What makes Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 a great solution for pharmaceutical manufacturers?

What makes Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 a great solution for pharmaceutical manufacturers?

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Microsoft Dynamics AX is a highly flexible, scalable ERP solution targeted at mid-sized to enterprise organizations. From a familiar user interface modeled on Microsoft’s Office products, to the use of standard Microsoft technologies such as SQL Server and SharePoint, Microsoft Dynamics AX offers many advantages over other ERP solutions. However, if a solution doesn’t support the core business processes of an organization, all of these advantages mean nothing. Microsoft Dynamics AX is designed to support pharmaceutical business processes. Let’s consider some of these capabilities.

Formula Management

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 allows you to maintain % based formulations with different formulations based on production lot size. It provides full support for active/potent ingredients, and calculates production quantities based on actual lot potency. Formulas are version-controlled, with controlled introduction of new versions through change management. Co- and by-products can be defined in formulas and managed through production. Bulk and packaging formula management allows you to manage bulk production and packaging operations, with lot number inheritance from bulk to packaged products.

Microsoft Dynamics AX Inventory Management

Inventory Management

Lot attributes allow you to define key attributes of ingredients and products, and track actual values throughout the supply chain. Ingredient and product lot dispositions let you control the availability of individual lots in stock. Lot traceability provides full backward and forward trace of ingredients and products, and product recall allows you to identify all lots in stock, in WIP or delivered to customers.  Product shelf life can be managed using lot advice and expiry date capabilities. FEFO, single lot picking and residual shelf life control how products are picked for customer orders. Bulk ingredients and products can be managed in inventory and production using catch weights. Commodity pricing can be used to manage fluctuations in ingredient pricing.

Microsoft Dynamics AX Formula Management

Sales Management

FEFO, single lot picking and residual shelf life control how products are picked for customer orders.  Products restrictions allow you to control geographically where products are sold. Rebate Management lets you track customer rebate and trade allowances.

Production Management

All the capabilities of Formula Management described above are enabled in production management – % based formulations, active/potent ingredients, version-controlled, change management, co- and by-products, bulk and packaging formulas and lot number inheritance. Production campaigns can be used to sequence production through production resources, minimizing setup/clean-down time between lots and controlling which production resources can be used to produce each product.  Bulk product and multiple packaging SKUs can be managed in a single view with production containerization. Products can be reformulated using rework orders.

Audit and Controls

Access to data and processes can be controlled through role based security, and electronic signatures can be used throughout the system to provide an additional level of control. Database log provides a full audit trail of who changed what and when. Workflow can be enabled to streamline and control approval and release processes. Quality management can be used in Purchasing and Production to manage the inspection, testing and availability of ingredients and products, and to capture test results. Procurement of key ingredients can be controlled using approved vendors.


Pharmaceutical industries have specific requirements that many ERP solutions cannot provide. An ERP solution designed for an electronics manufacturer will never provide full support for a pharmaceutical organization.

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 is designed for Pharmaceutical businesses. The capabilities above are delivered as standard with Dynamics AX, and all functionality is a core part of the solution delivered by Microsoft, not an additional install or third party solution.

BDO Canada’s Solutions team understands the unique requirements of Pharmaceutical businesses, and provides full implementation services and support for Microsoft Dynamics AX. If you’re a mid-sized or enterprise Pharmaceutical business and are considering an ERP project, please contact us. We look forward to hearing from you!

David Linton

Senior Manager


David is a Senior Manager with BDO Solutions who assists manufacturing organizations across North America to implement business solutions based on Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP software technology.

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