"Today, with our customer portal complete, we can offer our distribution customers a standard e-commerce experience with more robust functionality that simplifies the ordering process and helps them manage overall account activity. Miller Systems’ meticulous discovery process was the cornerstone of this project, and its commitment to strategic and tactical excellence helped to produce results that will positively impact our business."- VP of Marketing, CuraScript SD (formerly Priority Healthcare)
The CustomerCuraScript Specialty Distribution (CuraScript SD, formerly Priority Healthcare) is the specialty pharmacy division of Express Scripts Inc., one of the largest pharmacy benefit management companies in North America. CuraScript SD needed to deliver a web based portal to allow their customers to perform critical self-service operations.
The Problem/The OpportunityCuraScript SD’s customers are largely comprised of clinics that specialize in treating chronic conditions requiring complex therapies, so the portal’s users were healthcare professionals and administrators (not patients). For the portal to be successful, CuraScript SD would have to deliver a truly consumer-grade experience to its customers, despite the fact that they are a B2B audience.
This meant that the portal would need to provide standard online features, including: a shopping cart experience, a suggestive sell feature to “pair” like items; access to order history, the ability to track shipments, maintain a list of regularly ordered items, etc.
The Key Challenges
- Legacy systems. CuraScript’s ERP/order management system was built on a legacy iSeries IBM (AS/400) platform. Replacing the back end database was not an option.
- No pre-existing self-service of any kind. The “green screen” interfaces that CSRs interact with when taking orders and assisting customers were never intended to be used by anyone but trained personnel at CuraScript.
- Complex pricing rules and compliance. In many cases, Customers negotiate contract price for pharmaceuticals directly with their manufacturers, even though they purchase through CuraScript SD. Furthermore, certain products could not be ordered online due to FDA regulations (for example, CII Narcotics), and the system needed to comply accordingly.
Technologies Used in Solution
- iSeries (AS/400) legacy ERP system
- Rocket (formerly Seagull) LegaSuite for iSeries
- Custom Microsoft. NET software for data access tier and front end presentation
Miller Systems provided CuraScript SD with essential leadership and critical expertise to define, design and build the customer portal. A brief summary, highlighting the process, and solution by major phase:
Definition and Design Phase
- Performed rigorous cross-functional interview/discovery process, capturing key processes, complex business rules, and experience requirements
- Reviewed and performed hands-on POC/evaluation of legacy integration software options for project
- Defined the technical solution architecture for entire solution, including “hooks” to allow for future replacement of the legacy ERP system
- Designed detailed functional specs, including detailed user experience wireframes
- Define detailed technical specifications for all data and experience tiers
- Defined key performance and conversion metrics for post-launch analysis and improvement
- Created a smart development plan that leveraged experts and intelligently divided labor on both CuraScript SD and Miller Systems development teams
Working closely with Priority’s stakeholders Miller Systems oversaw the entire technology implementation and held direct responsibility for delivering the entire project. Miller Systems led the overall build/implementation process as well, providing key leadership as follows:
- Implemented Rocket LegaSuite for iSeries for the critical integration with the legacy ERP system
- Developed custom .NET software for data access and experience tiers
- Developed a critical “assembly line” approach that allowed the team to meet a very aggressive deadline
- Oversaw and took ownership over development process for both teams
- Provide project management throughout process through launch
- Substantial positive impact on customer satisfaction and retention
- “Leapfrogged” competitors to market with self-service
- Consumer-grade self-service experience to B2B audience
- 24/7 availability
- ROI well beyond expectations
- Designed and delivered in under 16 weeks
- Increase in average order size through suggestive sell
- Leveraged substantial legacy code assets/investment
- Reduced dependence on CSRs
- Improved Employee Satisfaction
- Sales & Marketing thrilled with “new weapon” to sell
- Improved order fulfillment quality
- Reduced number of tedious tasks
The project was a tremendous success for CuraScript SD and its customers.
Customer Feedback Overwhelmingly Positive
Customer feedback on the overall portal experience - from order entry to delivery - has been excellent. The portal allows doctors and medical personnel to log in quickly and easily, intelligently search and browse the product catalog, save frequently ordered items to a re-usable order pad, and get ultra-fast access to their entire account history, and much more.
ROI for the project surpassed expectations. In addition to reducing CuraScript’s costs to take and fulfill orders, a substantial increase in average order size was attributed to the cross-sell that was implemented within the portal, since customers are provided with compatible product suggestions and recommendations. Miller Systems shipped the project on time and on budget.
The project stakeholders across the client’s business were extremely pleased with the solution. Sales and marketing personnel was thrilled to have something so elegant to sell to new and existing customers. Operationally, pressure on the CSRs was significantly reduced, and eventually, the number of CSRs necessary to service customers was reduced as well.