The simple answer is not as long as you would expect! However, to build on our article ‘Planning the smooth introduction of pharmacy automation’ we’d like to provide you with a much more detailed pharmacy automation timeline based on our unparalleled experience. With more UK installations than anyone else we are confident that we can help you understand what’s ahead when you choose to automate and grow your business.
As the pharmacy automation experts our expertise extends to far beyond the machines themselves. In the same way that a pharmacist’s knowledge is only useful when applied to helping patients it’s the application of our expertise that really helps you realise the key benefits of pharmacy automation. We’ll help you develop your vision, plan the process, prepare your pharmacy and your team, install and integrate your machine and most importantly optimise efficiency so that you maximise return on investment.
If you have any questions when you’ve finished reading and want answers you can rely on get in touch and we’ll be happy to talk specifics.
Pharmacy automation timeline
We pride ourselves on delivering the quickest and safest route to Automation Go Live and realise that that route is different for every client. Your needs are unique and we are great at adapting a tried, tested and proven process to help you delivery your project. One of our clients recently surprised us with a request for a robot of a specific colour to match their branded interior. We set to and sourced the machine they wanted with only a short extension to the project timeline. This is one of the most memorable but not the only interesting request we have had. Having already found a solution to a wide range of requests we are able to be pretty consistent with how long it takes to get you to Automation Go Live.
A typical project takes the following route.
First contact and planning – Month one
You have seen the light and recognised the benefits that pharmacy automation can deliver to your business and you are ready to act. You’ve explored the market a little and realised that Robotik Technology UK are the experts, have the knowledge, experience and answers you need and can offer a unique automation demonstration experience so that you can learn more. Perhaps one of your trusted friends of colleagues have suggest you get in touch with us.
The first step is to get together to talk about your vision for your pharmacy. We’ll take it a step further and show you various options, their capabilities and work through which fits your business at our demonstration centre in Daresbury. We’ll even cover half a days locum fees so that you can free yourself up without worrying or being interrupted. It gives you the time to think and explore the options so that you are confident that you are making the right decision.
Many clients also benefit from a visit to a dispensary where one of our machines is installed so that they can see it in action and speak to people who are already benefiting from automation. If you can’t spare the time for a visit, a call can also help you understand how our solutions work in the real world.
Confirming the specifics of the final solution that meets your needs is a crucial step and allows us to really crystalise the scale and scope of the project. There is no reason this step shouldn’t fit within the first month however indecision can extend how long this step takes.
When we are all agreed on what your vision is and how we will help you to achieve it our management team mobilise and commence project set up:
- Establishing the implementation team
- Detailed site survey – Assessing how your machine will best fit in your site including building, ergonomic and IT
- Project plan development – Discussed with you and shared with all Stakeholders
- Production – Arranging for production and delivery of your machine and any peripherals and consumables that you need
- Establishing the support and administration teams
Our project planning includes input from you about how we can manage the installation of your machine with minimum disruption. Having installed a lot of machines we can guide you about the options.
Your time commitment in month one can be as long as you make it but we’d estimate it like this:
First meeting and demonstration | 4hrs
Live site visit if required | 4hrs
Live site call if required | 0.5hrs
Second specification meeting | 4hrs
Communications and administration | 4hrs
So, as you can see it doesn’t take much time out of a month to get started.
Preparation and testing – Month two
Your new machine will be delivered to our workshop at Sci-Tech in Daresbury where we will set it up and carry out extensive testing prior to installation to check that everything is working as expected. We spend a great deal of time integrating software, hardware and robotics to ensure the end solution will function at optimal efficiency from day one. This unseen step in the process is vital to the smooth installation of automation into your pharmacy. Whether it is compliance aid automation, unit dose automation, full dispensary automation or hub and spoke our technical team will ensure that the technology does what it should.
When your machine is up to speed we’ll invite you back to take a look at it in action and to calibrate the machine to the medicines you plan to use it to dispense after launch. We take care of the technical bits of this essential exercise and can help you understand how flexible the system can be.
We’ll work with you to start planning how your new machine will save you time and resource and adapting your standard operations procedures and workflows.
Lastly during the second month we’ll develop a comprehensive training plan with your input to ensure you and your team are fully prepared to take advantage of your new technology and integrate it into your new workflows.
Your time commitment in month two should be close to the following:
Calibration meeting | 4hrs
Workflow planning | 4hrs
Training planning | 2hrs
Communications and administration | 4hrs
Again, it may surprise you to see how little time an automation project can take when managed well by experts. If you need to arrange adjustments to the interior layout or your IT this may take additional time which you’ll need to consider.
Installation and training – Month three
When the site, technology and people are ready your machine will be delivered and installed with our implementation team managing the whole process. We’ll work with you to minimise the impact on your business and help you adjust. We are passionate about helping you get the best out of your machine and will go to extraordinary lengths to do so! You’ll have a couple of intense days but it will be worth it when you realise the benefits every day therafter.
We’ll carry out final onsite testing and confirm that everything is as planned and complete training on-site, at our training facility in Daresbury or a combination of both. Whichever suits you and your team best.
When you are live and you and your team are confident you’ll sign off the project.
Your time commitment in month three should be close to the following:
Pharmacy and team preparation | 8hrs
Workflow adjustments | 8hrs
Team training | 8hrs
Installation | 16hrs
Communications and administration | 4hrs
Once you are up and running you’ll be using your new automation solution as planned so we haven’t included this time. You will have entered a world of pharmacy automation.
Beyond automation go live
Our support team will gradually take over from the implementation team and guide you through the support processes, answering your ‘what-if’ questions. This will include routine maintenance such as on-site, weekly cleaning (removing any dust build up etc) or how to refresh consumables.
We don’t just leave you there. We’ll work with you on a post implementation review identifying any remaining day to day issues but more importantly helping you maximise automation throughput to drive your return on investment.
There is much to consider but we handle the vast majority for you. Your input over three months might be less than you previously thought. This time in three months your pharmacy automation ambitions could be a reality and you could be more efficient and more profitable. At Robotik Technology UK we don’t just sell machines, we help you achieve your business goals through pharmacy automation. We’ll be at your side from day one to day done and beyond.
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