Today's independent pharmacy is much different that the mom and pop pharmacy of days past. Competition, patients, insurance companies, and health care have all changed the pharmacy landscape. And, as an independent pharmacy, you have to continue to change the way you do business to stay ahead of the game. As I was once told, "No change, no change." So what things can you do to impact change in your pharmacy? Certainly modernizing it can make a big impact on customer perception, and more importantly, the efficiency of your staff and store.
One of the hottest topics these days in retailing is mobile technology. Mobile technology for point-of-sale is really cool. And utilizing it in a pharmacy setting today can elevate you above the big box store competition, allowing you to provide a level of service and personal customer experience that chain stores just can’t. However, as great as mobile technology is, I completely get that it might not be for everyone just yet, or applicable in every situation. But it seems that all the latest technology innovations are being funneled towards mobile hardware and software applications. So what do you do if you’re not ready for mobile technology but you don’t want to be left behind?
Well there’s good news. Mobile is new, innovative and trending up. And don’t for a second get me wrong, I love it. But it’s not the only thing out there that’s a modern, relevant solution for pharmacy point-of-sale needs. Here are a few of my favorite hardware solutions for keeping your pharmacy up to date in today’s technology landscape.
All -in-one touch screen computers- All-in-one systems are a sleek, contemporary solution for meeting your PC needs. They combine all the power of a standard desktop CPU with a built in touch screen monitor and cable management systems for all of your peripheral hardware. They are optimal for use with till applications where most of the work done is barcode scanning and quick on screen selections. They also take up less counter space than a traditional desktop PC and monitor, not to mention they look much more professional sitting on your counter.
Small form factor PC’s- If all-in-one systems aren’t for you, but counter space is a concern, consider small-form factor PC’s. These PC’s can run your pharmacy point-of-sale application without issue but are literally the size of a paperback novel. They can be mounted under counters or to walls for out of the way storage. Just make sure you have some airflow around the PC as they are fanless and may get a little hot in tight quarters.
LCD Displays- Having a display that shows your customers items and prices as they are rung up is a feature that many consumers have come to expect from their retail shopping experience. This does not have to be limited to a 3”x8” digital readout. Instead, a secondary display can be added to your point-of-sale system allowing not only a comprehensive presentation of the transaction, but giving you real-estate to place advertisements, promotions etc. Not only can this option help you drive sales, it’s also a much more modern layout.
Fingerprint log in- Securing your point-of-sale system properly means having a secure, strong password, utilizing upper and lowercase as well as numbers or special characters that changes every 90 days. It also means that the application shouldn’t be left logged in between transactions as it leaves room for unauthorized access if a clerk steps away from the register without logging out. But entering a strong password at every transaction slows down your transaction processing speed and is an all-around pain. Instead of painstakingly entering passwords, try biometric fingerprint reader functionality. Just enter a 2 digit code, touch your finger to the reader and secure access is granted. Learn more about biometric capabilities here.
Advanced scanning capabilities – More and more states now require controlled substance tracking for Pseudoephedrine products and the trend is gaining ground. This means that when a product containing Pseudoephedrine is purchased, driver’s license information must be entered to log and track the purchase. Doing this manually is not only time consuming, but it leaves room for error. Using a 2D barcode scanner, you can scan the 2D barcode that is present on the back of most state driver’s licenses to automatically parse the ID information into the system.
Finally, I do have to say, that you can’t really talk about a modern POS system without at least advising you to take a moment to rethink mobile technology in your pharmacy. Use it for drive-thru windows, curbside pickup service, line busting and more. The possibilities are pretty much endless and the technology can make a great addition to your independent pharmacy. Learn more about RMS’ mobile product, Evolution POS, by clicking here. If you’re still not quite ready for mobile technology but would like to investigate the hardware updates described above, or just talk to one of our experts about the best upgrades for your pharmacy, we’re standing by to chat anytime.
Karen Deckard came to RMS with a background in retail and customer service, and was initially brought on board as a Sales Assistant and managed IIAS certifications for RMS's pharmacy POS customers. Today, Karen works as a Customer Success Manager, striving to provide independent and institutional pharmacies with the tools and resources they need to succeed in today's competitive pharmacy market.