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Case Studies

Mediq Revitalizes its Logistics Processes with a "Cure for Complexity" from Intermec

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Mediq is ready for the future with Intermec CN50Mediq is an international supplier of medicines and medical aids. With around 8,200 employees, Mediq is active in fourteen countries. From Mediq’s transport planning centre in Ede and seven depots across The Netherlands, the organisation delivers medicines throughout the country to customers’ addresses, nursing homes and 222 Mediq pharmacies, The Netherlands’ largest chain of pharmacies. The company constantly works on helping patients to get better and teaches them how best to deal with their condition. This allows people to feel healthier and continue to feel part of society.

Background

The transport planning department supervises and organises the distribution of 350,000 packages of medicines and medical aids on around 120 routes per day. Patient care is the central focus. In today’s society, customers are increasingly critical of the service and care they receive. Consequently, it is essential that the service provision is constantly evaluated and updated where necessary so the best possible care can be guaranteed now and in the future.

Challenge

Mediq relies upon a streamlined distribution process and efficient transport management so that patients always receive the right medication or medical aids on time. Mediq has outsourced the delivery of its products to carefully selected sub-contractors with extensive fleets of vehicles. Given the sensitive nature of the cargo, it is imperative that Mediq’s planning department and its drivers work together very closely. Everything is done to ensure that each delivery arrives at the agreed time. That’s why until recently all vehicles had been fitted with vehicle-tracking systems that provided the transport planning department with a good overview of all vehicles on the road.

"To guarantee delivery, each package has a unique code that is read by hand scanners. Each delivery had be signed for. This was time consuming and involved a complex administrative process. Modernisation was required," said Philip Admiraal, Transport Manager at Mediq Apotheken in The Netherlands.

The Ideal Solution

The ideal solution had to map out Mediq’s logistics process in detail. This required, among other things, a digital signature for quick and efficient processing of the proof of receipt. GPS functionality with tracking and tracing would be needed to provide a better overview of drivers´ locations and their cargos. In addition, ease of use, preferably with visual support, were priorities.

VOICT –designer, creator and manager of tailored Transport Management Systems and long term IT partner of Mediq Transport Planning, was selected to examine and resolve this issue. Following a period of field tests with various solutions, the Intermec CN50 rugged mobile computer was selected. The Intermec CN50 provides Mediq with a compact navigation system with Logistics.ONE software from Aventeon, designed especially for Mediq. This software package supports task-based operations and is integrated perfectly with the back-office system. This system clearly maps out the deliveries being made by drivers. Mediq’s Transport Management team now also has constant access to the most recent delivery status updates. A link to the GPS system allows the vehicles/systems to be followed real-time, meaning that deliveries can be planned with much more precision. Any changes, such as a change of address, can be updated in the system immediately. To meet the objective of reducing the administrative burden, the Intermec CN50 solution is compact, convenient and light in use. The vehicle mount also allows the system to be installed and taken out of vehicles easily. The intuitive menu means optimum user-friendliness.

Time-saving and Sustainability

After a month of intensive testing, the solution was implemented simultaneously on all 120 daily routes. Train-the-trainer sessions were held throughout the country and the regular company newsletter reported extensively on the new system. A special helpline was set up to answer questions from drivers who were also given personal instruction cards.

The launch went smoothly and drivers quickly embraced the new system and the changes were received very positively. Feedback from users was incorporated immediately into the solution, resulting in an even more intuitive solution. "Based on our extensive knowledge of and experience with Mediq’s IT systems and the good cooperation with the team there, around 180 drivers could start working with the new system immediately," says Gert van Oel, system integrator at VOICT. "Mediq’s customers hardly even noticed the transition."

After the initial adoption period, the drivers are using the new solution with a sense of pride. "The drivers that work for Mediq are all aware of the importance of delivering their cargo on time. The new system allows us to serve our customers even better and faster and, moreover, relieves the drivers of their administrative tasks. The convenience and user-friendliness of the Intermec CN50 solution makes it extremely accessible. This certainly played a big role in the quick acceptance of the new system," Admiraal adds.

The introduction of the Intermec CN50 has not only been a great help to the administrative department. The system is ideally suited to deal with changes in the structure and support processes of the transport of medicines and medical aids – both now and in the future. An example could be the replacement of the digital signature by a photo, for less mobile patients. Changes in the delivery process, too, can be structurally implemented so that, for instance the distribution of medicines from the pharmacy, can be optimised.