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Pharmaceutical Distribution Business

As a national wholesaler with close regional ties,
the Suzuken group is at the core of medical distribution in Japan.

The Suzuken group purchases ethical drugs, diagnostic agents, medical equipment, medical materials, and medical food products from approximately 1,000 companies both in Japan and abroad; including pharmaceutical and medical equipment manufacturers, and supplies medical institutions and insurance pharmacies.

  • Pharmaceutical Manufacturers, Reagent Manufacturers, Medical Device Manufacturers, Suzuken, Hospitals, Clinics, Pharmacies, Patients The flow of pharmaceuticals to patients
  • Suzuken Iwate Co., Ltd. Nakano Yakuhin.Co., Ltd. Sanki Corporation, Shoyaku Co., Ltd. ASTIS Co., Ltd. Suzuken Okinawa Yakuhin Co., Ltd. Business Area, Affiliated Companies Pharmaceutical wholesaler group companies operating nationwide

Transition to a new revenue model

New Revenue Model

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in increasingly severe business conditions for pharmaceutical wholesalers. The Suzuken Group, therefore, has decided to revise its revenue model by adopting a new sales approach based on the Group as a whole. In particular, the transition from a margin-based revenue model to a fee-for-service model, is intended to secure new earnings by making the most of the Suzuken Group’s functions and services to provide customers with solutions. To help ensure the success of this transition, we are collaborating with various partner companies to expand the range of functions and services we offer.

Strengthening customer contacts and reforming the sales process

The Suzuken Group is working to strengthen customer contacts by combining the Group’s real management resources (MSs*2) and digital capabilities. For example, the “Smile activities*2” we have been engaged in since 2013 to respond to customer desires and needs are also helping to improve productivity. We have strengthened our sales system, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, by adding a digital option to in-person visits, and transformed our distribution system, through changes such as a reduction in delivery frequency. Furthermore, we are promoting ES Navigation, a remote detail service provided through MSs, and other digital approaches as function proxies for pharmaceutical companies. We are taking steps to increase the IT literacy of employees through initiatives such as holding web-based seminars for strengthening digital approaches and conducting digital transformation training together with Doctors Inc.

  • ※1MS (Marketing Specialist): Pharmaceutical wholesale representatives who visit medical institutions and pharmacies to introduce pharmaceuticals, conduct business negotiations, and provide and collect information
  • ※2Smile Activities: An ongoing initiative in which customer input is gathered through daily activities and proprietary surveys, and all employees participate in responding to customer needs

Image: Our salesperson introduces various medicines with “MS-Navia,” an iPad tool to medical professionals.

Promoting digital transformation through collaboration

With digitalization accelerating and customer needs for digitalization on the rise, we have entered into capital and business alliances with six IT-driven healthcare companies. Aiming to build a medical information platform that will offer new solutions for problems faced by community-based healthcare and pharmaceutical companies, we are working to expand the adoption, and enhance the information value, of our alliance partners’ digital services.

Main solutions resulting from collaborations

  • The Cubixx specialty drug traceability system
  • PS+Management inventory management system for chain pharmacies
  • PS+Voice automatic voice recognition and electronic medication history system
  • Medifiims PE asset management system for pharmacies
  • Medifiims PE asset management system for pharmacies
  • Digital services: Dr. JOY medical institution support platform,
    Welby MyKarte PHR (Personal Health Record) platform,
    Ubie for Hospitals AI-based medical interview service,
    Medical Care Station (MCS) completely private SNS for medical and long-term care professionals

Responding to needs for community-based healthcare collaboration and comprehensive community care systems

Cooperation Agreement signed with Obu City, Aichi Prefecture Cooperation Agreement signed with Obu City, Aichi Prefecture

The Suzuken Group is working to connect people and resolve issues in local healthcare and nursing care through partnerships with pharmacies and nursing care businesses, and collaborations with IT-driven healthcare companies. Already, we have entered into partnership agreements with numerous local governments at the branch, sales department, and company level in an effort to move forward with contributions to local communities.

Low-Cost Management Initiatives

We are working to change our operating cost structure to eliminate waste. We have undertaken an effort to achieve greater shipping efficiency through the implementation of a shipping management system, changes to the functions of individual locations and branches, and other operational revisions in areas of sales and distribution, and are moving forward with improvements in indirect functions such as procurement and personnel. To achieve low-cost management, we are also accelerating efforts in areas such as sharing of indirect functions across the Group and optimizing back-office functions.

Reliable supply of the required quantity of drug at the required time

Pharmaceutical Manufacturers, Pharmaceutical Manufacturers, Pharmaceutical Manufacturers, Receiving Control, Suzuken group, Bar code management of lot number and expiration date, Which manufacturer and at which factory were the products produced? Search and Inquiries, To which medical institutions were they shipped? Delivery Control, Medical Institution Insurance Pharmacy, Medical Institution Insurance Pharmacy, Medical Institution Insurance Pharmacy, Medical Institution Insurance Pharmacy

The Suzuken group has built a reliable network under strict quality control to deliver the required quantity of drug at the required time to every corner of the country. A nationwide traceability system centrally manages lot numbers and expiry dates and clarifies distribution channels for all pharmaceuticals. This ensures a quick response in the event of a drug recall.

Stable supply system which also serves in emergencies

Sapporo Distribution Center, Meinan Distribution Center, Konan Distribution Center, Hanshin Distribution Center, Okayama Distribution Center, Fukuoka Distribution Center, Miyagi Distribution Center, Chiba Distribution Center, Toda Distribution Center, Kanagawa Distribution Center, Niihama Distribution Center

Beginning with distribution centers in 12 locations nationwide and 270 physical distribution bases, the Suzuken group has established a distribution system with an extensive inventory, ensuring that stock does not run out. In preparation for emergency situations such as earthquakes or other large-scale disasters or outbreaks of new strains of influenza, we work on maintaining a stable supply system on a daily basis.

  • Onsite power for emergency at Meinan Distribution Center
  • A seismic insolation structure at Meinan Distribution Center

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