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A Leading European Pharmaceuticals Retailer Cracks Key Supplier Collaboration Challenges

Case Study

A Leading European
Pharmaceuticals Retailer
Cracks Key Supplier
Collaboration Challenges



Pharmaceutical Retail


Expedite new product launches to meet category goals

Product Used


100% increase in new product launches

Lead time for supplier onboarding was reduced from 1-2 months to less than an hour

Product onboarding time was reduced from 2 months to 1 week

70% reduction in time taken to close vendor issues

Overview The client is the largest pharmaceutical retailer in the country and offers OTC, prescription drugs, beauty and healthcare products and related services. It has over 400+ stores, 600+ suppliers and sells a wide range of products.

The client faced data and process challenges across its supplier collaboration processes:

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New product launches suffered due to extensive quality requirements, leading to only 50% success rate.

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There were frequent delays, errors, and associated risks as supplier on-boarding and verification was a paper-based process with 1-2 months of lead time.

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Product onboarding was a long-drawn process with iterative approval flows requiring 2 months of lead time. In spite of that, product information was often found to be incomplete.

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There was no standardization of interactions between suppliers and the retailer, leading to delays and gaps due to manual errors and ineffective communication.

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Lack of a single source of truth on product catalog and product life cycle was leading to price mismatches and poor quality of feature communication.

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With increasing new product launches and a low success rate in launching them, the client was looking for a supplier collaboration platform that would ease data and process collaboration to streamline end-to-end vendor processes.

Supplier Collaboration Platform

Algonomy’s Vendor Link was the preferred choice of the client as it provided 360-degree supplier collaboration that infused speed, agility, and efficiency in its vendor operations. Its comprehensive web-based automation and collaboration features eliminate error-prone repetitive tasks, bring complete transparency across vendor processes, and boost communication between stakeholders to remove operational silos between vendors and retailers.

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Powerful Business Outcomes

Vendor Link automated the supplier onboarding process, covering the entire range of activities from expressing interest to joining. API integration with the government vendor database was used to auto-fill accurate information about vendors. The entire workflow was structured in a fashion where each persona can track live status and take actions to expedite the process. The client was able to reduce a lead time of 1-2 months for vendor onboarding to less than an hour.

Manufacturing quality assurance is business critical to ensure that OTC products meet the quality standards. Vendor Link’s manufacturing module helped expedite this process. The supplier/buyer was able to upload documents directly to the portal associating products to manufacturing plants. With complete visibility on the source of products, manufacturing plant certifications, and QA process automation, the client was able to achieve faster product approval.

Product onboarding was also streamlined to improve lead time and meet the client’s stringent quality standards. Around 250+ product attributes were auto-filled in the system with the help of GS1 standard datapool. The smart user interface allowed users to efficiently handle 400+ attributes in a single compact view to review and modify product information. As a result, the lead time for product cataloging was reduced to 1 week from the previous 2-3 months.

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Communication between vendors and category managers was strengthened through an in-app notifications system that would track each step of vendor processes (approvals, request resubmission, read-unread distinction, etc.). Advanced dashboards enabled complete transparency with quick review of the progress, pending and upcoming tasks for both supplier and retailer. As a consequence, the client was able to close vendor issues 70% faster.

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Product lifecycle management was made more efficient by creation of a single source of truth (Master Data) achieved by integrating product and price information with downstream systems (ERS, POS, price management, web shops). This 360-degree view of the product enabled easier audits and price revisions. Price calculator helped teams perform what-if analysis before finalizing the price and hence reduce margin calculation errors.

Vendor Link helped the client transform supplier collaboration from a set of loosely connected processes to a digitized and scalable supplier ecosystem, with streamlined operations and system-wide transparency all the way up to the manufacturing sites. As a result, the client saw a 100% jump in its new product registration post the implementation.

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Leading European Pharmaceuticals Retailer