by Hamish Barwick

Diagnosing a business transformation

Jun 27, 20134 mins
Collaboration SoftwareRetail IndustrySmall and Medium Business

Since being purchased from Symbian Pharmacy Services four years ago, pharmacy chain Terry White Chemists has looked at ways to improve its 164-strong store network and technology services.

A Microsoft Dynamics ERP system, which was introduced in March 2012, provided the foundation for the delivery of a new online Value Health program, which focuses on preventative healthcare services at discounted prices.

“Dynamics AX has been a foundation system for us and enabled us to support our store network more effectively across the board,” Terry White Chemists CIO, Jane Sheehy, said.

“When Terry White Management was purchased from Symbian Pharmacy Services, we started from scratch with the ERP system. We put in MYOB’s XO Business ERP as a temporary finance system.”

The next phase of the ERP deployment is to publish more timely updates for a greater range of consumer promotional offers and to ensure popular remedies are available when customers want them. This phase will be completed over the next 12 months, with all stores accessing the ERP system through a portal.

“It will streamline the process for the stores to apply pricing information,” Sheehy said. “Now we have the core platform installed, it’s exciting for us as we are identifying other ways to leverage the system. Since we went live, we’ve been making incremental improvements to job costing and budgeting, for instance.”

To help with the ERP project, Terry White Chemists employed Brisbane-based consultancy, Change2020, which clarified the business benefits the company wanted to achieve.

“The project impacts a significant proportion of our internal team, suppliers and external stakeholders,” Sheehy said. “We felt getting impartial expertise in would ensure we had the best outcome for our customers and staff.

“We also felt that if we could establish a good change management process with the ERP system, we could learn from that and apply it to other projects as well.”

The company has retained the services of Change2020 through to the next phase of the ERP rollout. According to Sheehy, it was constructive to have someone providing advice and support to the change team.

“Change2020 isn’t juggling the project and business as usual priorities,” she said.

Sheehy added the money was well spent because of Change2020’s independence from both Microsoft and Terry White Chemists. “It would only work well for a company if there is clear accountability for the change activities internally. They are not a replacement for having your change [management] team,” she said.

Sheehy manages a team of 10 IT staff including a mix of permanent employees and contractors. While the company was working on the ERP project in 2012, it used C3’s Integrity data management product as a master file to support the Terry White Chemists’ online project.

The Integrity tool collects data from hard to reach places, provides an audit trail and pushes validation back to the person submitting the data.

The website was launched in July 2012 and now features more than 8000 products. “The focus of online was to provide support for our customers and stores so that customers could research their favourite products and book health services such as flu vaccines,” Sheehy said.

The pharmacy chain also began the rollout of a Loyalty Plus card program 12 months ago where customers get real-time offers in store. To date, 360,000 customers have signed up for the loyalty card program.

“When they present their card or ID in store, the point of sale will deliver instant rewards points and vouchers printed on their docket if they have achieved the required number of points,” Sheehy said.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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