If innovation and data are the lifeblood of life sciences, digital tools and technology are at the heart. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems play a crucial role in centralizing important operational processes and pumping real-time, high-quality data into company systems and new digital technologies.

For this reason, Merck KGaA’s Healthcare division wanted a more agile and nimble platform to support fast decision-making, efficiency, growth and innovation. Digitalizing their business would open up new business models and create value for patients, customers, employees and business associates alike.

Building a digital backbone

First, Merck KGaA needed to replace its old ERP system with a new digital platform that would provide a compelling user interface, real-time data, strong analytics capabilities, and the speed to capitalize on new technologies. We teamed up with Merck KGaA to implement new processes and a fully integrated cloud-based SAP S/4HANA ERP system.

What Accenture did

The ERP solution integrates business planning capabilities to align Merck KGaA’s manufacturing supply with global demand. In addition to supply chain planning, it provides new finance, manufacturing, logistics and warehousing capabilities bolstered by robust reporting as well as SAP Cloud Platform apps. Accessing company analytics or operational data is made simple and easy through 250-plus apps on SAP Fiori.

We collaborated closely with the client across multiple locations during the agile delivery. The team brought to bear their knowhow of life sciences processes and regulatory requirements, as well as strong project management governance to make it a success. To get the project up and running quickly, we also used a proprietary SAP S/4 HANA accelerator that incorporates industry processes. The new solution is now live in the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium and Germany, with more countries to follow.

Scale the business and support growth by integrating new acquisitions more smoothly.

Improve regulatory compliance.

Gain greater operational transparency and real-time reporting to improve decision making.

Increase process efficiencies and effectiveness to reduce costs and improve the customer experience.

Enhance supply chain performance in terms of forecast accuracy, stock-out reductions, harmonized and automated S&O planning, and quality.

Match supply and demand on a global scale to reduce inventory levels and improve fulfillment.

Better monitor warehouse operations to ship medicines more quickly and serve customers more accurately.

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People and culture

Now, Merck KGaA can monitor financials and operations in real time and drive value from data analytics. Process cycles like month-end closure, demand planning and invoicing take less time, and the company has a new, compelling user-centric interface, which is especially important for the next-generation of employees.

In addition, the simplified user interface, coupled with training programs, have yielded extremely high user acceptance and adoption.

Value delivered

Merck KGaA now has the technology backbone to become a digitally operated company that can execute corporate processes instantly and with agility. Expected results include:

The reduction in IT costs since launch are representative of efficient business processes.

The reduction in inventory, thanks in large part to fast-cost-effective decision-making.

The increase of revenue since launch, through improved product development and getting medicines to patients quickly.

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