2 min read
MACS Software has been working with National Medical Stores in Uganda for many years. But ongoing support and training is vital to every installation to ensure that each client is getting the best out of its MACSwms. For this reason, we sent a member of our implementation team to review and refine procedures to reflect NMS’s ballooning needs.
MACSwms originally went live in Entebbe in 2009 in a site that had been extensively redeveloped, with the aid of donor funding, to include high-bay racking and fork lift trucks. At that time, MACSwms transformed an essentially paper-based system to provide automatic order processing and stock control, with real potential for greater efficiency and much better accessibility/medical distribution services to the people of Uganda.
Whilst the system was running well in a challenging environment (including constant power outages), when Richard Miller arrived for a scheduled implementation review in September 2013, he discovered that not all of the system functionality was being fully used. This, combined with an increasing workload, meant that the operation was not working as efficiently as it could.
“One problem was that some of the reports were being run independently of MACSwms on Excel spread sheets,” explained Richard. “By bringing them into MACSwms we were able to save time, eliminate the potential for human error and help NMS make much better use of the system.” This means that the NMS inventory is managed more effectively, making sure, for example, that expiry dates are much more closely monitored. This discipline ensures that all stock is usable and that items categorised as ‘vital’, ‘essential’ or ‘necessary’ are handled appropriately, thereby avoiding the risk of a vitally important medicine being out of stock.
Richard was also able to introduce the use of some of the modules inherent in MACSwms such as Vehicle Load Planning. The NMS warehouse is very tight on space and so it is difficult to have picked items sitting on the floor awaiting loading. Vehicle Load Planning, however, allows items to be picked for a specific vehicle so they can be loaded straight away. It also provides visibility between the warehouse and transport departments to improve communication and accuracy.
As well as improving efficiency in the warehouse, NMS is taking on new staff and expanding its operation to virtually 24-hours per day. “Space is very restricted at NMS, so we are making the most of what’s available and helping the people there to make best use of the technology to work smarter,” said Richard.
The relationship between MACS Software and NMS is a long and productive one. This series of enhancements is just the latest in a continuing programme by MACS Software to make sure that best practice and maximum efficiency is maintained long term at all its customers, in the UK or abroad.
Earlier this year, following a devastating earthquake and subsequent cholera outbreak, MACS sent in reinforcements to get the SCMS (a delivery partner for USAID) warehouse, which despatches vital antiviral drugs, back to full operational capacity.
We all celebrated MACS Software’s 21st birthday recently with a staff trip to the Sutton Elms Go-Karting circuit in Leicestershire in order to let off a little steam. Some of the team showed a natural aptitude for thrashing around a race track – a far cry from our day jobs designing software for some of the world’s leading corporations.