A growing business, with a turnover in excess of £140 million, Ethigen Limited has established itself as one of the leading pharmaceutical distributors in the UK with a head office depot in Glasgow and many other depots across the UK.
Ethigen has implemented the TranSend proof of delivery (ePOD) app on Zebra TC55 Android Touch devices to manage their deliveries to pharmacies across the UK using their own fleet of 60 vehicles, supplying retail pharmacies with a twice daily delivery and collection service in Scotland and a daily delivery and collection service to the rest of the UK.
Ethigen supplies pharmacies with a wide range of generic and branded over the counter (OTC) and prescription medicines, including controlled drugs.
Ethigen prides itself on the service levels and reliability it offers to pharmacies, including meeting any specified delivery time-windows.
When loading vehicles for the route each day, their drivers had no way of validating that all the correct boxes were loaded, which meant boxes being missed or going out with the wrong driver.
All delivery and collection processes were manual which meant drivers having to handle paperwork for proof of delivery, returns and collections. In addition, for drops that include controlled drugs, those specific boxes have to be validated by the pharmacist.
In order to deal with any customer queries or changes to a route, the back office would have to call the driver to check his location and details of the delivery status.
For regulatory control, Ethigen needed a proof of delivery (ePOD) system that would provide secure tracking of products, including controlled drugs, from loading onto vehicles to the point of delivery to the Pharmacies, ensuring that the right products would reach the right person at the right time and to provide instant feedback on any delivery issues as they arise.
TranSend ePOD has replaced all paper-based processes from vehicle loading to signature capture at the point of delivery to the pharmacist, feeding real-time data into the back office system, confirming recipient ID with time and date stamp.
Drivers use the TranSend app to scan boxes onto their vehicle, sign for any controlled drugs on the load and to confirm their load prior to departure.
Martin McKean, IT Manager at Ethigen, explains how TranSend ePOD load-scanning has transformed the loading process:
The system removes loading errors and saves drivers vast amounts of time if they are missing a box on a load. Rather than having to unload to check what is missing, load scanning with the PDA reconciles with the route plan. The driver is alerted to any missing boxes, the order type and where to locate in the warehouse.
At each stop, the TranSend ePOD app provides the driver with the necessary prompts based on product type to confirm relevant delivery checks and any validation required from the pharmacist.
Our drivers receive detailed instructions specific to each drop via the PDA, including the procedure for validating receipt of controlled drugs. This makes the delivery process straightforward and means that any driver can take up a route and follow the drop sequence – particularly useful for new and temporary drivers.
Ad-hoc collections can be allocated to drivers via their PDA during the day with their route adjusted from the back office. The system also manages returns by capturing release authorisation from the pharmacist and tracking items through to acceptance back at the depot, providing a complete and visible audit trail.
For managers and customer service staff, the TranSend web-based back office system provides complete visibility of all deliveries and collections using GPS tracking from the driver’s device, capturing any events and exceptions as they occur along the route.
The accuracy of delivery information in real time has speeded up our customer service response. Our team can immediately see where drivers are and deal with customer queries on ETAs.
With TranSend ePOD, Ethigen benefits from:
- Managing the driver’s day using a single device
- Time saving in accurate vehicle loading
- Time and cost-savings by the removal of paper processes
- Increased customer satisfaction in meeting time delivery windows, handling queries and providing updates on ETA
- A validated audit trail of all deliveries and collections
- Improved process management for controlled drugs
- Back office alerts to any delivery issues for quick resolution
- Accurate delivery information has speeded up invoicing and reduced payment queries
- An intuitive proof of delivery app that can be used by any driver, including agency drivers
Martin comments on the overall project:
TranSend were able to provide us with the depth of functionality we need to manage our controlled deliveries and collections with complete visibility of goods in transit. As a growing business, TranSend enables us to better manage our delivery performance and provide a more efficient service to our customers. The TranSend project management team were meticulous in keeping our project on track to achieve the right solution first time.