Home' Australian Journal of Pharmacy : Jan Feb 2015 Contents In today’s world of falling
dispensary profits and
customers drifting to other
channels, the profitability and
sustainability of community
pharmacy is found in surprising and
delighting the customer.
Last month I explained how
pharmacies have built customer value
via delivering health benefits which
not only gives existing customers a
reason to return, but also brings in
new ones. If you like, this approach
prioritises the customer outcome/
experience before transaction.
That means it’s vitally important
to recognise the opportunity
presented to you that must be
maximised is the person attached to
the script instead of the script itself.
This apparently simple divergence
from historical, and indeed current,
thinking represents the biggest issue
blocking owners transitioning their
team and business to a sustainable
and profitable future.
At the heart of this transition are
pharmacy owners and pharmacists
who need to re-examine their
core values to ensure that well-
intentioned conference talk will
become more than just that...
Walking the talk requires, in the
first instance, that, you the owner,
partners and pharmacist managers
take a leadership role as opposed to
an operational role.
Indeed, I often meet owners
who fail to recognise that it’s their
responsibility to step up and drive
a new pharmacy business culture
instead of well-meaning pharmacy
assistants who, although nice
to customers, are almost always
reactive in their interactions.
When I discuss with owners
the necessity of a pharmacist-
centric service model they almost
all agree but then temper their
agreement by saying that: ‘we have
great pharmacy assistants’ or ‘our
assistants already do that’ and ‘the
staff need more training’.
These statements are generally
code for: we stay out the back
dispensing while our nice assistants
talk with customers. This ignores
the challenges facing community
pharmacy and gives tacit approval
to pharmacists not going out of
their comfort zone. In other words
when confronting challenges
Option 1, which is to do nothing
while cutting staff, remains the
most popular choice.
However, for those who do
want to try Option 2, which means
grasping existing profit and growth
opportunities, the first thing to
do is step up and become the
pharmacy’s leader to confront the
twin challenges of, one, hiding in
the dispensary and, two, creating
a delightful customer experience
and the changes necessary to
achieve this. Nobody else can do
it... it’s up to you.
STEP ONE: LEAD BY EXAMPLE
Assuming you’re up to the
challenge the first step is to lead
by example, put on the white
coat and get out the front where
your customers are. Being able
to delegate dispensary duties to
an able dispensary technician is
vital, so, make sure you select the
right person for the role or, better
yet, train someone yourself to do
Maintaining consistency of the
pharmacist ‘out the front’ is vital to
ensure high quality service occurs
for every customer regardless
of the day or week. In my view,
an important attribute of a good
pharmacy leader is maintaining
consistency of delivery on days
and at times when he or she isn’t
there. However, a good leader
always keeps an eye on duty
managers, including surprise visits
to the pharmacy, and corrects
inconsistencies immediately. A
useful mantra you could adopt is ‘If
we allow it we teach it’.
Some of you will by now be
thinking ‘that’s all fine but show
me the money’. In my experience
this model is very successful and
profitable. In fact one of my clients
who completely embraced it
produced a record net profit during
the four months ended 31 October
2014 and, most importantly, during
the month of October itself while
just about every other pharmacy
had the opposite result.
I think the key point is those
owners and pharmacists who are
Bruce Annabel Business adviser
CARE produces the best results
Pharmacy business adviser and Adjunct Professor of Pharmacy Management, QUT. firstname.lastname@example.org
TO ENSURE THE SUSTAINABILITY AND FUTURE
PROFITABILITY OF YOUR PHARMACY THE
STARTING POINT IS FOCUSING ON CARE:
CUSTOMERS ARE REALLY EVERYTHING.
Comment RETAIL MANAGEMENT
NovoFine® Plus 4mm 32G
is the latest needle on the horizon
The company that brought you the world’s first diabetes pen device
now brings you NovoFine® Plus 4mm 32G with SuperFlowTM Technology.
Ask for it by name.
NovoFine® needles are for single use. Remember to use a new needle every time. NovoFine® needles are for use with drug pen injectors. ® Registered Trademark and TM Trademark of Novo Nordisk A/S.
Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals Pty. Ltd. ABN 40 002 879 996, Level 3, 21 Solent Circuit, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153. www.novonordisk.com.au. NOFI9136/AJP/HP/4. December 2014.
0.23/0.25 x 4 mm
4 mm needle shown at actual size
MAINTAINING CONSISTENCY OF THE ‘FORWARD’
PHARMACIST IS VITAL TO ENSURE HIGH QUALITY
SERVICE OCCURS FOR EVERY CUSTOMER
REGARDLESS OF THE DAY OR WEEK.
44 | THE AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACY VOL.96 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2015
Links Archive December 1st 2014 March 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page