As you may have noticed I am a big fan of Amazon's services in general and one of the latest offerings, Amazon Prime Now, led me to discussions with a number of clients who wanted to emulate or explore how they could also achieve same day delivery. Companies like McMaster-Carr have made a billion dollar business on the same day delivery model.
If you are not familiar with it , Amazon Prime now offers thousands of products on a two hour delivery time frame and having used the product extensively I must say I would pay for the convenience however it's currently free to prime members.
Having said that to differentiate themselves in the Retail Pharmacy space a client recently said , what other value can we bring to these clients?
During the meeting it was suggested that same day delivery was a good value as it would allow them to tell patients/customers, "No problem I can have the prescription filled by 3pm today."
This would also steer them away from the traditional pricing arguments and haggling over price
as other competitors could not deliver this service and eventually customers would either come to their pharmacy more often or possibly even pay a rush fee.
The problem was that they while they did have the inventory to handle the demand they did not have the distribution network and wanted to expand it outside the normal 2-3 hour zone from thier main warehouse.
In a previous blog post we covered using existing clients to expand the supply chain and using those not as supply chain endpoints , but rather as mini warehouses. However there are complications at those locations and your don't always have controlled access, certainly an issue in the the Pharma supply chain.
So what was the solution?
Borrowing from our successful MDS-EMS Supply Chain Management for Emergency Medical Services Software solution , we took the concept of a warehouse on wheels and created the mobile inventory warehouse that solved the issue.
Customer orders can be routed directly to the driver and mapped out so if there is not enough time and he or she can move along a predetermined route delivering products through out the day.
As demand increases multiple vans/trucks can be added and the standard MDS-EMS replenishment system means they are in and out of the distribution center in minutes instead of hours when restocking the mobile warehouse.
The Mobile Inventory System works by allowing Each mobile warehouse to replenish packs and loose items from the DC/supply depot. On a scheduled basis or on demand customer sales orders are sent to your supply truck. The orders are updated via wireless web connection from your supply warehouse and the MDS-Nx System. The truck Prints labels and delivers the goods on the truck, then returns to the main warehouse, after supplying and restocks or delivers additional orders until inventory is depleted. Packs are replenished and any lose items are restocked using each pack’s bar coded label. An invoice is generated for the items consumed and the customers account is charged. All items are displayed on the website as available for same day delivery and if an order is mixed items - they can choose to ship later with entire shipment from the DC or have it routed to the same day truck driver.
By building prebuilt "packs" of the most frequently used items and or creating a usage pattern for the clients in that area you can increase the likelihood of customers using the program and you can either charge higher product prices for same day items or a surcharge for delivery.
Alternately you can just this as the tool the separates your company from the competition.
For more information on TSH or MDS call The Systems House, Inc. at 1-800- MDS-5556. Or send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org
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