Best Practices

Data Is NOT a Four-Letter Word

Okay... data IS a four-letter word. But it's not a bad one! It's actually your pharmacy's most valuable tool. Are you making the most of it?

The last month of the year can be jam-packed for all kinds of reasons. Vaccine clinics, Medicare Open Enrollment, cold & flu season and the holidays can combine to make the perfect storm of crazy-busy for pharmacies.

Your store may be a retail destination, a center for health & wellness needs, or all of the above (and more). The programs you offer, your front-end products and the community you serve will all have an influence on what the season looks like for you.

Whatever your business model (or your busy model) is... the key to navigating it is using the tools you have available to plan ahead and make life easier.

There are a lot of different tools you can use, but among the most powerful are reports. The actual metrics from your pharmacy can tell you all kinds of things about staffing, product mix and profitability. And once you know what the numbers actually are, you can act on them to grow profits, improve efficiency and build a more customer-centric pharmacy.


There are some days that just feel busier than others. But to really know for sure what one day looks like compared to another, or even from hour to hour, you need the numbers. You need to know what days of the week are busiest, if there are hours of the day where traffic is heavier, and what your overall average transactions are for any given span of time. This information helps you decide on staffing, know when you can plan on doing projects, and if your store hours are optimal from season to season.

Product Movement

Consumer shopping habits change with the seasons. This is one of the reasons why major retailers change their store layouts, and even the products they carry, throughout the year. Planograms from your buying groups can certainly help, but because each individual community is different, there’s no way to know exactly what you should carry without the numbers.

Look at what moves the most and what moves the least. Maybe you have products that don’t move at all. For your top movers, you might want to change your max on-hand quantity to help keep the shelves stocked. For products that aren’t moving, you can try a few things to increase sales, like moving product placement or reviewing competitor pricing (be sure to note when a change was made and monitor the impact). However, if nothing changes, you might need to start thinking about clearing out those products. RMS users can watch this video to see how to easily set up clearance sales.


Product movement is wonderful. It will let you know what people buy in your store the most. But, just because a product is moving doesn’t mean it’s making you money. That’s why the Gross Profit Return on Investment (GPROI) is one of the most important metrics you can have in your pharmacy. By dividing your gross profit by average inventory cost, it measures the amount returned on every dollar invested in pharmacy inventory. This number will tell you without a doubt which departments and products are the most profitable in your pharmacy, based on the money you’re actually making. If you’re an RMS customer and want to know how to access this data through your point-of-sale system, check out this tutorial.

The final note on these data points is that accuracy and accessibility matter. Your point-of-sale solution has to start with the right foundational information to provide an output that’s correct and useful. Once that foundation is built, the final piece of the puzzle is making sure your reports are readily available. The last thing you want is to go sifting through spreadsheets to find the right points, or to remake the wheel every time you want a report or piece of data for your accountant. This is where automated canned and customizable reports are really beneficial.

Looking for more? Contact us today to see how point-of-sale data powered by RMS can help your pharmacy during every season of the year!

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