Towards the end of last year, Cipla – one of South Africa’s leading pharmaceutical manufacturers – commenced a move to its new state of the art warehouse and medicine distribution centre in Tableview in the Western Cape.
For Cipla, ensuring uninterrupted efficient delivery of its medicines to clients all around the country was crucial. Long-time partner, Cquential Solutions (Pty) Ltd., provided the intelligent warehouse management system that made it all possible.
Cquential CEO, Steve Mallaby, says the Cquential warehouse management system ensured that operations were transferred seamlessly and with minimal downtime.
“This required a balanced approach that was cognisant of the need to keep the old warehouse operations and processes going, continuing to service customers but at the same time setting up the new facility, configuring the system to handle new and different processes and moving stock into the facility.
“Cquential’s intimate knowledge of the business operations in both the old and the new facility, was a significant factor in ensuring the success of the move. Moreover, the fact that in the month of the move Cipla SA had its best month ever, with hugely increased volumes in sales – added additional pressure to the move,” says Mallaby.
Mallaby says the phenomenal accuracy of the Cquential solution greatly enhances Cipla Medpro’s audit processes, and assists it in complying with the various regulations that govern pharmaceutical suppliers. “It also provides the necessary muscle to enable Cipla Medpro to bid for and win large national tenders, such as the R2-billion contract with the Department of Health to supply antiretroviral drugs for the South African government’s HIV/ Aids programme from 2015 to 2017.
Another benefit is that the system now drives the process and represents the intellectual capital relating to warehouse management and distribution, a much less risky alternative to relying on the skills and memory of individuals.
Joseph Ludorf, supply chain executive director at Cipla Medpro, says Cquential was also extensively involved from the early stages of planning.
“Cquential provided the data which was utilised for the design and layout of the warehouse and racking systems, through to the mapping of the business processes in the new facility. Cipla involved Cquential from the concept phase throughout the move to the finalisation of this major project.
“The new warehouse has been carefully designed to provide us with the perfect distribution hub. But achieving all these efficiencies depends on the warehouse management systems’ ability to control incoming and outgoing stock with pinpoint accuracy, co-ordinate picking with the orders coming out of the ERP system, and ensure the right orders reach the courier.
“All of this has to happen in a space that is as large as three rugby fields, with pallet stacks as high as 15.6 metres. Cquential played a key role in enabling the move and continues to support our journey to get the right medicines to the right people at the right time.
“Cipla has been growing strongly since the Cquential system was put in and the system has proved capable of handling the increased volumes with ease while continuing to yield improved productivity and customer service,” concludes Ludorf.