Sometimes, we are presented with obvious signs that action is needed. Like when the lawn transitions from slightly unruly to desperately in need of mowing. Or when the kid comes downstairs in pants that used to fit yesterday, but are now hovering above ankle height. In these cases, the data we need to make a decision is right in front of us.
Sometimes however, that call to action isn’t quite so blatant. But it’s often the slow, unnoticed faucet drips that have the most undesirable outcomes in the long run.
Luckily, in pharmacy, there’s a way to root out that unnoticed change. All the data that you need to make smart, informed decisions about your pharmacy is available in your pharmacy point-of-sale system. Every transaction that you run, OTC product that you sell, or discount you apply becomes valuable data that tells you how your pharmacy is doing.
This data is important to review on a regular basis. Regardless of whether you think anything has changed in your business or not. It can also help you isolate areas where your pharmacy business might need a little TLC. And at times when you see a dramatic shift in retail environment, that data can help you start moving in the direction that will keep your business healthy.
Here are four key data sets that will help you on your way to building a healthy, data driven pharmacy business.
Having the right number of employees in the pharmacy at any given time is crucial. Too few and your customer wait time becomes too long. Creating frustrated customers who may take their business elsewhere. Too many and you’re operating expenses become too high. Monitoring the average transaction counts by day and time through your point-of-sale system can help you pinpoint the ideal staffing formula. You can also monitor stats like transactions per employee to further aid in staffing decisions.
Product movement can shift over time, but without the numbers to back you up, all you really have to rely on is intuition. While gut feelings are undoubtedly a part of running any business, numbers are really where it’s at for a a profitable front end. Knowing what departments have good movement and which don’t means you can make better decisions about what to sell in your pharmacy. Perhaps beauty product sales have declined, for any number of reasons. But your supplement sales are through the roof. You can use that information to use shelf space more effectively. Potentially decreasing the size of under performing departments, and building the departments that are the most profitable for your pharmacy.
Do you know your average profit margin? Outstanding A/R balances? Cost of goods sold? Any data point that surrounds cash flow in your pharmacy is important. Since your POS system should be the point for every transaction in your pharmacy, the data you find there should give you a comprehensive picture of these key points and more.
Creating loyal customers is key for any pharmacy. Remember that it costs much more to attract a new customer than it does to maintain your existing ones. A customer loyalty program can strengthen your customer relationships. Past that though, the data you can glean about your pharmacy through a customer loyalty program can be incredibly useful. You’ll not only understand which customers are spending the most in your pharmacy, you’ll be able to review purchase histories, identify customers that haven’t shopped in a while, and then use that information to make decisions about your business.
Ready to start using pharmacy-point-of-sale data to identify change and take the right actions? The first step is to know where and how to access that data through your pharmacy POS system. Make sure you can access the information you want to see, and ask for help if you need it. We recommend setting up your reports to run automatically. This way you never have to hunt for important information ever again.