An integrated web sales, warehousing and finance operations solution for Chemist4U
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central with core sales order processing, PO processing, stock and warehouse management modules for real-time availability and margin visibility
Implementation of Tasklet handheld scanning solution
Custom integration with new Magento ecommerce website
Consultancy and skills transfer to support in-house team with everyday changes and development
Rescued a faltering project, replanning and focusing resources to deliver it successfully
About the organisation
Chemist4U is well positioned in a strong and growing market to expand in the UK and internationally, cementing its position as one of the largest digital pharmacies in the UK. It offers NHS repeat prescriptions, retail sales, and private prescription services. It spans website & mobile app platforms and has an NHS GPSoC accredited integration to GP Systems via an IM1 pairing to enable patients to order repeat prescriptions directly with their GP and track progress and delivery to their door.
Chemist4U also provides regulated 3PL pharmacy services to other pharmacy and health businesses as well as the NHS and some charities.
Successful growth brought Chemist4U to the realisation that it needed a capable and expandable ERP system. With a high volume of transactions to manage in an increasingly complex e-commerce business model, including both direct and Amazon selling, the business needed to meet ever more challenging dispatch and delivery targets in a competitive market.
With no visibility of inventory availability and value, Chemist4U could only calculate margins once a quarter, alongside a regular stock-take. Deploying a powerful real-time warehouse management system integrated with finance tools was a priority.
Chemist4U explored ERP options, including Netsuite and Oracle. They considered choosing separate
warehouse management finance systems, but decided that Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central was a preferred all-in-one solution. The team was already using Microsoft products and saw the advantages of a familiar look and feel, along with the ability to get all their systems working together easily.
After their initial Microsoft Dynamics 365 deployment went off-track, Chemist4U partnered with Xpedition to rescue the project and deliver a successful roll-out.
COO Ricardo Laverty says: Microsoft recommended Xpedition as a Gold partner. Our confidence was reinforced when we scored them very highly on knowledge, cost, resources, people, experience, reach and other key factors.”
Xpedition first completed a Discovery project to define how they would implement Business Central and to identify standard products that Chemist4U would add to Business Central to meet their particular operational needs. The team then built out the solutions and delivered successive major project elements
over the next few months. Business Central was deployed for sales order processing, purchase order processing inventory management and warehouse management.
Chemist4U went on to extend the scope and reach of the solution further, with Xpedition’s support. Using Tasklet handheld devices, they have optimised their picking process to enhance customer experience and lead times. Ricardo explains, “Tasklet is a third-party solution that helps us receive, put away and pick goods quickly and efficiently, using an easy and attractive user interface on a handheld. We’ve also created an addon to include tracking information. Business Central with its powerful API function is ideal for an e-commerce business like ours that wants to use technologies specifically designed for our sector.”
Easy API integration for specialist e-commerce solutions
A key part of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central project was the integrations of Chemist4U’s
e-commerce website and mobile app, which they connected to Business Central using Xpedition’s integration framework.
Business Central is now “the engine of everything at Chemist4U”, according to Ricardo. “All our other key systems reach into it. We have lots of workers using it without even realising it! Everyone in the warehouse picking and packing using their handheld devices is working with Business Central for information on shipping. The website calls Business Central to get product dimensions needed for packing and to indicate availability. They interact constantly.”
Chemist4U is currently deploying the last phase of the project, to migrate the NHS side of the business onto the system. Xpedition is supporting a newly appointed in-house Business Central developer to manage small changes and maintenance, so the business can be self-sufficient day-to-day. In the highly regulated pharmacy sector, this means they can quickly make any changes necessary to meet the latest compliance rules.
Working with Xpedition
“Xpedition brought expertise in both consultancy and development. We took their advice on the system architecture for the most efficient build and design. Xpedition’s developers are all multi-skilled. They aren’t just coders; they understand business processes too. Their grasp of our business is a real point of difference and their people have acted like an extension of our team.
We see a long-term relationship with Xpedition – they’re easy to talk to, we share similar values and objectives. They’re a key ongoing partner.”Ricardo Laverty / COO, Chemist4UU
- Real-time availability
Knowing exactly what’s in stock at any moment is vital to providing next-day delivery and maintaining customer satisfaction, enabling fulfilment as promised online.
- Full margin visibility
Realtime availability visibility facilitates margin visibility on an order-by-order basis. This gives Chemist4U complete financial control and oversight.
- Excellent customer experience
With Business Central to support the new e-commerce website, trade and consumer customers get an excellent end-to-end experience, from opening an account to delivery, encouraging loyalty and recommendations. This improves TrustPilot scores – a key influencer for new customers.
- Easier recruitment
Business Central has helped Chemist4U attract and recruit high calibre staff who are used to working in leading professional environments, with good technology and making evidence-based decisions.
- KPI tracking and improvement
Driving down ecommerce KPIs including out-of-stocks and delivery times has a direct impact on growth. Efficient new systems have improved KPI performance and Business Central makes it easy to track progress in real time.
- Delivery speed
In a competitive market with many online retailers offering similar goods, speed of delivery is often the deciding factor for customers. With accurate inventory and order information, Chemist4U can confidently offer fast-track delivery.
Business Central is a trusted platform that allows Chemist4U to rely on secure and well-authenticated e-commerce transactions and data interchange throughout its systems.
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