Starting Off the New Year Right in Retail

RMS_POS_StartingofftheyearrightinretailNew Years is generally a time of resolutions and fresh starts. A time for stifling bad habits and creating better ones. It’s a really nice concept but we also know that wiping the slate clean isn’t reality. And would we really want to even if we could? 

Hopefully in the last year, you saw some successes and positive changes in your pharmacy business. But you might have also hit a few hurdles, had a few false starts or even hit a brick wall or two. And that’s okay. Those failures (and successes) are all just history and that it’s time to learn from and use as you move forward. 

So how do you put together the ideas you have for the future and all of your business history to create a cohesive business plan for 2019 filled with achievable goals? It’s not a simple question but you might be surprised at just how simple finding the answers can be with the right point-of-sale data.

A robust pharmacy POS system should give you access to all kinds of data about your pharmacy. And each piece of data can tell you something about how your pharmacy business is really doing so that you can make actionable goals. Here are few examples to get you started. 

Product sales – A Product Movement report provides you with sales metrics for front end merchandise, including all of your OTC’s. Your Sales Distribution Report offers a breakdown of sales by any number of categories giving you performance by fineline, department, GL, etc. These reports are key indicators for the performance of front end inventory in your store and let you know if it’s time to expand a section or maybe shrink one down or move it to a different spot in the pharmacy. Products that aren’t moving are an unnecessary cost center for your pharmacy so identifying and problem solving for those products is key to increased sales. 

Employee performance – A Performance Report should give you a detailed snapshot of employees that are outliers when it comes to any number of metrics. From number of transactions run, to how many discounts, refunds, voids, or price changes each staff member performs, there are a number of things to look for. You can also use a Daily Cash report to look for overages and shortages in the tills. Knowing about potential problems and addressing them will help your staff and your pharmacy perform better. 

Customer engagement – Yes, you can track customer engagement through your point-of-sale system. Especially when you are using an integrated customer loyalty program. Reports with this program can tell you who your top customers are, and which customers aren’t spending as much. These numbers are key to understanding whether customer attrition is a problem you need to work on solving. 

Outstanding balances – For pharmacies offering A/R programs you’ll want to look at your Trial Balance Report and an Aged Accounts Receivable report. You need to know what’s outstanding as you start the year, as well as what your past due balances are. If you have large outstanding balances, consider updating your processes for statement billing, automated dunning, etc.

Overall performance – Of course every report I’ve mentioned so far helps you better understand your pharmacy, but if you really want a finger on the pulse of the business, there are a couple of good places to look. The Sales Analysis report can be run daily or monthly to see sales totals. Look for trends. Are you up or down or standing steady? Along with this, the Customer Count report tells you about sales based on time increment or date. It helps you narrow down trends and can tell you how busy your pharmacy is at any given time. If customer counts are steadily rising, taking advance action like adding a till or staffing a bit more during busy times can help keep customer satisfaction high. 

One final note to consider as you start of 2019 is that if you can’t access all of this information and more from your point-of-sale system, it might be time to consider a change. The right data can change the way you do business in your pharmacy for the better.