Last Thursday, the groundhog saw his shadow and unwittingly forecasted a winter that will last 6 more weeks. Consequently, I spent the day feeling extra cold and longing for warmer weather to return to Western Washington just a bit more than usual (even though spring in Washington state is no guarantee of nice weather). Even so, I'm looking forward to longer days, hopefully fewer clouds and some fresh spring air.
I'm also looking forward to the end of cold & flu season. Especially with toddlers at home, my family spends the winter months trying to stay dry, warm, and away from other runny noses as much as possible.
In your pharmacy, it's a good time to make sure you are still well prepared to meet the needs of customers who don't escape one last bug before the season comes to a close. Here are 3 things you should do if you haven't already.
1) Make sure you are stocked up on your best sellers – Take a good look at what OTC's you've been selling the most of this season. Do you have enough to keep up with demand? (Tip: This information should be easily accessible through your pharmacy POS system.)
2) Look at items that should be selling but aren't – During the cold & flu season, there are things that pretty much everyone needs. Use your expertise to identify these products or categories and make sure you're seeing the kind of movement you'd expect (another great use for POS reporting). For example, if you're selling a lot of decongestant, but not many tissues, you could have a problem. Look at product placement and competitor pricing as possible reasons and adjust accordingly.
3) Think about some targeted promotions – Just because someone isn't sick doesn't mean they don't need a few things from the pharmacy. There are lots of people trying to keep themselves and their families healthy. This could be a great time to sell some extra vitamins and supplements. Also, recommend people stock up on essentials, like tissue paper and cough medicine.
Spring is certainly on the way but for the moment, cold & flu season remains in full swing in many areas. It can be difficult to meet the demands that this season brings but pharmacy technology can help you provide better, more efficient service to your customers.