When you are purchasing pharmacy technology, there’s probably a lot going through your mind. No matter what system you are replacing (or purchasing for the first time) it’s a big decision and a big investment.
The pressure to make the right decision can be immense. There are many factors to take into consideration. Features, ease of use, and cost often come into play. But there’s one more important area that is often overlooked that has a major impact on how satisfied you’ll be with your purchase. Is this new technology provider a good culture fit for your pharmacy?
This can be hard to figure out as you wade through white papers, e-books and demos, but if you don’t take the time to consider whether their values align with yours, you may never be completely happy with your pharmacy technology, no matter how many cool features it has. Here are 5 questions to ask any pharmacy technology account representative to help you figure out if your two companies can have a successful partnership.
- Is Pharmacy your only focus? When it comes to Pharmacy POS and other technology, a broader focus isn’t necessarily better. You know better than anyone that the business of pharmacy is bound by a high number of requirements and regulations. Any vendor whose focus is specific to pharmacies can be to your benefit for a number of reasons. They’ll be more in tune with the needs of your business and be better positioned to provide you with tools to manage industry change.
- What is your company’s mission statement? To start with, anyone you’re working with should be intimately familiar with their company’s mission statement. If they aren’t, it’s a sure sign that this particular company doesn’t really put much stock in their values. Outside of that, it’s important that the mission statement of any company shows a commitment not only to what they do, but how they do it. Check out the RMS mission statement.
- What does your company do to support the independent pharmacy community? It’s great to say that you value community and independent pharmacy but we so rarely see a company putting their money where their mouth is. That’s why I’m so proud to work for RMS. When I talk about our values, I know that this company stands behind them. RMS employees are reimbursed prescription co-pays when prescriptions are purchased from independent, hospital outpatient and privately held small chain pharmacies. If we buy from a big box store, we’re on our own. We are offered paid time off to volunteer in our communities and you’re more likely to find us raffling off a donation to a winner’s local school of choice than an iPad.
- What if I change vendors for one of my other technology providers? This may not seem like anything that’s related directly to company culture but the answer definitely tells you something about the company you’re looking at doing business with. If you buy a new pharmacy point-of-sale system today and in 2 years decide you want to change out pharmacy vendors, will your new POS provider support that change? It’s important that your pharmacy technology partners understand that sometimes changes need to occur and that they are willing to make that process as easy for you as possible. At RMS, we like to call this “playing well in the sandbox”. With over 25 different pharmacy system integrations we can give you the flexibility to work with different vendors across the industry without having to start from scratch.
- How will you support my system after installation? Support of your new technology shouldn’t be something you worry about after the fact. Understanding a vendors processes for supporting issues, answering questions and knowing what resources they have available is a must. Will they have support when you need it the most? Can you depend on them to help you solve the problem? Check out this article on why accountability is so important when it comes to your pharmacy partners. Pick partners that have robust support offerings as part of their total package.
The culture of your pharmacy is an important part of how successful your pharmacy is. Don’t let the wrong partner negatively impact the way you serve your customers. Take the time to ask these questions and find the right fit.
Of course, the tools your technology providers offer are also vitally important. If you’d like to learn more about RMS and see how we are helping our customers adapt to the latest demands of our industry, make sure to attend our upcoming webinar, The Pharmacy Technology that Keeps Evolving to Improve Customer Service and Profits. Join RMS and Pharmacy Development Services tonight (Thursday, July 14 at 8pm ET) for this free event. Click here to register.