When you started out your pharmaceutical distribution business, what were your goals? Have you accomplished them within your expected timeframes? If not, what held you back? In most cases, pharmaceutical distributors fall behind on their growth forecasts mainly due to operating on insufficient software that can't handle the complex and ever-changing compliance requirements of the industry. Like most start-ups, you may have launched your business with introductory software such as QuickBooks, which is a great solution for small businesses. However, there are numerous limitations within this software that start to become apparent as your company increases its sales volumes. And, the lack of industry-specific functionality puts your business at risk of not being able to meet regulatory requirements, pass audits, provide necessary documentation etc. If you find that you are spending more and more hours during the day trying to stay on top of manual tasks such as filling out DEA forms, manually managing license expiration dates and the biggest nuisance of all - manual reporting - it's time to break free from QuickBooks.
First things first; don't give up on your goals. You shouldn't have to compromise your dreams of business growth due to insufficient software. It's a scary thought leaving the familiar ups and downs of a system you've been using for a while, and you may have gotten used to manual workarounds for the systems many automation pitfalls, but think about it this way. Why would you settle for a system that's holding back your growth when there are better options out there that will ultimately make you, your employees, customers and vendors happier? Start your search with an open mind and a good understanding of the different types of pharmaceutical distribution software on the market that are ideal for your specific requirements. And don't forget to consider what you will require in the future (think expanding into online marketplaces or increasing the number of SKUs etc).
Click to view our full comparison chart to make the best decision for your pharmaceutical distribution business.
Don’t Dismiss The Importance of Industry Compliance
As you can see from the above comparison chart, QuickBooks' accounting and inventory functionality is ideal for small businesses starting out with a few users and products, however, a more robust system is required for industry-specific functionality and compliance requirements. Based on a survey conducted by the Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA), 100% of the specialty distributor members said that one of the primary drivers of technology adoption for distributors is to automate services and ensure regulatory compliance are met. This is not a surprise as pharmaceutical wholesale distribution businesses are subject to numerous stringent state and federal regulations and licensure laws. Did you know that pharmaceutical wholesalers are subject to civil and criminal penalties for distributing drugs without the appropriate pedigree paperwork tracing the physical movement of and title to drugs? In certain states like Florida, failure to maintain and deliver complete and accurate pedigree papers is a felony.
"Since transitioning from QuickBooks to Blue Link, our operations have streamlined - from inventory tracking to security controls to pharma regulatory needs such as lot tracking and pedigree reports. It's nice to have one integrated platform that does everything and you only have to deal with one vendor for billing and support" - Aniket Dhadphale, Owner, Republic Pharmaceuticals
With Blue Link's all-in-one pharmaceutical distribution software, you no longer have to worry about integrating compliance software to QuickBooks and managing multiple different solutions. Besides meeting compliance needs, another factor to keep in mind when looking for a new solution is not only the functionality you need today, but the functionality you need to expand your business into the future.
Optimizing Business Growth With Blue Link ERP
When searching for a new system, look beyond your current requirements and think about what you will need to do to expand your market and grow your business even more. The below Blue Link functionality is optimal for reaching a wider market and creating smart business strategies.
- Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) - allows for easy communication between locations, helps track and update inventory when working with big-box retailers and other operations with EDI requirements, it enables the sharing of information between vendors and distributors and is used to transmit financial information and payment in electronic form (Electronic Funds Transfer or EFT).
- Online Order Portal - a fully integrated online order platform for use by both your wholesale distribution B2B customers and sales reps. Customers and sales reps can...
- Log-in to browse inventory online with customer-specific pricing
- Track order status in real-time
- View or print online statements, and drill down to order and invoice detail
- Copy and submit a previous order or create an entirely new one
- Create shopping lists
- Search product by brand, vendor and/or category
- Gain access to the order portal across devices connected to the internet – including tablets, phones, and laptops
- Trxade Integration - Trxade is a web-based, US supplier-to-pharmacy marketplace created to bring independent pharmacies and qualified/accredited national suppliers/distributors of pharmaceuticals together to provide efficient and transparent buying and selling opportunities. Since the launch of the platform back in 2010, it has opened and expanded the distribution channel to more than 8000 independent pharmacies and features 40+ track and trace and VAWD (now NABP) compliant wholesalers.
Blue Link is a proud member of the HDA and PDG! Meet us at this year's HDA Distribution Management Conference. The Distribution Management Conference (DMC) and Expo is HDA's largest supply chain education event, attended by more than 600 manufacturers, distributors, consultants and third parties who keep the pharmaceutical distribution industry moving. The conference immerses attendees in topics related to the healthcare supply chain and provides a forum to engage in operational and strategic discussions.