“If anything, our confidence in NewIcon has grown even stronger”

Published 2nd of June 2017

By chance, pharmacy owner Helvi Hänninen and NewIcon Marketing Director Jori-Matti Savolainen happened to be in the same event. Mr. Savolainen told her that his company was looking for a pilot pharmacy for its new medicine storage robot. This is how the Finnish Pielavesi Pharmacy soon became NewIcon’s first pharmacy customer in 2008.  

The decision to purchase the storage robot was prompted primarily by the limited space available in the old premises. Our comprehensive planning and help with the renovation strengthened their confidence in us.

While Ms. Hänninen was excited and also a bit nervous about the robot, she never had any doubts. Frankly, the excitement was mutual.

The time after the installation of the storage robot has been memorable. All functions, including invoicing and electronic prescriptions, are now electronic. Communications have also changed: The amount of traditional mail has decreased, and a fax machine is no longer a viable option to maintain.

“This feels like a historic period of time,” says Ms. Hänninen.

No pain, no gain

The first pilot version did not perform as expected, and customers had to contact NewIcon frequently. However, Ms. Hänninen’s confidence in the company never waned. NewIcon was there for her pharmacy all along and helped whenever it was necessary.

“Since I know the people at NewIcon, it has always been easy to ask them questions. They are not bureaucratic or presumptuous at all,” she says.

Based on the feedback it received, NewIcon kept developing the medicine storage robot, and the current Iso-Fixu robot was installed in the Pielavesi Pharmacy in 2011. At the same time, the pharmacy moved into new and larger premises.

Thanks to the Iso-Fixu, the users’ workload is now lighter and they can work faster than before. The monotonous task of filling the storage shelves is no longer needed. Received goods can be unloaded smoothly, and the robot eliminates the risk of human errors.

“The Iso-Fixu has developed significantly in comparison to the pilot version, and it also looks very different nowadays.”

Smooth remote service

In case of any issues, the functionality of the Iso-Fixu has always been restored quickly with the help of the phone and a remote connection. Periodic maintenance has also been easy to arrange.

“When commissioning the new software, the users hardly needed any guidance in using it,” the pharmacy owner comments.

In the beginning, some pharmacy owners visited the Pielavesi Pharmacy to see the medicine storage robot there, but now there are more than 60 pharmacies in Finland and other countries with Iso-Fixu robots, making it easy to find them elsewhere as well.

NewIcon has become the Finnish market leader in the field of storage automation for pharmacies, and it is the only company in the sector that uses genuine arm robots for this purpose.

According to Ms. Hänninen, male customers are more interested than women in the functionality of the storage robot and in knowing where the medicine packages come from. Thanks to the robot, the personnel now has a good 30% more time to talk to the customers.

Ms. Hänninen has not calculated the exact costs of her two robots, but she knows that the device has already paid itself back.

“If anything, our confidence in NewIcon has grown even stronger. We would not give up Iso-Fixu, not anymore!”