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Posted by Niamh Aughney | 26th June 2023

How to Digitise Pharmacy Processes for Real Business Benefits

Many pharmacies are still using legacy systems that were developed nearly 20 years ago; they are slow to run, difficult to update, and have obsolete functionality.

Pharmacies today require technology that enables them to provide excellent customer service while also adhering to complex legislation and regulations.

They are, however, unable to migrate to more competitive technology because they are trapped in a cycle of reduced IT capabilities and rising costs, as outdated technology requires ongoing investment to remain operational.

To reduce costs and remain competitive, pharmacies must invest in unified and flexible solutions that are easily upgradable and meet the current and future needs of digital pharmacies.

Breaking the circle

To future-proof their business, pharmacies must decide to begin investing in new technologies. The good news is that this process can be completed in stages and gradually. 

The first step is to develop a pharmacy-specific digital transformation program.

Digital transformation

Defining future scenarios and developing a business development strategy are two of the most difficult aspects of pharmacy management.

During these stages, management must visualise potential scenarios, choose the preferred one, and then decide how the company plans to make that ideal future a reality. This can be a challenging task.

To define the vision, a digital transformation program must be implemented, which entails implementing cutting-edge digital solutions to handle processes with the goal of becoming a modern pharmacy.

Defining goals and benefits

The business processes in the pharmacy industry are extensive, critical, and highly regulated.

Many retail pharmacies strive to keep up with rapidly changing consumer behaviour trends to satisfy new generations of shoppers who expect convenience and 24-hour shopping and services online.

Before deciding on a new system to replace aging or obsolete systems, it is critical to clarify all of the investment’s essential benefits and goals.

The digital architecture must support all critical processes efficiently and modularly so that your software solution can be easily implemented and maintained.

When looking for new software solutions, you should look for three things:

  1. Assistance with and automation of routine pharmacy processes.
  2. Well-managed and scalable integration technology for connecting to national databases, data sensors, external sources, and so on.
  3. The ability to improve services and maximise revenue opportunities by utilising pharmacy operations data.

POS transactions, for example, can provide valuable insights into consumer behaviour, loyalty management, upselling opportunities, category management, and so on.

A pharmacy that analyses its data using business intelligence functionality can use this information to automate processes and generate insights that will help it compete.

How to establish a digital transformation program?

Creating a reference group of internal subject matter experts is a good way to get started with this type of program.

When developing use cases for the future solution, these experts can provide valuable feedback.

This team should consist of the most knowledgeable employees who are also extremely motivated to change.

The objectives should be quantifiable and achievable through the implementation of a new management system.

Goals that a pharmacy chain might set include:

  • Within four years, double the number of stores.
  • Increase the number of loyal customers 300% in three years.
  • Reduce the transaction time for dealing with prescriptions from six to four minutes.
  • Within six months, integrate all of our consumers’ shopping channels (eCommerce, physical stores, and mobile app).
  • Within three months, implement prescription handling on the mobile app.

If the digital goals are defined in a concrete and tangible manner, calculating the ROI for the required investment should be relatively simple.

The benefits of the digital transformation program can then be linked to the corporate vision and key performance indicators (KPIs) to visualise how the benefits will be realised and thus document the business case for investing in a digital pharmacy program.

Our pharmacy technology team has enabled pharmacy chains all over the world achieve their digital transformation objectives.

Contact us to learn how pharmacy-specific solutions from LS Retail and ProStrategy can assist you in meeting your objectives.


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