Innovation is the cornerstone of development in any industry, and continuing to conduct business as you always have will not give you any competitive advantage in today’s market. In light of significant industry changes, independent pharmacy owners have realized that working to innovate, grow, and improve is not a matter of ‘if,’ but rather, ‘when.’
Pharmacy Development Services (PDS) is the only company of its kind with a dedicated research and development team whose sole objective is to develop innovative and efficient programs that give your pharmacy the competitive edge against corporate pharmacy giants.
The future of our industry lies in the hands of the innovators and problem-solvers. Are you ready to learn more about how PDS empowers you to innovate and rethink the way you look at a successful pharmacy business? Take the first step and sign up for the PDS 2017 All-Star Super-Conference in February. Don’t miss out on how we are planning to make it the best year in independent pharmacy yet.
The PDS All-Star Super-Conference is the pharmacy event of the year that is guaranteed to change the way you run your business. Join us for the next event in February! Click HERE to learn more about the PDS Super-Conference.
Independent Pharmacy’s Competitive Advantage Over Chains
Dan Benamoz, CEO and Founder of Pharmacy Development Services, always says that the main competitive advantage independent pharmacies have over retail chains is the ability to “turn on a dime.” While chain pharmacies are mass merchandisers, independents are not and should not try to be. Instead, independents should focus on innovation.
When an independent pharmacy owner identifies the innovative new program or technology they want to implement, they should focus on getting it done as quickly as possible. According to Dan, the public perception is that independent pharmacies are behind on technology, but that should not be the case. Independents have no bureaucracy, no attorneys, and no corporate red tape to get through when a new opportunity presents itself.
Here is what Dan Benamoz said on the subject in his February 2016 interview with Pharmacy Times:
Millennials are the young adults born between the early 1980s and the year 2000. They account for a large part of the American population and they are now having children. With trillions to spend on themselves and their kids, companies are starting to take notice of these millennial parents. We find that millennials are looking for a home pharmacy that really cares about the family. Easily attract business from millennial parents by promoting family-friendly programs and services.
1. Flavored Medications
Liquid medication is typically best for children. You can take an extra step in assisting parents by making the medicine go down even easier. Use sweeteners with bubblegum or chocolate flavoring to mask bitter medications and to increase a child’s willingness to take it. It will certainly taste better than unflavored medicine, and your millennial parent customers will be very grateful.
2. Free Children’s Vitamin Program
There will always be new parents in your community and devoting resources to attract them will pay off. Implementing a free children’s vitamin program is an excellent opportunity for your pharmacy to reach young parents, especially those who may be struggling financially. Not only does this type of program help families focus on better nutrition, it also boosts brand recognition and word-of-mouth marketing for your pharmacy. You will easily become the pharmacy of choice when patients can receive free vitamins, as well as paid prescriptions for additional family members, in one location.
3. Rewards Program
Reaching adulthood in a U.S. economy that is less than optimal means that millennials are often more financially cautious than prior generations. Therefore, they love and appreciate a good rewards program. Your pharmacy can implement a simple, inexpensive rewards program that will make customers feel appreciated and motivated to visit your store again and again.
As one of the largest generations in history, millennials are vital to the United States economy. Spending $1.3 trillion annually, they are equipped with exceptional buying power and will command significant changes within all industries as their incomes and families grow. Get ahead of your competition by implementing programs to gain their trust and you will enjoy their repeat business for a lifetime.
If you are interested in finding new ways to stay ahead of your competition, download our free eBook 3 Innovative Ways to Compete in the Pharmacy Market.
If you think your independent pharmacy is immune to cyber crime, you may need to think again. Unfortunately, an increasing number of cybercriminals are now targeting small businesses, due to the fact that security is typically weaker. A recent survey by Fortinet found that nearly two-thirds of consumers held merchants responsible for data breaches and 60% of small businesses that suffer a data breach are out of business within six months.Therefore, keeping your customer’s credit card information safe is crucial to your pharmacy’s future. In order to keep your customers guarded and your pharmacy secure, it is essential to understand these three significant concepts:
You Are At Risk For an Attack
If you think it can’t happen to you, you’re already giving the cyberattackers a leg up. Any small business that accepts credit cards is a potential target for a cyber security breach. As an independent pharmacy owner, never make the mistake of believing you are too small or located in a safe enough area that won’t be on the radar. Hackers are targeting small-scale businesses more often, because locally-owned, small networks are easier to hack, and they are not as regularly checked for compliance with credit card security standards. If your computer system is under protected, a hacker can inject malware onto your payment terminal from anywhere in the world to access customer information. Understanding that you are at risk is the first step toward protecting yourself.
You Are Held to the Government’s Standards of Security
If you accept credit cards, you are held to the same standards as larger chain stores, like Target and CVS. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of requirements designed to ensure that all companies that process, store, or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment. When you initially set up your payment system to accept credit cards, you agreed to abide by the PCI DSS. Whether you swipe one or one million cards each year, you are legally required to keep your computer system as secure as possible.
This year, even more credit card security measures are being enforced. EMV (which stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa) is the new global standard for cards equipped with computer chips and the technology used to authenticate chip-card transactions. It means greater protection against fraud for the consumer, and it is legally required for your pharmacy to have the proper technology to read these cards – so be sure to check the 2015 deadlines to have this implemented.
You Will Be Held Liable for a Preventable Breach
Any business that suffers a cyber security breach and is found to be non-compliant with credit card security standards is fully liable for charges related to the violation and can be required to financially compensate those who were defrauded. If a security breach occurs, PCI DSS inspectors will investigate. This process alone can be crippling for an independent pharmacy since it requires them to shut down operations for several days, or longer, and costs a few thousand dollars in inspection fees. If the investigation finds your security was not up to code, you’ll be paying for even more charges:
- Data Security Fine – Up to $500,000 fine per security breach incident.
- Non-Compliance Fines – Up to $50,000 per day for non-compliance with published standards.
- Card Replacement Fees – $3 to $10 per card multiplied by the total number of cards compromised.
- Refund Fees – Potentially held liable for all fraud losses incurred from compromised account numbers.
Failing to update your security programs could cost a lot of money in the long run, so do the hard work now to make sure that your pharmacy is PCI DSS compliant. That way, if your pharmacy is successfully hacked, you will not be held liable for any fines beyond the possible audit fees.
Keeping your technology up-to-date is just one of the ways to successfully compete in the pharmacy industry. For more advice on how ensure that your pharmacy is staying productive and profitable, download our free eBook 3 Innovative Ways to Compete in the Pharmacy Market.