Business Process Automation

Al Nahdi: An Ever-growing Healthcare Provider

Al Nahdi Medical
Saudi Arabia
automation in healthcare

Business Challenges

A pharmacy should not only be about buying medicine!! Thirty-seven years ago, Nahdi had this simple yet caring vision in mind. This vision has simply thrived to enable Al-Nahdi Medical company to position itself as the largest chain of pharmacies in the Middle East, and one of the top medical companies; with more than 1200 branches located in 145 different cities, embracing more than 15000 employees.

Over the lifetime of its extended history, starting in 1986, which marks the launch of its first two pharmacies in Jeddah (KSA), Al Nahdi was always keen to invest in a robust aIT infrastructure to cope with its expansion efforts and promising potential. This infrastructure comprised several ready-made software systems and on-premise data centers.  In 2018, Al-Nahdi started to realize that IT infrastructure, despite its sophistication, is imposing certain limitations on its expansion plans, and can no longer cope with its huge network and activity diversification. This infrastructure was fully dependent on a huge heritage of legacy implementations that were complemented by a collection of ad-hoc reporting and documentation generated by Excel, Word, and other paper-based tools. Despite the good results built up over time, still, the huge diversity characterizing this infrastructure, without real coherence between its elements has significantly constrained its ability to achieve many targets and deliver real-time and data-driven outputs. This includes modernized dashboards, data analytics, statistics, KPI management tools, worklist, responsive designs, and technical and business validation. It has also necessitated the existence of manual interventions across many diligent business processes such as the audit, monitoring, approval cycles, administration, business rule management, actionable emails, notification center…etc. The major shortcomings included a lack of integration between different systems, manual interventions in workflows, paper-based interactions resulting in time lags and frequent delays, and redundancies.

The ultimate objective for Al Nahdi was to have highly efficient and fully automated business processes that allow for improved scalability and strictly eliminate human errors. This objective constituted the backbone for Al Nahdi’s rigorous expansion plans and future vision, with more than 1200 stores and 15,000+ employees, not only as a pharmacy but also as a distinguished healthcare provider across different countries. Additionally, this automation project was the milestone towards launching the Al Nahdi Platform to be a one-stop-shop for this giant healthcare provider.

Accordingly, Al Nahdi decided to adopt a comprehensive approach, not only to overcome these shortcomings but also to enhance its capacities and unleash its true potential. Al Nahdi embarked on a promising project to automate its commercial business processes and integrate its applications using an easy-to-use cloud solution.

Choosing Oracle and Wind-IS

The challenge at this stage was evaluating leading-edge providers who can offer cloud-based  Business Process Management (BPM) and identify the most convenient option that best realizes the organization’s targets and satisfies its sophisticated requirements. On top of these requirements was the integration with ready-made systems like retail management systems, supply chains, vendor management systems, warehousing, and financial operations. These requirements were reflected in exhaustive and detailed selection criteria for the nominated platform that can best realizes the organization’s strategic vision and unlocks its ingenuity by satisfying the following:

·       Adoption of a comprehensive automation approach encompassing a full set of necessary technological components; including but not limited to:

o   Robust Business Process Management (BPMN) engine.

o   Integration with readymade and customizable adapters.

o   A low-code/no-code visual designer tool dedicated to delivering the following outputs:

§  workflow maps, as well as presentation layers.

§  Fully customizable, innovative presentation framework, supported by web applications based on HTML5, CCS, and JavaScript.

§  Cross-platform builder supported by both mobile and web deployments.

·       Unified role/identity management and access control that ensures the highest standard of security and tracking across all the organizations’ transactions and activities facilitating MFA and all federation requirements.

·       Unified workflows across SaaS and on-premises applications with simplified, connected, and automated fragmented experiences to accelerate the approvals cycle across all SaaS, custom, and on-premises applications.

·       Existence of prebuilt templates and integrations that provides event-driven workflows equipped with supported application adapters to minimize manual retyping.

·       Introduction of prebuilt business intelligence tools, mainly dashboards, to satisfy a variety of purposes, such as:

o   Continuous process improvements to meet targeted service level agreements (SLAs).

o   Business processes flow review to identify bottlenecks.

o   Digital analysis of workflows to identify possible simplification that could be presented across different business processes such as requisition-to-receipt, recruit-to-pay, lead-to-invoice, and more.


·       Easiness of introducing a new business process, prioritizing actions, as well as facilitating actionable emails and SMS notifications for top management.


The evaluation process was concluded by choosing Oracle Cloud Infrastructure as the best option to deliver the needed cloud-based solution. Additionally, Al Nahdi was facing a wide selection of Oracle partners to execute this transformation, and finally, WIND-IS was awarded this tender after being exposed to an extensive selection process that included a presentation of proof of concept, demos, and many use cases.


