The correlations that paint the dual picture of the problem and the opportunity for the pharmacy industry, against the backdrop of downward pressure on profitability
- Create a compelling value proposition to keep your customers at the dispensary for their dispense. The correlations demonstrate that high performance here leads to longer engagement, shorter processing time, and higher frequency of administering proactive medicines counsel
- Speaking of shorter processing time, the correlations demonstrate that minimising rehandling (so-called “straight through processing”) and reducing “white space” (idle time) are the keys
- Speaking of longer engagement time, the correlations demonstrate that longer engagement time DOES lead to longer proactive counsel provision, regardless of any extended chit chat time
- Back to the notion of forward dispensing, the correlations demonstrate that pharmacies that position pharmacists in a more forward orientation at the dispensary counters, are more likely to deliver longer proactive counsel to script customers
So far, so good. Now we have data to support the practices and processes exhorted by industry peak bodies like the Guild and PSA. Now comes the twist in the tail. As we move from these behavioural correlations and search for their alignment to commercial correlations, the picture becomes very mixed.
- Pharmacies with relatively higher pharmacist “fronting up” at s2/s3 counter show no correlation to those customers receiving more proactive counsel.
- The correlations between behavioural aspects such as higher levels of proactive counsel, higher levels of pharmacist fronting up and higher companion sell and basket size item numbers are mixed and inconsistent
- The correlations between behavioural aspects such as higher levels of proactive counsel, higher levels of pharmacist fronting up and higher companion sell and basket size, from a value perspective are also mixed and inconsistent
We believe that there is a hypothesis to explain this, and that as the population of the representative sample of 130 continually grow, the hypothesis will bear out in the correlations. The hypothesis goes something like this:
Proactive medicines and health counsel is NOT the major component of engagement in the typical mid-large sized community based pharmacy. Further, the relatively short duration of administered counsel very often stops short of a conversation concluding “solution sale”. This phenomenon appears to be true, regardless of role type administering the counsel , ie pharmacist vs dispensing technician vs pharmacy assistant.
We believe that this hypothesis, based on the statistical correlations, defines both the problem and the solution that faces the typical retail pharmacy in the current environment. The call to action seems clear:
- Convert Pharmacists from rear to front
- Convert customers to stay at the dispensary
- Convert stay to engage
- Convert engage to counsel
- Convert counsel to solution sale
- Convert survive to thrive!
Back to the point “parked” earlier; that there is no single forward dispensing model, and that the variations on the theme seem to come together in a kind of Darwinian evolutionary model.