Last month we had the pleasure of sitting down with Shaundra Biggs, Director of Enterprise Business Systems at Aroa Biosurgery Ltd. AROA was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in Auckland, New Zealand. AROA first partnered with Kettering in 2008 to deploy QAD in the cloud.
What does Aroa manufacture?
Aroa Biosurgery is a soft-tissue regeneration company that develops, manufactures and distributes medical and surgical products to improve healing in complex wounds and soft tissue reconstruction.
What do you love about your job?
It’s a very dynamic environment so you’re always challenged with something, you never have the opportunity to get bored. I love how busy & varied it can be.
How was your business impacted by the pandemic?
The US is our major market and in general a large number of hospital procedures were delayed during the pandemic, however the underlying health needs do not go away so we have since seen these procedures being rescheduled as the hospitals try to clear the backlog.
Aroa recently completed the USA Site Upgrade, how was that experience?
The project team here in NZ completed most of the project without much involvement from the US team as they were so busy at that time. They didn’t get to see the product until relatively late on in the project when we demonstrated the WebUI interface and trained them on the new processes.
The feedback from them has been very positive and they found the WebUI to be much more user friendly, a lot more intuitive so it really did speed up quite a few of their processes. An example would be processing sales orders where you would previously have to click “next, next, next” and go through page after page even though you only wanted to enter a few key pieces of data. In the WebUI you can scroll straight to those fields and enter the data and save the record. There was some good time savings in this area so the US team have been very positive about the upgrade, and the WebUI in particular.
The upgrade was more complex and time consuming than I had thought it would be, the last time I had done an implementation with Kettering it was the .NET ui interface and an older version which was a tried and true product so we never experienced any bugs/issues.
I probably wasn’t expecting that when we implemented the Web ui interface that we would experience bugs in the system because it was such a new product, so I think that was a bit of a learning curve for me.
Kettering really helped us through any issues we experienced, they worked with QAD and assisted in getting any patches delivered that we needed to move forward. I would say that Kettering put everything into the project like we did. They put a lot of effort in, a lot of extra time and they were focused on Aroa achieving the goal and helping us navigate through any difficulties that we encountered.
What are you looking forward to next, are you excited about rolling out AUX (WebUI) locally in New Zealand?
Yes, it was great to do the US first and experience the WebUI in a smaller frame. When I first started using the WebUI, it took a little while to adjust, if I’m honest. I found it a little foreign and harder to use initially because I had spent years in the NetUI, but it’s funny now, I have forgotten the transactions in the NetUI and I gravitate to doing everything in the WebUI. That’s definitely where I’m much more comfortable now, so I love that interface as much as the people in the US have.
We have embarked on the New Zealand implementation and that’s going to have a whole lot of complexity that we didn’t have in the US because we are bringing on board Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Quality requirements and Automated Solutions. We’re hoping that because we have already got quite a good understanding of QAD and the WebUI that we can build on this and have a very successful New Zealand implementation.
What’s one piece of wisdom you would like to share?
It’s a little bit about the mindset; when you’re at the beginning of a project sometimes it can be a little bit daunting because there is so much to do and so much that you don’t know. The last project taught me to go with the process and accept that you’re going to get information gradually and you can’t absorb everything all at once.
I have the confidence knowing that all the pieces of the puzzle will fit together and you will have a complete picture, so it’s just about having that mindset.
How do you find working with Kettering/Yash?
I think Yash is super lovely to work with, he brings such a positive & calm approach to the project, along with a pretty contagious laugh. He is really focused on AROA getting a great result and we have a very good working relationship. I know that if I’ve got a query that I can go to him as he’s got a whole lot of knowledge and he is a real solid sounding board to just bounce ideas off.
He knew quite a lot of our business before from the US upgrade and he is learning even more now about the NZ business. This is quite invaluable to have someone that knows that level of detail about our business and this will really help us with future projects.
We already have ideas for where we would like to go next, we know we want to potentially upgrade again to pick up some of the new functionality in the WebUI, and we’ve got some other products we are interested in like, EQMS, EAM and Trade Activity Management.