If you’re a pharmacy owner and you missed the 2018 PDS Super-Conference, you left vast opportunities to grow your pharmacy on the table. That is the truth, plain and simple.
There were over 2,000 in attendance including the most progressive owners and professionals in the independent pharmacy industry. All of them piqued and ready to engage in the knowledge-sharing culture that has become synonymous with Pharmacy Development Services. Let’s break down PDS 2018.
Who Attends PDS’ Premier Pharmacy Business Conference?
To sum it up, they are life-long learners. Registering for a conference is easy, showing up is the next step, but it doesn’t guarantee value for your investment. Pharmacy owners that leave with new business insight and a clear understanding of what needs to be done once back at the grindstone have a singular quality that makes the difference between being in attendance and being truly present and engaged.
In the words of our leadership keynote speaker; they are ‘Learn-It-Alls.’ Our most engaged attendees and successful members understand that…
- There is hope and opportunity to grow in the independent pharmacy industry. Owners get frustrated by challenges facing their pharmacies such as DIR fees, below-cost reimbursements, and PBM abuses. Through thoughtful and active participation, the learners quickly realize that there is a way to make those issues irrelevant. Opening up to a new way of thinking allowed them to leave the show understanding that opportunity is right around the corner (and ready for the taking) when they focus on the factors within their control.
- They are not the smartest person in the room. As Dan Benamoz is fond of saying, if he thinks he is the smartest person in the room, he’s in the wrong room! The people who attend are the top-performing owners in pharmacy who continue to climb because they know that they discover more growth by learning from each other. The PDS Learners ask questions, try new things, and empower their teams. The result is a thriving culture with an inspired pharmacy team operating at the top of their pharmacy license.
- There is no competition among independents. We have a culture within the PDS membership that no independent competes with another. The heart of our mission is the idea that we lift each other up to reach new heights of success. After all, the more we help others, the greater our success will be. This credo is palpable at the conference, with so many of our attendees connecting and fostering beneficial relationships with each other.
Who Was on the Stage at The PDS Super-Conference?
We’re just bursting at the seams with pride on the caliber of presentations that graced the big stage on all three days. We can’t go through all of them here, but check out some of the highlights of the show:
- John Maxwell | #1 New York Times bestselling author, coach and world-renowned leadership expert treated us to the Five Levels of Leadership. He was a huge crowd-pleaser and captivated the audience with crucial leadership principles every pharmacy owner should understand as they aim to grow into a better leader.
- J.R. Martinez | “We all grow up with goals for ourselves…but sometimes we can’t take the most direct path to our dreams.” J.R. Martinez talked about how to adapt and overcome anything that life throws your way with resiliency, determination, and a sense of humor.
- Earvin “Magic” Johnson | Wow, his presentation was “magic!” The attendees were riveted by his presentation on “The Winning Way,” where he taught us how to build and empower high-performance teams that support the vision of their pharmacies.
- Steve Gutzler | One of the nation’s top thought leaders on emotional intelligence, personal transformation, and leadership development. This interactive and engaging keynote walked our PDS learners through the ‘How-To’ of tapping into their full potential and performing at the top of their game under pressure.
- Jeff Philipp and Josh McJilton | Unveiling PDS’ new version of proprietary software, RxAnalytcs, Jeff and Josh revealed our show-stopper on stage. This new software will enable PDS members to truly get behind their business analytics to discover the clear path to profitable scripts. But you’ll have to be a member to test drive!
Don’t Just Listen to Us
The reviews are in! We’ve been fortunate to have a flood of positive feedback about PDS2018. Instead of us going on about it; we’ll let them tell you what they thought:
“You get so much out of being there and taking time to focus on yourself and your business. It is also great for networking and meeting like-minded people within our industry and learning new growth opportunities.”
“It is a no brainer. My mistake is that I watched the free webinars for 5-6 years and didn’t join sooner. The cost scared me off for years. I didn’t think it could be ‘worth it.’ I was wrong. PDS helps your financials tremendously, but it changes your culture and your quality of life even more. As pharmacists, we all make a bunch of money no matter what. It isn’t about the money, it is about seeing the change in you, your staff, your patients and your family. Just do it. You will thank me later.”
