SITCO Pharma abides by core values, principles and philosophies that were laid out at inception in order to remain at the forefront of Saudi Arabia’s pharmaceutical industry
Project Manager: Callam Waller
Saudi International Trading Company Ltd, better known as SITCO Pharma, has been in operation since 1982, thriving as a social enabler through the distribution of pharmaceutical products in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The subsidiary is considered as one of the country’s leading operators in the sector and as such serves as the primary agent for an ever-increasing number of major global entities specialising in the pharmaceutical-healthcare domain.
“It provides a large part of the global pharmaceutical needs for all health sectors in the Kingdom through its distribution network deployed in all areas,” the Company elaborates on its website. “SITCO Pharma is considered one of the largest national distributors of vaccines and refrigerated medications (such as insulin and hormone enrichment), which requires special conditions in transportation and storage.”
The Company was established with a vision – that still exists today – to connect the world of manufacturing and distribution across the pharmaceutical vertical, with an overriding focus on quality and safe storage, transportation and delivery of all products.
“[This includes] providing customer services and commercial services, as well as the fast development of technology to transform the Company’s transactions,” SITCO continues. “We are the leading pharmaceutical distributor and high-tech manufacturer in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of world-class quality services and products to our multinational parties and clients.
“Our vision remains to be the number one integrated pharmaceutical provider in the country.”
Within all of SITCO’s departments, safe and healthy working is a prime focus, and this all begins within the sales division.
“We work to speed up the delivery of medicine to hospitals, clinics and pharmacies with the highest quality,” the Company affirms. “We always look to aid humanity, through quick service that satisfies healthcare recipients. We continuously measure customer satisfaction to improve the flow of work, and as an agent for foreign, regional and local companies we strive for continuous improvement of our services through the promotion of proper marketing which depends on product quality.”
The commercial department organises and manages all commercial deals between marketing authorisation holders represented by SITCO Pharma, and each of the respective customers.
The Company adds: “Keen to deliver the needs of medication to all patients anywhere and at any time all over Saudi Arabia in an easy and rapid way, we have recently established the direct sales for customers who don’t have an account with SITCO Pharma. This service works by receiving and delivering orders in standard conditions through vehicles equipped with high pharmaceutical standards in order to serve the biggest network of customers all over the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
Designed to receive, hold, distribute and deliver all pharmaceutical stocks, SITCO Pharma’s warehousing operations are pivotal to the overall value chain, and showcases the Company’s strong levels of technological innovations.
Temperature control systems, cold rooms, cleaning systems, enhanced security, safe mechanical equipment and advanced logistics machinery are all encompassed within this strand of the Company.
Hand-in-hand with warehousing comes SITCO’s procurement strategy, which works in collaboration with principals and partners to ensure there is sufficient stock of registered pharmaceuticals for all client branches.
“One of the main goals of SITCO Pharma is to avoid shortage for any registered products throughout the year,” the Company notes. “The procurement department of SITCO Pharma is responsible for purchasing all the local requirements for all the branches in the country after they’ve been approved by the department heads. The good quality, competitive prices and the speed of supply are the main factors considered when choosing a vendor as this will reflect positively on all employees for better performance and an increase in productivity.”
The customs clearance department coordinates with all principals regarding the documents required for incoming shipments, verifying and forwarding them in line with all necessary regulations.
Working in tandem with all other branches, operations coordination entails the ongoing monitoring of all item transference in and out of the Company, centralised within its primary hub in Riyadh. Close affiliations with IT and sales lend to continuous quality control efforts and documentation goals.
“The finance department of SITCO is considered as the heart of the Company,” SITCO claims. “Its vital role and function is to safeguard and monitor the utilisation of the Company’s resources.”
Accounting for budget plans and wider strategic planning as well as the day-to-day recording of business, finance has close ties to all other strands of the business understandably, while also forming long-term significant partnerships with Saudi Banks in connecting SITCO to the rest of the country’s economic infrastructure.
With more than 1,000 employees under SITCO’s watch, effective human resources is hugely significant to the overall functionality of the Company, and it has responded in kind via a host of efficiency systems and admin improvements to facilitate enhanced hiring, training and retention methods, organisation-wide.
Meanwhile, from a Government relations perspective, a similarly thought-through approach has been adopted; new ERP systems and efficiency initiatives once again showcasing the Company’s willingness to streamline for the benefit of partners, employees and customers alike.
SITCO’s quality compliance department was established in May, 2014 to oversee all aforementioned elements of the business and to hold each accountable for their performance levels, in accordance with key regional and industry-driven guidelines.
The initial unveiling aligned to a core concept called FOCUS PDCA: Find an opportunity, Organise the team, Clarify the process, Understand the operations, Start the plan; Plan, Do, Check, Act.
Customer and principal relation services
This final sub-sector bridges all of SITCO’s operations and places the Company back in the hands of the customer. Seeking ongoing feedback and reviews, the Company files, documents and responds to each suggestion with a view to continuous improvement.
Customer and principal relation services further contribute to future development as the intermediary for job applications and general marketing practices.
An ever-present theme across each aspect of SITCO’s overall structure is the usage of technology, the Company realising the importance of digital innovation ever since inception.
“SITCO Pharma Company is watching the technology environment very closely and picking all technological capabilities that augment its distribution and sales operations, including partnerships, customer service and Government relations,” the Company confirms. “Currently SITCO Pharma is driving all its transactions through electronic procedures in order to facilitate and accelerate communications and workflow.”
Affirming this ethos is the relationship enjoyed with Oracle, one of the world’s leading operators in this enabling tech space. Aiding elements of sales, tracking, ordering, transactions and internal efficiencies, digital enhancement are present throughout.
Technologies don’t only benefit SITCO and its own internal operations either.
“Our business partners can get full company profiles through our site and we use our technology to help end-users and customers,” the Company continues. “They can ask, complain or make new cases through our technology, while they can also search, order or make suggestions about our products.”
The bigger picture
SITCO Pharma’s ultimate differentiator derives not from business acumen or technological astuteness, however, but from its staff.
Focused on utmost levels of professionalism, motivation, enthusiasm, and team spirit, every procedure and HR-based initiative in place is to encourage personal innovation and progression, and to deviate away from exclusion and discrimination; of course with quality and industry skills an underpinning theme at all times.
“SITCO Pharma is not only attracting the most qualified people in the pharmaceutical industry, but it supports building a family-like environment,” the Company says. “Our transparency and management makes every employee feel like they are owner of the Company, applying themselves to the bigger picture.”
SITCO supports its team with all technical and training needs, and this is rewarded in the form of loyalty to the Company and loyalty to the following six driving principles.
“Ethics is our road to success; Professionalism is our specified role across our work; Commitment makes our work smoother and more targeted to our goals; Creativity develops our work; Innovation keeps our work ahead of expectations; and Quality ensures we get things right first time, every time.”