As most pharmacy owners will know all too well running a delivery service raises many issues on a day-to-day basis.
I lacked vital information on the service we provided. I did not know how many we did daily, weekly, and monthly. The delivery driver required more hours but I had no way of seeing how well the delivery system worked or could be improved. There seemed to be a communication problem between the pharmacy staff and the delivery service. When my driver said he was going on holiday for a month I needed a system in place that would ensure that our delivery service did not suffer. We had reached a stage where we required a second van for the delivery. During the month he was on holiday and monitoring the two drivers I realised how inefficient our delivery service was such as delivering to far reach areas on consecutive days.
After clearly identifying the issues I decided to have a mobile app developed to provide a complete solution. This was developed not as a business initiative but to resolve issues that I had with the delivery service we provided.
We were able to reshuffle our deliveries and not only have we been able to avoid the second van but been able to reduce the delivery time by an hour every day. This has resulted in significant savings, even when factoring in the cost of development and a mobile phone contract for my driver.
I was also able to get rid of all paper work and place an computer screen on the wall. This enabled the staff to follow the driver live through the day and hence resolve any delivery issues with patients that phoned up.
I was so pleased with the solution that I decided to make it available to other pharmacies. Since making that decision I have set up a company to provide the service - Pro Delivery Manager - and developed the app further to include features requested by other pharmacies.
I M G Jones, MRPharms
Borth Pharmacy, Cerdigion, UK