“Every independent pharmacy owner is leaving money on the table, and I believe the programs PDS has in place addresses that. “
“Don’t wait around any longer and expect opportunity and success to trip and fall into your lap — get up, surround yourself with the best, and go find it.”
Special Edition Pharmacy Podcast featuring Highlights from PDS2018
Conference Guest Todd Eury, with Pharmacy Podcast, interviewed conference attendees and PDS Founder, Dan Benamoz, CEO, Jeff Phillip, and featured exhibitor Wellgistics.
- Hear more about why Bill Henning, Pharmacist and Owner of Giant Genie Pharmacy continues to not only invest in the PDS Super-Conference but has also started bringing key staff to attend as well.
- Cliff Holt of Hurricane Family Pharmacy has been attending for ten years, in spite of his initial plans to sign up for only one year. Once locked into PDS value, he realized that membership is a key investment he couldn’t afford NOT to make.
- Learn about the goal that PDS has to become THE catalyst for independent industry growth and how we will leverage the extensive network of independents and industry exhibitors to make 2018 the best year for independent pharmacy.
Watch it For Yourself!
Now you don’t have to leave profitability, stronger leadership skills, and an upshift on culture on the table. You can still watch the 2018 PDS Super-Conference from the comfort of your own home. We have the Livestream available for those who wish to purchase at a special price… and you can watch it with your team! But hurry, access to the Livestream ends on March 31st.
There is no shortage of options for owners looking to impact pharmacy growth. Successful independent pharmacy owners must maintain a balance between growing profits, investing in the business, and managing operational cash flow. This formula is not new. However, in light of significant industry shifts and stringent regulations; the balance is more challenging to achieve. Success is a matter of surrounding yourself with the right team in an environment that will cultivate pharmacy growth. The PDS Super-Conference and premier sponsor Live Oak Bank are the solution partners you need to establish successful programs and unlock capital for your pharmacy.
In an industry where large competitors have unlimited access to funds, and you need capital to implement essential profit programs; where do you start?
Step 1: Know Your Pharmacy Market
Understanding where your profits are coming from is the first step in taking your business to the next level. Passively waiting for the next prescription to walk through the door does not work anymore. The waiting game will not keep you operating at full potential. Actively targeting the most profitable aspects of your business keeps you on top of market conditions and prepared to adjust course in the face of changes.
Step 2: Managing Pharmacy Cash Flow Effectively
Cash is king, we all know it. Your pharmacy should have enough cash flow to reinvest back into your business and employees from marketing to new equipment, all while maintaining salaries and keeping the lights on. Mismanagement of or inattention to cash flow will limit how far you can take your pharmacy. It affects how banks look at you when applying for loans, and your ability to scale successful initiatives.
These are just a few of the tips that we cover with independent pharmacy owners at the Annual PDS Super Conference. Our goal is to provide owners with the tools and solutions to establish a solid foundation, kickstart pharmacy growth, and provide ongoing support you navigate the industry in the coming year.
Live Oak Bank is one of the largest investors in community pharmacies in the industry and has provided nearly $750 million in loans since 2010. They provide funding and packages to address all of your pharmacy needs.
- Quick loan closes – approximately 47 days
- Favorable terms with low-interest rates
- Low equity requirements
As your dedicated solutions partner, Live Oak Bank can assist your pharmacy with everything from facilitating prescription file purchases and software solutions to streamlining improved inventory management. As a major sponsor of #PDS2017 Live Oak Bank will be in attendance, making it the perfect time to stop by their booth and learn more about their loan capabilities, low-interest rates, and equity requirements.
Improve Pharmacy Profitability
The average independent pharmacy operates on very thin profit margins, forcing owners to reevaluate ways to keep costs low and profits high on a regular basis. Not knowing where to look first can be frustrating and overwhelming. Here are the three methods of improving your pharmacy profitability you should regularly assess in your business.
How to Buy Smarter with Pharmacy Wholesalers
Typically, a single wholesaler will not meet all of your purchasing needs nor provide the best pricing for all prescription purchases. A good way to avoid relying on one wholesaler and putting your already thin profit margins at risk, is to have several secondary suppliers as a point of comparison. Taking advantage of the Pharmacy Development Services (PDS) industry-exclusive message board in PDS Advantage will enable you to get peer recommendations, insights and customer service feedback, before making commitments.
