Has it been a while since you upgraded your pharmacy workspace? If so, your pharmacy workflow likely isn't as efficient as it could be, which could damage your bottom line. Every business needs an occasional facelift to stay competitive, and independent pharmacies are no exception to that rule. In fact, given the tough competition independent pharmacies face from big corporations, not to mention all the recent and ongoing changes in the industry, staying current may be even more important for you than it is for other businesses.
Here are 5 ways that putting off a pharmacy facelift can destroy your profits.
Inefficiency in the pharmacy workflow process affect productivity on a number of levels. The most obvious of these is the dispensing process. If that process isn't as efficient as it could be, your staff is spending more time than they should on each prescription, which means one of two things: either you're not getting as many filled as you should, or you're spending too much to do so in terms of employee hours, and both, of course, have an impact on profits. Then there is the lost potential factor – could you be pursuing other profitable business angles if a streamlined and efficient pharmacy workflow process left more time free? More patient services, for instance, or more promotions to bring in new customers?
An inefficient pharmacy workflow system increases the overall cost of running your business. For instance, as mentioned above, slower dispensing means paying more in labor costs for each prescription delivered to a patient. Additionally, if inventory practices aren't up to speed, you run a greater risk of losing money on expired products or missing sales opportunities – and customers – due to out-of-stock incidents.
Inefficient pharmacy workflow has an impact on the level of customer service throughout your business, which, in turn, impacts profitability. Longer dispensing times mean longer waiting times for customers. Employees who are feeling stressed for time tend to rush through interactions, rather than going the extra mile to please customers, making it difficult to maintain the friendly, helpful atmosphere that fosters customer loyalty.
Safety & Accuracy
An inefficient workflow process increases your risk of errors in the dispensing process, decreasing patient safety. That will cost you customers, as well as time and money.
Inefficient pharmacy workflow creates undue stress as employees struggle to meet prescription production goals, as well as to find time to accomplish other daily tasks. Stress in the workplace tends to decrease employee satisfaction, which, in turn, increases staff turnover. That means you'll spend more time and money hiring and training replacements than you should, which can definitely impact the profitability of your business.
This list represents just a few of the many ways that putting off a pharmacy facelift can destroy profits. The overall point of listing them is this: If you're behind the times in terms of efficiency, improving your pharmacy workflow – whether that means upgrading your technology, improving or replacing workstations or revamping your storage facilities, or improving your inventory practices – is a worthwhile endeavor, one that will likely pay for itself by significantly increasing your profit potential.
So if you've been on the fence, perhaps wondering whether a pharmacy facelift is affordable, take a step back and see what it is costing you to leave things as they are. Chances are that you'll realize that the real question is whether you can afford not to make those changes.