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McKesson improves health outcomes for more people with Salesforce
“With Salesforce, we can maximise the digital potential and provide a more flexible and frictionless customer experience.”
Providing medicines to millions of UK hospitals, pharmacies, and patients
McKesson is an industry leader in pharmaceutical distribution, clinical services, and healthcare technology solutions. In the UK, it dispenses more than 150 million prescription items every year at its LloydsPharmacy outlets and supports 80,000 patients with its LloydsPharmacy Clinical Homecare services. McKesson also operates the UK’s largest pharmaceutical wholesaler, All About Health (AAH). It supplies in excess of 15 million items per week to more than 15,000 organisations, including pharmacies, NHS hospitals, and care homes, from 16 distribution centres.
McKesson’s commitment to its customers has always been a differentiator. As part of its continuous journey to excellence, it wanted to deliver an even better experience. And that meant transforming and re-platforming its entire UK business. “We were using a lot of homegrown IT solutions that were costly and complex to maintain,” explained Gill. “This prevented us from delivering innovations to enrich the customer experience and drive sustainable growth.”
McKesson pushes the digital transformation boundaries
Like many organisations, McKesson embarked on a digital transformation. But this was a transformation like no other in terms of its speed and scale. In just over two years, McKesson has deployed multiple cloud-based platforms, enabled hundreds of application integrations, and empowered 21,000 employees in the UK to interact with customers and patients in new ways. And it’s made a real difference at the healthcare frontline: pharmacies can place orders more rapidly, nurses can use their time more effectively, and patients can get answers more easily.
Salesforce is at the heart of McKesson’s digital transformation, bringing greater efficiency, agility, and visibility to its operations and teams. “To better serve our customers and patients, we need a holistic view of all interactions across all channels,” said Gill. “With Salesforce, we can maximise the digital potential and provide a more flexible and frictionless customer experience.”
New B2B webshops provide faster and easier access to products
Thousands of pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies across the UK are already benefiting from a richer experience following the launch of three new B2B procurement portals by McKesson. Built on B2B Commerce Cloud, the webshops provide self-service access to thousands of pharmaceutical and over-the-counter products - from painkillers and probiotics to shampoos and sun creams. The portals are integrated with McKesson’s sales, service, and fulfilment operations to provide better customer outcomes and unlock richer business insights.
The first B2B webshop, which sells pharmaceutical products with a short shelf life, was implemented in just four months in partnership with Acumen. “We used to distribute printed catalogues, which meant product listings were already out of date even before pharmacists placed an order,” said Gill. “We’ve integrated the portal with our warehouse systems, which means product availability can be adjusted in real time. Pharmacists can also view their purchase history, auto-fill their baskets, and take advantage of special deals.” The average weekly order on the site now takes just two minutes instead of 20, which frees up pharmacists to spend more time with customers.
Personalising every touchpoint helps to boost sales’
The success of the first portal inspired McKesson to expand its digital self-service approach to more B2B customers. It plans to launch a fourth webshop on B2B Commerce Cloud in early 2021 for NHS hospital buyers, who place bulk pharmaceutical orders on a regular basis. The Medicator portal will simplify this process by offering re-ordering options and pre-defined baskets.
“With Commerce Cloud, we can give time back to our customers, so they can focus on delivering better patient outcomes,” said Gill. A richer and simpler procurement experience has already encouraged more customers to order online, which has significantly increased transactions and sales across the portals.
A digital approach means McKesson can apply product quotas to online orders, which will help ensure critical medicines are distributed fairly to NHS Trusts across the country. This will be particularly important when COVID-19 vaccines become available.
McKesson uses the data captured in the portals to keep enriching and personalising the online purchasing experience for its wholesale customers. For example, it plans to use Einstein to make product recommendations based on previous orders, which will help McKesson provide a more intuitive ordering process to customers and unlock improved cross-selling opportunities. “With Salesforce, we can make the procurement of pharmaceutical supplies more proactive and predictive,” said Gill.
Reusable APIs accelerate digital transformation
McKesson can also make the purchasing journey more seamless by providing access to the three B2B portals through a single log-on. “With MuleSoft, we can build intelligent, reusable, and secure APIs to support key processes, such as user authentication, order fulfilment, and pricing updates,” explained Gill.
Hosted on Google Cloud, MuleSoft is critical to McKesson’s broader digital transformation and has supported the development of more than 50 APIs across eight core systems, including SAP S/4HANA and Salesforce. “We used to rely on complex and costly point-to-point integrations, which meant even a simple change could take four months to deliver,” said Gill. “With, MuleSoft, we can deploy an API within one or two weeks, which means we can adapt more quickly to business change.”
McKesson responds to changing patient needs during pandemic
This agility was critical during the COVID-19 pandemic. Within a matter of days, McKesson had to adapt its business to cope with new social distancing rules and a spike in orders for pharmaceutical products. “In the past, responding to greater demand would have involved buying and deploying new servers,” said Gill. “With Salesforce, we were able to quickly and seamlessly scale our B2B sites to ensure customers could order the products they needed during the pandemic.”
McKesson also had to ensure clinical homecare visits could continue safely for more than 80,000 vulnerable patients across the UK. It uses Field Service to co-ordinate the rotas of around 1,000 LloydsPharmacy Clinical Homecare nurses who administer therapies for people diagnosed with complex conditions, such as cancer, hepatitis, and Parkinson’s Disease. “With Field Service, we were able to adapt the schedules to give nurses extra time to change their PPE and take added precautions due to COVID-19,” explained Gill.
Patient appointments and queries for LloydsPharmacy Clinical Homecare are logged in Service Cloud, which helps maximise safety and efficiency.
Richer insights empower sales and services teams
McKesson is hoping to take a similar centralised approach with its customer service teams for LloydsPharmacy and AAH. By using MuleSoft to integrate Service Cloud with Commerce Cloud, agents will have visibility of customers’ transactions on the AAH wholesale webshops, which will drive richer conversations and faster resolution times. By empowering agents to place customer orders, McKesson will be able to offer a consistent procurement experience across multiple channels.
To help it better understand the purchasing habits and product needs of its wholesale customers, McKesson plans to combine the information captured on different engagement channels within Sales Cloud. Sales teams already have visibility of orders, invoices, and cases, which helps them build stronger customer relationships and drive greater long-term value. “With Salesforce, we can empower our people to provide a more personalised service,” said Gill. “It provides a 360-degree view of our B2B customers, which means we can better meet their needs and the needs of millions of patients across the UK.”