Medical distribution company losing sales

The company had been going less than a year when I worked with them. My main role was to migrate their manual admin, payroll, accounts and reporting to a computerised system on  SAGE 50.

I quickly handle these tasks and upgraded the SAGE package to be able to handle SOP and POP,  as all orders were imported  from Austria into the warehouse in bulk and then had to be packed according to the various orders, picked up and distributed to the various NHS warehouse depots around the UK. I implemented the stock handling and warehouse procedures to ensure they were able to meet all their orders, every time.

There were 5 sales reps out on the road in different parts of the UK, looking after various hospitals within their areas.

After several discussions with them it was clear that they only worked to a circular route which meant it could be 3-4 months before they visited a particular hospital again.

I noticed that every week the NHS would send in data regarding the sale of the products from the NHS catalogue. This data clearly showed which ward, in which hospital, had ordered how many of each product, for the last 7 days. The reps would get this information, in its raw form, but as it was pages long they rarely had time to look at it and use it.

This data was vital information that was not being used.

I created a scheduler that would import the raw data every week . This was then filtered and sorted automatically to give each rep just their territory’s data. It clearly showed the reps on a week on week basis how many of what products each ward was buying.  It automatically flagged up if more than 2 weeks had passed without a ward buying a product that they regularly purchased. This meant that the reps could be proactive and ring the wards to find out why their buying patterns had changed. It might have been that they had overstocked on previous weeks OR it could be that they were trialling a competitor’s product.

Under the old system that would have been a lost customer as by the time the rep got to revisit that ward some 3-4 months later, the ward would have been used to the competitors product.

With this new system the reps did not lose any sales as they were able to find out why the ward was trialling a competitor’s product, and could quickly regain control of the situation. They were also able to gain a lot of new business.

The turnover went from £3 million to nearly £6 million in just over 12 months.