ivWatch Modernizes Finance, Manufacturing, and Supply Chain With a NAV-to-BC Upgrade
If you’ve ever spent time in the hospital or had a medical procedure, you’ve probably received medication or fluids intravenously. You might not know about IV infiltration, a common complication of IV therapy where fluid leaks out of the vein into the surrounding tissue. IV infiltration can cause everything from mild discomfort to serious harm.
ivWatch pioneered biosensor technology that improves patient safety and the effectiveness of intravenous therapy. The solution is the only FDA-cleared product of its kind, employing optical sensors that continuously monitor to detect adverse IV events early.
It is the only product capable of detecting infiltrations in as little as 0.2 milliliters of fluid. ivWatch also designed and started manufacturing Surgical N95 Respirators in 2021.
As a medical device manufacturer, ivWatch is required to comply with global regulatory requirements including tracking the lot or serial number of every component used in each step of the manufacturing process and to each customer.
In 2017, ivWatch began evaluating several ERP solutions to replace AccountEdge and manual, paper-based processes to address this item traceability requirement and the planned business growth that would meet requirements across Supply Chain, Finance, Quality, and Manufacturing.
After a thorough evaluation process, ivWatch selected Microsoft Dynamics NAV to meet operational requirements. However, initial implementation attempts were not set up for success due to the approach to the project and resources, both internally and externally, were not appropriately aligned. The company’s implementation partner did not advise ivWatch with a more appropriate approach. In several instances, unnecessary customizations were requested, which resulted in a solution that did not fit the operational needs.
Chris Warren transitioned from ivWatch’s Research and Development team to the IT department in 2018 and was tasked with being the Dynamics NAV 2017 champion and expert. Around the same time, ivWatch’s CFO recommended a new Dynamics NAV partner to get the solution up and running effectively. Chris's priority was to ensure that the current NAV solution was operational before upgrading to Dynamics 365 Business Central.
Chris began the upgrade journey by gaining as much knowledge as possible about the company’s Manufacturing, Supply Chain, and Finance processes. He quickly identified the problems that were a result of how NAV was initially configured. He then turned to the ArcherPoint team to better understand NAV’s capabilities and how it could address their issues and desired outcomes.
ivWatch signed up for ArcherPoint’s Sapphire Support Plan, which allowed the ivWatch team to meet weekly with the ArcherPoint team to create unlimited cases and collaboratively review them. Chris knew he eventually wanted to get ivWatch on ArcherPoint’s Get Current Stay Current plan, but he felt the Sapphire plan was the best option for this phase of the project. As issues were uncovered, the ArcherPoint team guided Chris to correct them, working step-by-step to get ivWatch’s NAV solution running effectively and delivering the expected results. Issues addressed included:
Accounting: Posting Setups (General and Inventory) were not implemented correctly, forcing days of manual calculations to get basic financial reports. By correcting the Posting Setups, the G/L now ties directly to the Inventory Valuation, eliminating the time-consuming manual calculations.
Manufacturing: ivWatch produces components and finished medical devices, all requiring varying but simple manufacturing processes. However, NAV was set up with too many work and machine centers that were improperly configured, and costing methods were also improperly configured, forcing the use of variant codes for every product. After simplifying these complex areas, production order setup no longer took hours to complete.
Supply Chain: “It was a guessing game of when to cycle count items,” said Chris. “ArcherPoint showed us how to use the Physical Inventory journal and the Counting Period on the item card to determine when an item should be cycle counted. Since then, all our items configured between warehouses and non-warehousing locations have this setup… We no longer have to remember what item cycle we counted and when.”
Warehousing: As ivWatch grew the N95 Respirator business, they acquired a warehouse with three levels of racks throughout the building. Everyone was concerned about how inventory would be tracked, but Chris set up NAV’s Advanced Warehousing and configured all the zones and bins. The company now successfully manages two advanced warehousing locations.
After alignment and resolving issues to get NAV working smoothly, Chris set his sights on getting current on the latest version. The first step: signing up for ArcherPoint’s Get Current, Stay Current plan. With a Get Current, Stay Current upgrade subscription plan for Business Central on-premises, companies get a fixed-price monthly fee that ensures they keep up with the latest functional and technological advancements every year.
With that in place, Chris worked closely across ivWatch departments and with ArcherPoint to upgrade from NAV 2017 to Business Central (BC) 20 in October 2022 and to BC 21 in April 2023. ivWatch is planning to upgrade to BC 22 in September 2023. Since completing the upgrades, Chris has been able to work on new initiatives, like streamlining processes through Microsoft Teams. Power Platform had been utilized previously, but with Dynamics Business Central on-premises, it was not working as well as Chris had anticipated. ArcherPoint recommended using a SQL connection and the Power Automate Gateway, which pushes all notifications—from approvals to overdue item receipts to shipment postings—out from BC utilizing Teams.
What’s next for ivWatch? “Our goal with ArcherPoint is to streamline all of our business processes like expense management and document management so that they are funneled through Business Central instead of external spreadsheets, paper, and other manual processes,” said Chris. “Our team is very excited about utilizing Business Central to optimize our processes, rather than systems that don’t integrate. This will allow our entire team to focus on more pressing issues and centralize our efforts across our entire organization.”
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