce waste, reduce costly inventory excesses, reduce back orders and ensure that the inventory on hand meets demand. 

6.  Intellectual Property (IP)

Medical Device companies frequently have to track the royalties due to the owner of the IP, i.e. the concepts or inventions that are being used in the products they manufacture.  This is often a doctor, for example.  Dynamics GP handles the tracking of IP royalties.

By Altico Advisors, Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner for Manufacturing and Distribution serving New Hampshire (NH)

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