Cosmaceutical Research Lab, Inc
Case Study: Cosmaceutical Research Labs
Industry: Personal care and OTC pharmaceutical products
Location: Surrey, British Columbia
• Replace non-integrated systems
• Eliminate duplicate data entry
• Improve inventory control
• Automate lot tracking
BatchMaster Enterprise ERP Software
• 18-22% increase in manufacturing efficiency
• Reduced material holding cost
• Improved inventory accuracy
• Improved (faster) customer service
BatchMaster Helps Contract Manufacturer Control Inventory and Increase Efficiency
Cosmaceutical, located on Canada's west coast in Surrey, British Columbia, is a contract manufacturer of liquids, lotions and creams for the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry. Cosmaceutical's chemists have over 20 years of experience in the industry, including product formulation, reverse formulations, and research and development. The company, which started with four employees in a 1200 sq. ft. facility, has recently moved into a new 50,000 sq. ft. building housing its 41 employees.
“Cosmaceutical serves two industries, personal care products and OTC pharmaceutical products,” said Bill Ghuman, operations director. “We are an end-to-end contract manufacturer. That means we go from research and concept development through to final packaging.”
Cosmaceutical originally managed its business with a series of Microsoft® Office tools including Excel® spreadsheets and custom applications written in Access™. As the company grew, it became clear that these non-integrated systems were a limiting factor. Bill Ghuman explained:
“Duplicate data entry and accuracy was becoming a problem. Even though the systems covered all aspects of the business, they didn't talk to each other. We had the classic islands of information. One department didn't know what another department was doing. We needed an integrated system so that anyone in the company could see what was happening with a product at any given time.”
In 2005, Cosmaceutical commenced its search for a new integrated system."We looked at five software products, and finally got down to a shortlist of three. We were looking for an integrated, end-to-end system that could address all areas of our business. The people at BatchMaster understood our business and agreed to customize the system to meet our requirements,” said Bill Ghuman.
Cosmaceutical started its implementation in January 2006, and appointed Ruth Ghuman, controller, as the project champion.
“We took the train-the-trainer approach,” said Ruth Ghuman. “BatchMaster trained me on the software, and I then created training programs for all of our users. That way I was able to show them how the software would work in our environment. We were ready to go live in September 2006, but as that was our busiest time of the year, we decided to wait until January 2007.”
End-to-End Business Solution
Today, Cosmaceutical relies on BatchMaster to run its business. BatchMaster is used in every department throughout the company.
“We use BatchMaster in all areas of our business, from when we first enter the formulations right through until the final product leaves the facility. It's the information highway for our business,” said Bill Ghuman.
Regulated companies must demonstrate their ability to track their products bi-directionally, from the supplier to the customer and from the customer back to the supplier. With many companies today increasingly worried about product safety, the ability to perform a recall quickly and effectively is essential.
“Lot tracking is an integral part of our business,” said Bill Ghuman. “Before BatchMaster, we used spreadsheets or custom-written applications, and was it very time consuming having to jump from one application to another. We have Standard Operating Procedures for mock product recalls, and although we haven't had to do a recall, we are very confident that with BatchMaster's lot tracking capabilities, we will be able to do so, quickly and efficiently, if necessary.”
Increased Manufacturing Efficiency
After the first year of operation with BatchMaster, Cosmaceutical has realized improvements in many different areas of the business.
“Manufacturing efficiency has increased 18-22 percent,” said Bill Ghuman. “BatchMaster has helped us control our raw material inventory. Cosmaceutical is a contract manufacturer, and we operate on a Just-in-Time (JIT) basis for our raw materials. BatchMaster has helped us minimize our material holding cost.”
“Before implementing BatchMaser, we used a spreadsheet for recording raw material,” said Ruth Ghuman. “We recorded only what we had on hand and then ordered more material when we ran out. That was fine when we only had a few products, but as the company grew it became unmanageable. Today, we have around 600 products and 1200 packing items. Now with BatchMaster our inventory is very well controlled. The inventory management reports tell us exactly what we have on hand, what is committed to production, and what is on order. It was impossible to get this type of information before when we were using spreadsheets.”
Data accuracy is the foundation of any information system. With BatchMaster, Cosmaceutical eliminated the need to reenter data from one system to another-not only reducing effort, but also improving accuracy.
“We needed to reduce the numerical errors that resulted from double, sometimes triple data entry,” said Ruth Ghuman. “Before BatchMaster, we would run a report from one system and then enter the data into another. We needed extra staff to maintain all the different the systems. Since we've implemented BatchMaster, we have been able to reduce our administrative staff by one person. Now, because we only enter the data once, the accuracy level is much higher, and we have confidence in the information.”
Improved Customer Response
According to Ruth Ghuman, Cosmaceutical is now able to respond to customers' requests for quotes a lot faster, with the integrated BatchMaster system:
“Before BatchMaster, the information to construct a quote was contained in several different systems. Today, once we have entered a formulation into BatchMaster we have all the data needed to get a quote to a customer immediately.”
BatchMaster has provided Cosmaceutical with the tools to support its growth and improve operational efficiency, as well as maintain accurate information to make better decisions.
“Overall, our level of satisfaction with BatchMaster is very high. Without BatchMaster we just couldn't operate. It's the heart and lungs of our business,” concluded Bill Ghuman.
"With thout BatchMaster we just couldn’t operate. It’s the heart and lungs of our business.”
“Manufacturing efficiency has increased 18-22 percent.”
“Overall, our level of satisfaction with BatchMaster is very high.”