Having always been one of the ‘digital-first’ organizations in the diagnostics segment, SRL boasts of being at the forefront in adapting technologies to provide a superior customer experience. With a presence in 360 locations, four centers of excellence and a footprint spanning over 5,000 collection point across the country, as well as five international labs, it wouldn’t survive without a strong logistics network at its disposal.
In the age of digitization, the need arose to revamp the company’s vast logistics operations. In order to provide flexibility and to reduce the turn-around-time (TAT), SRL Diagnostics deployed a cutting edge solution that helped it to achieve set business goals, by automating the existing logistics processes.
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This ensured that the samples collected were transferred on-time and in the best possible condition, with an added layer of visibility to the operations. By adopting intelligent automation techniques, logistics operations were made ‘smarter’.
A digitized workforce
The company’s logistics operations comprise of riders who have to visit collection centers to pick-up samples at least twice a day on a daily basis, and in some cases even more frequently than that. The whole process of collecting these samples from the centers and ensuring their safe delivery to the labs on time is a critical part of the company’s operations.
“One of the challenges we faced was the inability of tracing any slippage in the chain regarding sample pickup, and whether riders had visited the centers as per schedule,” says G Radhakrishna Pillai, CIO at SRL Diagnostics.
To work around this ambiguity and lack of sufficient communication, the company undertook a project to digitalize the logistics operation on pilot basis. The project was then implemented in the Mumbai and Delhi NCR region and 120 logistics riders were provided with a mobile device equipped with the logistics sample pick up and tracking mobile app.
“These 120 riders serve around 700+ pickup points including collection centers, hospitals and clinics in the area,” adds Pillai.
The solution implemented by SRL was simple and provided real time visibility to monitor the pre-analytical process of lab operations. With a global logistics management solution, the company successfully implemented a solution that enabled them to capture times of sample pickup and delivery, and monitor the efficiency of each rider simultaneously.
The backend team uses the app to monitor the sample pickup from the collection centers, their handover to connectors and their consecutive delivery to the labs along with route tracking of the riders. The complete process is master driven by defining the routes of the riders and planned pickup time.
Each rider has been given a mobile pre-installed with the sample pick-up and tracking application. The TAT of sample pickup and delivery can be tracked with the implementation of the mobile app solution for logistics function. Additionally, SRL’s intuitive dashboard provides real-time visibility to logistics function with a 360-degree view of the work being done by riders on the field, from dispatching the new requests of collection centers to sample collection and generating reports.
The route to success
The project implementation helped in improving the service quality for the clients by reducing the transit time, providing visibility on ETAs of samples and predicting delay. Considering the criticality of the operation, mobility played a key role in improving accuracy and reducing the time from sample collection to report generation.
“By going the mobile way, we are able to monitor the efficiency of each rider and continuously improve the TAT to serve the customer in better way,” says Pillai.
With an improved operational efficiency, the app has helped each rider to reach all locations on-time to serve the client better. It is very critical to test the samples within the stipulated time and to get them delivered to the lab. With the project implementation, the entire process is now automated.
The project also succeeded in providing the management with a complete 360 degree visibility from the pre-analytical process of sample pickup from collection center to the analytical processing of sample, to the post analytical process of report delivery to collection center, enriching customer experience.
Additionally, SRL was able to create new revenue streams with improved accuracy, immediate dispatching of reports and making better utilization of time.