Technology efficiencies in Pharmacy Front of Shop

Episode 28

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On this episode of the Pharmacy View podcast, Scott talks with Brianne Shephard, winner of the Pharmacy Assistant of the Year award in 2019. 

Scott and Brianne discuss Brianne’s experience in working with independent pharmacies and pharmacists to build their front-of-shop businesses and professional services. Brianne describes some of the difficulties she faces when trying to implement IT changes in pharmacies, and how best to approach a change management plan to get everybody on board and make things run smoothly.

Brianne shares her top 3 IT enhancements that she believes all pharmacies should be implementing in their front of shop (a ticketing program that integrates with your point of sale, a Dispense/POS Platform and a PDA gun for taking stock and making orders) and describes the benefits of each technology and how they can help pharmacies save time and money. She discusses the importance of having correct data in the pharmacy, and of having systems in place that can help ensure that you’re getting correct data. Scott and Brianne also discuss best practices regarding Pharmacy data management.

Finally, Scott and Brianne wrap up by sharing some tips for newer or independently owned pharmacies, including the importance of getting daily reporting from their systems instead of waiting for quarterly or yearly reports, and of networking, joining pharmacy groups, and going to industry events.

Topics Covered:

  • Brianne’s background and career path.
  • Challenges around implementing IT changes in pharmacies.
  • Brianne’s recommendations for top 3 types of technology all pharmacies should be using.
  • Benefits of investing in ticketing programs and PDA guns.
  • The importance of having correct data, and of having systems in place that can help gather that data correctly.
  • Data management best practices
  • Tips for independent or newer pharmacy owners
  • Being proactive about getting daily reporting from your systems

Key Quotes:

  • “With independent pharmacies, it’s not always a one-size-fits-all solution.” (2:55)

  • “The success of any transformation that you wish to implement in your pharmacy rides on your ability to manage change within your team. And it starts from the top, and how we communicate that down is key.” (4:43)

  • “70% of the buying decisions are made at the shelf’s edge, and 90% of customers won’t pick up a product without a ticket on it.” (8:05)
  • “The biggest pushback I get from pharmacists is that they don’t want to upset their front of shop staff who’ve been using the same program on the tills for 20 years, but the funny thing is, teaching the ladies and gentlemen on the tills is the easiest bit, and if you are aligned with the right support team, the process can run quite smoothly.” (9:41)
  • “We have a healthy respect for what the daily life looks like for a pharmacy or a pharmacist, but at the end of the day, whilst the priority is on customer care, you’ve still got to run a successful business.” (12:27)

  • “You need to have a system that works with you. If your current point of sale software isn’t doing that and helping you achieve those goals, then why are we paying them money monthly? Let’s move on to a system that can help support us.” (14:02)

  • “Many pharmacies, even 2-3 years ago, were possibly waiting on an accounts report to happen at the end of a quarter, or the end of a 6 months, or the end of a year before they really knew what was happening in their business. But the reality is, dispensary and point of sale systems for many many years have been able to report on a daily basis, and so if you’re still waiting on your account’s quarterly or end of year report, it’s too late, isn’t it. You’ve missed the boat in terms of correcting or fixing things, and potentially cost yourselves money.”  (20:35)

Social Media Clips:

  • Brianne’s tips for getting change implemented within a pharmacy (5:20-6:25)
  • Getting the right ticketing program (7:39-9:00)
  • The importance of getting your data correct and having a system that can help you do that (12:27-13:26)
  • Getting the right system for your pharmacy (14:02-14:14)
  • Brianne’s top 3 tips for individual owner/operator or newer pharmacies (19:22-20:25)
  • Being proactive about getting daily reporting from your systems (20:35-21:22)

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Episode 28