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Retail pharmacy is a highly specialized discipline that’s significantly different from exclusively prescription-focused operations. Big pharmacy chains have spent millions perfecting methods, practices, and technologies that allow them to attract new consumers, operate efficiently, and create a very positive consumer experience. And because today’s retail operations are expected to center on the consumer experience, most retailers are leaning on mobile technology to get the job done.
As a multilocation independent pharmacy grows, identifying challenges and changing course based upon data makes it much easier to expand. In this interview, Blount Discount Pharmacy‘s president and co-owner, Phil LaFoy, and Retail Management Solutions‘ VP of sales and marketing, Mike Gross, discuss how leveraging store data can help manage the store, track employee behavior, understand product movement and pricing, and ultimately allow you to make better business decisions.
Zitomer Pharmacy opened its doors in the 1950s as an upscale New York City pharmacy. Since then it has grown into a unique shopping destination and a landmark on Manhattan’s chic Upper East Side. Frank Vella, VP at Zitomer, describes why the business moved over to a new point-of-sale technology platform, and a few of the benefits it has gained as a result of the switch.
Fifteen or 20 years ago, point-of-sale systems were considered by many as “glorified cash registers,” and their primary benefit was in the front end. These days, as margins continue to decline, and pharmacy owners need to offer more services to their customers, the POS system has emerged as an essential business tool for a successful pharmacy.
Frank Bieda, R.Ph., manager of Community Surgery Center Pharmacy in Munster, Ind., developed a pilot bedside medication delivery service into a full-time program by deploying mobile POS in a process that is effective for the pharmacy and easy for the patient.
Becoming a good retailer helps you make better, data-driven decisions for your pharmacy and learn more about who your customers are and what they want. Four pharmacies show how you can successfully navigate the path to putting your focus on the front-end by defining your goals and putting the pieces in place.
Pharmacist Brad Stultz found himself facing an unusual disaster when a customer accidentally drove into the front of one of his stores. But recovery was swift thanks to mobile POS on hand in that provided almost-immediate continuity of service for patients coming in for prescriptions. And Stultz has even converted the crises into an opportunity.
It is incredibly valuable to build a loyal base of customers who return to shop with you again and again. Rewards programs are a great way to do this, which is clear from their widespread use in retail. And you too can implement a sophisticated customer loyalty program for your pharmacy by using tools that are already available in many point-of-sale systems. Find out what you could be doing to reward your customers and build loyalty, whether you are just getting started or are an old hand looking to add functionality and implement new features.
Steve Bieszczat is senior VP of marketing at Epicor. He has been with the company for 25 years and has worked with POS for all of that time. He led the initiative to take Epicor into the pharmacy market, because he thought the market was under-served at POS. In this interview with ComputerTalk senior editor Will Lockwood, Bieszczat talks about how he sees POS encompassing inventory, price, and margin management, as well as reporting. He outlines where pharmacies new to the technology should look for early ROI and where old hands with POS can turn to achieve new gains in productivity and efficiency, with particular emphasis on the impact POS can have in a multilocation business.