Medical Products Distributor Gains New Flexibility With Its Selection of Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Dynamics CRM

REDMOND, Wash. — March 4, 2008 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that AliMed, a producer and catalog-based distributor of medical products, has chosen Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Dynamics CRM as the foundation for managing its business and expanding its interaction with customers. The technology will enable AliMed to reduce costs for the company and its clientele, to make purchasing easier and more complete for its customers by enlarging its e-commerce channel, and to improve both speed and accuracy by integrating all its customer information into a single database.

The Dedham, Mass., company will integrate the two Microsoft Dynamics solutions with new electronic commerce platform solutions to gain increased flexibility in reaching out to customers and enhancing their buying experience.

Microsoft Dynamics AX is a comprehensive business management solution that provides midsize and larger organizations with a high degree of scalability and customizability with industry-specific functionality. Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a fully integrated customer relationship management (CRM) system enabling businesses to easily create and maintain a clear view of customers from first contact through purchase and post-sales.

AliMed selected the Microsoft Dynamics solutions after evaluating a number of other enterprise resource planning solutions, including those from SAP AG and Oracle.

“We selected Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Dynamics CRM because of our desire to have state-of-the-art systems that work together and applications that are friendly and flexible,” said Jonathan Bretz, senior vice president for marketing and sales for AliMed.

The company also found exceptional value in the ability of Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Dynamics CRM to integrate seamlessly with the other Microsoft solutions the company was using, including the 2007 Microsoft Office system, Outlook 2007, SQL Server 2005 and Exchange Server 2007.

“We will integrate these products into our Microsoft Dynamics solutions to increase our productivity and allow us to better manage our business,” Bretz said.

Previously, AliMed had operated with Infor’s commerce@work ERP solution, but AliMed found the system expensive to maintain and difficult to customize and integrate. The combination of Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Dynamics CRM will provide AliMed with improved tools to plan and execute its marketing activities, making its catalog and campaigns more effective. It also will improve order accuracy and efficiency and provide better capabilities for promising delivery dates for orders.

After implementing the Microsoft Dynamics CRM functionality, AliMed and its Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Crowe Chizek and Company LLC will integrate the Microsoft Dynamics technology with an e-commerce solution to provide AliMed customers with an online catalog and direct ordering via the Web.

“Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Dynamics CRM will allow AliMed to become a Web-centered enterprise, reducing costs and increasing revenues, all while better serving our customers, vendors and employees,” Bretz said.

AliMed’s integrated Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Dynamics CRM systems include modules for financials, business intelligence and reporting, supply chain management, manufacturing, workspace collaboration, and CRM. It will also be integrated with electronic data interchange (EDI) and shipping solutions, along with the e-commerce capability.

AliMed expects to streamline and advance its business in many ways with Microsoft Dynamics technology:

  • Support for growth. Microsoft Dynamics CRM, with its fully integrated data, will allow the company to better pinpoint marketing programs to the needs of its customers, promoting growth. E-commerce and EDI will enable significant growth in new channels and markets as well.

  • Cost savings. AliMed expects to save at least $300,000 a year by curtailing the maintenance fees, upgrades and programming charges to which it was subject with its previous ERP solution. The company also expects to improve inventory turns with the better management tools available, reducing its on-hand inventory costs. In addition, better customer-relationship information will enable AliMed to target its spending on marketing campaigns for a more effective return.

  • Time savings. A dashboard feature with pre-determined reports that update automatically will save time in decision-making, while Microsoft Dynamics CRM will facilitate easier tracking of marketing campaigns, speeding the analysis of results. Furthermore, the product configurator in Microsoft Dynamics AX is expected to allow AliMed to process custom orders more accurately and efficiently than with its previous system.

  • Accuracy of data. AliMed expects that having a completely integrated system will help ensure its data is accurate and reduce costly errors.

  • Improved reporting. Microsoft Dynamics AX and its reporting tools will greatly improve real-time reporting of key data and will allow for elimination of the many reports that the company previously generated manually. The business intelligence feature will allow publishing of reports to an enterprise portal and a scorecard for instant updates and faster decision-making.

  • Better planning. Microsoft Dynamics CRM will be used to plan marketing campaigns, while budgetary tools will support operational planning. AliMed will use the material requirements planning functionality for manufacturing and purchasing of inventory.

  • Improved integration of data. E-commerce and shipping will be integrated into AliMed’s overall ERP data.

  • Better supply chain management. The company will gain improved inventory control and communication with vendors to help manage inventory turns, reduce costs and improve customer service.

  • Support for the IT department. AliMed anticipates that making changes and customizing functions will be much easier with the Microsoft Dynamics solutions than with its previous system. Moreover, the use of Microsoft products throughout the company eases IT management. Simpler administration means that individual departments within the company can assume more ownership and knowledge of data, allowing IT managers to focus more on support.

“Microsoft Dynamics, in concert with our implementation methodology, provides AliMed with both the technology and road map to implement its business goals in a structured fashion,” said Josh Cole, project executive for Crowe Chizek. “As a result, the company will have more reliable data sources, enhanced operations, far less waste, and new procedures and controls.”

“AliMed has taken a leading position in gaining substantial business value from integrating Microsoft Dynamics solutions with a range of other Microsoft products and specialized software created by Microsoft-certified providers,” said Michael Park, corporate vice president for the U.S. Dynamics business at Microsoft. “Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Dynamics CRM allow businesses of all sizes to be confident that their technology footing will help them take new steps toward improved productivity and customer service.”

About AliMed

AliMed is a leading manufacturer and supplier of high-quality healthcare and workplace- ergonomic products. For more than 35 years, it has served a broad range of manufacturing and service industries, including all segments of the healthcare market, ranging from hospitals, nursing homes and outpatient clinics to HMO’s, private medical practices and consumers.

About Crowe Chizek and Company LLC

Crowe Chizek and Company, LLC provides innovative business solutions in the areas of assurance, benefit plan services, financial advisory, forensic services, performance services, risk consulting, and tax consulting. Crowe, one of the top 10 public accounting and consulting firms in the United States, also serves clients worldwide.

About Microsoft Dynamics

Microsoft Dynamics is a line of financial, customer relationship and supply-chain management solutions that helps businesses work more effectively. Delivered through a network of channel partners providing specialized services, these integrated, adaptable business management solutions work like and with familiar Microsoft software to streamline processes across an entire business.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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