Process Modelling, Analysis & Redesign

Pharmak, the largest pharmacy chain in the country, introduced the tap-and-pick e-prescription
delivery service in January 2019. This service allows a customer to place an order for an e-
prescription with just two “taps” (or clicks) and to pick up their order at their selected pharmacy
To use this service, a customer should first register via Pharmak’s Tap-and-Pick app, (or via the
equivalent Web app available in Pharmak’s web site). When a registered customer has an active e-
prescription recorded in the national e-prescription system, the customer is able to see this e-
prescription in the Tap-and-Pick app. They can then select an active e-prescription, select the
pharmacy store where they wish to pick up the medicines, and pay for the medicines. Thirty minutes
after paying (or whenever they wish within 48 hours of placing their order), the customer can pick up
their e-prescription order at the selected pharmacy store.
When an order is submitted (and paid) by a customer, it is first routed to the pharmacy’s backend
technician at the pharmacy store. The technician takes an empty bag, writes the name of the
customer on the bag, collects the medicines listed in the e-prescription and puts them in the bag.
Then she puts the bag in a “quality assurance” (QA) area. The bags in the QA area are those that have
not yet been checked by the pharmacist. From times to times, the pharmacist picks up a bag from
the QA area, types the name of the customer into the pharmacy information system, and verifies
that the medicines in the bag are the correct ones (and that all required medicines are there). If
anything is incorrect or missing, they fix the issue. If the pharmacist finds any medicine in the
prescription that requires special instructions or attention (e.g. a medicine that may cause strong
secondary effects to the customer), she writes an “X” with a red marker on the bag. This means that
the bag cannot be handed off to the customer without an interview with the pharmacist. The
pharmacist then puts the bag in the pick-up area.
When a customer arrives, they give their ID card to the customer service representative. The
customer service representative enters their ID code to retrieve the details of the customer’s e-
prescription order. The customer service representative then looks for the bag with the name of the
customer in the pick-up area. If the bag does not have an “X” mark, the customer service
representative hands in the bag to the customer and marks the e-prescription as delivered. If it has
an “X”, the customer service representative gives the bag to the pharmacist (who sits in another
counter at the pharmacy store). The pharmacist asks some questions from the customer and decides
whether or not it is safe to give the medicines to the customer. If any of the medicines is unsafe, the
pharmacist removes it from the bag, and records this removal in the pharmacy information system.
The customer will get an automatic refund if they have paid for a medicine but the medicine could
not be served to them.
In 95% of cases, the delivery process works as expected. But in 5% of cases, the medicines are not yet
ready when the customer arrives. This typically happens during busy periods. In these cases, the
customer service representative needs to manually figure out where the bag is located. It might be
stuck in the quality assurance area, or it might be that the technician is still collecting the medicines
from the shelves, or sometimes the technician has so much backlog that they might not yet have
started to collect the medicines for that particular e-prescription when the customer arrives. Such
4 “where’s the bag?” episodes are stressful. They consume time from everyone, and lead to long
delivery queues.
On average, the customer service representative takes 3 minutes to serve one customer. But there is
a lot of variability: sometimes it takes her 10+ minutes to serve one customer, particularly when the
e-prescription is not yet ready. At peak times, 15 customers arrive per hour on average.
In a pharmacy store, there is one customer service representative, one technician, and one
Customers complain frequently about long waiting and serving times when picking up their e-
prescription. Customers are particularly annoyed when their e-prescription order is not ready yet,
and especially when the customer service representative is unable to tell them right away how much
time it will take for their e-prescription order to be ready. The pharmacy estimates that they lost 500
customers in 2019 due to long queueing times and slow serving times. A customer typically
consumes 200 euros per year in medicines on average.
Capture this process in BPMN from the perspective of the pharmacy (i.e. only the tasks that involve
pharmacy workers). The pharmacy value chain consists of 2 parts: (a) prepare order and (b) deliver
order. So it is a good idea to create 2 separate and simple BPM models describing 2 parts of the
pharmacy value chain.
a) “Prepare order” BPMN model
b) “Deliver order” BPMN model

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