Carbogen Amcis AG

Manufacturing
Microsoft Dynamics AX

“The long partnership with AlfaPeople enabled us to upgrade fast with a minimum of redevelopment and a high level of conservation of developed functionality. Combination between Dynamics AX and AXFire allows us to create our reports by ourselves very easy and without programming involved. And to top it, from one place for the whole company around the world. “

Pirmin Bercher, Head of IT Operations

Business Needs

Carbogen Amcis is a leading service provider and part of the Dishman Pharmaceuticals & Chemicals Ltd. Carbogen Amcis provides services for product and process development including commercial production of ingredients for the pharmaceutical and bio-pharmaceutical industry. As a member of the Dishmangroup Carbogen Amcis is in the position to offer global services into a global market from their manufacturing sites in Europe and Asia.

High operational excellence and quality is a keyfactor in Carbogen Amcis business and is been guaranteed by state-of-the-art facilities that operate under Good Labaratory Practice (GLP) and Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP). Carbogen Amcis is inspected by SwissMedic, the French Health Authority (ANSM) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on a regular basis. By the moment Carbogen Amcis has 650 employees. From these about 300 are chemists of which 40% holds a PhD in Chemistry.

The old ERP solution Dynamics AX 3.0. was several versions behind the actual AX version and thus were at the of the life cycle. Also the module “Swiss Pay Roll for AX 3.0” was no longer supported by the Microsoft Partner and thus legal change requirements would have become an issue. With regards to the 14-year-old hardware, Carbogen Amcis considered whether or not it would make sense to purchase new hardware for an old ERP Solution. Moreover, the existing hardware reached performance and memory limits and there was no potential to improve the existing hardware in a sensible way.

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Carbogen Amcis also realized that the actual and future company requirements (new technology) could not be satisfied by the old Dynamics 3.0 ERP-Solution. The new functions and features and tools which are available in the new version of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 provide added value to the Company.

These main criteria encouraged Carbogen Amcis to embark on the upgrade / technical migration to Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2.

Furthermore, Carbogen Amcis wanted to have an in-house ERP application which is scalable and expandable with new functionality and modules. With AXFire (Dynamics AX Connector to OfficeatWork template management) Carbogen Amcis implemented a solution which allows to create and customize their Dynamics AX reports without programming knowledge, putting look and feel and data content back at the fingertips of the non-IT minded business user. This ensures Carbogen Amcis business users can independently of the ERP Partner streamline and optimize their data analyses, KPI generation and thus ensures that the reports are always representing the actual needs of the whole group. Additional functionalities of AXFire like individual text blocks (AXBlaze) and external reporting utility gives to Carbogen Amcis bigger added value for the whole group; the formal and legal needs of reports, ERP-generated documents like invoices vary vastly between the different regions and service models.

Solution

Carbogen Amcis is working for the pharmaceutical and bio-pharmaceutical industry and also operates different industry specific databases. All these databases are implemented in or are interfaced with the ERP System. These added data tables and the interfaces had to be migrated and tested in parallel.

To upgrade and test the upgraded system the existing productive system was duplicated. This copy entails the application directory and database dump as a base for the code upgrade and data migration.

The business process descriptions, training manuals and the test scripts for the process controls after the upgrade had to be actualized with textual adaptations but also by replacing all the print screens of the integrations test system. Also, Carbogen Amcis internal Standard Operating Procedures, a regulatory requirement for organizations operating under GMP and GLP, had to be reviewed and where needed adapted to reflect changed business processes.

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From a code perspective all the documentation in particular the list of the old and not used customizing sources had to be cleaned up after the upgrade. The final step consisted of the installation of the complete system and initiate the operation of the system environment for test / productive use (according to Carbogen Amics’ and Microsoft’s system requirements).

Based on the very long and positive experience with Microsoft technology, Carbogen Amcis knew that Microsoft Dynamics AX offers possibilities to connect third party products with unidirectional and bidirectional interfaces to the ERP System and thus the integration into their landscape would be achievable and further interfaces would most likely not be hindered from the Microsoft side of things.

Also trust in the implementation partner is a huge advantage and very important to cut through the inevitable hiccups and problems. Carbogen Amcis collaborates for years with AlfaPeople and it was clear, due to the very good performance and knowledge of AlfaPeople, that these projects would be done with AlfaPeople. AlfaPeople offers also, through the global presence on the market and know-how in other industries, an ideal partnership with Carbogen Amcis.

Carbogen Amcis relies on know-how transfer from their experienced partner to the internal IT experts. Thus they have their own support and development department and execute everything except resource intensive or very specialist activities in house.

Requirements summarised:

  • New technology
  • New hardware
  • New cost module
  • Forward looking solution

Benefits

Costs and profitability

The upgrade to the new version of Dynamics AX allwed Carbogen Amcis to take a step to come closer to the standard, which is supported by Microsoft. As a matter of fact all compliance and legal requirements are already included. This reduces the costs of additional implementation.

Added value

Officeatwork and the Dynamics AX Connector AXFire makes Carbogen Amcis independent from external programmers for reports and connectivity. Business users or internal IT can make changes on the AX-Reports by themselves, simply and fast. This also increases the reaction time for adaptation to business changes.

Future oriented technology

The powerful and future oriented Microsoft technology of Dynamics AX makes Cargogen Amcis competitive and ensures the position as leader in their market.

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