A leading Canadian veterinary products distributor benefits from CGI's Oracle expertise to implement its new management system
"CGI has provided us with high-quality strategic guidance throughout the Oracle implementation project. Not only did the CGI team come with solid expertise, but it immediately demonstrated great determination to succeed, both with us and for us. Its drive was also contagious and contributed in large part to mobilizing all of the project's stakeholders around a major change initiative. We were definitely satisfied beyond our expectations and still benefit from much appreciated support from CGI. This has made the company an indispensable partner for us."
Michel Ferland, IT Manager - CDMV
CDMV's IT Manager, Michel Ferland, recalls that "CGI offered a team of integrators and working methods that inspired confidence - and this was all the more important given that our first less than unsuccessful implementation attempt had somewhat added to our employees' resistance to the change. We knew there'd be no third chance. In the months that followed, we realized that we'd made the right choice, particularly when an additional ingredient was added to the mix: our introduction of a new online store adapted to CDMV's service offering and image."
In May, CDMV's board of directors adopted another strategy that would see a significant expansion in the scope of Phase 2. They asked CGI to implement the iStore option of the Oracle E Business Suite 11i, with the exception of the modules already ordered. The original specifications had indicated that the in-house remote order-taking application that CDMV had acquired a few years prior would be transferred with no changes. However, while it initially responded well to the needs of CDMV and its customers, satisfaction with the application had rapidly diminished since 2001. As a result, customers had begun to place their orders by phone. Not only did this situation contribute to rising costs, but it also went against CDMV's e-commerce vision.
After evaluating a number of solutions, CDMV's executive team selected the iStore application, which, when integrated with the order taking and material management module of the Oracle E Business Suite 11i, offered many key advantages. Among them were real-time access for customers to all pertinent information via the CDMV Web site and, better still, the real-time updating of orders and stock data. These features were essential for a company whose 24-hour delivery policy constituted one of its most powerful competitive advantages. CDMV representatives also decided to add a function to the iStore application that would allow alternative equivalent products to be immediately proposed to a customer if a selected product was out of stock. In addition, CDMV asked CGI to adapt the application to incorporate the CDMV logo and a number of other details involving the pricing and regulations surrounding the products, for example. And finally, it was imperative that all customers, including those without high-speed Internet access (such as the many veterinarians living in rural regions) be able to easily navigate through the application without having to download massive amounts of data. All of this work had to be completed within the originally established - and ambitious - Phase 2 timetable. The CGI team were therefore headed into a very demanding summer. To assure success, the team opted for a wise strategy: to include Oracle representatives in the project in order to benefit from their specialized expertise in the iStore application.
In 2003, to make things easier for Internet customers and increase business, CDMV and CGI developed an additional function to allow for the automatic transfer of orders between certain specialized applications (those used most by veterinarians) and the Center's online store. This improvement has eliminated an entire step of the ordering process, much to the satisfaction of the many people it benefits.
As a footnote to this promising launch, CDMV has announced a project to implement the latest version of the applications, which features more added-value functions than the previous version (e.g. online authorization of credit card payments). In this way, the Center is moving to an environment that is not only more powerful, but also more uniform and in accordance with IT industry standards, which will without question streamline its cost structure. "Moreover," explained Mr. Ferland, "the new version will allow us to develop applications and update our pricing strategies in a very effective way. Now that the inevitable period of adjustment to our Oracle environment is behind us, we are not only able to operate more efficiently, but we are also reaping real competitive advantages that are rare in this industry."
"CGI has provided us with high-quality strategic guidance throughout the Oracle implementation project," he concluded. "Not only did the CGI team come with solid expertise, but it immediately demonstrated great determination to succeed, both with us and for us. Its drive was also contagious and contributed in large part to mobilizing all of the project's stakeholders around a major change initiative. We were definitely satisfied beyond our expectations and still benefit from much appreciated support from CGI. This has made the company an indispensable partner for us."
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