Business challenge

Pharmaceutical firms must deliver products quickly and in compliance with strict standards. How could Palladio Group help its pharmaceutical clients achieve this while keeping costs under control?

Transformation

To ensure continuous productivity and help clients comply with stringent industry standards, Palladio Group chose IBM Power Systems, working through IBM Global Financing to optimize its cash flow.

Results

Zero

hours of system downtime since implementing the solution

Slashes

delivery times of pharmaceutical products in half—from 32 to 16 days

Enables

allocation of substantial financial resources to strategic business projects

Business challenge story

Tackling a twofold challenge

Pharmaceutical companies are under great pressure to supply pharmacies with the required amount of stock on time. They need to follow strict industry regulations to protect patients as well as ensure that medicines are marketed safely and appropriately. Failing to meet these requirements could lead to pharmaceutical companies missing out on profitable opportunities with both local pharmacies and national chains, as well as patients not being able to find the medical products they need.

“The IBM Global Financing team made it easy to understand the possibilities that their proposal offered.”

—Giuliano Girardello, IT Manager, Palladio Group

Italian printing and production firm Palladio Group specializes in packaging for pharmaceutical products—from medicine boxes, adhesive labels and instruction leaflets all the way to anti-counterfeit systems, lean-line printing for smaller batches of products, supply chain solutions, and other B2B services.

Giuliano Girardello, IT Manager at Palladio Group, explains: “Providing packaging products and services for a strictly regulated industry means that the challenges we face are numerous.

“First, we need to ensure a high level of business continuity and productivity, as our customers have very stringent standards to meet. We need to be able to tackle both planned and unplanned service disruptions—such as fires, floods and even earthquakes—in the fastest and most efficient way, in order to prepare and dispatch orders quickly and make sure that pharmacies don’t run short on stock.

“Second, as we are in the process of expanding our operations in Russia, we want to be able to solve fresh challenges associated with the use of a different language, legal system, industry requirements, and time zone. We knew that we needed to find an ultra-reliable, efficient and high-performing way to sustain our business around-the-clock.”

Not only was Palladio Group faced with this twofold challenge, but also the company’s IT department was under pressure to find the most economical and sustainable financing plan for the new technology. By doing so, the company’s management would be able to release the necessary cash to fund valuable B2B projects that could further boost business growth.

Transformation story

Finding the cure for discontinuity

To solve these challenges, Palladio Group joined forces with IBM Premier Business Partner SME UP S.p.A., which assisted in performing a feasibility study and developed a business case to determine the outline of the project.

After sharing its findings with Palladio Group, SME UP S.p.A. proposed an IBM solution based on IBM Power Systems servers and IBM Storage technology. Specifically, Palladio Group implemented an IBM Power S814 server running the IBM i operating system at its main data center in Vicenza, and another similar system at its secondary data center in Pontedera, to ensure business continuity in the unlikely event of a disaster.

Both systems are connected to an IBM Storwize® V5000 Storage system, which provides ample storage capacity to accommodate the data needs of Palladio Group’s customers. The company also leverages IBM Spectrum Protect™ software to replicate data between the two sites.

Giuliano Girardello states: “The implementation of the new IBM environment went very smoothly, with IBM offering us a great combination of best-in-class technology, and SME UP S.p.A. supporting us each step of the way—from installation all the way to configuration and service activation.

“Once we had chosen the hardware that best suited our needs, SME UP S.p.A. prompted us to look into IBM’s payment options, and that’s how we found out about the great offers from IBM Global Financing.

“The proposal included eight quarterly installments for 24-month, interest-free financing and immediately proved to be far more convenient than upfront cash payments, for a number of reasons.

“First, IBM Global Financing enables us to finance our whole IBM landscape under a single, simple contract, giving us peace of mind that we are fully covered at all times.

“Second, with IBM Global Financing we can keep up to date, regardless of the direction that technology takes in the future. In fact, IBM handles the disposal of obsolete equipment while allowing us flexible upgrade options.

“Most importantly, though, this flexible type of payment helps us retain the cash that we need to fund valuable business projects—such as our expansion in Russia, the opening of new production plants, and other B2B services. To top it all off, putting the financing contract together was simple, thanks to the support we received from SME UP S.p.A. and the transparency and simplicity offered by the IBM Global Financing team.”

In addition, the financing agreement signed by Palladio Group included a three-year maintenance contract with IBM Global Technology® Services for its entire IBM landscape. Within the agreement, IBM Global Technology Services will deliver high-quality technical support and assist Palladio Group in managing and maintaining its new IBM infrastructure.

Results story

Paving the way for healthy business growth

By joining forces with IBM and IBM Business Partner SME UP S.p.A., Palladio Group consolidated its IT infrastructure into reliable, efficient and high-performing IBM Power Systems and IBM System Storage technology.

IBM Global Financing allows Palladio Group to benefit from flexible, affordable financing of its IBM solution while releasing cash flow to fund current and future strategic business projects.

Working with IBM Global Technology Services has brought further benefits to Palladio Group’s IT staff, as Giuliano Girardello remarks, “Through our partnership with IBM Global Technology Services, we can significantly reduce the workload of our IT teams, releasing them to focus on improving our infrastructure in line with both our local business projects and our overseas expansion.”

Since implementing the IBM solution, Palladio Group has experienced no technical downtime and the continuity of its operations has always been safeguarded, as Giuliano Girardello confirms: “The IBM solution has allowed us to solve our biggest challenge: to ensure exceptional business continuity. This enables us to deliver products to our customers faster and more efficiently than ever before.

“In the past, it took an average of 32 days from product order to final delivery. Because the IBM solution helps us to be much more proactive and productive, we have slashed this time in half, and the whole cycle now ends within 16 days.

“Customers who see their stock arriving in the warehouse in such a short timeframe are very impressed, because they can, in turn, provide pharmacies with the required products much more quickly, helping them to keep their shelves full at all times.

“As a consequence, we are in a much better position to retain current business and close new deals that strengthen our position in the market and boost our growth. Furthermore, because we are now nimbler and more efficient than ever, we can take care of devising and delivering innovative services that ensure our customers are always fully compliant with strict requirements, and that they market pharmaceutical products in the safest, most effective and informative manner.”

Giuliano Girardello continues: “While we are very happy with our technical choices, we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the great financing offering that IBM Global Financing was able to put together for us. The IBM Global Financing team made it easy to understand the possibilities that their proposal offered, and we couldn’t be more satisfied with our choice.”

He concludes: “Working with IBM and SME UP S.p.A. enabled us to solve our toughest challenges, helping us to save a significant amount of money that can now be allocated to fund crucial business projects, such as the opening of our new plants in Russia as well as local B2B initiatives. We are confident that whatever new challenges may arise in the future, IBM and SME UP S.p.A. will be there for us.”

10981561

About Palladio Group

Founded in Italy in 1946 as a family-owned printing business, Palladio Group has grown over the decades to become a leading company specializing in the production of high-quality packaging for the pharmaceutical industry. With a clear focus on customer-centricity and innovation, Palladio Group strives to deliver prompt, excellent service and is constantly seeking to expand its business by acquiring new clients.