The pharmaceutical retailer in Ecuador Farmacias Mia bets on innovation to look for maximize efficiency and achieve a higher employee satisfaction.
May 6 2021
Farmacias Mia is one of the leading companies in the pharmaceutical industry in Ecuador. Its eagerness to grow and develop has made it the most innovative company in the sector in the country. Always looking for new opportunities for transformation, Farmacias Mia has increased its presence to 84 sales points in the past few years, with a catalog of more than 14,000 brand-name products and 700 employees who give service to more than one million customers throughout the year.
Among the pillars of this transformation are two key players: Diego Moya and Carlos Ramírez.
Diego Moya is a man of skills. He has 24 years of working experience in roles related to commercial activities, market, operations, project management, human talent, finance, credit and marketing. He is really adaptable. In total, he worked in 10 multinational companies before arriving to Farmacias Mia six years ago as an Adviser for strategic planning.
In 2019, he assumed the role of External Adviser and took the reins of Human Talent, as well as of the commercial, logistic, market and operations areas. He is also a directory member.
Next to him we find Carlos Ramírez. He has been working in the pharmaceutical company for ten years as a sales manager. This 2021, his career took a turn when he assumed the Business Intelligence Analyst role.
As a connoisseur of the company’s history, he explains to Orquest how Farmacias Mia started its journey.
Carlos: Farmacias Mia was found on October 6, 1990 with a branch in the city of Huaquillas, province of El Oro, Ecuador. It started with three partners and stayed this way until 2009, when the current CEO, Yober Aguirre, arrived. Yober took control of the business and started a national expansion strategy. The first city where they opened another pharmacy was Machala. In 2014, the expansion was halted for a year when a restriction came into effect that did not allow permits to be granted to open new establishments. We have already 24 branchs and a strong presence in El Oro, Loja, Zamora, Guayas and Azuay.
Carlos: The success of the company has to do with the commitment that our clients have with us. They feel really identified. We are very attached to customer service. The top leaders have always conveyed the right message about our priority, which is the customer, and we are devoted to them.
Diego: It is true that we have the best prices in Ecuador. However, our decision is not to compete on price, but because we are a reflection of the efficiency we have behind us.
Although we are not the biggest chain, we are the one that most invest in innovation, automatization and efficiency. With a system like Orquest, we are convinced that, if we are more efficient, we can give more value to our customers.
The success of the company has to do with the commitment that our clients have with us. We are very attached to customer serviceCarlos Ramírez, Business Intelligence Analyst at Farmacias Mia
Diego: From my point of view, retail is going to experience a drastic change in the next 5 years. New generations and changes accelerated by the pandemic are causing a digital transformation and omnichannel where the customer will be able to buy physically, virtually and pick up physically.
Then, retail sales points will have to focus on experience. And experience will have to be good enough to motivate clients to go to stores. I go because of human contact and the assistance they will give to me. That will bring me some value that I will not get digitally.
On the other side, sales points are going to be transformed and become more integrated to offer a differentiated experience. We will access to virtual kiosks where you will be able to have telemedicine appointments, pharmacies where you will be able to pick up Amazon orders or make banking transactions.
And because labor cost is so radical, retailers are going to try to minimize those costs. That’s why it’s so important to have amazing efficiencies in matching people to demand and productivity for every minute that retail is open.
The pharmaceutical sector will not be the exception, but perhaps it is different in some way. When you have diseases, you need human contact to validate something. It’s very cold to buy medicines through e-commerce because you don’t know the compounds or even understand the doctor’s handwriting.
In Ecuador, scanned digital prescriptions are already being accepted. We will have virtual centers where there will be specialists, doctors and pharmacists. And in this new scenario we will also manage employee schedules.
It’s important to have amazing efficiencies in matching people to demand and productivity for every minute that retail is openDiego Moya, Human Talent Leader at Farmacias Mia
Farmacias Mia is moving forward by focusing on innovation to improve the customer experience, fully aware that it is vital to enrich the quality of life of its employees.