by Byron Connolly

ERP rollout gives baby maker a boost

Aug 22, 2014 3 mins
Healthcare Industry

The deployment of a new ERP system at fertility clinic Genea is helping to improve the chances that patients will take home a healthy baby.

In 2012, the firm created an IVF technology arm, Genea Biomedx to create products that aim to improve IVF pregnancy rates. This is an addition to its existing network of clinics, which provide baby making services to would-be parents.

The biotechnology business is growing fast and has created innovations that include an automated vitrification product, an incubator that uses cameras to do time lapse photography, as well as embryo culture media.

Genea Biomedx quickly realised that its existing IT systems – used by doctors to manage patients and medical stock at its clinics around Australia – were not suitable for its new technology business.

“Genea Biomedx is an international business that has quickly moved into production, sell and service mode,” said Peter Nevin, CIO at Genea.

“The challenge was to find a Web-based system that would support bills of materials that includes liquids and chemical formulas and the complexity that comes with managing the ordering and servicing of hard, physical items such as medical instruments.”

In February 2013, Genea initiated a four-month project to deploy the Infor Syteline ERP system.

The Web-based software is used to manage the manufacturing and distribution of its incubator and embryo culture media, created at a production facility in Sydney and soon in Sandwich in the United Kingdom.

Genea currently works with a Melbourne innovation firm to manufacture the automated vitrification product, a process that’s likely to be outsourced to other manufacturers over time.

“This [ERP] product has been integral to our ability to manufacture the media we have been producing for our clinics over the past six months,” Nevin said.

“This is because the bills of materials and methods by which you create the media as well as the requirements for certification around the media for quality assurance, for instance, are handled by the system.

“The end result is that having this ERP system in place is one of the many important keys to Genea’s ability to offer patients a greater chance of success when compared to the average of other Australian and New Zealand clinics.”

Genea claims its birth rates are 40 per cent higher than the average of all other Australian and New Zealand clinics combined. Ninety six per cent of the women who succeed with IVF do so with three egg collections or less, the organisation claims.

According to Nevin, the tier 2 ERP system’s in-built templates enabled the company to go live in four months compared to an industry standard of between 12 and 18 months.

“The system certainly behaved itself and we were able to put it in very quickly. Given that we only had four months to roll it out, we also created a very task-focused project team so there wasn’t too much overhead in terms of extensive project management reporting,” Nevin said.

“Finally, the business environment at Genea allowed the project to go ahead with very low levels of bureaucracy,” he said.

Genea is currently migrating its clinical operations across to the new system, replacing a Microsoft Navision platform.

This will move the entire organisation onto one system by early 2015, which will support its expansion outside Australia, said Nevin.

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