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Saudi Pharmacy Turns Mobile Data into Inventory Intelligence

Nahdi Medical secures “proof of delivery” via drivers’ handheld devices.

By Alan Joch

Fall 2017

Now that Oracle Transportation Management Cloud Service is fully implemented, the staff at Nahdi Medical is extending its capabilities—not with costly customizations, but by connecting it to an internally developed mobile application.

Designed by Oracle partner Inspirage to run on commercial-grade handheld devices, the app—called Tasheel (which means simplifying in Arabic)—lets drivers confirm shipping units loaded as they accept inventory at distribution centers. When products are delivered, pharmacists enter receipt confirmations into the mobile software, which also logs any boxes being returned for damage or because they’re past expiration dates. The app even tracks any empty shipping containers the driver is bringing back to the warehouse for reuse. The mobile app regularly sends delivery updates to Oracle Transportation Management Cloud Service. And if a delivery is moving through a part of the country where mobile connectivity is limited, the app features “store and forward” capabilities that ensure updates are made in the system as soon as cellular service is restored.

Nahdi Medical Co.

Headquarters: Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Industry: Retail pharmaceuticals and personal-care products

Employees: 10,000

Oracle products: Oracle Transportation Management Cloud Service, Oracle Retail Advanced Science Cloud Service, the Oracle Retail Merchandising software suite, Oracle Retail Category Management Planning and Optimization, Oracle Retail Order Broker, Oracle CX, Oracle Retail Xstore Point of Service, Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle’s Siebel Customer Relationship Management software, Oracle RightNow Service Experience Platform, Oracle SOA Suite, Oracle Hyperion Planning

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Maintaining accurate proof of delivery is a particularly important payoff. In the past, pharmacists weren’t required to immediately acknowledge receipt of shipments, which led to time gaps in the chain of custody for controlled substances. This old system also resulted in missing or incomplete information from stores, leaving an average of about 15 percent of stock unaccounted for during long periods. “We would reconcile receipts when we did cycle counts with stores every six months or sometimes annually depending on store profile,” says Sayed Al-Sayed, Nahdi’s supply chain applications manager. “But that was a huge disconnect representing millions of dollars.” Now, Nahdi obtains proof of delivery as inventory is being moved off trucks and into stores. “Maintaining accurate inventory records requires attention to detail at every step in the supply chain,” Al-Sayed says. “We’re now able to do that on all fronts—from ordering and distribution to shipment planning and deliveries.”

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Photography by Abdulrahman Bayashout/The Verbatim Agency