Real-time data boosts business management at pharmacies – the illustrative case of Pharmadata
Pharmadata, a leading provider of pharmacy information systems, needed a reporting solution that could provide its customers with real-time data for their business management practices. When a suitable solution could not be found on the market, Pharmadata turned to Enfo. Their collaboration resulted in pd Analyysi, a new pd³ data warehousing and sales reporting system.
Pharmadata counts around half of Finnish pharmacies as its customers and, in recent years, they have begun demanding more accurate data to manage their business and finances. The reporting model used in Pharmadata’s basic system was not up to the task of providing dynamic reports that could be used to carry out rapid analyses.
Enfo and Pharmadata decided to work together to address this need and initiated their collaboration in May 2019. Their objective was to create the most real-time reporting system possible for pharmacies as well as a data warehousing solution that would be separate from the basic system, providing each pharmacy with the information they needed to boost their business.
“We here at Pharmadata understand the needs of pharmacies, and Enfo is well-experienced in developing the right types of data warehousing and reporting solutions,” shares Ilkka Toivola, CEO of Pharmadata. “Our collaboration with Enfo went very well, as Enfo’s experts know everything there is to know about data warehousing. We didn’t have to focus on learning these matters, which allowed us to complete our project quickly.”
Enfo’s experts know everything there is to know about data warehousing.
Involving pharmacies in the design process
Pharmadata’s pd³ pharmacy system is a cloud-based service. The new reporting solution was also implemented as a cloud service, which means that all analysis services can be provided securely on any platform, even on smartphones.
Pharmadata’s client pharmacies were involved in the design process from the beginning of the project. This ensured that the project was able to take its users’ every need into account from the outset. The pharmacies provided valuable information, such as the key indicators that they needed to monitor to improve their business.
The result was a user-friendly solution for everyone involved. The pilot for the data warehousing and reporting system was initiated in December 2019, and the solution was launched to a wider audience in March 2020 – albeit via video, due to the exceptional circumstances caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Soon after, the solution was adopted by around 200 pharmacies in Finland.
Providing everyday benefits
The reporting system provides pharmacies with vital sales information at a glance. The information presented by the system can be easily examined in more detail, even down to individual transactions, which can be quickly retrieved from the data warehouse.
The system can perform customer and product-specific analyses and can even be used to examine purchases on a vendor-by-vendor basis. These types of reports help pharmacies overcome everyday challenges – for example, anticipating the demands of care homes and providing more realistic bids to municipal dose-dispensing tenders.
The system helps pharmacies stay informed of their daily customer flows and sales. This has also had an indirect effect on their customer satisfaction: if any recent trends warrant changes, a pharmacy can consider adopting new solutions to meet this new demand. And when a pharmacy is more aware of its customer flows, it can better plan its work shifts.
The result of our project was a very user-friendly solution, the benefits of which have been clearly identified by our client pharmacies.
Helping to manage the coronavirus situation
The system has also helped pharmacies navigate the changes brought about by the coronavirus. The pandemic has resulted in strong fluctuations in demand. At the same time, the Finnish pharmacy network has been under pressure to ensure the availability and distribution of medicines and to measure their orders more accurately.
The reliable and real-time data provided by the new system has helped pharmacies anticipate these changes, maintain suitable inventory levels, and improve their security of supply. At the same time, it has allowed pharmacies to better manage their business and finances.
Pharmadata Oy is a leading provider of pharmacy information systems and data communications services. Pharmadata’s roster of products includes pd³, Salix, easyMedi, SecureMedi, Procuro, Presto, and Apteekkiverkko (Pharmacy Network). In 2019, the company’s net sales were approximately EUR 9.4 million with a headcount of 50 employees. Pharmadata is owned by the Association of Finnish Pharmacies (AFP).