Drive business efficiencies with data & technology

Episode 43

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This episode of the Pharmacy View Podcast features a wonderful conversation between host Scott Carpenter, EVBC and guest Norman Thurecht, Partner, Pitcher Partners. Pitcher Partners is an association of independent full-service accounting, audit and advisory firms with advisory experts from accounting and business sharing insights about issues impacting family-controlled and privately owned businesses, high net-worth individuals, the public sector and NFP organisations. Listen in as in this episode, Scott and Norman delve on the outcomes of analysing data and exploring possibilities utilizing technology in the Pharmaceutical industry.

An accountant by trade, Norman developed an interest in Pharmacy in early 2000s. He recounts having used systems and process both within the business and for the clients for the past 20-25 years with the goal of creating benchmarks for clients and the industry as a whole by consolidating data from the proprietary systems. He adds that cloud-based services have been used by the company to consolidate data on need identified basis and to give that back to the Pharmacists as quality information. That said, Norman understands that Pharmacies have idiosyncrasies and because everyone wants to operate business in their own fashion and have control over the outcome, their reports allow for that.

He further goes on to talk about the need for balance of the businesses within a core business. Taking packaging facility as an example, he breaks down the nitty-gritties of looking at such ‘business within the business’ as a separate entity and being able to justify the need for the same. The goal, he emphasizes, is to drive efficiency. Pharmacists that are traders and are good at merchandizing and marketing do really well in those regards, he adds. As the core for any Pharmacy is health, Norman says that there’s an increased need to cater to the numbers around health and not elsewhere.

While the supply chain for the Pharmacies allows for quick stock delivery and while COVID led to interesting customer purchasing patterns, Norman knows that spending in the Pharmacy has been softening and the public purse has been impacted by the pandemic. Also, the cost of doing business has gone up for Pharmacies, as with any other industry. For those reasons, they’ve been working with clients by using their monthly reports to analyse how adjustments can be made to stock and staff levels, how marketing can be improved, and how customers’ attention and retention can be made better, among other things.

Topics Covered

  • Data and Cloud Based Services
  • Idiosyncrasies in Pharmacies
  • Losing the Balance in the Business
  • Efficiency of Facility Packaging
  • Supply Chain for Pharmacies
  • Revenue Trends in Pharmacies
  • Wages and Cost of Doing Business

Key Quotes (Time Stamps)

  • “As accountants, we look at the numbers; we do accounting and tax. But we look at the numbers and really try and analyse details and help our clients understand their business from a very minute level and drive the profit and the cashflow in their business as best as they can. And also focus on the strategic opportunities of each business whether that be competitive advantage or location or whatever it might be” (1:58 – 2:22)
  • “And that’s been very valuable for us to get an understanding of what’s happened in history and what we think is going to actually happen in the future; using the information at hand and estimating what’s going to happen in the future.” (3:34 – 3:47)
  • “Most proprietary ones are the cloud-based systems that we have been using for many-many years. And of course, cloud-based systems have become really quite novel in the last sort of five years. They’ve taken over everything.” (3:48 – 4:01)
  • “There’s some core metrics where each Pharmacy does operate a little bit differently and to that extent, each owner would want to operate in their own demographic a little bit differently. (4:49 – 5:00)
  • “But you’ve really got to understand the merchandizing and the marketing of it to make it work. You can’t just stock it and put it in the Pharmacy and hope it sells.” (10:32 – 10:40)
  • “So, it’s a really fine balance between taking advantage of this 24-hour delivery system and holding the right level of stock.” (14:28 – 14:37)
  • “Top of the list for most customers is convenience.” (20:35 – 20:37)
  • “Pharmacies have really got to advocate the value proposition in the community.” (26:03 – 26:08)
  • “I’ve never come across a Pharmacy without an opportunity. They’ve all got opportunities in them of some sort and it’s not until you start looking at the numbers that you find them. So, every Pharmacy is an opportunity but to be better than average, you’ve got to start somewhere.” (30:09 – 30:24)

Social Media Clips (Time Stamps)

  • Use of Technology and Cloud-Based Services (3:09 – 4:22)
  • Catering to Idiosyncrasies in Pharmacies (4:43 – 5:25)
  • Keeping Track of Efficiency in Business (7:45 – 9:22)
  • Need to Merchandize and Market (9:54 – 10:40)
  • Stock Management (12:51 – 15:23)
  • Revenue Trends for Pharmacies (22:25 – 26:10)

Useful Links

Scott Carpenter, EVBC | LinkedIn 

Shopfront Solutions: Overview | LinkedIn 

Shopfront Solutions 

Aerion Technologies: Overview | LinkedIn 

Aerion Technologies | Helping Non Techs Build Better Tech 

Pharmacy View Podcast: Overview | LinkedIn 

Pharmacy View 

Norman Thurecht | LinkedIn

Pitcher Pharmacy: Overview | LinkedIn

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Episode 43