Right under the RMS logo, it says “The Leader in Pharmacy Point-of-Sale Innovation.” To us, these words are more than just a slogan or catch phrase. They mean something, and they are the driving force behind so much of what we do. Of course, innovation comes in different forms from everyone at RMS, but when you’re talking about Point-of-Sale, the first word that pops into many people’s heads is technology. Even in my own head, I hear a little echo (technology!), every time I think or say Point-of-Sale.
At RMS, technology changes and software development are headed up by our Vice President of Technology, Brian Deckard. As Brian is generally on the cutting edge of technology changes, I wanted to get a better look at how he sees the pharmacy industry today and what changes he sees for the future.
The bio: Brian’s career at RMS really began at the grocery store. RMS President & CEO would always check out in Brian’s line and eventually discovered that Brian was actually attending school for network administration. Brian began working at RMS part time while finishing school. What began as a part time position working on PC imaging, configuration and shipping in 2003, eventually turned into a full time position when Brian moved onto the support team. From there Brian moved into project management and development, and last year was promoted to Vice President of Technology, where he oversees development and new technology.
What is the biggest challenge that independent pharmacies face today? From a purely technological standpoint, the technology world is evolving faster than most pharmacies can adapt. And for many of them, this has nothing to do with the power of their desire to change and stay current. All of the specialized requirements of pharmacy mean that they just don’t have the same options that other vertical markets do.
Independent pharmacies face a lot of competition. What is the biggest change you think pharmacies need to make in order to stay relevant, competitive and successful in today’s market? Customers today want to interact and consume in a variety of different ways. Pharmacies need to focus on providing the options and flexibility that their customers desire. From mobile optimization on their websites so that customers can access information from every device to doing everything they can both in store and out of store to make sure they maintain an open dialogue with their customer base.
From your perspective, what does the pharmacy of the future look like? How do you see the industry evolving in the next 5-10 years or more? I believe that pharmacy technology will create a more flexible, personal pharmacy. Mobile point-of-sale and smaller register footprints will create a more individualized customer experience. Large traditional footprint point-of-sale will be an anomaly.
RMS centers around 6 core words. Reliable, Honest, Professional, Knowledgeable, Innovative and Crazy-Easy. What word is your favorite and why? Innovative is usually at the top of my list because it’s such a big part of what I do and I like to create new solutions to solve problems. But I guess I really can’t choose just a single word because we have to focus on the big picture. A person can innovate 1000 different ideas but if the other pieces of the puzzle aren’t in place to put that innovative idea into practice, it doesn’t do any good.
How would you advise pharmacies to manage their technology as it evolves at such a rapid rate? In a world that seems to advocate having the latest and greatest technology no matter what, how can a business determine when it’s time to make a change and when change for the sake of change won’t really benefit them? As a developer, I have to look at new technology all the time and make this determination from a usage perspective. Is it worth it or will something better be coming down the pike tomorrow? Pharmacies can’t just look at their technology. They have to look at everything they are doing (processes, efficiencies, goals etc.). Is the existing solution leaving a gap? Does the new solution actually fill that gap? Is the problem even really technology related?
Karen Deckard came to RMS with a background in retail and customer service. Karen was initially brought on board as a Sales Assistant and managed IIAS certifications for RMS’s pharmacy POS customers. Today, Karen woks 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.