POPS development

Production planning automation for a leading international pharmacy-led health and beauty group

The Client:
BCM (Boots Contract Manufacturing) is a proud member of Alliance Boots, a leading international, pharmacy-led health and beauty group delivering a range of products and services. BCM is also Europe’s biggest health and beauty contract manufacturer, with over 100 years as part of the Boots family, producing around a third of all Boots products. With over 2,000 people engaged on developing new products and technologies, BCM works in close partnership with manufacturers and pharmacists including some of the biggest (and most glamorous!) names in the business. Alliance Boots is committed to improving health in the local communities and helping customers and patients to look and feel their best.

The Situation:

The Technical group at D-10 Boots Contract Manufacturing (BCM) followed a complex process to generate factory documents for each product, which involved merging Bills of Material (BOM) data from MFG/PRO legacy software with a MS-Word template. The Technical group used to amend this template and a paper copy of this factory document which was then passed round various teams in BCM for formal approval. Once approved, the process of locating the correct factory document(s) and producing the specific work order (WO) was time consuming and inefficient manual process. BCM IT decided to automate this manual process through a custom software solution.

The Requirement:

BCM were seeking an IT services partner who were established players in custom applications development, well versed with manufacturing processes and had proven credentials in Microsoft platform. BCM invited JKT to demonstrate their custom application development capabilities using Microsoft technology and provide a commercial quote to develop POPS (Production Order Printing System). BCM wanted the partner who could demonstrate:

  • Strong technology experience in Microsoft technology, ASP, .Net, C#
  • Sound understanding of manufacturing processes and MFG/PRO (QAD)
  • Exceptional focus on quality and engineering
  • Cost effective, global delivery capability

BCM shared their high level requirements for the web based custom POPS solution which were:

  • Create, store and approve Factory Document electronically
  • Create WO documents electronically by merging the original factory documents with WO data extracted from MFG/PRO
  • Print WO for the production team
  • Improve access privilege and security

The Solution:

An initial team based in one of our Offshore Development Centres, worked with BCM IT in Nottingham to understand the BCM IT application architecture, business processes, application interfaces and technology stack.

Based on the above requirements and past experience JKT recommended a fixed priced development for the entire POPS solution using Visual Studio 2000, .Net framework, SQL client and IIS. JKT then successfully delivered the POPS project in less than 6 months, primarily capitalising on the quality and value of its offshore facility.

JKT’s credentials:

JKT, with more than two decades of experience in developing and maintaining IT applications, has a proven track record of developing custom software solutions in Microsoft, Progress, QAD, SAP and Oracle. JKT undertake applications development, consulting and solution delivery assignments that have repeatedly delivered best-fit solutions for our clients. Having worked with many Fortune 500 clients in the manufacturing sector, JKT has experience in developing various bolt-on systems, Customs & Excise modules, Bill-of-Materials and Sales Order processing modules.

What was achieved:

By leveraging JKT’s global delivery capability, BCM was able to substantially reduce the overall IT spends on the development of POPS. Additionally, the use of JKT enabled BCM IT to focus on the run & maintain operations.

Highlights of JKT’s Solution:
  • Seamless integration with the existing systems
  • Proper change management process to handle additional requirements
  • Significant improvement in value for money by utilising JKT’s 80-20 offshore delivery model
  • Project delivered to timelines and quality standards with predictable cost
  • Strong and secure IT and network infrastructure in a highly modern ODC

The web based POPS solution brought significant automation to the overall production planning process, reducing cycle time and rendered the old paper based process obsolete. POPS enabled significantly better control and visibility of production data with numerous business benefits.

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