Earlier this week I shared a couple of articles we’d previously posted about how to keep your pharmacy running smoothly and your customers happy (well as happy as possible) during cold & flu season. The tips shared will certainly help to make life easy on your customers and may even increase your pharmacy sales at the same time.
But as always, there’s another piece to the cold & flu season puzzle. When customers are ill, the last thing they probably want to do is spend extra unnecessary time in the pharmacy. Especially when they’ve probably just spent the last hour or more mostly waiting around at the doctor’s office. No matter how well you merchandise, if your pharmacy isn’t running efficiently, you’ll probably be causing customers undue frustration. Your pharmacy technology plays a big role in how smoothly your pharmacy runs. Specifically your pharmacy POS system. Every dollar your pharmacy makes should be going through your cash registers so you should make sure that you are using all of the available tools to maximize efficiency.
Driver’s License Scanning – Many states require that identification information be obtained for purchase of products containing Pseudoephedrine. If you are manually entering that information in, you are wasting time and increasing your margin of error. Instead, you can use a barcode scanner that can actually read the 2D barcode on the back of most state driver’s licenses. This automatically parses out the data into the appropriate fields in your till application. For those customers that are in states which have adopted the NPLEx program for controlled substance tracking (Most recently Arkansas joined the growing number of NPLEx states) the Driver’s License information can then be transmitted directly to NPLEx from your POS system with no extra steps. By using this technology, customers purchasing controlled substances won’t have an unnecessarily long checkout process.
Curbside Delivery and Drive Up – As a mom, when my kids are sick, I really don’t want to haul them into the pharmacy to pick up prescriptions and OTC medications after a doctor’s visit. Anyone who’s ever had a sick infant or toddler can probably relate. My local pharmacy has a drive thru which is great. They utilize a handheld register for drive thru transactions but pharmacies can also use a simple wireless signature capture pad to make the checkout process at the drive up window easy for them and their customers. Of course, not every pharmacy can have a drive thru window so implementing curbside delivery is another great option. Customers can call ahead for their order and using a handheld register, pharmacy staff can take the transaction to them, without your customer ever having to get out of their vehicle. This kind of service is memorable to your customers and will certainly keep them coming back for more.
Integrated shelf labels – Accuracy on your store shelves is another big part of running an efficient pharmacy. Don’t make customers haul pharmacy staff across the store for a price check because what’s in your system doesn’t match what’s on the shelf. Printing labels through your pharmacy POS system in conjunction with price updates as opposed to trying to manage the two separately means that your shelf labels will always be accurate.
Pharmacy technology really can make your customers lives easier, as well as making things easier on your pharmacy staff. It’s true all year round but as we begin cold and flu season, be sure to give your technology needs some extra consideration. Remember, this is only the beginning… The holiday rush is almost upon us.