AmeriSource Quickly Reaches Enrollment Milestone For iECHO, its New B2B Customer Portal; iECHO to Change the Way Hospitals, Clinics and Retail Pharmacies Do Business
VALLEY FORGE, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 12, 2000--AmeriSource Health Corp. (NYSE:AAS), one of the nation's leading pharmaceutical distributors, today announced that after only a few weeks, it has already enrolled 1,000 customers in its new B2B customer portal, "iECHO."
The company expects to eventually enroll all of its more than 7,500 ECHO ordering software users as well as new customers.
Designed with the customer in mind, the new Internet site uses the latest JAVA and XML technology and delivers far more than traditional on-line ordering. Using a password, customers simply log-on to www.iecho.com to get product pricing, place orders, check product inventory and access other business information---all in "real time."
The result will be increased supply chain efficiencies for AmeriSource customers, including better data and management reporting and improved cost of operations.
"AmeriSource's iECHO is the best pharmaceutical distributor internet site that I've seen," said Brad Haupt, who, as the person ordering all pharmaceuticals for Rapid City Regional Hospital in Rapid City, South Dakota, participated in a two-month beta test of the new portal. "It is fast, easy to use, loaded with data, and best of all, I can access and order items from anywhere." Haupt says he uses all the features and especially likes the historical data, MSDA data sheets, and real-time inventory. "It's the future, and I am looking forward to the addition of new features and services," he said.
Thomas P. Connolly, AmeriSource corporate vice president, sales and marketing, said, "iECHO will change the way our customers do business by providing instant access to information that will allow them to make quicker, better decisions based upon accurate, up-to-the-second information about their business. Our goal is to help our customers improve their businesses, and we expect to be adding additional business management tools to iECHO in the future."
The portal currently provides business information in eight key areas:
-- Ordering/Inventory (real-time data on product availability at
each customer's Amerisource distribution center)
-- Customer-specific pricing
-- Customer-specific contract information
-- Historical data on customer purchasing
-- Accounts receivable information
-- Invoicing activity
-- Material Safety Data Sheets
-- Status of product back-orders
According to Connolly, customers can still use ECHO, the Company's software-based ordering system. "We think iECHO is a big addition in speed and business information, but customers have a choice of using iECHO, ECHO or both," he said.
iECHO is part of the amerisource.com offering which also includes the company's Virtual Internet Pharmacy (VIP). VIP allows pharmacy retailers to transform themselves into on-line pharmaceutical superstores using AmeriSource's comprehensive distribution and inventory capabilities.
AmeriSource Health Corporation, with more than $10 billion in operating revenue, is a leading distributor of pharmaceutical and related healthcare services and the industry's largest provider of pharmaceuticals to the acute care/health systems market.
Headquartered in Valley Forge, PA, the company serves its base of 21,000 customer accounts through a national network of 24 strategically located distribution facilities. For news and additional information about the company, visit its web site at www.amerisource.com.
Certain information contained in this press release includes forward-looking statements (as defined in Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Exchange Act) that reflect the Company's current views with respect to future events and financial performance.
Certain factors such as competitive pressures, success of restructuring initiatives, continued industry consolidation, changes in customer mix, changes in pharmaceutical manufacturers' pricing and distribution policy, the loss of one or more key customer or supplier relationships and other matters contained in the Company's Form 10-K for fiscal year 1999 and other public documents could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements.
The Company assumes no obligation to update the matters discussed in this press release.
CONTACT: AmeriSource Health Corp.
Michael N. Kilpatric, 610/727-7118