Vetoquinol: Consolidating Multiple Projects Due to High Business Growth
Vétoquinol specializes in animal health and implemented Sciforma to optimize its project management, to attain a comprehensive and consolidated vision of its whole project portfolio.
Vétoquinol is a well-known international player in animal health for both livestock (cattle and pigs) and domestic animals (dogs and cats). Independent and a ‘pure player,’ the group develops, manufactures, and markets veterinary medicines and non-medicinal products in Europe, America, and Asia-Pacific. Since its creation in 1933, Vétoquinol has combined innovation with geographic diversification. The strengthening of its product portfolio and the acquisitions in high-potential regions led to the group’s high growth. Vétoquinol is the 10th veterinary laboratory worldwide, employs nearly 2000 people, reported a turnover of 299.7 million euros in 2013, and has been listed on the NYSE Euronext Paris exchange since 2006.
Solid business growth increases project management requirements
Vétoquinol reports solid and steady growth, with its 2013 net income up by 4.5%. 83% of its turnover resulted from its international operations in 2013 and such development was achieved through an ambitious strategy of “hybrid profitable growth” combining organic growth and external growth. The group also invests heavily in R&D (spent 20 million euros on R&D in 2013, representing 6.7% of its turnover), in marketing, and in its production facilities. In total, the contribution to turnover from these investments rose 4 points, reaching 44% in 2013.
Therefore, the Information Systems Department (ISD) sought to implement a project management solution which could easily be used by all staff members to facilitate the exchange of information between ISD’s different services – research, business applications, support, and operations. After an in-depth market study, it chose PSNext 2.5 (now Sciforma), which enables it to manage the entirety of an IT project, from research to maintenance, development, and planning.
As a result of this accelerated growth rate, Vétoquinol has seen the number of its projects multiply over the last ten years. So much so, that the group decided to introduce project mode for its product development and was guided in this by Manageos consulting firm.
With regards to a tool, Vétoquinol originally relied on MS Project. "10 years ago MS Project enabled us to benefit from the basic features of project management, but as the number of projects increased, the tool was no longer suited to our requirements. For example, it was unable to run a multi-project consolidation so as to present a comprehensive vision of our entire portfolio,” explains Elodie Marc, Vétoquinol’s Product & Project Coordinator. “We went in search of a specifically dedicated tool which would enable us to follow the complete life-cycle of our projects whilst developing a wide variety of reports destined for different people in the company. After an in-depth market study, we chose Sciforma - PSN 8 at the time. Later on, we migrated to Sciforma’s most recent versions."
A solution for autonomous users: simplicity, multi-project consolidation, and tailored reports
Several factors influenced Vétoquinol’s choice. “On the one hand, the solution is perfectly adapted to the size of our business. On the other, the settings options and the guidance provided by the software publisher helps users to increase in autonomy, which is in perfect harmony with our own strategy. Finally, the solution is much simpler to use than the majority of other tools on the market. In this respect, the ease of use and handling makes users autonomous without the need to have extensive training,” explains Elodie Marc. “At the same time, Sciforma facilitates multi-project consolidation and offers countless reporting possibilities which are very useful to us.”
Today, Vétoquinol is running several active projects with a minimum life-cycle of 4 years - the majority lasts between 6 and 7 years, but some can continue for 10 years or so. The development of a medicine takes a particularly long time, due in to numerous regulatory requirements (research, clinical tests, registration procedures, etc.). The project then transfers into the hands of a Product Manager, where the sales and marketing operations are managed through another tool.
In addition to being able to group data via filters (pre-projects, current projects, and finished projects), Vétoquinol can prepare numerous reports specifically for the different functions of the company: “We prepare a classic project report for our management to detail the progress of projects and evaluate the principal milestones and key dates. The same indicators are analyzed in a multi-project report which provides an overview of resource utilization throughout the year,” explains Elodie Marc. "Furthermore, we can follow costs per project and per activity and through two approaches: actual and provisional. Other reports ensure the consolidation of expenses and detail the time for each resource, for control purposes. Management, the Business Department, and the Product Development Department benefit from tailored reports, as do the Project Managers and the PMO."
Vétoquinol’s 4 Project Managers and 2 PMOs use Sciforma to plan their projects and the resources. Around 150 people enter their time directly into the tool. The data generated is used by about forty people, but many more receive reports. “In my role as PMO, I am the only resource authorized to create reports. I am also responsible for administrative functionality, database settings, project consolidation, monitoring development expenses, and monitoring good practice in project management through a check of information captured,” specifies Elodie Marc.
Complete project management, scalable upon request
Vétoquinol’s main benefit of using Sciforma is the tool’s great flexibility. "I greatly value Sciforma because I can do practically everything that I want to – the tool enables me to carry out multi-project consolidation, monitor resource utilization and project progression, but it also allows me to keep track of the cost of each project," affirms Elodie Marc. "In general, I can respond quickly to any request for a report or consolidation. I cannot remember ever having replied, ‘It’s not possible!’ This feasible guarantee is essential for us, as it means that our creativity is never restrained by the tool’s limitations."
Additionally, Vétoquinol appreciates having had the same Sciforma consultant for 10 years: "She knows the specific nature of our activities perfectly, as well as the history of earlier versions. Not only does she know how to advise us effectively whenever we ask her to, but she is also proactive when she considers it necessary to be so. That is why we remain faithful to Sciforma; the solution suits us, the support is of quality, and perspectives for development are considerable," concludes Elodie Marc. "In brief, autonomy, simplicity of use, settings and rapid multi-project consolidation are the three key features which characterize our use of Sciforma. The tool’s flexibility allows us to consider all matters of development and the software publisher’s guidance helps us to quickly achieve any new idea."