Dis-Chem pharmacies use innovative tech to optimise delivery

Dis-Chem, along with Picup, have joined forces to offer an innovative delivery service that has helped Dis-Chem's delivery strategy. Picup addresses the last mile fulfilment problem many brick and mortar businesses have been unable to solve.


Much has been made of the lockdown and the many problems it is causing and will cause for businesses. While this is true for a lot of industries, it has also created opportunities for agile service providers who have been able to address logistic needs for their customers.

Lockdown innovation


The lockdown restrictions have forced a number of companies to accelerate their digital strategies. Traditional retailers have been largely moving at a glacial pace to build out their online ordering and delivery capabilities.


In their defence, South African consumers are notoriously resistant to online shopping. However, as Takealot has shown, if you build it, they will come.


The advent of the lockdown and restrictions on shoppers movement has meant that retailers have had to move quickly in order to meet the needs of the market.


This has meant a lot of large retailers have had to move quickly and engage with companies with established last-mile fulfilment expertise.

Adopting a tech approach


Despite the fact that restrictions will invariably ease demand for delivery of essential goods is likely to remain higher than prior to when the lockdown commenced.


Dis-Chem and Picup's association began at the beginning of the lockdown, and to their credit, Picup was able to offer a last-mile fulfilment solution within four business days.


"Dis-Chem is focused on a tech approach to distribution and delivery, and Picup was the perfect fit."

Cost-saving and improved service


The Picup solution provided the ability to "integrate with the Dis-Chem delivery system to provide real-time feeds and order placements" for all of Dis-Chem's stores across the country.


"This will ultimately mean massive cost savings and improved speed of delivery."


Picup was able to provide a much needed last-mile delivery service backed up by logistics software and a fleet of crowdsourced drivers.


In keeping with the current health concerns drivers were equipped with masks, sanitiser and guidelines for "best behavioural practices." Ponter concludes:


"Orders are captured by the respective stores and then processed and dispatched and delivered within 24 hours. The various routes are then created and optimised for the most cost-effective and efficient delivery. Dis-Chem customers receive an SMS link to track the driver in real-time".