Know Your ‘Top 20’ Prescribers
Not all prescribers are created equal so ramping up your profits should start with identifying your most profitable prescribers. A deep dive into your data will show you which prescribers are moving the profit needle, and which ones keep you busy behind the proverbial bench. Prescribers may land on your list for a number of reasons, but volume should not be one of them. Once you have identified key providers, start implementing ways to stay top of mind by providing value-added services and exceptional customer service to keep the referrals coming in your door.
An often overlooked way to increase your pharmacy’s profitability is to ensure you are recouping the maximum on insurance reimbursement claims. There are three strategies every pharmacy should implement and enforce to remain confident that you are not leaving any profits on the table.
- Regularly update U&C price points — This information is critical to setting an accurate cash price for prescriptions and receiving the maximum on insurance reimbursements. It should be standard operating procedure to examine your switch data to identify claims that paid at U&C.
- Ensure accuracy with DAW claim codes — Incorrect coding can result in the accrual of significant losses. Train your team to be attentive when submitting DAW codes, because not doing so will negatively affect the profitability and efficiency of your pharmacy; the reimbursements will be inaccurate; the pharmacy will lose time over claim resubmissions and misinformation on claims may trigger the most dreaded consequence — a pharmacy audit.
- Consistently update AWP information — Pricing and reimbursements models are still largely based on AWP, and ‘bad data’ leads to inaccuracies that affect profits. Pharmacy owners should make sure their software is updated daily with the latest pricing information. Many third parties lag in their updating of AWP, which will mean a pharmacy will have to invest time to reverse and resubmit claims to capture lost profit.
Independent pharmacy owners often believe they cannot impact their pharmacy profitability. However, the strategies above can result in thousands of dollars in profits each month. Yet, most pharmacies haven’t changed the management of prescriptions and processes in years. If you are waiting for prescriptions to come in the door, dealing with inventory and purchasing headaches and finding little time to implement new initiatives or improve your current processes..you are doing it wrong!
Running a reactive pharmacy is ineffective and killing your bottom line…but there is a better way! SyncRx Plus is a program that incorporates the traditional synchronization adherence model and with an added MTM component. The implementation of this program will improve your pharmacy’s profitability through data mining, improved quality measures, workflow efficiency and by leveraging your third-party contracts.
Like any small business, independent pharmacies are always looking for ways to increase profits. As a pharmacy owner, you may be under the assumption that you must obtain new customers to make more money, but that is not necessarily true. Of course, your pharmacy always needs new customers, but remember that your easiest and most predictable source of revenue is right under your nose. It comes from the loyal customers who already know and love your business.
Upselling current customers is a much more cost effective method of increasing income than working to attract brand new patrons. In fact, some estimates report that acquiring a new customer is five to ten times the cost of retaining an existing one. Before you focus on attracting new customers, use these steps to make sure you are maximizing the profitable opportunities that lie within every one of your current patient relationships.
Do not be nervous about the concept of upselling. It is much more than a sales tactic – it is a component of good customer service that helps build deeper patient relationships by delivering better value. For example, when a customer comes to pick up their monthly vitamins, take the opportunity to offer them another brand with a variety of flavors, even if it is more expensive. They will appreciate the personalized recommendation and consider switching if they believe in the added benefit from the upgraded product.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Maximizing the potential of your existing patients is a surefire way to work smarter, not harder. In the same way, you can use existing data to decide which patients are appropriate candidates for upselling and which drugs to target. Profitability Pathways is a system developed by that encourages your team to tap into existing niches and anticipate needs based on trends. It also focuses on finding ways to convert low-profit opportunities into high-profit customers. You will begin by running reports that determine which products are most profitable, as well as areas you are losing money.
A great way to stay ahead of competitors and bolster profits is to provide a unique service. In particular, you will help customers and yourself by introducing programs that increase efficiency, such as medication synchronization. These types of programs increase customer satisfaction, build relationships and reduce pharmacy workload. You can use the extra time to mine your pharmacy’s database to increase sales
Do you want to learn how to increase sales?
