When Peter Rice of McKenzie’s Pharmacy approached us about a dispensary robot he was experiencing issues with the lack of space in his pharmacy. They had a very limited area on the ground floor of which their dispensary took up around 90%. Even so, they were very short on workspace because their pharmacy was growing rapidly.
They had store rooms on the first and second floor, however, to utilise the first-floor space effectively they would have needed to create a second dispensary. “What we found was that customers were being put off by the limited shop area, especially during busy periods while they were waiting on prescriptions” explains Peter.
After drawing up plans for a refit and sitting down with all of the UK robot suppliers, Peter decided to go ahead and step into the world of pharmacy automation with the EvoTec Smart Robot, supplied by the team at Clover51 Ltd.
“The decision to go with Clover51 and the EvoTec Robot was mostly down to how scalable the robot was and also the way it handled split packs and a variety of different pack sizes, unlike a channel robot EvoTec is virtual drawer system which means we could go fully automated with no limitations, even the loading aspect is automated. Price wise, it was very competitive compared to other bi-directional robots on the market” says Peter
The robot was installed on the second floor of the pharmacy with a number of chutes and slides made to measure through the ceiling going into the shop front and dispensary.
“We noticed the benefits immediately” explains Peter “We were able to serve multiple customers at the same time, meaning the door-to-door time for customers dramatically reduced and our customer service levels improved significantly. We also had more retail space to work with which helped to increase OTC sales.
He continues “The robot has automated almost all of our dispensary meaning that most prescriptions are filled entirely from the robot and that dispensary staff don ‘o have to move from the dispensing point. The robot has allowed us to dispense on multiple floors and at multiple locations simultaneously which has dramatically improved our workflow”
McKenzie’s managed to deal with their retail space and workflow issues effectively using their new EvoTec Robot “but the technology didn’t stop there” explains Peter…
“In addition to increased OTC sales, space and workflow advantages we enjoyed, we also managed to significantly reduce our stock-holding and have even used the robot to manage dead stock from the other branches. The ability to manage stock better has practically eliminated dead stock across our estate”
He continues “We have seen a 20% increase in items since installing our EvoTec Robot but have not required any additional staff because of the efficiency this solution provides. Instead, the robot has freed our team up to provide more patient- centered services.
Together with the savings they made on their stock holding, help from the capital investment fund, increased revenue in their retail area and the general boost in performance, EvoTec paid for itself “easily within 2 years” says Peter.
With any technology that your business depends on so heavily “it is vital to ensure you’re buying technology that is stable and well supported” says Peter “The stability and support we receive from EvoTec and Clover51 are both excellent, we have only had one issue in the space of 2 years leading to the loss of just 1 hour”.
He continues “Clover51 sent an engineer to the pharmacy promptly who worked outside of our normal operating hours to get the issue resolved without disrupting our work. We were fully operational again the next morning and haven’t had a problem since”
With the inefficiencies and physical limitations,McKenzie’s Pharmacy faced there were few solutions out there that could solve their problems, yet the EvoTec Smart Robot has “Exceeded our expectations” says Peter “In fact, it has been so successful that we have just installed another EvoTec Robot in another of our pharmacies”
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