40 years after its foundation, kohlpharma is one of the biggest German importers of patent-protected and prescription-only medicines in Europe and the undisputed market leader in Germany. Founder Edwin Kohl has been focused on essential competitive pricing for the benefit of consumers since the beginning, with the health system saving hundreds of millions of euros each year as a result.
De meeste medicijnen worden in Europa geproduceerd door internationale bedrijven die doorgaans een centrale productielocatie in de EU kiezen. Deze strategie kan worden gekozen vanwege lage belastingvereisten en lagere salarissen. De medicijnen worden vervolgens in de hele EU in circulatie gebracht conform de normale marktomstandigheden van elke lidstaat. Dit is over het algemeen goedkoper dan in Duitsland. kohlpharma profiteert van de lagere kosten in andere EU-landen om originele preparaten op de Duitse markt aan te bieden tegen aantrekkelijke prijzen. Deze originele medicijnen worden vervolgens opnieuw gelabeld of opnieuw verpakt volgens de Duitse voorschriften. De hieruit voortvloeiende besparingen zorgen voor minder druk op het zorgsysteem, waar artsen, apothekers en vooral patiënten baat bij hebben.
Omdat kohlpharma overtollige voorraden gebruikt, is het een ware uitdaging om betrouwbaar aan de vraag te voldoen. De beschikbaarheid van goederen en mogelijke leveringsproblemen kunnen variëren om redenen die buiten de controle van het bedrijf liggen. Een van de bijzondere logistieke uitdagingen is het transport met kwaliteitswaarborg van gekoelde medicijnen (zoals insuline of vaccins), die in de hele toeleveringsketen bij een constante temperatuur van 2 tot 8 °C moeten worden bewaard. Het is daarom extra belangrijk dat processen van aankoop tot levering zo goed mogelijk op elkaar worden afgestemd. Om deze reden vertrouwt kohlpharma steeds meer op de mogelijkheden van digitalisering.
Before a medicine can go into circulation after purchase, there are a multitude of documents to fill out and sign. As a pharmaceutical manufacturer, kohlpharma follows GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) regulations, which means extensive written documentation for all processes and completed production orders. Correspondence including order placement and contracts, have historically been carried out using analog processes: time-consuming printing, signing, scanning, and emailing. As Johannes Reinert states: “The throughput times, particularly for GMP-relevant documents, are sometimes very long and complex. That’s why we looked for a solution that could accelerate these operations. We were looking for a simplified, digital, single foundation with all our EDP suppliers and service partners.”
“Many of our users are now working from home, which has been a whole new experience for both our home workers as well as those in electronic data processing. I’m delighted to have chosen Dropbox Sign, as it helps me make work considerably easier for both employees at home as well as in the office."
kohlpharma first tried to develop a solution in-house, which wouldn’t just be based around eSignatures but would also map the related workflows. However, evolving priorities resulted delays in completion, so the company wanted to invest in eSignature management. Dropbox Sign proved to be the best solution because of its transparency, simplicity, direct availability, and contractual frameworks. Due to the success of Dropbox Sign‘s cloud-only solution and eSignature API, the company quickly made the decision for thorough testing.
"I saw that Dropbox Sign was the best solution for us. We worked on a small trial to begin with, and quickly felt the benefits of the solution--suitable for solving all the issues we were aware of and that arose during the trial. ” – Johannes Reinert
The Dropbox Sign user interface is intuitive. Step-by-step guidance through contracts and forms is able to ensure that all relevant fields are filled out and all required signatures are inserted. Dropbox Sign can be integrated into any environment, including with individual branding. This immediately helped kohlpharma successfully transition to home working. From verbal ordering to software implementation, the whole process took less than an hour.
“I had the ideal solution for signature workflows ready to go, which meant we could enable and encourage our teams to work remotely. It created the potential to improve business processes and to allow for a higher degree of freedom of work location.” – Johannes Reinert
After the initial tests exceeded all expectations, kohlpharma is already planning the next stage to accelerate business processes and improve working conditions using Dropbox Sign.
Het plan voor de toekomst is om interne documentworkflows volledig te digitaliseren, evenals de verplichte bevestiging van de interne training. Hierdoor zal de transparantie aanzienlijk verbeteren en hoeven documenten niet meer achteraf te worden gedigitaliseerd. Voor documenten die door meerdere partijen moeten worden ondertekend, vereenvoudigen eSignatures het proces voor zowel redacteuren als ondertekenaars.
Supplier contracts red-lining and signing will also be digitized. Through this process, the contract structures and agreements with suppliers will benefit from template unification. Documents for business customers signed by kohlpharma could exclusively be edited with Dropbox Sign in future
For SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) where production processes are closely regulated, for example, in quality assurance and the EDP quality system, manual signatures will be replaced by their digital equivalent. Now, with its automated warehouses and seamless remote supply chain monitoring, kohlpharma is already a pioneer in the areas of digitalization and automation in the German pharmaceutical industry. They plan to remove all paper-based approval processes as much as possible for the foreseeable future. There’s still a way to go before then, but with Dropbox Sign, they’ve reached a significant milestone. Over time, forms can be converted into Dropbox Sign documents, reducing physical record keeping along the way.
As Johannes Reinert explains: "Looking forward, I’d like to see quality assurance, for example, switched over to digital forms. Digital forms are much easier and can be managed more effectively. Any legally required updates can be made in the shortest possible time, and across all relevant documents, without piles of forms needing to be destroyed. Everything is signed and filled out using seamlessly integrated Dropbox Sign components. So we again benefit in terms of transparency—every single detail in every process will be traceable."
Ask us about Dropbox Sign today. Dropbox Sign is an easy way for businesses to send, receive, and manage legally binding eSignatures. If you need help with choosing the right Dropbox Sign product, arrange a demo appointment and discover how signature-based processes can be optimized in your business.