Midwest Retail Services just returned from attending the most recent Cardinal Health Rx Business Conference. We’ve been proud to attend and serve this community of pharmacy professionals over the years. The Cardinal Health RBC is an opportunity for us to meet many of our customers and prospects face-to-face and spend a little one-on-one time sharing new ideas to help improve their pharmacies and grow their business. But we know that not every pharmacy is able to attend this event, and we didn’t want to be accused keeping all our best ideas just for the conference — so we decided to devote our latest Ask The Team post to sharing our best advice (our “prescriptions” if-you-will) for anyone running or planning to open a pharmacy.
This week we Ask The Team:
What’s your best advice for someone opening or outfitting a Pharmacy today?
Gary Kroneberger, Sales Executive
The things that come to mind when opening up a new pharmacy is to make it easy to work in, and make it big enough to have the capacity you need. The Flex RX system from Lozier for bottle bays gives you 16” wide shelves that help accommodate different height pill bottles. This can translate to more capacity and a significant space savings. This gives you three levels of adjustment in a 48” wide section verses just one.
Narcotics lock-ups have become increasing popular. They range from safes, to under-the-counter lock-ups, bottle bay lock-ups, to wall and floor anchored lock-ups. Take the extra time and thought to choose what will provide the best security for your pharmacy. It’s often an area that can be a problem if your pharmacy is in a high-risk location. You may even want to consult your insurance agent to see if you can reduce your rates by installing more secure lock-ups for your pharmaceuticals.
Now we have come to the sales areas, typically outfitted with gondola shelving. The single most important item to consider here is a straight-in shelf verses a tilt-in shelf. This will save you a significant amount of money over the life of the store in labor alone. With straight-in shelving, you will not have to remove the merchandise from the shelf above if you choose to rearrange your shelving setup. This is the DL shelf series from Lozier.
There are also several types of retail shelf pusher systems for OTC meds available. Consider which areas might make sense for a pusher system. These systems keep items better merchandised and save you time, labor and money on product-facing tasks.
These are just a few basic things to consider when you are opening up a new pharmacy, and will help keep your store profitable.
Chris Bell, Sales Representative
My best suggestion is to consult with pharmacy design experts (like Midwest Retail Services) to get a better understanding of all the options available to you in terms of store layout, security, fulfillment workspace, etc. There are so many choices out there, you may have never even seen some of them before.
While there are only a handful of manufactures to choose from (UNIWEB, Lozier, Madix, and Boni), Midwest Retail Services carries all of them, allowing you to work with a single source provider to compare and contrast the benefits of each brand in order to choose the one that works best for your unique needs. Each manufacturer has a different style: open bays, closed bays, and that unique UNIWEB look which can be painted in almost any color you like in order to get exactly what you want. I can’t remember seeing too many pharmacies that were using fixtures in a color other than white — what an easy way to set yourself apart! There are also many types of counters and cabinets to consider, each of which can be customized just for your pharmacy.
From the traditional pharmacy to the custom pharmacy, consult one our design experts to get the fixtures you really want — not just settle for what you see in a generic catalog.
Matt Ray, President
Opening a new pharmacy is both an exciting and challenging process. A great number of the clients that contact us have a background as a pharmacist and are taking the leap to venture out on their own. Their focus tends to be around the back-end of the pharmacy, the area fulfilling the scripts. Creating an efficient workspace is important, however, many retail pharmacies forget about the front end of the pharmacy, the retail side. Customers come to the pharmacy to typically to pick up a prescription. Why not sell them other items while they are in your store!
Impulse purchases increase each sales transaction. Bag snacks, candy, coloring books, energy bars, over the counter medicines, (HBC) health, beauty, and cosmetics are all areas of opportunity. These items can quickly add up to a significant amount of sales revenue that you do not want to miss.
Let the team at Midwest Retail Services help advise and guide you on opportunities to better serve your customers while increasing your store profits.