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Pharmaceutical Company Automates Order Processing End-to-End —Including Chargeback Processing and Warehouse Order Fulfillment—with TrueCommerce EDI for QuickBooks Premier

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Pharmaceutical Company Automates Order Processing End-to-End —Including Chargeback Processing and Warehouse Order Fulfillment—with TrueCommerce EDI for QuickBooks Premier

Objective:

Reduce operational costs and improve the speed and accuracy of the pharmaceutical chargeback process by bringing EDI in-house and leveraging the industry-leading TrueCommerce integration with QuickBooks Premier.

Solution:

TrueCommerce EDI for QuickBooks Premier combined with EmpowerRM to manage contracts and process pharmaceutical chargeback documents delivers end-to-end order processing integration and automation, from purchase order to invoice.

Benefits:

  • Enables this SMB distributor to seamlessly meet the EDI requirements of major pharmaceutical wholesalers and pharmacies
  • Drives faster and more accurate contract management and chargeback processing that enables timely dispute resolution and helps H2-Pharma catch wholesaler errors potentially costing hundreds of thousands of dollars over time
  • Saves considerable operational cost versus an outsourced EDI and chargeback processing solution, especially as business volume grows
  • Automates order processing to save time, reduce errors and minimize associated labor cost
  • Integrates EDI with a 3PL warehouse to simplify and accelerate shipping
  • Makes it possible to handle a large and growing transaction volume without adding staff

For a small distributor like us, the ability to efficiently send and receive EDI documents with the three major pharmaceutical wholesalers is absolutely crucial.

—Kyle Clifton, Supply Chain Manager, H2-Pharma

Background

H2-Pharma is a successful and growing marketing and distribution partner for both generic and brand pharmaceutical products. As a small company in an industry dominated by major manufacturers and wholesalers, H2-Pharma’s strength lies in its business agility, extensive experience and unsurpassed service to customers and partners.

According to Kyle Clifton, Supply Chain Manager, seamless integration and automation across H2-Pharma’s supply chain processes and IT infrastructure is vital to its ongoing success and profitability. “Looking at the integration between our accounting and EDI systems and our 3PL warehouse, as well as our connectivity to our major customers and our ability to serve them, we have a pretty good solution right now,” notes Mr. Clifton.

End-to-End Chargeback Processing Automation Using EmpowerRM

The cornerstone of H2-Pharma’s end-to-end chargeback processing automation is a three-way integration between its QuickBooks Premier accounting system, TrueCommerce EDI for QuickBooks Premier, and EmpowerRM specifically designed to handle pharmaceutical contracts and chargeback processing via EDI.

TrueCommerce EDI for QuickBooks Premier is the industry’s most complete EDI integration for that popular accounting system, with comprehensive support for sales orders and purchase orders (EDI 850/875), invoices (EDI 810/880), advance ship notices/ASNs (EDI 856) and credit memos/remittance advice (EDI 820) built-in, plus available support for warehouse shipping orders (EDI 940/945). The solution can also support outbound purchase orders and inbound invoices for transacting EDI with suppliers.

H2-Pharma further leverages that powerful integration through EmpowerRM that connects to both QuickBooks and TrueCommerce EDI to automate and accelerate the processing of pharmaceutical chargebacks.

Mr. Clifton explains its importance: “In the pharmaceutical industry, distributors like H2-Pharma sell to wholesalers, who in turn sell to pharmacies. These sales are made at a contract price that is less than the invoice price the wholesaler pays. To recoup that difference, the wholesaler generates a chargeback, which they send to the distributor via EDI. The distributor must quickly and accurately validate the chargeback, create a credit memo in their accounting system, and then send the credit memo to the wholesaler so they can reference it when they pay the invoice.”

Chargebacks can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars, making the ability to efficiently process them and identify and dispute any errors absolutely vital to a manufacturer’s business success. Matt Hoenig, President, MDH Insight, Inc., designed and developed EmpowerRM that automates this process for H2-Pharma.

