Delivering scalable member benefits for a pharmaceutical buying group

How can a veterinary buying group use technology to empower its members at scale?

St francis group data dashboard

St Francis Group is the UK's largest animal health buying group with more than 460 member practices across the UK. Members purchase products through the group to achieve savings on veterinary products, from simple consumables to complex, specialised treatments.

Members received a monthly excel report containing information about the products purchased through the group and the savings achieved against a traditional wholesaler. Though these reports are beneficial to members, creating them was a manual process which is unable to scale with the group's rapid development.

Following a website rebrand led by Optima Graphic Design, Cursor investigated the possibility of automating the production of these monthly reports and displaying this information online. We started by exploring the flow of purchasing data within the organisation and quickly realised we could move beyond an online delivery system for reports and instead provide an interactive data dashboard for members.

Mock up

Firstly, we developed a bespoke data import system that takes the raw transactional data provided by St Francis group and aggregates it, processing 600,000 records a month. This processed data can then be analysed using a bespoke data visualisation system with an interface inspired by Google Analytics.

Members can view details of their spending on each pharmaceutical product, with options to drill down into more information such as manufacturer and product category. A powerful filtering system allows members to compare changes across periods, showing changes in value and discount achieved, tracking trends and informing decisions. All of the resulting data is available as an Excel report for further analysis.

Stfrancis 3

As many veterinary companies operate multiple practices, we developed features to compare spending patterns across practices, giving business owners and practice managers the ability to view performance and spend across the whole of their groups.

A commitment to quality and detail backed up with expert coding knowledge and an awareness of business-led objectives that shape the bigger picture.

Julian Havenhand

New Business Development Manager, Optima Design

Training for success

Following on from the success of the Data Dashboard, we introduced several additional training features for members. We integrated a new online training system that streams video content provided by The Webinar Vet, giving members access to a vast range of professional training videos. The system also keeps track of how many webinars each member has watched, with this information counting towards CPD training with certificates awarded to members on completion of each session.

In addition to providing online training, the St Francis Group Business Academy provides real-world training and workshops for vets and practice managers. We designed and built a bespoke booking system for seminars and workshops, automating much of the previously manual work. Downloadable worksheets are automatically emailed to attendees ahead of the event, with webcasts and other course content made available to attendees on the day of the event, reducing administration time and costs.

Scalable business systems

Through developing the member data dashboard system, the online webinars and event booking platform, Cursor has helped St Francis Group take existing business processes and bring them online. Delivering digital systems and processes that reduce costs and scale with the growth of the business.

2016 update

In 2016, St Francis Group joined MWI Animal Health which acknowledged the success of the project in a press release.

The company saves its members time and money on veterinary products by providing valuable information, technology and support that simplifies their processes, maximises purchasing benefits and reduces administration so members can focus on clinical care.

MWI Animal Health Press Release