Katja Haas is a masters student of Supply Chain Management at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria (Austria), where she also obtained her Bachelors degree in International Logistic Management.
Her research and master thesis focuses on the delivery processes between pharma-wholesalers and pharmacies in Austria. High competition amongst the wholesalers and on demand logistics strategies have led to multiple delivery processes per day for each pharmacy. However, for many products multiple deliveries only increase freight transport without (significantly) increasing supply quality. For this reason, Katjas research project “SmartOrder&Delivery” attempts to balance the interests among wholesalers, pharmacies and end-customers. In order to identify the real needs of the end-customers in terms of price, speed of availability and preferred trader for different product groups (OTC, RX, homeophatics, supplements), a conjoint analysis is conducted. Based on the findings of the survey together with interviews among the other Stakeholders, a balanced pricing system for various delivery options is developed. The aim of this project is to reduce delivery journeys to the required quantity in order to reduce ecological and economical burdens.
To identify the needs and preferences of the end-customers as well as their willingness to pay for specific product combinations, a CBC-Analysis was conducted. In order to obtain a representative result for Austria, 1000 end customers were surveyed via an online panel provider. The Respondents of the survey were presented three different product packages, not including a none option.
It was found that the price is by far the most important aspect for the customers. In more than 65% of all cases, the option with no increase in pricing was selected. In terms of speed of availability, customers prefer the fastest version. Although the customer prefers rapid delivery, they would rather wait a bit longer than pay for faster delivery. As long as the time until availability does not exceed 24 hours, customer are willing to wait. If the time until availability exceeds 24 hours, customers prefer to pay a higher price. The retailer (pharmacy of confidence, different pharmacy, online pharmacy) from whom the customer receives the desired product is not decisive for a purchase decision. Although the customer prefer their pharmacy of confidence, the price and the waiting time are more important to the customers.
When looking on the differences between male and female respondents, it was found that male respondents have a higher willingness to pay than female respondents. Additionally, male respondents rate fast availability more important than their female counterparts do. On the contrary, female respondents show a higher preference to buy products from their pharmacy of confidence instead of an unknown pharmacy or an online pharmacy.
In the research, no significant difference of the results filtered down to the product groups OTC, RX, homeophatics, supplements could be identified.
Consequently, the willingness to pay is extremely low and the price of the products is more important to the customers than rapid delivery or the retailer.