RGIS Prescribes Remedy for Improving Inventory Processes and Accuracy
After successfully providing inventory services to a health care corporation later acquired by Omnicare, RGIS was identified as having the reach, responsiveness and reliability to become Omnicare’s exclusive inventory services partner. As a leading provider of pharmaceutical care for the elderly, this move permitted Omnicare to re-focus its own employees on core competencies for meeting its client and patient needs. RGIS has successfully developed and implemented a consistent inventory process across all of Omnicare’s regions and has performed thousands of audits using this process. The new process introduced additional audit points, an alternative pill-counting methodology, and numerous custom reports that have saved Omnicare millions of dollars in potential shrink. Omnicare has identified RGIS as a one-stop solution for improving inventory accuracy through the introduction of audit points and streamlined, post-inventory reporting. Omnicare is now the largest non-retail client in RGIS’ customer base.
OMICARE COMPANY OVERVIEWOmnicare, Inc., a Fortune 500 company based in Covington, Kentucky, is a leading provider of pharmaceutical care for the elderly. Omnicare serves residents in long-term care facilities and other chronic care settings comprising approximately 1.4 million beds in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. Omnicare is the largest U.S. provider of professional pharmacy, related consulting and data management services for skilled nursing, assisted living and other institutional healthcare providers as well as for hospice patients in homecare and other settings. Omnicare's pharmacy services also include distribution and patient assistance services for specialty pharmaceuticals. Omnicare offers clinical research services for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries in 30 countries worldwide.
In 2004, Omnicare was looking for an inventory solution that would replace a combination of in-house and multiple third-party inventory services it was using across regions at the time. In addition, Omnicare was interested in finding a single provider that could develop, deliver, and administer a consistent inventory process across facilities in all of its regions. The selected company needed the ability to grow with Omnicare, as that company’s business plan called for significant growth via future acquisitions. Since partnering to perform regularly scheduled Omnicare inventories, RGIS has identified, promoted, and implemented a solution for correcting millions of dollars in potential shrink based on Omnicare’s methodology for counting partial medication bottles.
Upon being selected as the exclusive inventory company for Omnicare, RGIS was required to implement systems and processes that would streamline the company’s pharmaceutical counts and enable web-based delivery of final data counts within 24 hours of each inventory.
The RGIS Process
As the exclusive provider of inventory services to Omnicare, RGIS has the reach and responsiveness to provide the thousands of auditors required to conduct regular inventories throughout the year. RGIS was able to tap into the staffing and expertise at many of its existing area and regional offices to provide the auditors required for this project.
RGIS managers met with Omnicare management to review Omnicare’s existing processes and determine where RGIS could introduce auditing and technology improvements to streamline Omnicare’s inventories. RGIS designed detailed reporting improvements and an automated review process that replaced a manual review process. RGIS had created programs that enabled flexible methods to accommodate Omnicare’s requirement for counting medications depending on the unit, dose, etc. These programs also enabled flagging by cost thresholds, which was previously unavailable to Omnicare. Systems developed by RGIS also had to take into account that two different suppliers were being used by the different Omnicare facilities. Schedules were developed for the inventories that would take place. These schedules minimized any impact the inventories would have on Omnicare’s ability to care for patient needs. RGIS managers visited different Omnicare locations to educate them on the new process that would be taking place.Audit
Well into its second year as Omnicare’s inventory partner, RGIS auditors have completed thousands of audits across every major Omnicare location. Med counts are captured and sent electronically to an Omnicare Web site where the data is available to be reviewed by those with appropriate access. A long list of standard and customized reports are available to the client, enabling them to view an accurate snapshot of their physical inventory each month as well as current vs. last inventory results when needed.
RGIS auditors generate and post area detail printouts for use by Omnicare when performing random follow-up audits.
SOLVING OMNICARE’S PROBLEM
Since working with RGIS as its inventory partner, Omnicare has achieved a number of noteworthy accomplishments that have positively affected the company’s bottom line and its ability to pursue additional acquisition opportunities in a timelier manner. These accomplishments include the following:
- Saving millions of dollars in potential shrink by allowing RGIS to propose an effective alternative to Omnicare’s pill counting methodology
- Improving inventory accuracy by introducing additional audit points and customized reporting
- Increasing awareness of the importance of accurate physical inventory counts and the subsequent benefits derived from more accurate counts
- Targeting audits of the top drugs that comprise a majority of Omnicare’s sales
- Scheduling inventories within a tighter window and eliminating cut-off issues
- Improving financial reporting
- Eliminating the need for pre-counts and the costs associated with those counts
- Scheduling acquisition inventories upon short notice