There’s been a quote making the rounds on all of the social media outlets over the last few months. “The most dangerous phrase in the language is ‘we’ve always done it this way’ “. I think this might hold special relevance to those of us in technology oriented fields as the quote is attributed to Grace Hopper, a Naval officer and computer programmer, at a time when computer programming was a unique and uncharted field.
As much as I like the sentiment, I’m not sure whether this quote is universally true or not. Perhaps, like every rule, the proof is in the exceptions, of which I can think of many. Even in business, there’s something to be said for things that are constant and unchanging. But it is true that failing to recognize the need to change and take appropriate action can be dangerous to your pharmacy business. But how can you be sure that you are affecting change for the right reasons, and not just changing for the sake of change? Because any alteration you make to your business can be a major undertaking, it’s important to know you’re doing it for the right reasons. If you’re considering change, or just wondering whether making a change could help your business, here are 4 questions to ask yourself first:
Is my pharmacy running as efficiently as possible? Efficiency is important. It’s a cornerstone to achieving many different goals and without it you’re likely to have unhappy customers, frustrated employees, and more work than you have time for in the day. Chances are there’s room for improvement in any business. There almost always is. But identifying what your inefficiencies are, why they are occurring, and how to fix them before you make any changes, are key questions you need to answer before you make any changes big or small. Check out this article for some tips on putting the efficiency of your pharmacy under the microscope.
Is my pharmacy growing as much as I want it to? This is a pretty personal question. While substantial growth may be the goal of one pharmacy owner, another may be looking to simply maintain their current business or sustain a small percentage of growth year over year. So you have to ask yourself how much you want your business to grow, and how fast. Make sure to be reasonable in these goals. How much growth can your business tolerate without losing it’s integrity and how will you deal with the inevitable growing pains that you’ll experience if and when you meet your growth goals? I encourage you to take a look at this past blog post on managing growth in your pharmacy.
Can my pharmacy be more profitable? More simply put, are you happy with the amount of money you take home at the end of the day? Are your margins high enough? Are the products with higher margins your best sellers? Is it possible for these numbers to get better? Answering these questions may take some time. You’ll need to take a serious look at your numbers and be honest with yourself about whether or not you’re happy with what you find.
Are my customers happy? Happy customers are the most important factor in the success of any pharmacy. Happy customers will have higher average tickets, shop more often, and share their good experiences with family, friends and co-workers. There are countless ways in which you can provide outstanding customer service and create unique and memorable customer experience. Once necessity in today’s market is to have a good Customer Loyalty Program in place. Download our free E-Book on Customer Loyalty here and also learn why the customer experience matters so much here.
If I’ve hit on any one area that you think could use some improvement in your pharmacy, it’s time to make a change. In today’s modern pharmacy, one of the best and easiest ways to affect any sort of change whether small scale or major league, is to implement new technology. A Pharmacy POS system can help you in any number of ways. So whether you’re an RMS customer today and looking for ways to utilize your point-of-sale system more fully, or if you’re just getting started down the path to implement new technology, I hope that you’ll consider giving us a call. At RMS our mission is to make our customers the most profitable and customer centric in the industry. We take this directive very seriously and look forward to helping your pharmacy succeed.
Karen Deckard came to RMS with a background in retail and customer service, and was initially brought on board as a Sales Assistant and managed IIAS certifications for RMS’s pharmacy POS customers. Today, Karen works as a Customer Success Manager, striving to provide independent and institutional pharmacies with the tools and resources they need to succeed in today’s competitive pharmacy market.