A leading pharmacy retailer calculates pill inventory digitally in real time—improving efficiency, accuracy, and cost management.
Retail case study
The inventory management team for a leading healthcare retailer was looking for a more accurate way to capture prescription inventory than just “eyeballing the bottle.” This unreliable method of measurement was costing the company an estimated millions of dollars annually. An exact calculation of prescription inventory is critical for cost-effective product planning and for monitoring prescription expirations for controlled substances with strict regulatory requirements. The company needed a more reliable solution that could also minimize human-error as much as possible during the inventory process.
WEI worked with the in-store technology team to understand the unique needs of the pharmacy environment and the metrics used to calculate exact pill content. A digital scale could capture the weight and dimensions of each pill and pill bottle, greatly improving the accuracy of the inventory data, but to further remove the chance of data entry errors the data would have to be transferred directly to the company’s internal inventory application. WEI engineers attached a personal router to the digital scale, essentially creating a hot spot, to enable wireless communication of data to the company’s inventory application.
WEI programmed, packaged and deployed over 8,000 wireless digital scales outfitting the entire chain of retail stores. WEI taught the in-store technology team how to remotely monitor the scales to inhibit tampering and ensure reliability and performance.
“There was nothing like this on the market,” explained Dave Fafel, Chief Architect of WEI.
“It was a unique way to solve a very specific customer challenge. We used off-the-shelf components to create this custom wireless digital scale and then packaged it and made it store-ready.”
The retailer now has a consistent and accurate method of measuring prescription inventory in real time company-wide. The cost-effective solution improved expiration management and enabled pharmacy technicians to make more-informed product planning decisions. WEI is proud of its ability to create custom IT solutions to help customers accomplish day-to-day activities as smoothly as possible.
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