From high-quality consumables to advanced theatre equipment and robotics, Australian-owned Device Technologies is dedicated to improving patients’ lives through leading edge technology and services.
Since 1992, the company has successfully supplied hospitals and healthcare professionals with the finest medical solutions for their patients. With over 100 trusted brands and 700 highly skilled staff Australia and New Zealand-wide, the company recognised that it needed a digital platform to automate key sales processes and help control its rapid growth. To meet these objectives it engaged DXC to implement SAP Commerce Cloud in a bid to move from a product-focused mindset to one that put the customer front and centre.
In a three phase project, Device Technologies began by piloting an internal-facing surgery booking portal.
Its aim was to stimulate productivity and efficiencies in the sales and customer service booking teams, as well as increase the customer experience. Subsequently, it planned to roll out a consignment platform to better monitor stock usage, and finally, extended its booking portal to private hospitals — giving customers the ability to self-manage by viewing their booking and consignment history, and tracking loan bookings for location and delivery.
“Our customers’ needs have changed. They are adapting to the new world, and we have to adapt with them. They are placing different expectations on us, and we need to be agile and work with them to meet the challenges head-on.”
Steve Symes Chief Operating Officer, Device Technologies
Manual processes hindering efficiency
In Australia, Device Technologies has a large customer-facing team consisting of sales consultants, sales managers and product managers responsible for the daily execution and success of the orthopaedic business. But without a digital platform to manage the booking of orthopaedic loan kits for customer use, all these roles were negatively affected by time-consuming manual procedures, data entry errors and poor monitoring and risk mitigation.
“Inefficient processes were causing excessive below-the-line costs for the servicing of our customer surgical kits,” says Device Technologies’ general manager — marketing and digital, Michelle Stewart. “We were operating manual processes which meant customers and employees were impacted because they couldn’t easily make or change bookings due to the number of people involved in the booking workflow.”
Moving to a new, self-service paradigm
Stewart says the surgery booking portal was proposed as a digital platform that could underpin the reverse logistics business.
“Its primary aim was to streamline booking procedures, which in turn, would lead to productivity gains. We wanted to support the orthopaedics business and help it achieve the our growth target in an incredibly competitive environment, but more than anything ensure surgeons and hospitals are delivered what they need, when they need to achieve the best patient outcomes possible.”
Once the portal was implemented, Device Technologies’ sales team improved booking efficiency by 40%, forecast to increase to 50%, and was able to remove extra staff from the booking procedure — including two administrators who were re-tasked to higher value roles in customer service and logistics, also increasing employee satisfaction.
“I definitely would recommend SAP Commerce Cloud. It is not just a technology investment, but an investment in your business. Take a critical look at your data and where you’re at with your people, capabilities and processes. Be prepared to optimise all three of those as you continue to move along your journey.”
Michelle Stewart General Manager, Marketing and Digital
Employees test customer experience
Establishing the booking portal was a proof of concept exercise for adopting SAP’s cloud-based customer experience applications, says Stewart.
“We tested the functionalities of the apps on our employees first to ensure we were moving along the right track. From that point we could scale further and open the technology up to our customers. The employee experience leads to the customer experience. The pilot allowed everyone in the business to experience the difference we were trying to make and how that in turn impacts our customers.”
She says an agile approach to deploying the technologies proved to be very successful. “We got the product in market, proved the wins, then went about getting greater investment for more and scaling as we go.”
Results speak loud and clear
The new digital booking and consignment portals were readily embraced by Device Technologies staff with a 100 per cent adoption rate of new procedures throughout the business.
“We had a 95 per cent reduction in booking errors over the first four months of operation and a nine per cent reduction in same day freight, due to increased ability to plan and control the consignment process,” says Stewart.
Device Technologies was also able to remove thousands of duplicate bookings from its system and deliver a reserve logistics capability that allowed customers to return ‘used’ kits for replenishment and redistribution.
“We were able to use the SAP Commerce solution to build a customer- and employee-friendly solution that could remove risk, eliminate repetitive processes and give both staff and customers time back in their day,” says Stewart.
“Our business is about the customers, one of our core values we talk about is that what we do every day is about patients, not the paperwork. These technology investments allow us to focus on the patient as it removes the arduous tasks that can limit that focus.” These technology investments allow us to focus on the patient as it removes the arduous tasks that can limit that focus.”
Steve Symes, chief operating officer, says the real benefit of an SAP Commerce Cloud project is the ability to connect intimately with customers. Business simplification has also occurred, along with cost reductions in areas such as customer service. “Importantly, we reduced errors in order placement and product shipping. That saves time and money and keeps customers happy.”
“For us delivering excellence means getting product to our customers when they expect it. In health, there can’t be any surprises. We started with a pilot of the staff store and have now moved to an entire e-commerce platform. Partnering with DXC and SAP has allowed us to live up to our promise..”
Sami Sloane Senior Experience and Strategic Design Manager, Device Technologies
Future-proofing business growth
The ongoing partnership with DXC has allowed Device Technologies to position itself as a market leader, advancing its operating models and delivering better customer self-service.
Stewart comments: “We wanted something that will grow with us in the future and this allows us to scale. It’s powerful enough to meet our needs now but can expand as we need it to. This is a system that grows with you and also helps protect your core technology systems.”