Smart Alternatives to Self-Checkout for a More Profitable Pharmacy

pharmacy-self-checkout-rms.jpgIn 2014, RMS published an article detailing the reasons why pharmacy shouldn’t adopt self-checkout POS.  And while time can bring a great many changes to technology and how we view it, the idea of self-checkout just isn’t sensible for every business. One could even say that it’s not sensible for some of the businesses that utilize it today.  What started as somewhat logical for grocery stores or fast food chains to speed up the checkout process, and just plain irritating, but livable, in home improvement stores, has elevated to mind boggling, as you can now sit down in any number of restaurants and find your table is home to a small device that in essence, replaces personal interaction.   

Of course, businesses that implement self-checkout POS must know that they are sacrificing service, and potentially customer satisfaction, for this type of convenience.   So why do they do it? And if they do it, knowing that there could potentially be a negative impact, should you use that same logic in your pharmacy?  The reasons why businesses implement self-checkout will of course vary, but no matter what, we still don’t think it’s the right answer for pharmacies.  So let’s look at some different resolutions to the problems businesses might think they are solving with self-checkout POS.  


More lanes, less space: For retail businesses, space is often a concern. You can only fit so many checkout lanes into the space you have. There’s a good solution to this problem, and it doesn’t involve making your customers do all the work.  Instead, use mobile point-of-sale.  Concerns about counter space and square footage disappear when your register actually does sit in the palm of your hand.   

Removing the human factor: Even the best trained employees make mistakes.  And then there are the employees who are not so great and take advantage of you any way they can.  Again, letting your customers bear the burden of those problems isn’t the right solution.  Pharmacy point-of-sale streamlines processes to reduce errors and offers you controls to help prevent employee theft 

Staffing concerns:  The idea that one person can run multiple registers at the same time is no doubt attractive, but it’s not efficient and it’s certainly not good customer service.  Instead of requiring your employees to juggle multiple things at once, just staff appropriately.  Use your pharmacy point-of-sale system to monitor transaction volume by time of day so you know when you are busiest and need extra staff.   

The most common resolution to an issue, isn’t always the right one.  So if you have a problem to solve, look to your pharmacy solution providers to help you find an answer that will work long term and help your pharmacy grow, rather than holding it back.