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STREAMLINE PROCESSES AND IMPROVE SUPPLY

GEL-X and XELA wanted to move from manual processing to automation and chose Intergen to provide Dynamics 365 Business Central.


Project Snapshot

GEL-X and XELA

Location:
Seattle, America

Industry:
Health & Social Care

Project Challenges

COVID-19 created challenges around the supply chain for glove manufacture and manual processes needed to be more efficient.

The Solution

Dynamics 365 Business Central offered the scalability and flexibility required by the business, as well as the cloud-based functionality that would let the organisation operate more effectively.

Results

With a cloud based solution the impact of COVID-19 was minimal. The business has streamlined and sped up decision making with the progress of orders happening instantly from anywhere in the world.

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About GEL-X and XELA

Two separate companies with complementing visions, XELA Corporation, with its XELA Bio division, is in the business of the development and implementation of specialised medical glove manufacturing technologies, including COLLAGEL® & ALLOGEL® coatings, and associated intellectual property (IP) (patents & trademarks) related to glove product manufacture, sales and distribution. With its XELA IS division, XELA is in the business of information systems and software design and implementation formanufacturing, supply chain and operations. GEL-X is in the business of manufacturing and distributing medical exam and industrial disposable gloves, and technology licences from XELA. In summary, XELA develops specialised medical glove coatings to protect glove users’ hands, while GEL-X manufactures, sells and distributes medical and professional glove products using the patented coating developed by XELA.

Manual processes needed to be automated

GEL-X manufactures the gloves in Malaysia and ships them to customers in the US and Europe. The challenges created by COVID-19 affected supply chains. At the same time, GEL-X was already examining ways to make its manual processes more efficient.

Andreas Brown, CEO, GEL-X, said, “Managing the supply chain through to the customer order was tricky. The manual processes involved managing the customer order, which included triggering the manufacturing and managing the packaging, artwork, and marketing materials such as glove dispensers and cartons. We needed to encapsulate all that activity and integrate it with the systems used to manage regulatory compliance when importing the gloves into the US, where they are a regulated item.”

XELA and GEL-X needed the Malaysian-based manufacturing facility to provide all information digitally, including purchase orders and related documentation such as sales orders and invoices. When these processes were manual, it was difficult to provide timely information to customers regarding the status of their order, since the information was difficult to obtain. Continuing in this way would have impeded the business’s ability to grow without investing substantially in additional staff members; something the business couldn’t really justify.

Andreas Brown said, “Maintaining manual processes creates a hard ceiling that the business can’t move beyond. Eventually, customers would have gone elsewhere.”

Will update when we get the two column block

Moving to enterprise resource planning (ERP) with Microsoft

XELA and GEL-X were already using various Microsoft technologies and had some familiarity with Microsoft Dynamics NAV. With a plan already in place to adopt the Microsoft Internet of Things (IoT) platform for its future US-based manufacturing facility, XELA and GEL-X decided to stay with Microsoft for its ERP solution. The business also knew that the solution had to be cloud-based for future-proofing. Therefore, it chose Intergen to provide Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.

Andreas Brown said, “The importance of supplying medical-grade gloves to global markets has grown exponentially in light of COVID-19. Doing so in a timely, traceable way is essential for growth. Managing a complex supply chain and automating core financial work was essential so that the team could focus on other challenges.”

Dynamics 365 Business Central offered the scalability and flexibility required by the business, as well as the cloud-based functionality that would let the organisation operate more effectively. XELA and GEL-X chose to work with Intergen because the team had full confidence in Intergen’s experience and capabilities as a Microsoft partner.

In some segments of the business we’ve been able to double throughput and, because customers are seeing timely and efficient communication, they’re increasing their business with GEL-X. Previously it might take a few days to gather the information required to make a decision. Now, we can make decisions on the same phone call, with no time wasted.

— Andreas Brown, CEO, GEL-X

Automation improves documentation and customer service

Intergen worked closely with the XELA and GEL-X teams to implement the Microsoft solution, with the teams acting more like a single entity to configure and test the solution. The solution went live with no disruption to business operations, despite Microsoft’s release of a new version of Business Central just before the planned go-live date. This was integrated seamlessly into the deployment.

When COVID-19 hit, the deployment was barely affected since the ultimate goal was to be cloud-based and functional across countries regardless.

Andreas Brown said, “Overall, there were no huge headaches in the implementation process. It was delivered in two stages, which were both delivered in very short timeframes. Working with the Intergen team was great and they knew their stuff, which made life easy and was a huge plus.”

Since implementing Dynamics 365 Business Central, XELA and GEL-X have automated many of their processes and put all documentation and communication in the cloud.

Andreas Brown said, “It’s now much easier for our teams in Asia to enter documentation into the system, which the rest of the team can see from anywhere. This shortens the timeframes of communicating with customers. We’ve implemented a Teams portal for customers that notifies them when documents arrive, so they can automatically check the information. This has decreased the need to manually communicate with customers by half, and it means customers no longer have to approach the team for information.

“In some segments of the business we’ve been able to double throughput and, because customers are seeing timely and efficient communication, they’re increasing their business with GEL-X.”

Having up-to-date information in the cloud has also streamlined and sped up decision-making for the team. With information on customer payments and the progress of orders instantly available from anywhere in the world, decision-makers can act faster.

Andreas Brown said, “Previously it might take a few days to gather the information required to make a decision. Now, we can make decisions on the same phone call, with no time wasted.”

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