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Client Spotlight: MannKind Corporation

Merit Solutions' client MannKind Corporation (Nasdaq: MNKD) is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of therapeutic products for patients with diseases such as diabetes.

We recently sat down with Van Kwok, Associate Director of MannKind, and asked him to discuss his partnership with Merit Solutions.

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Georgia Nut Company - Dynamics AX Testimonial

We recently sat down with Jack Arends, Director of Finance for Merit Solutions / Microsoft Dynamics AX client Georgia Nut Company, and asked him a couple questions related to his partnership with Merit Solutions, and the value they have received since implementing Microsoft Dynamics AX. See what Jack had to say!

Who is Georgia Nut Company? 

Georgian Nut Company is a food manufacturer of confection and snack items. Our capabilities include sugar shelling, panning, enrobing, roasting as well as packaging into form & fill bags, jars, and zip lock bags. Our manufacturing capacities are in excess of 50,000,000 pounds annually with packaging of individual bags / jars in excess of 125,000,000 units. Sales come from 4 distinct markets including industrial ingredients, contract manufacturing, private label, and bulk. We have 150,000 square foot manufacturing facility and 180,000 square distribution facility; employing 300 employees between the two facilities.

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I Will Personally Chop It’s Head Off

On this cold but sunny morning, we could barely fit forty people into the board room. For months we had surfaced goals and future state processes, fit gapped to the software, identified the communication and organization adoption pieces, scoped and budgeted the project, committed resources and gained board approval.

The project kick off meeting was timely and intros went well. The presentation was mostly on target to the lean principles adopted and espoused by the company, and we had meaningful discussions on how we will collectively organize to get the project completed.

Finally, the C.E.O. chose his spot to make sure everybody understood why, from his perspective, the project was taking place and what was at stake in the balance of organizational success.

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3 Challenges with the Old ERP Software Reseller Model

In a traditional ERP implementation, companies select their ERP package and vendors first based on presentations by marketing people, sales demos, and an overview of the benefits typically received by customers using those systems. Following this decision, companies rush into implementing the software based on how the system operates, and using practices the vendor has learned from previous implementations.

We've found there are three big challenges when approaching business transformation projects in this old ERP / Software Reseller model.

Lean and ERP in Production Environments

Whether your manufacturing facility focuses on discrete, process or mixed mode manufacturing, applying lean techniques can create major improvements. Even in highly regulated industries such as medical device manufacturing, there is a place for all key lean techniques.

Some lean advocates try to eliminate ERP and other software systems on the grounds that they add non-value added steps to the management process, but this is not the case. Even highly lean companies use ERP for calculating long range demand and to assist in replenishing materials. In addition, lean companies use forecasting software for S&OP and financial and cost accounting solutions for reporting. Regulatory compliance and tracking and tracing units and components is simpler when automated, and process documentation is easily communicated using software components.

Here are a few ways that software and lean coexist.

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Job Opening: MeritCare Business Systems Analyst

Merit Solutions is looking for a new “face” to transform our customer support interaction experience. As the MeritCare Business Systems Analyst you will be responsible for building relationships with multiple key customers, acting as an extension of their teams in order to provide top-notch technical support and analysis.

While the attire may be casual, the environment will be fast-paced. Merit Solutions is a growing company currently expanding their commitments within their MeritCare support. You must enjoy learning new things and be self-driven to do whatever it takes to provide our customers with best-in-class service, constantly exemplifying the Merit core values of integrity and high quality.

Continue Reading Job Opening: MeritCare Business Systems Analyst.

Osmotica Pharmaceutical Customer Spotlight

We recently had the opportunity to speak with Donna Lenning (IT Director) and Kelly Moore (QA Documentation Manager) from Osmotica Pharmaceutical, a global drug delivery company based in the US.

Donna and Kelly were gracious enough to discuss their experiences working with Merit Solutions, the benefits they have received from MAXLife's Pharmaceutical ERP for Microsoft Dynamics AX functionality, along with the Quality Document Management and Training and Certification Management MAXLife SharePoint applications.

We hope you enjoy their feedback! 

Don't Be Scared!

By now you’ve most likely heard the numerous horror stories of botched ERP implementations and the devastating effects they can have on an organization’s success. Some executives are so terrified of these spooky tales that they remain imprisoned by their out-dated, work-around, and manual business systems and processes.

Business transformations can sound “scary”, but they don’t have to be a nightmare! In fact, they should be rewarding and exciting. Here are ten tips on how you (and your users) can survive the transformation:

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Don't Put Off an ERP Upgrade

ERP systems extend into nearly every aspect of a business, and the risk of business disruption related to the ERP system is one that most companies will avoid as long as possible. As a result, many companies delay upgrading their ERP systems longer than they should.

But these companies are ignoring the many opportunities that are available while running on newer releases of an ERP system.

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6 Steps to Improving Supply Chain Visibility

Nothing affects a company’s ability to compete more than the agility of its supply chain, but supply chain agility is dependent on visibility. Supply chain visibility is something that everybody talks about, but they seldom give you concrete information on how to achieve it.

Follow these six actionable steps to increase visibility in your supply chain and you’ll see major improvements in your key metrics.

  1. Bring customers and suppliers into the forecast process
  2. Adopt EDI or another rapid communication method
  3. Open a portal
  4. Treat outsourced operations like in-house work centers
  5. Eliminate middlemen and non-value add processes
  6. Foster a relationship of open partnership
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