On the move

Modern Pharmaceutical Company does not expect to grow the UAE drug market by deploying a mobile CRM but it does expect other business benefits. Colin Edwards feels much better about only waiting six hours instead of days for medicines to be delivered.

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By  Colin Edwards Published  May 1, 2007

He expects prescription medicine sales to increase by about 1% because of greater customer service and efficiencies. This, he says, will more than pay for the system. Consumer medication sales could increase by around 5%.

"Our CTC project has already begun to show signs of success," says Saji Oommen, general manager, Group IT, Al Batha Group. "Advancements in technology have meant that order processing cycles have increased in speed, but SAP's mobile CRM application allows us to maintain a leadership position, even in this fast changing environment."

The sales person now takes the order in the field and sends it via corporate GPRS directly to the warehouse where it is packed.

He points out that MPC's deployment of tablet PCs differs from the norm where the sales force, if not using paper order forms, is equipped with PDAs or handheld tools where orders are taken while on the road and only uploaded to the core system, SAP in this case, at the end of the day.

"Primarily orders in this region are taken on paper. There are a few PDAs around, but they are miles away from a fully integrated CRM solution. It is basically a dumb terminal. You don't become a customer consultant that way," says Felton.

Oommen adds that PDAs are used by group companies but mainly for taking orders. There is little or no CRM functionality with them and they are not lined wirelessly online to the central SAP system.

"We have a 360 degree view of the customer inside the tablet PC. They can take this to the field. They have all the information about the customer - previous transactions, financial data, pricing, information about sales promotions. We can also access the system online. SAP is still in the background," says Oommen.

Several companies in the region that implemented SAP ERP back in 2000 were now looking at SAP CRM, and the market in the region was expected to grow 20% year on year on a year for the next five years according to Essam Enany, president of SAP Arabia.

"Other companies are struggling to implement something as advanced as this CRM because they don't have SAP in the background. Their financial system is not necessarily linked to their sales system," Felton says, adding that the system has helped the company become the partner of choice.

Project details

Who?

Modern Pharmaceutical Company.

What?

SAP mobile CRM.

When?

February 2007.

Why?

Its goal is to transform the sales force from order takers to business partners to the pharmacists to ensure the efficient delivery of medicine.

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