The Master Data problem and the PCMT solution
VillageReach is a non-profit organization working in the area of medical logistics, especially the last mile delivery of medicines to remote rural areas in Africa. It was established in 2001 and is based in Seattle, U.S. VillageReach develops, tests, implements, and scales new solutions to critical health system challenges in low-resource environments. Its mission is to save lives and improve health by increasing access to quality healthcare for the most underserved communities.
So far, SolDevelo has worked with VillageReach on numerous undertakings, such as developing the OpenLMIS software. Thanks to our expertise and the skilled development team, we have made a lasting contribution to projects with a significant global impact.
Collecting master data into a single data source seems to be crucial for the effectiveness and harmonization of various stages of the health supply chain, such as e.g. registering and tracking medical supplies dispensed to patients or planning the delivery of vaccines and medicines around the world. Unfortunately, many health organizations do not use a master identifier for products distributed globally and employ highly manual processes which – as all processes requiring human input – are simply prone to errors. All of this does not allow supply chains to work together and makes it difficult to get supplies where they are needed most. That is why the Product Catalog Management Tool (PCMT) came into being.
PCMT is actually a set of add-on modules to an industry-leading open-source tool, Akeneo Community Edition. Akeneo, a Product Information Management (PIM) solution, significantly improves product data quality and accuracy while simplifying and accelerating product catalog management. Being a useful productivity tool, it helps the contributors to serve the product information in different languages and for different purposes. The PCMT project aimed at adding critical functionality to support Akeneo use in global health supply chains.
The SolDevelo team involved in the PCMT project consisted of 5 employees. They can boast not only strong backend development competencies but also the experience from the quality assurance field. Since the start, they have been working in Scrum with the Product Owner residing in the US.
The role of the Product Catalog Management Tool in transforming health care supply chains around the world is not to be underestimated. It enables end-to-end visibility, allows shipments to flow between systems, and helps supply chains perform. Thanks to the diversification of disciplines and organizations involved, it allows for a more integrated view of the challenges and available possibilities.