Mr. Hoenig describes how the overall integration and automation works: “H2-Pharma uses TrueCommerce EDI to export purchase orders from customers and create sales orders in QuickBooks, and to exchange warehouse shipping documents with its 3PL. When an EDI 844 Product Transfer Account Adjustment document comes in, the EDI system automatically exports it as a flat file using the TrueCommerce Scheduler add-on. EmpowerRM then imports the flat file, validates it, and creates the credit memo in Quickbooks Premier. Then EmpowerRM exports an EDI 849 Response to Product Transfer Account Adjustment document in flat-file format. TrueCommerce Scheduler automatically imports the 849 into TrueCommerce EDI and sends it back to the customer.”

Supports Strong Key Relationships and Ongoing Business Growth

Currently, H2-Pharma has about fifteen EDI trading partners. But roughly 95% of its EDI transactions relate to one of the three major US pharmaceutical wholesalers: McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, and Cardinal Health. The distributor’s total EDI transaction volume is about 600 to 700 documents per week, which TrueCommerce EDI handles with ease.

“EDI is the preferred method for business communication in our industry—everything gets done via EDI,” Mr. Clifton relates. “For a small distributor like us, the ability to efficiently send and receive EDI documents with the three major wholesalers is absolutely crucial.”

Saving Time and Money Every Day

H2-Pharma has been a TrueCommerce EDI customer since 2014. Prior to that they were outsourcing EDI to their former 3PL provider. They chose to bring EDI in-house to improve responsiveness and cut costs.

“Cost was a huge factor in the decision to implement integrated EDI,” states Mr. Clifton. “As our transaction volume increased, costs went up drastically, especially since we were paying extra for each chargeback document.”

A drive to improve customer service by accelerating shipping and chargeback resolution also played a role. “We were struggling to get the 3PL to turn transactions around in a timely manner,” Mr. Clifton notes.

H2-Pharma chose TrueCommerce EDI because it offered the most comprehensive, out-of-the-box integration with QuickBooks Premier. According to the company’s analysis, TrueCommerce also offered the lowest total cost of ownership and operation for EDI.

Without EDI, H2-Pharma would need custom software and/or significant manual effort to get invoices, POs, ASNs, etc. in and out of QuickBooks. Processing warehouse documents would compound the challenge.

“Especially with the chargebacks, trying to process the data in some other format like email or spreadsheets becomes very challenging,” asserts Mr. Clifton. “It’s much better for us to be doing business using EDI.”

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Australia says no further Facebook, Google amendments as final vote nears

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Australia says no further Facebook, Google amendments as final vote nears 1

By Colin Packham

CANBERRA (Reuters) – Australia will not alter legislation that would make Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s Google pay news outlets for content, a senior lawmaker said on Monday, as Canberra neared a final vote on whether to pass the bill into law.

Australia and the tech giants have been in a stand-off over the legislation widely seen as setting a global precedent.

Other countries including Canada and Britain have already expressed interest in taking some sort of similar action.

Facebook has protested the laws. Last week it blocked all news content and several state government and emergency department accounts, in a jolt to the global news industry, which has already seen its business model upended by the titans of the technological revolution.

Talks between Australia and Facebook over the weekend yielded no breakthrough.

As Australia’s senate began debating the legislation, the country’s most senior lawmaker in the upper house said there would be no further amendments.

“The bill as it stands … meets the right balance,” Simon Birmingham, Australia’s Minister for Finance, told Australian Broadcasting Corp Radio.

The bill in its present form ensures “Australian-generated news content by Australian-generated news organisations can and should be paid for and done so in a fair and legitimate way”.

The laws would give the government the right to appoint an arbitrator to set content licencing fees if private negotiations fail.

While both Google and Facebook have campaigned against the laws, Google last week inked deals with top Australian outlets, including a global deal with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

“There’s no reason Facebook can’t do and achieve what Google already has,” Birmingham added.

A Facebook representative declined to comment on Monday on the legislation, which passed the lower house last week and has majority support in the Senate.

A final vote after the so-called third reading of the bill is expected on Tuesday.

Lobby group DIGI, which represents Facebook, Google and other online platforms like Twitter Inc, meanwhile said on Monday that its members had agreed to adopt an industry-wide code of practice to reduce the spread of misinformation online.

