The strong logistics and a range of financial services for hospitals are PGF Urtica's other strong points. The company supplies products to more than 750 hospitals and over 1,000 other customers across the country, and its leading position in the market of wholesale to hospitals stems from consistent strategy implementation and the focus on core business areas.
The company is well organised, with operations based on five branch offices located in Wrocław, Łódź, Katowice, Poznań, and Lublin, and the central warehouse in Łódź (dispatching more than 5.5 thousand different products to hospitals every day).
By combining proven experience with innovations, the company is able to offer a wide range of integrated services dedicated to manufacturers of pharmaceuticals, including: professional management of tender processes, market analyses, sales support, logistics services and a broad selection of marketing activities. Having built long-standing successful relations with manufacturers and healthcare institutions, PGF Urtica earned the reputation of a trustworthy business partner.
The company builds solid business relations and supports its partners also through training and publishing projects. With the involvement of scientific institutions and associations, as well as hospital pharmacy experts, PGF Urtica publishes the 'Farmakoekonomika szpitalna' ('Hospital Pharmacoeconomics') quarterly magazine, which disseminates expert knowledge among 500 hospitals and pharmacies across Poland.
The company also attaches great weight to staff training, focusing primarily on the organisation of soft-skill workshops offered to cooperating business units. PGF Urtica's employees are regularly trained on how to meet current market challenges, and new managers are offered support to get prepared to their new roles.
PGF Urtica is driven by the highest ethical standards and operates in accordance with the adopted Code of Ethics. In their everyday work, the company's employees and managerial staff are guided by the four fundamental values: experience, trust, commitment, and teamwork. The Urtica Team, bringing together employees passionate about running and nordic walking, may serve as a good example of the shared values.
The 'Urtica for Children' project supporting children's oncology and haematology wards in hospitals, which has become a permanent fixture in the calendar of corporate events over the years, is the prime example of the company's dedication to social and charity initiatives. The company organises art workshops for little patients, and their works are later sold at a charity auction in Wrocław. All proceeds from the auction are distributed among a dozen or so hospital wards taking part in the event, offering considerable aid to local communities. The charity auction is organised with the involvement of the 'Dbam o Zdrowie' Foundation, which is actively assisted by PGF Urtica in promoting the Foundation's new campaigns and projects.
The 'Urtica for Children' project, responding to the problem of lack of teaching aids and toys in clubs located at the children's oncology-hematology wards, was named a Best Practice in 2014 and featured in the ‘Responsible Business in Poland. Best Practices 2014’ report published by the Responsible Business Forum.
Despite the volatile business environment, in 2014 PGF Urtica did not give in to market pressures and was able to defend a strong position in the industry, recording a similar success ratio in winning tenders as in 2013. The company consistently rolled out the strategy for optimising its core business processes, thereby improving its tendering and sales procedures and enhancing service quality. In doing so, it leveraged intercompany synergies and developed solutions to supply-related problems (namely, warehouse and transport issues). The company also focused on improving customer service standards, including by reducing the number of customer complaints due to errors in the order acceptance process. The new IT system launched in 2014, designed to optimise customer complaint procedures, eliminated communication by email. All complaints are now analysed, explained and settled through the new system. As a result, the number of complaints was reduced by approximately 40% relative to 2013. In 2014, PGF Urtica also improved its service level ratio, i.e. the ratio of answered calls to total incoming calls, which had a direct effect of increasing customer service quality. In addition, having regard to customers' needs, the company launched the Emergency Response System. The sales personnel are now on call on a 24/7 basis, and drivers are ready to deliver STAT orders.
In the area of management of financing programmes for inpatient healthcare institutions, the company focused primarily on maintaining and reinforcing good relations with the institutions participating in the programmes, so as to improve its financial and debt collection efficiency. Through the monitoring of incoming credit notes and close communication with manufacturers' representatives, the company improved its receivables collection ratio under tender settlements.
In 2014, PGF Urtica continued training schemes to make sure that its employees have in-depth knowledge of the current legal developments, business requirements, and financial assessment of enterprises. The sales team also continued a series of training sessions to improve customer service quality.
In 2014, PGF Urtica organised the 17th charity auction, selling children's works of art for a record-breaking amount of PLN 260,000. All proceeds from the auction were transferred to 17 children's oncology and haematology wards in hospitals taking part in the 'Sunny Gallery' project.
The company's goals for 2015 are to increase its market share while maintaining current sales margins, safe level of receivables, and top service quality (including best-in-class logistics services and the support offered to hospitals in the form of dedicated programmes). PGF Urtica is also determined to complete and roll out new software designed to support the conduct and management of tender procedures, as well as a new employee assessment application which will improve the evaluation process with a reporting system and on-going access to historical data.