CW Pharmaceuticals harnesses technology for greater integration, better production management, lower inventory costs

CW Pharmaceuticals, a premium contract manufacturer of cosmetics and personal care products, has linked the various departments and functions of its business so effectively that decision-making, access to information and supply chain efficiencies have been optimised to the point that the company’s General Manager, Zach Moolman, says it feels as though the entire company is sitting in one room.

The high level of integration, control, visibility, and the inventory management efficiencies achieved by the growing manufacturing company are, according to Moolman, due to the deployment of SAP Business One, an integrated business management tool for mid-sized businesses.

“Working on SAP Business One is almost like everybody sitting in one room. It is a fully integrated solution that is easy to understand and links various business functions together to effectively manage the supply chain and ultimately receive reports that would add invaluable knowledge to management decision-making and even decision-making in middle levels.

“The solution has provided us with a customised solution for procurement, as CW Pharmaceuticals prides itself on quick turnaround times. We therefore work on very tight schedules and our MRP system was optimised to address our specific requirements.

“In terms of inventory, as is the same for everybody else in this industry, it can be tough tracking stock that is seen as slow moving, and keep track of what the value is. SAP Business One has excellent modules to calculate and keep track of stock as it sits in the warehouse or travels through our system,” he says.

CW Pharmaceuticals was established in the late 1990s as a small manufacturing entity, with the sole purpose of developing and manufacturing Placecol skin care products. By implementing a meticulous approach to quality and service, the company grew, and started investing in suitable equipment and well-trained staff to enable it to compete in the contract manufacturing arena and expanded business operations to support the growing production facility.

Clients who wanted to produce private brands to retail both locally and internationally approached CW Pharmaceuticals, wanting the same particular service and quality that the company soon became known for. Since then, it has expanded to proudly serve numerous clients.

In 2008, CW Pharmaceuticals moved into new facilities in Centurion, providing more room for storage and production, which clients regularly require. In 2011, the company was looking for a better way to manage production and inventory costs. “We realised that we would need software that can handle the process and workflow that we require, and run accounting in the background while we do what we do best, manufacture!” says Moolman.

The company decided to implement SAP Business One, the enterprise resource planning (ERP)  solution for mid-sized companies, on the advice of Bluekey Software Solutions, which specialises in the implementation of the solution.

“SAP Business One is a business management solution designed specifically for small and midsize businesses,” Warwick Hopcroft of Bluekey explains. “Used by more than 88 000 SMEs worldwide, it’s an affordable, easy-to-use way of managing critical business functions across sales, distribution, financials, manufacturing, inventory, purchasing, production and service management – all in a single integrated software solution.

“For CW Pharmaceuticals, SAP Business One is a great fit. It is a proven solution for all chemical businesses; with existing application in paints and coatings, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, cosmetics, primary and speciality chemicals.

“SAP Business One provides complete support for the key chemical industry business processes of batch and formula management; material requirements planning for multilevel production process; tracking and reporting on regulatory compliance,” he says.

The solution was installed while CW Pharmaceuticals’ business continued uninterrupted. On the financial side, the accountant was guided by Bluekey to enable a seamless switchover between the bookkeeping systems at the right point in time.

“The team at Bluekey has a good knowledge of supply chain, and responded with expertise and logical processes tailored to suit our business. I am impressed that we were able to come up with ideas in terms of reporting and make our system work for us to deliver on our KPIs by customising marketing and manufacturing documents to contain key information for business decision-making.

“Our skills and confidence as a team with SAP Business One is at a point where we can expand and refine our workflow integrations and ask even more of the system,” concludes Moolman.