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Aretex Group is a consulting company for the pharmaceutical industry based in the United Kingdom. Through market monitoring and price optimization Aretex helps pharmacies reduce their purchasing costs for prescription drugs. Automate Labs supported Aretex in developing and implementing Ninox, an easy-to-use solution that enables them to map their individual business processes much more efficiently.
Spreadsheets Dominated the Workplace
Aretex were relying heavily on spreadsheets for inventory management solutions. This meant that at any one time there could be up to forty spreadsheets in use, linked to a main file with formulas, macros and VBA scripts. These spreadsheets were sued to track 5,000 different medicines, multiple pharmacy users and drug prices which change daily. Different pharmacies charged different prices (based on stock levels, supplier agreements and volumes) which added a further layer of complexity!
As a consequence it was difficult for staff within the business to keep on top of information, and it was a real challenge to avoid duplication and data errors, whilst everyone had to continually check that the information they were using was up to date. It was also impossible to achieve any real efficiency because staff were unable to work on the same files at the same time due to conflict errors. Spreadsheet subsections were frequently being sent back and forth between staff.
A Futureproof Solution
Ninox was chosen because it offers a solution which can be extended for multiple users (currently it is essentially deployed as a single user solution) and would, therefore, be able to grow with the business.
The solution was developed as a single database that could manage all the information required to make purchasing decisions. Sitting behind the primary interface are multiple subsets of data which can be used for reporting as well as updating the master database.
This meant that spreadsheet use was significantly reduced. Once a CSV file is uploaded to the database the system identifies duplicates, updates existing entries and adds new ones. Users can search for specific drugs and identify suppliers, and prices, that meet their specific requirements.
“Using Ninox means that I know I’m looking at the most up to date information. I don't have to worry about using an old version of data, or any missing data.”
The Ninox powered solution, implemented by Automate Labs, has delivered some really useful performance enhancements. The improved visibility of supplier pricing allows the firm to make quick and efficient calculations which makes purchasing decisions both quicker and more effective. The move away from multiple spreadsheets ensures that data is cleaner and more accurate, which has also provided opportunities to reduce staff costs (and stress!) as many previously manual processes are fully automated.
“I was surprised it only took a week to get 90% of the solution set up. Brendon from Automate Labs was extremely thorough, getting the solution up and running quickly. We then had some minor tweaks which were completed in a matter of days.”