Until 2017, Cosanum AG, an innovative medical logistics company, operated a decidedly heterogeneous IT landscape: The usual office system was joined by an aging Swiss ERP system running on its own servers, supplemented by applications for logistics, finance, human resources, purchasing and reporting. These solutions were expensive; they no longer functioned as expected, and interface problems occurred time and again. In addition, there were constantly growing licence costs for the applications and high expenses for the maintenance of the infrastructure.

To relieve the burden on the expense side, the Consanum team decided to outsource everything to the cloud and abandon the in-house servers. An external consultant recommended a complete rebuild of the IT and at the same time the procurement of open source solutions.

Odoo Experience 2020 | © Cosanum
Odoo Experience 2020 | © Cosanum

ERP system Odoo with standard modules

Bruno Schefer, Consanum’s co-owner and co-headcoach, researched ERP systems at a trade fair. One exhibitor convinced him right away: the name was Camptocamp, and the open source solution they worked with was called Odoo.

After a short time of getting to know each other, it was time to get started: In a first phase, Odoo modules and company processes were aligned, and then the open source system was gradually introduced, using standard modules wherever possible.

Cosanum started with time recording and human resource management, followed by CRM, and financial accounting. For security, everything was still connected to the old "IT colossus" via temporary interfaces.

Next came the mission-critical area of logistics, where the team knew there was no room for risk. For this, a small subset of products was separated from the previous IT and switched to Odoo. This test went very well, and the logistics module was refined and rolled out across the entire operation. An advanced Warehouse Management System (WMS) was born - and, because it’s an Open Source solution, is now available to anyone who wants to use it. 

Everyone at Consanum waited anxiously for customer reactions such as "What's wrong with your system?" or "Why can't I order?". But the phones remained silent. Everything worked flawlessly from the first day.

Finally, the purchasing module, based on the DDMRP methodology, was put into operation. Employees were specifically trained on the new system, and by spring 2021, the entire company IT had been converted to Odoo.

New IT, new corporate culture, new company structure

The changeover of IT came at a challenging time for Cosanum. On the one hand, the handover from the founder to the next generation was underway; on the other hand, the pandemic placed great demands on both the customers - hospitals and homes - and the internal departments (home office, online meetings, etc.). Procuring a collaborative web-based enterprise software proved to be a wise decision, especially at this time. It also helped to establish Consanum’s new agile company culture - the exponential organization (ExO), which shifted styles from leadership to collaboration, from managing to coaching, from employee to Happy cosaMember and from ownership principle to participation and partnership. This also meant reducing hierarchy levels, expanding individual ownership, and integrating into business ecosystems.

All this with one goal in mind: Consanum’s success. With Odoo, efficiency increased massively and, at the same time, process costs also fell. In addition to the customers, the employees ("Happy cosaMembers" as they’re now called) also benefited: In certain areas of the company, working hours could be reduced, in some cases by several hours per week - without any loss of pay!

Cosanum Logo | © Cosanum

Cosanum: Health logistics for large-scale consumers

Cosanum AG in Schlieren is a market-dominating Swiss medical logistics company with 130 employees. For over 40 years, it has been supplying hospitals, nursing homes and Spitex services with medical and hygiene products, some of which are delivered directly to their place of use, for example to the operating room or the patient's bedside. For many customers, repeat orders are placed automatically via connected scales in the relevant warehouse.

"Work Safety," another Cosanum work area, supplies companies with health and safety products.

Odoo Gold Partner | © Odoo

Odoo modules implemented at Cosanum

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