In 2010 it became clear that Ypsomed needed to promote e-Commerce in Germany. A standalone e-Shop was already operational, but all data was manually exported and assembled to complete the order process. The experiment highlighted two points:
(1) a substantial economic potential and (2) the necessity for automation. Otherwise, the transaction volume would quickly surpass the workforce capacity. Hence, re-doing the Magento e-Shop meant it had also to be integrated into Ypsomed’s ERP. With a total of 900 licenses for 1,050 employees, the SAP ERP is an essential component of the company’s IT strategy. Therefore, Ypsomed first looked at SAP NetWeaver PI to solve its online integration challenge. It was a priority to find a lean tool for process integration that would allow Ypsomed to follow a rapid and incremental approach to establish its e-Commerce strategy. Not lending itself to an approach based on speed and simplicity, SAP’s own integration platform was eventually ruled out.
About Ypsomed Holding
Ypsomed is a worldwide leading independent developer and manufacturer of custom-made self-administration injection systems and the supplier of pen needles for the treatment of diabetes, growth disorders or infertility, as well as for other therapeutic areas. Ypsomed is headquartered in Burgdorf, Switzerland, and employs approximately 1,050 employees.
- Process integration & automation are essential growth engines. With E2E we have the perfect partner to stay in control as we re-wire our business processes.
- The E2E Bridge is the organic glue which integrates our processes with the central SAP system. Its lean and transparent approach keeps all stakeholders involved.
To avoid substantial investments and the loss of time, Ypsomed identified E2E’s glueware to be best suited for step-by-step process integration based on its existing application landscape. In contrast to SAP’s own middleware, the E2E Bridge provided a more neutral approach to integrate SAP and third party software, an essential capability in light of Ypsomed’s plans to integrate over time many of the individual software packages it uses into its ERP.
The E2E Bridge delivered unprecedented flexibility to cope with unforeseen events. By way of example, in January 2011, the US Federal Drug Administration announced a surprise audit, which locked-up a substantial amount of resources. Hence, the project had to be functionally split in two phases. During the first phase, stock data was transferred from the ERP into the e-Shop. Following the audit, the reverse direction was implemented. The model-based approach fostered a closer dialog between business and IT. This proved to be invaluable, as many requirements for local adaptations according to health insurance regulations became only known during project implementation. The possibility for absorbing late modifications to requirements based on a single source of truth between specification and production system continues to improve the collaboration between technical and non-technical stakeholders.
Today, 50% more orders are being processed with the same number of co-workers, even though the e-Shop re-launch was hardly ever advertised.
Results & Benefits
- 50% more orders processed with the same number of staff
- Lean approach with rapid, incremental improvements based on the existing IT landscape
- Platform neutrality requires no additional investments to integrate third-party applications
- Model-based methodology fosters close collaboration between business and IT stakeholders
- Flexibility to change project setup in-flight without additional cost in response to external events