Best Practices

A 10 Step Plan to Choosing the Right Pharmacy Point-of-Sale System

If you're thinking about a new pharmacy POS, it can be hard to know you’re making the right decision. Use these 10 steps to choose your best system.

With some of the year's biggest pharmacy industry trade shows just around the corner, you might be starting to think about what you’re looking to accomplish during conferences this year. CE credits, networking, and general industry updates are probably on your list. What about purchasing? Will you be taking advantage of wholesaler show specials? Will you partner with some new suppliers? Or maybe, you might be starting to think about your pharmacy technology.

If you happen to be thinking about implementing a new pharmacy point-of-sale system, pharmacy shows offer a great opportunity to see what’s out there. But it can be hard to know where to start, and to know you’re making the right decision. You can use these 10 steps to make a plan for choosing a system that will help you grow profits, improve cash flow, and curate an amazing customer experience.

1. Evaluate your needs.

Answer a few quick questions to create a picture for your ideal POS solution:

    1. What’s not working for you with your current point-of-sale solution? This might be functionality-based, service-based, or a combination of factors.

    2. What goals do you have that you can’t reach with your current technology limitations? What are you looking to accomplish with this change?

    3. What functionalities do you have now that you need to keep?

    4. What additional technology vendors does your system need to work with?

2. Determine your timeline.

How quickly do you need to have a pharmacy POS solution up and running? A few months? A year? Having a timeline in mind will help you prioritize time in your busy schedule so you can stick to your plan when evaluating and choosing a solution.

3. Time for research.

It’s time to put your internet browser to work. Review pharmacy POS vendor websites, download some ebooks, read some blogs, and dive into some YouTube Channels. Then talk to your peers. What experiences do they have that may be helpful to you? Don’t be afraid to reach out to vendors and ask questions during this stage, too.

4. Qualify.

After your initial research, it’s time to pick the pharmacy POS providers that you like best based on your research. Disqualify any who couldn’t meet your core business needs that you set out in step one. Don’t compromise on these points if you can avoid it.

5. Consultation time.

Now, you need to let your potential vendors get to know you and understand your pharmacy's needs. This is an essential step that many skip, going straight for a product demo or adding on a POS because it’s bolted onto their pharmacy management system. If your POS provider doesn’t understand your profitability, customer-centricity and overall business goals, there’s no way they can help you meet them. Take some time to dive into conversations with your top POS provider options. If they don’t ask you any questions… that’s a big red flag.

6. Schedule product demos.

After your consultation, your potential provider partners should be ready to set you up with a product demo tailored to your needs. Be prepared for this demo by making sure that all of your key players can attend, if possible (or ask for it to be recorded to watch later). Also, make sure to bring any remaining questions you need to have answered and have a quick punch list of the solutions you want to see.

7. Pick your perfect POS system.

After you’ve seen all of the options and what each company brings to the table, it will be time to pick the best fit for your pharmacy. Again, be wary of the quick fix. Choose a system that will grow with your business and help you meet your goals.

8. Review your quote.

You’ve already decided which POS system will work best for you. Next, make sure your system is customized just the way you want it with the software packages and hardware solutions that will fit best. There are usually many different purchasing options, including financing and subscription pricing to help mitigate up-front costs.

9. Talk implementation.

Your implementation plan should include physical install as well as training to help you make the absolute most of your investment. Understand your new POS partner's process and what comes next.

10. Get ready for the next phase.

You’ll likely have some time between purchase and implementation. There will certainly be to-dos from your vendor to prepare. You can also use this time to make sure your pharmacy team is prepared. Find out what questions or concerns they might have and what resources you can curate with your point-of-sale provider to help your team get comfortable.

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