Information technology has made a profound impact on the healthcare industry. From organisational practises to innovative devices – its footprints are in every sphere of the industry. The effect also extends to every participant in the industry, including the pharma franchises in India.
Traditionally franchises have been slower to adapt to technology, given their small scale and scope. But, the benefits of IT are too far reaching for any business to avoid it today. Franchises are now using it in every sphere, from making the business more efficient to engaging with their consumers. In fact, it has given their small businesses an edge that would not be possible otherwise.
How has IT changed the way pharma franchises in India do business? Let us look closely:
For organisation efficiency
For a multi-level and multi-functional organisations like pharma franchises, organisational coordination and efficiency is crucial. We are dealing with a dispersed sales force, back offices, consumers as well as other partners. A number of software solutions come into play for just handling organisational efficiency. Some of these are:
- An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to integrate core business practices, such as product planning, managing inventory, financial accounting, distribution and sales. This is the very basic system required bring in organisational efficiency and coordination.
- Sales Force Automation (SFA) to rationalise and provide web-enabled support for all sales task, such as stock inventory, web traffic, SEO impact, distribution routes and so on.
- Cloud storage to secure and streamline storage. It also enables secure access from different points for the entire team.
- Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) designed to streamline and handle information flow in a laboratory. The objective here is to improve efficiency and install quality control.
These IT solutions have become critical for the functioning of any organisation. These are necessary to coordinate the different functions and teams that are involved in the running of a franchise business. This includes coordinating with visiting sales teams, doctors and physicians, consumers and back end process like accounting, managing stock etc. At today’s super-connected business world, this is an imperative solution. Organisational processes today are simply too complex to be managed otherwise.
Solutions like the Cloud are also necessary for secure storage and access. Modern organisations are multi-level that need coordination with sales teams, backup teams and manufacturing at all times.
For customer relationship
The nature of customer relationship is changing rapidly. The modern buyer of a pharma franchise in India is connected, informed and quick to air his/her thought. Customer relationships today are managed on multiple platforms – from social media, web search to customer profiling. This requires a mammoth effort on most organisations, from managing regular mails to keeping their customer data updated.
One of the key software solutions here is the CRM software. It automates customer data, information, mails and various interaction. It is akin to a super vault of customer data that can be accessed at anytime. Bigger franchises may also utilise other software used here are Big Data analytics to cull useful information from the data dump.
Information on customers is useful in other analytics as well, such as understanding the customer, predicting trends, preferences, tastes, devising the right sales and communication strategy, predicting sales volumes and so on. Customer relationship also involves working with other social communication tools like mails and social media. This is important in building an overall brand value and staying connected with the consumers. It is also critical in managing brand reputation.
Recent attacks on healthcare organisations has shown the necessity of instituting a diligent IT security system. Although pharma franchise are not as susceptible to cyber attacks, they must still install a comprehensive security system. For instance, pharma companies store information on user data, doctor contacts, supplier information and so on. All this data must be safeguarded. Cyber attacks are sometimes also designed to paralyse the entire healthcare system. So, a proper security software is important to ensure that your organisation keeps working.
Working with IoT
As the Internet of Things takes hold, all businesses must get on the information highway. One of the dominating trends in this area is wearable tech. For pharma franchise in India that deal with such technology IT solutions and backup is essential.