Improving and digitizing pharmacy internal logistics with AbakusDirect mobile solution

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Pharmadata Oy is a leading company producing information systems and services for the pharmacy industry. The company’s turnover in 2021 was approximately EUR 7.4 million and the company employs 46 people. Pharmadata is owned by the Finnish Association of Pharmacists. Pharmadata is a reliable partner and innovative developer in the pharmacy industry that adds value to the operations of pharmacies.

Pharmadata develops solutions that provide pharmacies with business and customer value added benefits. The goal is to stay at the forefront of development in terms of both technology and operating environment. In 2019, every Finnish pharmacy had to introduce a drug certification system in accordance with The Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) . It states that drug packs should contain 2D barcodes that include the following information: product code, unique serial number, batch number, and expiration date. Pharmadata had been considering upgrading the pharmacy’s mobile app. The challenge in the previous generation solution was to end support for the Windows Mobile operating system. The new AbakusDirect solution was intended to take advantage of the GTIN 2D barcode and at the same time switch to use Zebra handheld terminals running the Android operating system.

Digitization and benefits of customer service and drug assurance processes

Pharmadata started a development project in 2020 and selected Optiscan’s AbakusDirect mobile solution and Zebra TC57 terminals for pharmacies. In the digitization project, old Windows-based devices were replaced and upgraded to new Android-based handhelds. Pharmadata implemented the digitization of pharmacy logistics with the AbakusDirect solution. The aim of the project was to improve the customer service of pharmacies, reduce manual work and possible human errors, utilizing the handheld solution and the functions to be developed for it: Product search, inventory and product transfers. It was wanted to use the 2D barcode (GTIN) on the packaging of medicines to verify the products.

With the easy-to-use AbakusDirect mobile app, you can streamline your pharmacy business. Thanks to the solution, customer service is accelerated and drug losses are reduced as overstocking is reduced. Inventory is done more often and faster than before, so real-time monitoring brings cost information and efficiency to the pharmacy business.

“The AbakusDirect mobile solution has supported and streamlined our pharmacy internal logistics by speeding up routines and increasing control and inventory processes. The Zebra’s stylish and ergonomically designed handheld is ideal for reading barcodes, ”says Nico Lindh, Tapiola Pharmacy.

Taipolan apteekki

In the future, the AbakusDirect application can be implemented with additional functions to develop the logistics of pharmacies as needs and requirements grow. Zebra handhelds are the latest generation of Android handhelds with guaranteed maintenance and security updates for at least 5 years to come.

Photo: Inventory process with Zebra TC57 and AbakusDirect mobile application at the customer’s premises in Tapiola Pharmacy.

Implementation of process digitization – technology, equipment and services

At the beginning of the project, the various use cases of the system were thoroughly reviewed. Pharmadata was ready to customize the interfaces of its own ERP head according to the interfaces used by AbakusDirect. The project schedule was quite tight and new activities were defined during the project, which could be addressed through good and close cooperation between the project teams, systematic work management and in-depth process knowledge of the various parties.

“Cooperation with Optiscan has gone really well. The key elements of the collaboration are flexible access to hardware and agility in software development. The sites and users are supported by Optiscan’s reliable maintenance services and SOTI’s remote management services. We have received a comprehensive solution from Optiscan: software, hardware and services, ”says Juha Aintila, Sales Director Pharmadata Oy.

In November 2021, the first pilot sites (5 pharmacies) were agreed. The goal is to expand the use of pharmacy mobile to Pharmadata’s customer pharmacies by gaining a controlled user experience.

Pharmadata’s ERP system communicates with Optiscan’s AbakusDirect mobile solution, and product browsing, transfer, and inventory are handled through an application on the handheld. The system helps those working in the customer interface to succeed in the real-time monitoring and customer service of the pharmacy warehouse, enabling customers to do business smoothly.