Power Platform makes VMI Group’s medicine database more user-friendly

VMI Group’s drug database is now clearer thanks to Power Platform. HSO turned an Excel file into an innovative application.

No more need to send an Excel file with mathematical formulas back and forth to customers; instead, a clear portal where can they log in and enter their data themselves. The Power Platform is an absolute bonanza for VMI Group. The innovation means that customers measuring medication are guided step-by-step through an online plan which allows them to order exactly the right products. It was HSO which provided this user-friendly system. Bob Brummelhuis (VMI Group), Tim van de Molengraft (HSO) and Thim Derks (HSO) discuss the digitization project.

Excel file

It was a complex task which the VMI Group posed. That’s because they were working with an Excel file containing mathematical formulas for measuring drugs. It’s an area in which physical properties play crucial roles, among other things. “A capsule has a very different look to a paracetamol,” explains Thim. “Everything in the document was tailored to those dimensions.” VMI Group wanted to transfer that drug database and the measurement procedure to a more user-friendly platform.

And that was a challenge, because the Excel file contained lots of logic. “This is our day-to-day business,” Bob points out. “We understand it well. To get a new system which was valid, we had to be on absolutely the same page with HSO.” There were analysis sessions to this end. “That’s where we considered Excel’s process step by step. And step by step we translated it into a solution,” says Thim.

“VMI Group drew up a list of Key Design Principles. Whenever we were in doubt about a particular decision, we grabbed that list to stay faithful to the task and to make rational choices.”

Thim Derks, HSO

Central database

The solution turned out to be an online portal, a central database, where VMI Group customers can log in themselves, completing all the required information. The application then guides the customer step by step, ensuring that the data enters the system as accurately as possible. And users can always request further information if they can’t figure it out. “This has improved the quality,” notes Bob. Among the advantages, it’s more user-friendly and there’s less chance of error.

Good collaboration

One reason the VMI Group turned to HSO was their good previous collaborations, and this project worked out well once more. “The bond grew increasingly as the project progressed,” recalls Bob. And as Tim adds: “This was all quite a tense time for VMI Group and we got that. It was a huge Excel file that was being transferred to the cloud, and they weren’t yet familiar with it. We showed them concrete examples to make it easier for them to get started and become familiar with it.”

“HSO turned an Excel file into an innovative application. Now we’re training people internally so that we can do even more with the Power Platform in the future.”

Bob Brummelhuis, VMI Group

Bob appreciated the critical questions HSO continued to ask during the process. “This was two-way traffic. We were a team with joint responsibility. We could spar back and forth well, and HSO always worked things out alongside us, despite the complexity of the issue. That provided a boost,” he notes.

More plans

The system was up and running within just five months. “I’m really proud of it,” says Bob. “Functionally it works well. It’s clearly a step forward, thanks to its innovation and development. We see this as a pilot project toward even more innovations,” he promises.

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