Global healthcare leader uses Aera Decision Cloud™ to improve the customer experience
This large and broadly based healthcare company has been striving to improve access and affordability, create healthier communities, and put a healthy mind, body, and environment within reach of everyone, everywhere for more than a 100 years. With products segment ranging from immunology, neuroscience, infectious disease, oncology, aesthetics, arrhythmias, diabetes care, ENT treatments, hernia surgery, surgical instruments, infection prevention, orthopedics, baby care, nutrition, oral healthcare, over-the-counter medicines, skin and hair care, vision care, to wound care, the company is present in over 150 countries with revenue over US$100 billion.
To provide a seamless end-to-end customer experience, the company needed a platform in place that is flexible, agile, and could adapt in near real time to customers' needs.
- Increased accuracy of delivery dates for a whole portfolio of diverse products
- Increased customer satisfaction and retention
- Reduced supply inefficiencies with the elimination of activities not associated with any demand
- Reduced excess inventory, improved stock turns, and shortened lead time
The company knew that in today’s business environment, customer perception is no longer just about the product alone, it’s the entire experience beyond the transaction. It holds itself to exacting customer experience promises of reliability, care, proactivity, and effortlessness for the customer.
One of the biggest challenges the company faced was to keep this promise with available-to-promise (ATP) estimations. Due to its wide and diverse portfolio of products, with different requirements, ways to place orders, and so on, it needed a platform in place that is cognitive, flexible, agile, and could adapt in near real time to customers’ needs.
The company also needed to improve its ATP fulfillment capabilities so that customers know when an order had been received, when it would be shipped, when it was on the way, and when it would be delivered. It recognized this level of customer service as both a competitive advantage and as the most important differentiator for its customers.
Aera Decision Cloud — Aera Available to Promise (ATP) Skill
Aera Crawlers — JDE, SAP JDBC, and flat files
The company partnered with Aera to deliver an ATP capability which could offer a specific ETA for each product, customer, and their orders. The challenge was to gain access to its data — within the organization there were dozens of ERP systems that would need to be crawled to provide full visibility.
It leveraged the native crawlers and writeback capabilities of the Aera Available-to-Promise Skill which helped get fast access to the data and drove creative insights and cognitive capabilities. Once harmonized, this data facilitated many different models to drive optimal ATP date calculation. This accurate and reliable information was then communicated both internally as a single source of truth and through various customer portals for the customers to see.
“Aera identifies problem areas that need fixing or remediation, in order to drive accuracy higher and higher. It is not a matter of turning an algorithm on and getting 95% accuracy right away. This iterative process has been about driving continuous improvement.”
-Product Line Leader, Autonomous Planning Products and Solutions
After implementing Aera Decision Cloud, the company’s ATP estimates and customer service levels have greatly improved becoming a competitive differentiator.
The company also saw an improved services levels and increased revenue generation by identifying supply shortfall, fixing through inventory reallocation to meet demand. Similarly, it reduced backorders through prioritization of orders based on supply availability.
Moving forward, the company is now looking to expand past the initial rollout which was to the medical device business to both the pharmaceutical and consumer goods portfolios. It is also looking at opportunities to utilize its data to provide automated recommendations for inventory placement to improve efficiency for customers.