Under the voluntary code, they commit to identifying and stopping unidentified accounts, or “bots”, disseminating content; informing users of the origins of content; and publishing an annual transparency report, among other measures.

(Reporting by Byron Kaye and Colin Packham; Editing by Sam Holmes and Hugh Lawson)

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GSK and Sanofi start with new COVID-19 vaccine study after setback

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GSK and Sanofi start with new COVID-19 vaccine study after setback 2

By Pushkala Aripaka and Matthias Blamont

(Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi on Monday said they had started a new clinical trial of their protein-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate, reviving their efforts against the pandemic after a setback in December delayed the shot’s launch.

The British and French drugmakers aim to reach final testing in the second quarter, and if the results are conclusive, hope to see the vaccine approved by the fourth quarter after having initially targeted the first half of this year.

In December, the two groups stunned investors when they said their vaccine would be delayed towards the end of 2021 after clinical trials showed an insufficient immune response in older people.

Disappointing results were probably caused by an inadequate concentration of the antigen used in the vaccine, Sanofi and GSK said, adding that Sanofi has also started work against new coronavirus variants to help plan their next steps.

Global coronavirus infections have exceeded 110 million as highly transmissible variants of the virus are prompting vaccine developers and governments to tweak their testing and immunisation strategies.

GSK and Sanofi’s vaccine candidate uses the same recombinant protein-based technology as one of Sanofi’s seasonal influenza vaccines. It will be coupled with an adjuvant, a substance that acts as a booster to the shot, made by GSK.

“Over the past few weeks, our teams have worked to refine the antigen formulation of our recombinant-protein vaccine,” Thomas Triomphe, executive vice president and head of Sanofi Pasteur, said in a statement.

The new mid-stage trial will evaluate the safety, tolerability and immune response of the vaccine in 720 healthy adults across the United States, Honduras and Panama and test two injections given 21 days apart.

Sanofi and GSK have secured deals to supply their vaccine to the European Union, Britain, Canada and the United States. It also plans to provide shots to the World Health Organization’s COVAX programme.

To appease critics after the delay, Sanofi said earlier this year it had agreed to fill and pack millions of doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine from July.

Sanofi is also working with Translate Bio on another COVID-19 vaccine candidate based on mRNA technology.

(Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru and Matthias Blamont in Paris; editing by Jason Neely and Barbara Lewis)

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Don’t ignore “lockdown fatigue”, UK watchdog tells finance bosses

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Don't ignore "lockdown fatigue", UK watchdog tells finance bosses 3

By Huw Jones

LONDON (Reuters) – Staff at financial firms in Britain are suffering from “lockdown fatigue” and their bosses are not always making sure all employees can speak up freely about their problems, the Financial Conduct Authority said on Monday.

Many staff at financial companies have been working from home since Britain went into its first lockdown in March last year to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

One year on, the challenges have evolved from adapting to working remotely to dealing with mental health issues, said David Blunt, the FCA’s head of conduct specialists.

“During this third lockdown, there has been a greater impact on mental well-being, with many people struggling with job security, caring responsibilities, home schooling, bereavements and lockdown fatigue.”

Bosses should continually revisit how they lead remote teams, he said.

“The impact of COVID-19 is creating a huge workload for those considered to be high performers, while the remote environment potentially makes it much more challenging for those who were previously considered low performers to change that perception,” Blunt told a City & Financial online event.

Companies should consider “psychological safety” or ensuring that all employees feel confident about speaking out and challenging opinions.

“We’ve heard varying reports of how successful this has been,” Blunt said.

Pressures in the financial sector were highlighted this month when accountants KPMG said its UK chairman Bill Michael had stepped aside during a probe into comments he made to staff.

The Financial Times said Michael, who later apologised for his comments, had told staff to “stop moaning” about the impact of the pandemic on their work lives.

Blunt was speaking as the FCA next month completes the full rollout of rules that force senior managers at financial firms to be personally accountable for their decisions to improve conduct standards.

There have only been a “modest” number of breaches reported to regulators so far as firms worry about being “tainted” but more cases will become public as sanctions are revealed, Blunt said.

“Regulators won’t be impressed by lowballing the figures.”

(Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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