The Implementation Process

Commercial departments were considered a top priority; their importance stems from the many linkages they share with other departments, as well as end consumers. The commercial departments comprised around 15 business processes; these processes were subject to full automation that has certainly contributed to leveraging business performance to a completely new level that could not have been attainable otherwise. The delivered solution has been deployed using a set of tools including Oracle Process Automation, Oracle Visual Builder (VBCS), Oracle Integration Cloud (OIC), Oracle Identity Cloud Service (IDCS), and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI).

The implementation phase has been extended to include the introduction of many reusable components and features. These features have positively contributed to creating a high-performance data-driven organization, where the most notable features introduced are:

  • Unified worklists that cover the whole range of tasks throughout the organization; i.e., daily tasks, dashboards, statistics, KPI management, administrative procedures, approval cycle, tasks timeline, and notification center.
  • Modernized, personalized, and responsive UI/UX to enhance users’ engagement and facilitate their navigation process.
  • Feasibility of bulk data upload (in Excel files), where this data is further transformed into HTML tables, and used to generate critical data analytics, comparisons, and credible solutions.
  • New federated identity management with multi-factor authentication, and achieving full integration with already existing identity and security levels.
  • A helicopter view for top management and decision makers; thus enabling them to develop a strategic perspective on areas of improvements and bottlenecks, spot interrelations, draw observations, and optimize available resources and cost structures.
  • Smooth integration with the retail management system, master data definition, fusion, and other existing systems without any technical obstacles or changes in the existing systems.
  • New audit procedures and KPI management mechanisms that fully eliminate human errors.

The remarkable improvements realized have inspired Al Nahdi to go further and set an ambitious plan to apply the same measures across other business functions. In the early phase, Human Resources self-service was elected to replace legacy on-premises Oracle BPM to new Oracle Cloud Process Automation, where more than 20 business processes were subject to redesign, implementation, and automation.

WIND-IS has adopted the most reliable and highly secured approach to achieve on-premises to cloud migration.

However, moving towards a cloud environment has enthused Al Nahdi to embrace a more comprehensive perspective that goes beyond the concept of re-implementation and/or automation to a more holistic approach that entails establishing an Omni-health platform that integrates all its provided services and facilities on hand. The scalable nature of the solutions adopted has inspired further improvements and induced the introduction of new automated services that goes beyond the internal departments of Al Nahdi to include its interrelations with its suppliers and customers.

The Results

WIND-IS, following a highly efficient scalable, and flexible methodology, has embarked on redesigning, implementing, and automating more commercial processes and extending its scope of work to include a huge span of services including finance, vendor management, master data definition, and human resources. Additionally, the concept of self-service was introduced and implemented, mainly in human resources and vendor/supplier management.

Currently, WIND-IS has successfully redesigned, implemented, and automated more than 250 business processes across different departments and functions, including a generic business process that enables business users to create new workflow without any development activity. The new process is simply created by defining its name and attributes only, then the approval cycle is managed through a dynamically created workflow.

Furthermore, WIND-IS has collaborated with Al Nahdi to enhance one of the most crucial areas in pharmaceutical organizations; namely regulatory and quality compliance. As Al Nahdi holds a fundamental commitment towards strict adherence to regulatory and quality measures, which are usually characterized by high dynamism and frequent updates; it was necessary to automate all relevant business processes to avoid any potential risks. This has enabled Al Nahdi to standardize all its practices as per Saudi governmental regulations. This procedure was coupled with the successful accomplishment of full integration across retail management systems, clinics, banks, and insurance companies using Oracle Business Automation, VBCS, and Oracle Integration. This was underpinned by strong security considerations and unparalleled efficiency.

Today, Al Nahdi enjoys a paperless organization, with significant performance standards, and stakeholder satisfaction. Remarkable improvements in information exchange time. Remarkable improvements could be depicted, including but not limited to:

  • Reusable decision models and business rules supported by a robust engine that simplifies repetitive tasks and allows for a streamlined decision-making process.
  • Modernized and responsive UI/UX, supported by a responsive presentation layer, and easily integrates with various systems through readymade adapters and customized connectors.
  • Capacity to perform any of the following actions:
    • Build Process Applications,
    • Integrate with Enterprise Apps,
    • Create end-user experiences for engagement.
  • Redwood UX-based No Code editors supported with enhanced project validation, enhanced life cycle, and responsive UI/UX.
  • Robust Process Automation platform along with other automation services such as Oracle Integration to integrate, orchestrate, digitize, and automate business processes
  • Powerful and customizable worklists that support both mobile and web deployments and cover the whole range of tasks throughout the organization; i.e., daily tasks, dashboards, statistics, KPI management, and expedited audit.
  • Automatically generated actionable emails, automated escalation, reassignment, and delegation facilities.


But I must explain to you how all this mistaken denouncing plesure and praising pain was born

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