Wolves can change the flow of rivers. Really. When they re-introduced the wolf to Yellowstone National Park in 1995, the effects were far reaching and simply astounding. This one addition to the environment changed an entire ecosystem.
Just watching this short video, I was inspired. Not only because the changes that have occurred at Yellowstone are undeniably beautiful, but because it’s proof positive that one relatively small change can be the catalyst for a chain reaction of positive outcomes.
Just like the addition of wolves to Yellowstone initiated a cascade of positive changes, the addition of point-of-sale can alter your pharmacy for the better, and in ways you might not expect. All too often pharmacy point-of-sale is seen as a luxury. Something to run transactions and not much more. But it can do more. Much much more. Here are three major ways that POS can impact your store for the better that you might not expect.
Increase Efficiency: Streamlining the checkout process is perhaps the most obvious way to increase efficiency. So on the surface, installing a new POS system and increasing efficiency would seem to go without saying. Transactions can be run more quickly, lines are shorter, customers get in and out faster and staff has more time for other projects. But there’s more to increasing efficiency with POS than just running transactions. Integrations that send information between the Pharmacy POS system and the pharmacy system along with Electronic Signature Capture mean that transaction information is easily accessible. Processes like AR billing can be streamlined, ordering and price updates can be automated, reports run each evening at a set time. Suddenly, the installation of a POS system has taken a dozen or more different, previously disparate processes and created a hub for efficiency.
Grow Your Business: Growing your independent pharmacy can be a challenge. Today, the world of pharmacy is more competitive than ever before. Chain pharmacies, Grocery store pharmacies and even online ordering can all take a bite out of your bottom line. When you implement a pharmacy POS system, it’s actually an investment in the continued growth of your business. It can allow you to offer services that turn your run of the mill customer into a raving fan that spreads the word about your business and helps drive new customers through your door. Handheld registers unchain pharmacy staff from the front counter. Allowing curbside pick-up, face to face counseling and much more. Remember that service is a big part of what helps set independent pharmacies apart from the competition so the more personalized you can make a customer’s experience, the better. POS also allows you to seamlessly implement a Customer Loyalty Program. Customers that are active participants in a well-managed loyalty program shop more often, spend more when they do shop, and again, spread the word about the awesome pharmacy that they shop at.
Higher Profits: Many pharmacies tell me that the margins on their prescription sales are thin. So it’s important to drive sales on OTC and other specialty products that offer you higher margins and better profitability. Pharmacy POS is a key player in completing this objective. Signs & Label programs can help you print signage that points out the price difference between private label and brand name OTC’s. Use movement reports to identify your best and worst selling products, eliminate product lines that just don’t sell and expand your most popular departments. Use promotions to boost sales on specific items and leverage your loyalty program to encourage sales. However, perhaps most importantly, your POS system helps to prevent errors. Automated price updates, tied in with Signs & Labels programs make sure that the pricing information in your system is the same as what’s on the shelf. Integrated credit card processing prevents errors in the amount that customer cards are charged. Ensuring employees are being honest to you and your customer. Less loss due to error means higher profits for you.
The addition of a POS system, or even just the change to a more effective and robust POS system, can have major positive implications for your business. Have you made this change and seen a postive outcome? What problems are you looking to solve that POS may have an impact on?
PS. Someone once said, “If you’re not changing, you’re stuck, and if you’re stuck, you aren’t moving forward.” Words of wisdom…
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.