ILLUMITI INNOVATION BLOG

Hit the road: SAP makes life easier for Medical Device Distributors

By: Neal Johnie
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Mobility is a fact of life in the medical device business. Chances are you have a large force of salespeople and technicians out on the road, dealing with customers who expect detailed product knowledge and highly personalized service. How well is your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system keeping up with that mobile reality?

For starters, the salespeople you count on need insight into inventory. By opening a mobile app, they should be able to see what’s available and whether they can promise a product to a customer. SAP Business One provides that insight at a high level of detail from anywhere at any time, plus a host of other features that give your sales team maximum mobility.

Take pricing. As anyone in the field knows, there’s no one price for an EKG machine or a box of scalpels. With that in mind, Business One’s mobile app shows each customer’s contractual pricing. A salesperson can also use the app to send the client a quote or place an order directly. All of this information goes into SAP so you can see your reps’ activity in real time.

For salespeople equipped with an iPad, Business One offers a full product catalogue. Like someone shopping for a car, a customer may have a tough time deciding between, say, several different models of ventilator. The iPad app lets you compare and contrast those products with the client. Again, you can deliver a quote or place an order with the click of a button.

If a transaction requires approval from head office, a manager can sign off on it via the mobile app without logging into the ERP system. They might get an alert saying, “Jessica wants to sell $10,000 worth of orthopedic pins, but the customer is over their credit limit. Should we go ahead?” Skipping the login step means quicker decisions.

Likewise, managers can make any report in SAP available on the app. Business One also lets you create a schedule for emailing documents automatically—for instance, a quarterly report to the sales team. No one needs access to the ERP to receive such material, so this feature can save you the cost of registering unnecessary users.

In addition, with Sales Analysis reporting users can easily access any KPI's or dashboards on their mobile device. With this tool your sales team can easily determine which products have been purchased by which customers and which products are moving the fastest across all customers. They can even receive notifications about new products or promotions.

On the service side, SAP makes it easier for technicians in the field to do their job. By checking the mobile app, they can see what service calls they’re scheduled to make that day. The app lets them provide updates on the call and keep a visual record, too. For example, if the technician arrives at a call to find that a product has been vandalized, they can send a photo that goes back into the ERP.

Another advantage of the Business One mobile app is the ability to schedule alerts. Besides keeping track of consignment inventory, salespeople in more remote areas must store product at a location such as their home office—not an ideal situation for a vendor of perishable goods. The mobile app gives reps the option of setting alerts to warn that products in their possession are about to expire.