According to recent sales data, the average repeat customer spends a whopping 67 percent more cash than a new one. Following the steps outlined in this article will certainly provide one method for increasing sales, but there are numerous other opportunities for profit. Utilizing the Profitability Pathways designed by Dan Benamoz will ensure that you do not miss out.
When facing major decisions, human nature encourages us to rely on experiences, assumptions and gut instincts to guide our actions. In some cases, this method is perfectly acceptable, but running a pharmacy business requires much more. Making decisions without evaluating solid data is one of the biggest mistakes an independent pharmacy owner can make.
There’s no reason to gamble on your business when the necessary information is at your fingertips. The data you need is already in your pharmacy’s computer system! Taking time to sort through facts is an imperative step to determine what profitable opportunities you’re missing out on. To get started, evaluate these seven areas:
Highest Profit Drugs
Which prescription drugs are bringing in the most money? This one is fairly straightforward. By answering this question, you will know where to focus your energy when it comes to inventory, education, doctor detailing and upselling.
Medications With Best Profit Margins
Certain drugs may actually be extremely profitable when you consider the percentage of mark up. For instance, if Drug X costs $1 from the supplier and you can sell it for $2, you are only making $1 as profit, but it’s a 50% markup. When considering a large amount of the product being sold over time, this may bring you a higher profit than Drug Z that costs you $50 that you can only sell it for $53.
Highest Profit Doctors
When looking at your script history, do you see one physician’s name more than the others? Now that you’ve identified your highest profit drugs, can you tell which doctors are prescribing those drugs the most? Make a concerted effort to network with those physicians. Build those relationships and ask for patient referrals.
Highest Profit Insurers
Is there a particular insurance company that covers or recommends your most profitable drugs? Since not all insurance pays the same dividends, understanding which companies are the most beneficial to you is important. Develop a marketing campaign that will allow you to give special discounts to customers carrying the insurance company that is most profitable for your pharmacy.
Top 20 Drugs Filled
Pull a report on the most popular drugs and make sure to keep them in stock. Make a list of the top 20 most popular prescriptions, along with their higher profit counterparts. Educate your staff on upselling opportunities and keep the top 20 list conveniently located and visible behind the bench.
Margins Over $40
While they may not actually be your most profitable drugs, it’s still important to keep track of any prescription that brings in a lot of money. Keep an eye on drugs with a margin over $40 and promote them when you can. They may move into your highest profit category and you’ll want to be aware when they do.
Daily Loss Report
If you are losing money on a particular product, drug or insurance company, you may want to consider removing it. On the other hand, if that product or service is paired with something popular and profitable, you may benefit from keeping it. Either way, you’ll want to monitor the situation closely.
Running reports in these seven areas will help you make educated decisions based on facts, not guesses. You may find out that your customers are no longer interested in a product you keep in stock or that you’re losing money in an area you imagined to be profitable. Regardless of what these reports tell you, your business is definitely better off if you know how to analyze the metrics and adjust as needed.
Don’t take a gamble on your pharmacy! What are you doing to make sure you capitalize on every opportunity for profitability? If you can’t answer that question clearly and definitively, let us help. Get started immediately by downloading our free eBook 3 Innovative Ways to Compete in the Pharmacy Market
Automating Inventory Management in Your Pharmacy
In today’s competitive environment, running an efficient independent pharmacy means lower costs, higher margins and less stress for all parties involved. Creating efficiency in your pharmacy is a combination of concentrated effort and strategic planning. Where can you find opportunities to become more efficient? Everywhere! Functional areas such as; team training, inventory management and operations planning all represent key opportunities for improved efficiency.
Analyzing where your pharmacy ranksagainst industry benchmarks is one of the first steps you should take in exploring areas of opportunity for added productivity in your pharmacy. Understanding what your competitors are doing to succeed in the market will give you ideas and provide metrics that will help you track your progress as you begin to implementing new procedures.
