Meet the next generation of Intelligent Planning™

Innovative sales management at kohlpharma

kohlpharma simplifies sales processes and enhances services through intelligent sales performance management.

Provide its sales team with up-to-date sales and market data in the leanest and most agile way possible – this was the goal of kohlpharma. The time needed for data updates should be minimized and the capability to combine all data should be provided. In a transformation project, kohlpharma connected its internal and external data sources intelligently with Board and optimized some applications for use on the iPad to make customer visits more efficient.

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  • Industry: Distribution & Wholesales, Pharmaceutical & Healthcare
  • Department: Finance, Sales
  • Employees: 800
  • Revenue: € 680 Mio. Euro (2020)
kohlpharma simplifies sales processes and enhances services through intelligent sales performance management.

The rising cost of healthcare is a huge challenge. Particularly in the supply of pharmaceuticals, kohlpharma wants to make an active contribution to ensuring high-quality, yet affordable care.

Since the company was founded in 1979, kohlpharma has continuously expanded its pharmaceutical import business in Germany. As a family-run and independent medium-sized company, kohlpharma cares about the needs and interests of its customers - pharmacies and pharmaceutical wholesalers. kohlpharma is particularly committed to strengthening owner-operated on-site pharmacies. They are the backbone of a patient-oriented pharmaceutical supply throughout Germany.

The Challenge: Provide data quickly and reliably for the sales department

kohlpharma had several programs in use for planning, reporting, and analysis, but they no longer met today's requirements. The possibilities of reporting per target group were limited, automatic imports were not possible so that data had to be updated manually and combining multiple data sources required considerable effort.

kohlpharma's sales department needed an easy-to-use solution that delivered up-to-date figures on their fingertips for the different target groups. The goal was to build a system with consistent and up-to-date data that all parties involved could access at any time to make planning and controlling easier and faster

The Solution: Mobile applications with a high degree of self-service

After evaluating several solutions, kohlpharma selected Board. Board's Intelligent Planning Platform is easy and intuitive to use and provides the flexibility needed to cover all requirements. The workflow functions make it very easy to automate processes. Aline Petri, Manager Strategic Marketing at kohlpharma, emphasized the importance of a self-service platform:

"It was particularly important to us that the users can create their applications independently. This is the only way we can react quickly to the changing requirements we encounter in our daily operations. Board Professional Services supported and trained us at the beginning in such a way that we could quickly take over the further development of applications and the maintenance of the system ourselves.”

The project started in 2017 with two consultants from Board. Within just two weeks, the data was available, and the first applications were set up. After only four months, the rollout to the field sales force took place. This was followed by applications for internal sales. Since then, the system has been independently maintained by kohlpharma's IT department and continuously developed with the users.

In addition to its merchandise management system, a data warehouse, and a CRM system, kohlpharma connected various external data sources. This includes market figures from external providers. This data is automatically imported and updated - without any manual effort - and then used on an aggregated level in Board.

As the market leader, kohlpharma is always looking to advance itself and to drive digitalization in the pharmacy market. To this end, the field service application was adapted to a mobile solution in 2022 so that Board can be used on the iPad while on the move. This allows employees to prepare the customer visits efficiently and to discuss order proposals directly with customers on site.

The Customer Benefit: Perfect preparation and more time for customers

Internal sales as well as field sales now benefit from up-to-date figures and clearly structured analyses that Board automatically provides every day. 

"The first thing I look at in the morning is the current data. As a team, we now have more time to look at the data and derive actions. I guess I save 20% of my time every day that I would otherwise spend preparing the data. It's fun to work with Board," said Aline.

The sales force in the field is also very satisfied with the way Board supports them, identifying trends and showing which products are currently in demand. 

Aline reported: "Our field staff save time twice over. First, the preparation time for the visit to the customer is significantly shorter. They can see all the necessary data at a glance and immediately recognize what the customer needs. They can make customer-specific order suggestions. This allows them to make better use of the time in the pharmacy and shorten it."

The future: Expansion into other business areas

kohlpharma is connecting more and more departments and adding new applications all the time to its intelligent planning solution. 

“When we add new users, we train them internally directly on the system in a practical way. For users who are familiar with advanced functions of Excel, the transition to Board is a breeze. Today, we have about 20 power users across the various departments. A total of about 115 users are currently working with the system, and the trend is rising," explained Aline.

The experience with Board has been so positive that the sales department was also able to convince the controlling department to work with Board when it had to decide on a new planning solution.