Winthrop Pharmaceuticals improves supply chain efficiency with digital pen and paper

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Greater supply chain efficiency, a reduction in order error-rates and improved sales force productivity, are three of the benefits that a digital pen and paper workflow solution has delivered for sanofi-aventis owned Winthrop Pharmaceuticals, a company that operates solely in the generics drug market.

Implemented by Inqology, a leading supplier of digital services, the solution has enabled Winthrop Pharmaceuticals to reduce the lead-time for supply of generic drugs to pharmacies across the UK by 24 hours, or up to 48 hours in some instances. This helps to ensure a consistent supply of the most popular types of drugs regularly stocked by high-street pharmacies.

Previously, members of Winthrop Pharmaceuticals field-sales teams used a regular paper-based system for ordering supplies for their client pharmacies. This process was administration-intensive, often requiring field-sales representatives to spend up to two hours at the end of their working day manually creating and reviewing orders, then completing their activity log. As well as taking time, the practice was error-prone. Using the new digital pen and paper (DP&P) workflow solution, orders are sent and processed by Winthrops head office in real-time; crucially, order-placement accuracy levels have increased from 85% to 95% and rising. At the end of each day, the field-sales representatives activity log is also submitted using the DP&P, which gives Winthrop executives total visibility of their workforces activity.

Commenting on the deployment, Andy Clarke, General Manager, Winthrop Pharmaceuticals UK, said: Introducing the digital pen and paper workflow solution has greatly increased our supply chain efficiency, meeting the needs of the business and our customers. In addition to the efficiencies that the solution has delivered to the supply chain, Winthrop Pharmaceuticals also praised the system for its ease of deployment, ease of use and minimal training.

Winthrop Pharmaceuticals appointed Inqology to access its workflow processes based on Inqologys successful track record with digital pen and paper-based workflow solutions. After an evaluation of Winthrops needs, Inqology formulated a solution comprising the Nokia SU27w digital pen and Anoto paper. Now, ten of Winthrops generic drug field representatives, covering the whole of the UK, use the DP&P solution when visiting pharmacies. Stock is reordered by entering the pharmacists requirements onto the digital paper form using the digital pen. The sales representative then ticks the Send Form box to submit the order via Bluetooth and their internet-enabled mobile phone. The order form is converted into an Excel file which is emailed and uploaded to the corporate SAP system.

Jack Leuty, Head of Operations & Sales, Inqology said: Real-time sharing of information is essential for all businesses. Although this is common practice for many organisations, a vast number still depend on using conventional pen and paper for recording data or capturing information. This practice induces delays and is susceptible to costly errors. The deployment of a digital pen and paper solution at Winthrop is one example where an existing process or workflow can be improved dramatically with little investment needed to migrate from the old working method to that of the digital world.

Digital pen and paper works by capturing each pen stroke as you write. These pen strokes are encrypted and saved on the digital pen. When the Send box is ticked, the pen connects to the paired Bluetooth mobile phone and transfers the pen strokes. The mobile phone application securely transmits the pen strokes to a server via a GPRS internet connection. 30 seconds after ticking Send the pen strokes are being processed by the server, handwriting converted to text, then transformed into any data format, e.g. PDF, XML, csv, jpg, rtf, txt, Word, Excel.

 

About sanofi-aventis

Sanofi-aventis is one of the world leaders in the pharmaceutical industry, ranking number one in Europe. Backed by a world-class R&D organisation, sanofi-aventis is developing leading positions in seven major therapeutic areas: cardiovascular, thrombosis, oncology, metabolic diseases, central nervous system, internal medicine and vaccines. Sanofi-aventis is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).
 
About Winthrop Pharmaceuticals

Winthrop Pharmaceuticals is a new player on the generic market, created in January 2005 from the various generic manufacturers held by Sanofi-Aventis. Winthrop is currently concentrated in the major EU markets; France, Germany, and the UK. It is also active in smaller markets such as the Czech Republic and Portugal. Latin America is an area for expansion; the company already has a subsidiary in Colombia.

About Inqology

Inqology specialise in digital imaging, data capture, and workflows. In the ideal world we would all like a paperless office. In recognition of this, Inqology can enable you to take the pain out of processing paper. We achieve this by devising best fit innovative digital solutions that will increase compliance, productivity and visibility at executive level, on the floor, or out in the field.

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