Every pharmacy is a bit different. Some have large retail departments. Offering gifts, grocery items, beauty supplies and more along with their standard over the counter products. Others are health and wellness focused with a heavy mix of supplements and vitamins. Some pharmacies have little to no front end. And still there many other pharmacy business models.
The point is there’s no one formula for success. No floorplan that means you’ll have happier customers and higher profits. But there is a common tool that all pharmacies can use to optimize every product and service they offer. A pharmacy point -of-sale system. More specifically a system that’s built for the business of pharmacy.
We know that point-of-sale seems like a no brainer when you have products to receive, prices to update, inventory to manage, and daily orders to process. But is it really a necessity if your primary concerns lie outside of retail and OTC products?
We think the answer is a resounding “Yes!”. No matter the size and product mix of your pharmacy business, pharmacy point-of-sale is a very valuable tool But if you’re in the market for some convincing, here are a few things to consider.
If you’re going to pick one thing to focus on improving in your pharmacy, the customer experience should be it. More than price and even convenience, the way customers feel about the service they receive in your pharmacy is the biggest motivator for gaining repeat business. What does this all have to do with a point-of-sale system? Because point-of-sale really should be called point-of service. The point-of-service is where patient interactions occur most often. And how those interactions flow is incredibly important to how a customer feels about their experience in your pharmacy.
From running a quick and easy transaction, to making sure that customers get all available prescriptions and even performing date of birth verification for an extra patient safety check. You can also add a tablet for curbside pickup and a more personal checkout experience in the pharmacy (or meds to beds for outpatient pharmacies) to help take your pharmacy that extra mile in the customer’s eyes.
No matter the size of your front end, you can benefit from some pharmacy POS specific extras. For example, if you carry vitamins and supplements as part of your front end mix (or maybe are considering it) a point-of-service system that integrates prescription induced nutrient depletion recommendations can add major value. (Both to your customers and to your bottom line.)
Delivery programs have become essential parts of pharmacy business and the right POS system will make deliveries easy to process and track. Customer Loyalty programs are also relevant no matter what size your business is.
An often overlooked consideration, robust reporting is a must have for any pharmacy. Every transaction that you process results in data that should be tracked, regularly reviewed, and used to make improvements. If you don’t understand your business metrics, you can’t expect to grow your business.
This is one of the foundations of any transaction and may seem basic at first glance. But processing payments in a pharmacy is anything but basic. Luckily, point-of-sale can make it easy. First, accepting credit cards integrated through your point-of-sale makes sure that you’re processing totals accurately. No improperly keyed transactions causing frustrated customers and lost revenue. Cash management means you can identify problems like overages and shortages, addressing those issues before they get out of hand. You’ll also ensure your ability to accept FSA cards and be able to manage check acceptance at several different levels. Moving beyond standard tender types, pharmacies should consider how they are managing A/R and Payroll Deduction as well as whether they can benefit from offering and accepting pharmacy branded gift cards.
A Final Note
Above all, pharmacy POS gives you room to grow. As you increase the number of prescriptions filled, transactions run and deliveries made, a good point-of-sale (or point-of-service!) system will allow you to expand your programs as you need to.