14 Jan FLOOR TO OUR MERCHANTS: VIM
Marketing and Communication Dpt, VIM
When was VIM created and what is your target audience?
VIM Farmaceutici was founded back in 1962 in Matera by pharmacist Pietro Motta, with the aim of offering pharmacies of his region an efficient and capillary medicinal distribution service.
What objectives have you achieved over the last year?
VIM has significantly grown over time: from being a small local company, it successfully extended its services to almost the entire Italian national territory. Today, VIM counts 11 warehouses and serves 5,000 customers -pharmacies/parapharmacies.
What are the cornerstones of your digital strategy? And what tools do you use to promote yourselves online?
Our digital strategy has mainly been focused on the new company website and on e-mail marketing, however -more recently- we have also started developing our social media presence. Currently, our goal is not related to new leads acquisition through digital channels, but rather to the consolidation of the relations with our existing customers by conveying our company values to increase brand awareness and reputation.
Let’s talk about pharmacies: how digital is this sector and what are the main challenges?
The industry in which we operate and the customers we work with have a diverse approach to digital. We can say that significant progress has been made over the last year, however there is still a long road ahead of us before we can consider it a 100% digital sector.
Serving a network of more than 3,000 pharmacies requires considerable organisation. How are you organized at logistics level? And, how long does it take for orders to be delivered?
Logistics is at the core of our business. Over the years, we have built a capillary distribution network with 11 warehouses located in various Italian regions and some 200 delivery service partners. Our 5,000 customers, both pharmacies and parapharmacies, receive 1 to 4 deliveries per day based on their geographical location and proximity to our warehouses. Orders are processed within a few hours for those customers receiving more deliveries per day and, generally, within 24 hours for others.
How important are innovation and digitalisation at VIM?
In our industry, innovation is key to boost the efficiency and the quality of the distribution process. Today, business digitalisation is a hot topic and VIM is certainly going through this process. Recently, important investments have been made at our end to innovate our warehouses technology and two of our warehouse centres – Milan and Salerno- are now benefiting from automation. Moreover, our hub in Matera has seen a 75% expansion of its storage surface and has been provided with a new and more efficient automated technology.
How important are payment-related aspects in the company?
Payments are a crucial business aspect as in any other company. Any time we acquire a new customer, before starting a new partnership, we run specific checks and verifications to establish customised payment criteria.
You integrated MyBank only a few months ago and already in a short period of time your transaction values and volumes have seen a remarkable growth. How has MyBank entered your business and how do you use our solution?
We have been using MyBank since February 2020. This solution was suggested to us by our bank Gruppo Intesa San Paolo on the occasion of a meeting to explore possible tools to manage our customers’ advance payments. We were looking for a solution to speed up and digitalise an administrative task we had been processing manually until then. This is how we discovered MyBank and thanks to the help of the web agency that took care of our website (www.vim.it), we integrated it in our reserved area, dedicated to our customers: this already included a dedicated section for purchases as an alternative to the pharmacy management tool, however -until then- it did not offer any solution for managing payments.
To date, 9 months after its implementation, 50% of our “advance-payment customers” have already switched to MyBank and we have achieved a turnover of about € 500,000/month. We have also registered an increase in terms of average turnover per customer.
What objectives have you achieved with MyBank?
Our goal was to digitalise and automate one of our administrative procedures to reduce management times and optimise human resources tasks distribution, and we have managed to do so. Moreover, we have also achieved certainty of collection.
14 Jan 2021