Cases

Transforming and Institutionalising Carrying and Forwarding Agents Operations for a Large Pharmaceutical Company

Challenge

The company is one of India's largest pharmaceuticals company providing innovative healthcare solutions to address prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases. It manages the distribution of its products through a network of 26 carrying and forwarding agents (CFAs) across the country. The top management is aware of the performance and service related issues with its CFAs:

  • Non – standard diverse practices across CFAs
  • Slow response to customer queries
  • Skewed load during month ends etc.

The top management believes it is a ‘burning issue’ that needs to be addressed immediately. The client therefore sought assistance in:

  • Defining a CFA – Operations Guidelines (Standard Operating Procedures)
  • Defining routes/ zones to service stockist on pre-defined days and
  • Defining general guidelines for godown space requirement and manpower requirement at CFA based on the volume and complexity of the business.

Our Approach 

UC undertook the following steps in order to deliver the requirements:

  • Conducted primary research across 6 CFA locations -
    • Understood the best practices, resource allocation, godown storage and facilities at the CFA location
    • Discussed transportation routes and constraints with the CFA nominated local transporters
    • Discussed the CFA service levels with local and upcountry stockists Prepared a CFA – operations guidelines document incorporating
    • Observec key redesigned processes like material entry and storage, order collection, order entry, invoicing, material pick / pack and dispatch, claims settlement etc.
    • Understood the templates/ formats for various documents/ registers and management information reports
    • Learned about the key steps for transactions related to the processes in the newly implemented ERP software package
  • Conducted pilot implementation of the redesigned processes at one of the average performing CFA location. The improvements were acknowledged by the sales team, stockists and client personnel
  • Designed a dispatch plan for each CFA after defining the daily service route/ zone -
    • Analysed the number of invoices generated stockist wise, for each town
    • Defined the service levels for upcountry and local stockists based on the historical data of number of dispatch days per month
    • Defined various options with pros and cons for the dispatch plan
    • Defined the daily route balancing the load on the CFA and documented the implementation guidelines
  • Defined broad guidelines for space (stock and non-stock area) and manpower requirements at CFA location after analysing -
    • Volume of business (number of transactions per day at peak load, average monthly sales, FDA guidelines on storage etc.)
    • Time considerations for each activity (order processing, invoicing, picking and packing etc.)

Impact

As requested, UC delivered guidelines for operations, space and manpower requirements.