Nigeria / Abuja
The Karu area in Abuja is growing fast. By early 2017, Sunday Abutu, a manager at Steps Pharmacy in Karu, was pressed to keep up. It seemed like there was always too much or too little stock on the shelves. Stock outs and expiries. Sunday knew it was inefficient and that inefficiency was holding Steps back from expanding the range of health and medical products and services it could offer its patients.
In August 2017 Sunday learned about Shelf Life and saw the opportunity to improve and expand what Steps could offer in Karu. What began as just five product subscriptions that August grew to 80 by 2019, with Shelf Life providing over N2 million in over-the-counter and perscription drug inventory, and an on-shelf availability rate of 97%.
Many of the new Shelf Life subscriptions were new lines for Steps. With Pay-As-You-Sell, Sunday could explore new lines and see what worked best for his patients. While it was not certain how these new lines would sell, Shelf Life worked with Sunday to make the expansion a success. Using its data and forecasting tools, and providing top-ups in case new products did stockout, Shelf Life took the risk out of growth.
Sunday Abutu, Steps Pharmacy
While Sunday was was initially concerned with the payment model, a flat weekly fee, he reports having easily adapted to it, saying that the benefits from the Shelf Life service in reducing stockouts and expiries more than pay for the cost of the service.
Sunday reports also benefiting from the intangibles, too. The variety of reports and insights he receives from Shelf Life, those both digital and printed, have helped Steps improve its recordkeeping and audit trail. And now with Shelf Life providing tailored recommendations for the next lines to add, it looks like 2019 will be another big year for the Steps and Shelf Life partnership.