Terumo Europe contributes to society by providing valued products and services in the healthcare market and by responding to the needs of patients and healthcare professionals. Terumo Europe is a core player in the EMEA healthcare market by providing best-in-class quality products and services.
This case zooms in on a native iOS application called the Consignment Scanning app, which purpose is to scan material/stock on location at the client’s warehouse by a Terumo sales representative. The scanned stock is used for invoicing purposes. At Amista we created a new version of the application. The original app had a lot of performance issues, mostly related to the scanning process. Scanning a barcode could take up to 10 seconds. There were also issues with the synchronization. The native iOS version uses the Scandit library, a lightning-fast barcode scanner that has a feature to do matrix scanning (scanning multiple barcodes concurrently and processing them). The app uses a CAP (SAP Cloud Application Programming Model) application as middleware for routing to both Terumo Aortic data that is stored in SAP S/4HANA Cloud and Terumo Europe data that is stored in the on-premise S/4HANA system.
At Terumo, the decision to undertake the consignment scanning application project was driven by a number of strategic business needs and technical challenges. Managing consigned inventory is a critical component of our business model and improving the ability to track this would benefit our business with increased operational efficiency, reduced costs and improved customer service.
We identified several key domains that would be impacted by the project, including finance, customer service, sales and logistics. In the finance area, we sought to streamline the billing process for consigned inventory, improve accuracy and shorten the billing cycle. In customer service, we aimed to improve our ability to track consigned inventory and optimize our consignment agreements. This could be achieved by our sales department, who would benefit from an enhanced user experience to quickly and accurately track consignment stock. And finally, in logistics, we wanted to improve our visibility into the location and status of consigned inventory, as well as the associated costs and revenue which results in an optimization of our overall inventory levels.
We selected SAP because of their proven track record in delivering scalable and robust solutions, their ability to integrate with our existing systems (including S/4 HANA and S/4 HANA Public Cloud), and their extensive experience in the industry. Building the mobile solution on the SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) which is a modular, cloud-based platform that enabled us to create and deploy our customized application. The modular architecture of SAP BTP allowed us to choose the specific services we need, providing a flexible and scalable solution that can adapt to our changing needs over time.
Undertaking the consignment scanning application project at Terumo was not without its key challenges. From the outset, we recognized that we would need to address several strategic business needs and technical difficulties in order to successfully implement the new system. In that sense, we need to acknowledge that every hospital is different. We supply products and services to a very diverse customer base where we want to offer tailored solutions while simultaneously maximizing a standardized internal workflow.
From a practical point of view, this meant that the app needed to
Achieving a fast barcode recognition is done in 2 ways: first we provided valuable input during development to the responsible SAP team to enhance the standard focus area of the camera (ViewFinder). They acknowledged and implemented our recommendation in the latest Fiori For iOS-package. And secondly, we opted for a Scandit-integration into the mobile application, further improving barcode capturing in challenging circumstances (low light, wide angles, damaged labels,..).
– Sigurd Segers, ICT Applications, Enterprise Architecture & Analytics Director
Using known yet innovative solutions from SAP (e.g. SAP BTP) was an important factor of success for the project as it allowed us to leverage SAP’s expertise and experience while also benefiting from cutting-edge technologies. This helped us to follow our strategy of keeping the core clean and simultaneously using the scalable BTP to build a customized solution.
Involving several teams from the start of the project was also crucial as it ensured that all relevant stakeholders were engaged and aligned on the project goals and objectives. This cross-functional collaboration between sales, customer service, IT, and our partner Amista helped to create an integrated approach that addressed the needs of the entire group.
The third key factor for success was the innovative mindset across the different teams as it fostered a culture of continuous improvement and encouraged teams to explore new ideas and technologies (e.g. Scandit integration).
One of the key lessons learned is to invest sufficient time and resources in testing the application in the field. Accompanying a sales rep provided valuable insights into their scanning operations in hospitals or other healthcare facilities. This first-hand experience helped to identify specific pain points and challenges that they face during the scanning process. By understanding these challenges, the IT-teams could better tailor the development and address these specific needs (scanning speed, synchronization time, offline capabilities). It also helped to build trust and rapport between the different teams, allowing for the opportunity to enhance the quick user adoption of the new mobile solution.
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