Carlos Flores
CIO
Nadro
/
View from the Top

Technology, Integration Give Distribution a Boost

By Antonio Gozain | Mon, 09/27/2021 - 17:48

Q: What role does technology play in the pharmaceutical distribution business?

A: For a logistics operator that is specialized in the pharmaceutical industry, technology is indispensable. Technology has to effectively integrate web platforms and the company’s vision. The only way to provide our clients with high-quality services is through automation, which has been progressing quickly in recent years.

Nadro does not buy technology on a whim. We are very careful to acquire the platforms we really need to perform at the necessary level. If Nadro’s goal is to do something disruptive, then we go with the industry leader. If we are looking for automation, a cost-effective solution that prioritizes function is the best option. The differentiator for a logistics operator is the quality of its service. Technology plays a big role in this business.

Tech has also helped us reduce expenses and provide our clients the best commercial conditions. In distribution, geographical and security matters are key. With better information regarding situations such as hurricanes or roadblocks, we can prevent problems and inform our clients in due course about any delay.

Q: How did the pandemic affect processes both inside and outside Nadro?

A: The first months of the pandemic were tough but they taught us many lessons. In 2020, Nadro’s e-commerce site represented 1 percent of total sales. Less than two years later, we are close to 8 percent, which might still be low but it represents significant growth.

The pandemic also forced us to improve some procedures and make them more efficient. For instance, when mobility restrictions sent all employees home, registering a new client took between 48 and 60 days because the documents had to be physically moved from one place to another. We reduced that time from 48 days to 48 hours and our client service improved dramatically.

Q: What benefits does Nadro offer to small pharmacies?

A: The pandemic taught us that doing business at a macro level by creating synergies with other players will also help our independent clients. Using economies of scale, we get lower prices from laboratories and better government conditions, which results in advantages for our clients: the small drugstores that became essential for patients during mobility restrictions caused by the pandemic.

We will continue strengthening our services to help these small pharmacies keep their business open. Nadro’s training service for drugstores aims to help them implement technology that can help them compete with large pharmacies. We try to help small drugstores with our expertise so they can become faster, increase sales and profitability and improve their customer service.

Q: How does your smartphone application iNadro móvil fit within the company’s business model?

A: Nadro has implemented an omnichannel strategy. We have the website iNadro and the mobile application because we understand that not every pharmacist has a computer at their business but they certainly have a smartphone.

The development of iNadro was one of the best decisions we ever made. We wanted to have a presence in the mobile channel and it worked out perfectly because it was welcomed by clients. The app has a transactional focus but Nadro aims to strengthen it into a more integral application, in which clients will be able to consult their billing statements, access promotions, manage their profiles and contact the company directly.

Q: What challenges must be addressed to implement technology in Mexico’s health industry?

A: There have been few regulatory advances in the past few years. Telemedicine and e-prescriptions, for example, are still not regulated.

It will be essential to create an ecosystem where every stakeholder is connected and has access to transparent information. An integrated, healthy industry would benefit all players and patients. Mexico and Latin America still have a long way to go and a lot to learn. We have to study what is working in other countries and try to adapt it to Mexico, considering our environment and specific challenges.

Q: What has the private sector and Nadro done to boost this integrated ecosystem?

A: Nadro is working to make this integrated ecosystem a reality. Many other players are interested and we are constantly searching for those who are open to technology. There are companies that are willing to co-invest with time, money and workforce to become technological partners but we still need a clear legal framework to move forward.

At Nadro, we are permanently looking for tech partners of any size. We can collaborate with different players, from small startups to established companies. There is a strong interest in integrating the entire industry.

Q: How does Nadro manage cybersecurity, data privacy and information protection?

A: Cybersecurity is important to Nadro. We receive about 40 cyberattacks every day despite being a B2B company. Most of our web infrastructure is protected by technology partners and we have implemented some strategic migrations to the cloud.

Nadro has a security committee that provides a monthly report on new and possible threats and helps us comply with laws regarding data protection, which is also essential. We use clear privacy disclaimers, in which we specify what the information will be used for and how it will be protected. Privacy is a serious matter for the company.

 

NADRO is a logistics operator specialized in the distribution of pharmaceutical, hygiene and beauty products. It has been the link between suppliers, pharmacies and institutional clients for over 78 years.

Photo by:   Nadro
Antonio Gozain Antonio Gozain Journalist and Industry Analyst