AAH tests supply chain information system
Community pharmacists should soon be able to find out more information about out-of-stock products through a system being tested by AAH Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
The system, called Eqos, uses e-mail and a website to gather information from suppliers. AAH loads information about stock issues onto a website at 9am every day. Suppliers to whom the information applies are notified by e-mail. The suppliers are asked to visit the website and to give by 3pm the same day information about expected delivery dates for the relevant products and the reasons for them being out of stock. This information is then circulated to appropriate staff at AAH.
At present, the system is being piloted with information collected from three suppliers. Once the project team is satisfied with the flow of information, it will be made available to AAH's branches. Customer service departments will then be able to pass on the information to pharmacists as required. In time, AAH is planning to integrate the information into its recently launched Point extranet.
Further suppliers are to be introduced into the system from September, assuming that the current trials are successful. AAH wants to have all its main suppliers on line within 12 months.
Mr Colin Dulson (supply chain director, AAH) said on July 18: "Over the past year the number of out-of-stock situations has increased considerably in the market in general. Eqos has been introduced to allay some of the frustrations and inconvenience this can cause our customers and ourselves. In planning the project, we were aware that the problems can be both internal and external and many of them are completely out of our control as a wholesaler. However, we are determined that the customers should have access to the best information possible at all times."
Information on out-of-stock items could soon be incorporated into AAH's Point extranet
Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal