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Inventory Management with Force.com at Nutricia

Aptaria helped Nutricia overcome a major regulatory burden by building a custom Force.com application to track and manage product sample inventories by salesperson.

Challenge: No Visibility into Product Sample Inventory

Nutricia, a unit of global food player Danone, has grown rapidly in recent years by developing and selling specialized nutritional products for people with dietary restrictions and allergies. Key to the Nutricia sales team’s success have been:

  • Widespread use of Salesforce for customer relationship management (CRM)
  • Extensive delivery of product samples to doctors and other health care professionals (HCPs) — over 3,000 a month and growing.

Until recently, however, there was a major disconnect between these two forces:

Nutricia lacked a centralized way to track which HCPs received which samples from which salesperson.

Among other problems, this meant the company was not capable of properly executing product recalls – putting them at significant federal regulatory risk. When recalls did happen, the company had no choice but to notify all HCPs that receive samples. This placed a heavy burden on Nutricia's resources and hurt its brand among a critical audience.

Further complicating the challenge was the complex combination of codes (SKUs), lot numbers, and expiration dates contained by Nutricia’s products. Requiring field sales reps to manually re-enter this data would result in loss of productivity and expensive errors that complicate the recall process. Nutricia needed a solution that was easy for its reps to use and that could be integrated quickly and seamlessly into its existing Salesforce CRM.

Solution: Force.com Inventory Management Application

Aptaria built a custom Salesforce application for Nutricia that provides full visibility into its product sample inventory. The solution enables sales reps to:

  • Track and manage samples through a personal inventory captured in Salesforce.
  • Accept samples into their inventory with a single click upon arrival from the Nutricia warehouse.
  • Identify samples delivered to doctors and other HCPs without re-keying information.

Aptaria led all facets of the process, including requirements gathering, architecture, design, development, testing, training, and rollout. To ensure seamless integration with Nutricia’s existing CRM, Aptaria built the application 100% on Force.com, Salesforce’s platform as a service (PaaS) offering.

Results: Reduction in Regulatory Risk and Costs

Because Aptaria’s custom solution is easy-to-use and is fully integrated into a system its sales reps already embrace (Salesforce), Nutricia quickly attained widespread adoption of its new process for tracking product samples.

Nutricia management can now easily pull reports that provide full visibility into which HCPs have received specific product samples. Based on these reports, the company can successfully execute directed product recalls by notifying only those HCPs who have received samples of that product. The results:

  • Significant cost savings
  • Improved brand equity
  • Removal of a major regulatory risk

Contact us to learn more about our pharmaceutical industry experience and our expertise in Force.com custom application development.
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"Aptaria's disciplined approach helped us harness the full power of Salesforce."
Kurt Stout, EVP Government Solutions, Colliers International
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