What Does “Strategy” Actually Mean Anyway?

dreamstime_m_104014130If you dive down the rabbit hole of trying to better your business in any meaningful way, you’re going to run into the idea of “strategy”. It’s become so prevalent it almost seems like a buzzword. And it’s easy to start to think it might not really apply. After all, you’re not playing a board game or planning a hostile takeover. You’re running a pharmacy. Do you really need to think about strategy?

At the most basic level, a strategy is not a game of chess. It’s not you pitted against anyone else either. It’s a plan that you use to achieve a goal.

But if it’s that simple, and that sensible, why doesn’t everyone use a more strategic approach to growth and profitability in their pharmacy? Well, like most things the big picture is just that. Way too big to tackle in one piece. Breaking it up into smaller pieces makes everything much more manageable. Here’s how to do it.

Pricing and Target Margins – Having a solid pricing strategy is a pharmacy fundamental. Use your point-of-sale system to set target margins on products to help keep your bottom line where it should be. Monitor items that are sold below cost and use automated price updates to ensure that your costs and prices stay current.

Products and Inventory – Using a strategic approach to your inventory helps you make sure that your shelves are stocked with the right product. Use min-max or replenishment ordering to reorder products as they sell. Monitor product movement reports to identify items that aren’t selling.

Customers – Having a sound approach to managing your customers is as important as anything else you do. A well thought out customer loyalty program helps you take the first steps. Integrated through your point-of-sale, customer loyalty programs not only help you easily track loyalty points earned and offer easy redemption options, they allow you to track purchasing trends and offer coupons tailored to specific purchases.

Alone, any one of these strategies can be a game changer for your pharmacy. If you put them together, the bigger really starts to come together. And that’s not even the best part. Every one of these strategies can be managed through your pharmacy point-of-sale system.