China’s Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics Co., Ltd. was founded on a simple but idealistic principle: Better Healthcare for all.
To achieve that vision, the global developer, manufacturer, and supplier of medical devices intends to make health care more accessible worldwide.
But as the cliché goes, that mission is easier said than done, and the difficulties of realizing this goal were never so apparent as when the global pandemic began.
The encroaching virus led to skyrocketing requests for complicated patient monitoring and life-support systems, some customized, others restricted by local regulations.
The surging requests for price quotations were overflowing the normal channel, sometime via email or phone and processed offline. Given the volume and wide range of time zones the company served, timely replies were difficult to deliver.
The operational challenges and communication gaps have prompted sales staff and dealers to demand for a simple, digital platform that could configure prices quickly and ensure rapid delivery of the vital items – a solution that had to be created as COVID fears were escalating and the medical industry was changing in unprecedented ways.
A transformative vision
With more than 30 years in business, Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics., Ltd. – named for the city connecting Hong Kong to China’s mainland – serves patients in nearly 110,000 of the country’s medical institutions. The company – commonly referred to as Mindray – also has about 50 affiliates outside China.
Of its 14,000+ employees, a quarter are research and development (R&D) engineers specializing in producing new forms of medical technology.
Even so, the company needed to go to enterprise resource planning (ERP) software leader SAP to create a solution to accurately configure and price its complex catalog of products.
A number of SAP technologies would be used, including SAP Variant and Pricing, a software specifically devoted to this particular task.
Prices could now be calculated based on factors like exclusive distribution, an arrangement in which a single distributor operates in a specific region, secondary distribution, which can involve a network of investors, and other considerations.
Everyone would have access to a data management system for dealers, product authorizations and strategies for observing regulatory and marketing requirements unique to certain regions.
Meeting every need
Mindray’s integrated global sales channel solution was deployed in October 2021, providing sales representatives with significant efficiency and user experience improvement, particularly when it came to serving prospective buyers with timely and accurate information.
“It allows us to quickly meet the unique needs of every customer,” Henry Wu, Mindray’s IT general manager, pointed out.
Now, there was unprecedented consistency and sufficiency in the information representatives were receiving about clients, order history and product details, allowing for a better understanding of what each customer wanted.
Manufacturing strategies, along with production planning and schedules, were now based on customer demands, while quotes and approvals could be generated online at a much faster pace.
Not only was time saved – by an astounding proportion – on requisitions, but order errors were becoming extremely rare.
“In just over a month, we processed 2,100 orders through our warehouse,” noted Wang Lue, the company’s application development and support manager.
Procedures that previously took up to two days per order could now be completed in as little as one hour.
Even outside the industry, the creation of the global sales channel solution was considered impressive. Earlier this year, Mindray was designated a finalist at the 2022 SAP Innovation Awards, a yearly ceremony recognizing organizations using SAP technologies to improve business as well as society.
With complete access to accurate, analytical data, the solution reduced the company’s risk in the global marketplace, preparing Mindray’s sales team for both the predictable and the arbitrary the next time a major health emergency occurs.
To learn the details behind their achievement, see Mindray’s Innovation Awards pitch deck.