Sounding Off on ERP/CRM Software
The Project: Find an ERP software solution that will enhance operational efficiency while also reducing costs.
The Solution: Syspro’s integrated ERP/CRM offering provides a robust package that satisfies the requirements while also helping to facilitate regulatory compliance.Sound Surgical Technologies manufactures ultrasonic devices utilized in aesthetic body contouring procedures. The company is known for its patented, innovative technology known as Vaser (vibration amplification of sound energy at resonance). The Vaser System represents a major advance in the application of ultrasonic technology to cosmetic procedures. Vaser technology was designed to efficiently emulsify fatty tissue with a minimal amount of energy, thereby achieving the desired result with reduced trauma to the tissue matrix. Traditional liposuction involves the avulsion of fatty tissue, which is physically demanding on the physician and traumatic to important tissues. Ultrasound energy employed by the Vaser System fragments fat cells on contact, while conserving important tissues, such as nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue vital to optimal recovery and consistent outcomes.
The Vaser System received FDA clearance for aesthetic body contouring in September 2002. To date, over 30,000 procedures have been performed worldwide using this system. In all these procedures, Sound Surgical is aware of no serious complication attributable to use of the system.
According to Michaela Higgins, Sound Surgical Technologies Corporate Controller, “Sound Surgical products reflect an emphasis on science and quality. We provide advances in both technology and technique designed to promote precision and efficiency for the benefit of both patient and physician.”
The company had been using contact management software, but early in 2004 decided it needed an ERP (enterprise resource planning) solution to add operational efficiency and reduce costs. After an extensive search, Sound Surgical settled on Syspro’s integrated ERP/CRM (customer relationship management) solution. Says Higgins, “Though I didn’t work at Sound Surgical Technologies at the time, I know that the robustness of the Syspro manufacturing solution was a key factor in the decision to go with Syspro.” She also notes that management liked the fact that ERP and CRM were totally integrated. Today, thirty-one employees utilize Syspro ERP and CRM on a full-time basis.
Sound Surgical Technologies fills hundreds of orders per month to customers all over the world. The company builds basic product to stock according to past sales history and customizes the product to customer specification upon receipt of purchase orders. According to Higgins, “The movement information in Syspro also helps us forecast our replenishment rates.”
Higgins appreciates the fact that the software enables “better visibility into operations” and points to the opportunity to gain a lot of “information at a glance,” particularly inventory status. Syspro multi-level kitting and trial kitting are also helpful, she notes, in determining if sufficient inventory or sub-assemblies exist to make completed product.
Higgins also notes that since Sound Surgical Technologies is an FDA-regulated company, the ERP and CRM software are instrumental in the company’s ability to comply with FDA reporting requirements. Because the Lot Traceability Module allows lots to be traced by stock, lot, and serial numbers, both upwards and downwards, from source component lots to subassemblies and final assembly, Sound Surgical can easily track and replace any defective materials. In addition, Syspro receiving and inspection functionality are instrumental to FDA compliance. “We are an FOB [free on board] origin company that cannot pull inventory into a warehouse until it has been inspected,” she says. By providing the ability to automate the internal order form, the CRM software has enabled Sound Surgical to enhance reporting capabilities through the use of custom fields, while still retaining hard copies for audits. The CRM comprehensive service ticket has also greatly increased the company’s ability to report on customer issues, and along with the defects module, enables ready reporting on product deficiencies and remedies.
Summarizing Sound Surgical Technologies’ experience with Syspro software, Higgins notes, “In short, I think that Syspro is a good tool. Any drawbacks result primarily from not using it properly.” She emphasizes that she hopes to enhance the utilization of Syspro functionalities through the company’s technical support and subscribing to its Learning Channel.
Sound Surgical exemplifies the importance of selecting ERP software that not only adds to operational efficiencies, but which also aids in facilitating FDA and other regulatory compliance. The company also signifies the desirability of implementing a solution that offers ERP and CRM integration to obtain real-time insight into operations and minimize data duplication.
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