Once you have an idea about what your competition is up to, take an inventory of your own operations to see where you lag behind and what areas you can improve upon. Here are the key focus areas to improve efficiency:
1. Team Productivity
Having a productive staff means lower refill time and faster order fulfillment. If your employees are slow in fulfilling orders, take a look at schedules to see if there needs to be adjustments made. You may decide to hire an additional technician in order to give your pharmacist breathing room and avoid burnout. After evaluating your team’s productivity, you may also find that some of your staff isn’t well-trained and they don’t yet understand the process. In this case, evaluate each team member’s performance and determine what skills need to be polished and what areas of the business operations require a more experienced team member. Invest in training, so every employee has all the knowledge they need to successfully perform their job.
2. Medication Purchasing
Prescription medications are often one of the most expensive items your pharmacy has to float. Taking advantage of savings from Group Purchasing Organizations is a great way increase buying efficiency. Even efficient pharmacies often generate substantial savings from optimizing their purchasing habits. Here are some strategies that will help you streamline medication purchasing:
- Use longer-term buying to take advantage of lower-cost contracts
- Secure immediate access to newly released generic medications
- Utilize tiered discount programs and target key incentive levels
- Analyze backorder reports and obtain credits for undelivered items
3. Inventory Control Optimization
Improved efficiencies can be found by reducing the time spent managing inventory by controlling and reducing costs, and limiting touch points. The following best practices will improve your inventory process:
- Create a baseline inventory
- Develop minimum and maximum reorder points on prescription medications
- Train buyers on inventory controls like updating min/max levels to avoid stock delays
- Obtain all credits from returned excess products
- Create advanced inventory control system that adjusts drug levels based on patient demand
4. Embrace Automation
Taking advantage of an automated dispensing system has the potential to improve pharmacy efficiency and inventory control, while enhancing patient safety. A system like this can reduce that time that is spent on managing out of stock medications, and allows you to redeploy pharmacy technicians that would otherwise have to refill scripts.
In today’s competitive environment you need to find productivity improvements in all aspects of your pharmacy. Staffing, purchasing, inventory control and automation are the key areas where you can find ways to improve.
Knowing how to invest your money early in your pharmacy’s growth can be difficult. After all, you have to spend money to make money. What do you need to invest in immediately, and what can be put off until later? Knowing the answer to these questions may be the difference between keeping your doors open for another quarter or being too far in the red. Here are some essential investments to consider:
Solid Product Base
Don’t try to go for the cheapest products you can find, invest in quality items and that’s what your store will be known for. Get to know your popular products and decide how you much inventory to keep. Think about the quantities you will need and how long it will take to get products that you don’t regularly stock.
Hire an Attorney
This will help get you started in the right direction, as you will need to know all the legalities of the pharmacy industry. An attorney can guide you through setting up your store and will be helpful as your pharmacy grows in the future. OSHA and other government regulations need to be constantly adhered to, but they may not cover you entirely. If there’s ever any legal trouble, you’ll be thankful to have an attorney who is already familiar with you and your pharmacy business.
Qualified and Licensed Employees
Now is not the time to hire friends, family, and those who will simply work for minimum wage. You will need a licensed pharmacist on staff, which may be you, and you will also need other qualified support staff. An accountant and insurance agent can also be valuable assets to your team. Think of your staff as an investment, not an expense, who will help grow your business.
Besides having a licensed pharmacist on board, you will need a pharmacy license, a DEA number, a National Association of Boards of Pharmacy number, and a number for the NPI. Not getting these licenses or letting any of them lapse for the sake of saving money might cost a great deal of money in fines. Don’t take the chance.
Your pharmacy is essentially a small business, so getting your name out there in ads, direct mail, newspapers, blogs, online search engines, PR and emails will be important. Pay for a quality website, don’t try to do it yourself if you don’t have the skills. There are many online tools that can help you get started like; Mailchimp, WordPress, Google Analytics and more. These will save you tons of stress in the long run, help you analyze how well you are doing, and keep your pharmacy’s brand looking professional.
Owning your own pharmacy can be a lucrative and satisfying business if you get started the correct way. Don’t be tempted to put off these types of things! Proper licensing and a qualified staff can’t wait until later when you’ve started to make a serious profit.
And after you’ve made these investments, you aren’t finished- you’re actually just getting started. That’s why getting relevant industry information and connecting with other leading pharmacy owners and experts can be so helpful, making the 2016 PDS Conference Together Toward Tomorrow another impactful investment you should make. Join Us in Orlando and Register today!