Medicine Value Partners

How Vitamin Software Devised a Robust Tech Plan for MVP

Building a Product Is Less Risky When You Have a Robust Tech Plan

Case study coauthored by Andrei Ismail and Emma Ungureanu

Medicine Value Partners was a startup that uses data and technology to bring transparency and value to the modern medicines marketplace. Leveraging its decades of unique experience in medicine manufacturing, supply chains and technology innovation, MVP created ratings and analytics to assess the health of medicines — including tracking active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and drug products across the medicine supply chain. MVP wanted to offer insight into price fluctuations, anticipate drug shortages, and assess supplier and manufacturer quality across the supply chain.

On their journey to empower decision-makers with real-time data and actionable intelligence, Medicine Value Partners needed a technical partner that would help them prepare to scale and automate their data and insights. They teamed up with Vitamin Software to build a technical plan for a data engine that would power their data collection and data analysis processes.

Vitamin Software helped define all the steps that Medicine Value Partners needed to take – from system infrastructure, to data storage, collection, and processing, to user-friendly dashboards – to build a secure, flexible, and scalable product.

About Medicine Value Partners

Medicine Value Partners logo

 

Medicine Value Partners was a startup that sheds new light on the medicines marketplace. Today’s medicine supply chain is fraught with challenges, and decision-makers lack consistent and reliable data to inform medicine purchasing. Suppliers lack a standard, transparent way to demonstrate the quality of their offerings and brokers are unable to anticipate shifting market dynamics, leading to inflated and volatile prices for end consumers. At the same time, existing business intelligence offerings are broad, static and require customers to do their own data analysis.

The company had the idea of addressing these systemic issues by bringing new insights about medicines to create new marketplace opportunities and impact for stakeholders across the ecosystem. With decades of unique experience in innovative medicine manufacturing, medicine supply chains, and technology innovation, MVP’s experts developed ratings and analytics to assess the health of medicines. Its capabilities would empower decision-makers to track APIs and drug products across the medicine supply chain, provide insight into price fluctuations, anticipate drug shortages, and assess supplier and manufacturer quality across the supply chain.

Customer Challenge

Through a Small Business Innovation Research award from the Defense Logistics Agency, Medicine Value Partners enhanced its analytics and rating system for assessing supply chain vulnerabilities, including shortage risks. MVP built a roadmap for an expanded tool that would provide a global perspective on how medicines are sourced, produced, and distributed, with layers of contextual connections along the supply chain and unprecedented new insights that aim to deliver the best healthcare to military and civilian populations.

In order to scale these capabilities across all medicines and to support a larger client base, MVP set out to build a technology engine to underpin its analytics. First, they sought to demonstrate the technical merit, feasibility, and commercial potential of this tool by producing a strong technical plan outlining how their innovative processes would be implemented, including a comprehensive description of the system infrastructure, technologies to build it, and associated costs.

MVP’s challenge was to find the right team to build this technical roadmap - a team with the skills and experience necessary to draft a compelling technical plan that would not only work, but also make the most of the company’s innovative ideas.

 

Why Medicine Value Partners Chose Vitamin Software

Sometimes you have to be in the right place, at the right time – and Vitamin was. Medicine Value Partners needed an implementation plan for their solution, and Vitamin knew how to create it.

MVP had to build a robust technical plan that would demonstrate that it would be both feasible and worthwhile to build its technology tool. We at Vitamin Software have extensive experience with similar ecosystems, having built frameworks that collect, process, and showcase healthcare data, as detailed in the case studies on our collaboration with Troy Medicare and Aventi.

In addition to our industry knowledge from healthcare and pharma-tech projects, the Vitamin team also possesses two key skills essential to building the compelling technical plan that MVP needed:

First, we have exceptional solution architects. Our software engineers have set up numerous systems from scratch: from building HIPAA-compliant cloud infrastructures to support client solutions, to collecting data from various data sources, to processing and storing data in a secure datastore, and even displaying information on user-friendly dashboards. If you can name it, we can build it.

Second, we are efficient at business analysis. Our project managers put their analytical skills to good use: they ask the right questions, understand the customer’s business, and, most importantly, the customer’s need. We're good at figuring out what the customer wants, sometimes even before the customers themselves know. Pair that with excellent communication skills, and you get perfect alignment between the Vitamin project team and the customer.

Vitamin has an established product development workflow that we consistently apply in every project. We like to set ourselves up for success, so we only get down to business after we’ve clearly defined the project scope and built a technical plan for the solution.

With our technical and business knowledge, Vitamin Software fit MVP’s bill. We could deliver a technical plan that would increase their likelihood of receiving the SBIR funding that would take their idea to reality, and from reality to market.

Laying the Groundwork

As declared in their mission statement, Medicine Value Partners aims to transform the medicines market. We knew that MVP would need a robust technical approach to ensure the kind of flexibility and growth MVP envisioned.

We applied a methodical approach to create a strong technical plan underpinned by a clear goal statement: that the tool will be used to analyze and mitigate vulnerabilities across the entire pharmaceutical supply chain, from starting materials to finished drug products.

Putting our business analyst hats on, the first step was to identify and document all the steps that MVP uses to process its data. We became familiar with the inputs to their proprietary algorithms and rating system. We mapped the data sources, types of data available, and methods used to pull data.

After developing an overview of the entire data-flow, we planned for the automation of the processes performed by MVP to generate their valuable insights. This was where our technical team stepped in and proposed the most efficient infrastructure, data storage system, and data collection methods based on identified inputs and outputs, concluding with a list of steps needed to implement the business logic for metric computation.

To bring those insights to life for decision-makers, we proposed a solution for presenting the key metrics on medications in user-friendly dashboards.

portrait of nancy mcquire choi

"We selected Vitamin Software because of their reputation for delivering high quality products on budget, and because of their approach as a true technology partner – not an arms-length software vendor. As promised, the Vitamin Software team has helped us navigate technical trade-offs, brought creative approaches to our technical challenges, and served as an advisor in our entrepreneurial journey."

— Nancy McGuire Choi, CEO, Medicine Value Partners

 

Results & Benefits

The output of our work was a comprehensive technical plan that described how to bring the supply chain resiliency ratings calculated by Medicine Value Partners to stakeholders, with flexibility and scalability. The level of detail we went to when devising the solution also enabled us to provide ballpark estimates for implementation costs.

By collaborating with Vitamin Software, Medicine Value Partners has a development-ready plan, with the guarantee of Vitamin’s product development team that the result will be a high-quality product. As owners of the technical plan, MVP can use it for fundraising, especially since it includes cost estimates.

Lastly, Medicine Value Partners has clarity on some of the challenges that may arise when taking the product to the next level. We made sure to include our assumptions made when drafting the plan and elements that were not included. 

As MVP scales its work to achieve product-market fit across the ecosystem, it is well positioned to anticipate the challenges that come with scaling the product – and turn them into opportunities.

About Vitamin Software

A product development agency, Vitamin Software specializes in building your product and taking it from Minimum Viable Product to Product-Market fit. We drive the product where the client wants to go by performing comprehensive business analysis, writing quality code and communicating efficiently.

Vitamin Software is an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner Network Select Consulting Partner and a 1 EDI Source partner, specializing in building, operating, and maintaining robust and secure products. We operate the production setup in a secure fashion.

Vitamin Software builds bridges: From problem to solution, from difficult to feasible, from impossible to outstanding.
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