Best Practices

Why & How to Implement An Active Recovery Program in Your Pharmacy

Learn how to project a professional and reliable image by keeping your shelves and displays clean, neat and well stocked.

Last week, we talked about the importance of your pharmacy’s image. Your image consists of many factors, including your building's exterior, lighting, signage, displays, and - our topic for today - overall cleanliness and bare or cluttered shelves.

Even if your store is in need of a remodel, you can still project a professional and reliable image by keeping your shelves and displays clean, neat and well stocked.

This seems like a simple enough step to achieve, but many pharmacies struggle with maintaining shelves that are well stocked, clearly labeled and dust-free.

The trick is not to recover or maintain your entire store in one go, but rather to break your store down into more easily manageable sections and define a set of tasks to be completed in each section on a rotating basis. This process (also known as cycle or active recovery) can help you resolve a number of common front-end issues.

First, you need to square away a few details.

Consider how you are ordering and maintaining inventory.

This will have an impact on whether inventory management is part of your cycle recovery processes. Is your ordering automated based on replenishment logic? I.e. sell one, replace one? Or is your ordering based on min/max logic, which requires much more precise inventory counts? This decision, and how granular you’d like to be with your counts, will determine if you should add inventory counts/verification during recovery.

Make a schedule.

Divide the store into easily manageable sections so you aren’t trying to recover an entire store in one day. Depending on your size, this could mean that the entire store gets touched once a month, with your more popular sections recovered more frequently. Check out your sales reports to see what products/departments are your top sellers and consider recovering those sections more often. Also, make sure you schedule specific times in the day and specific team members to complete the recovery process. You can review your transaction counts by day and time to see when it might be less busy, giving you more flexibility to assign out a team member for recovery activities.

A note on shelf labels.

If you don’t have shelf labels, you absolutely should. Individually stickering products is time consuming and a sure path to products that are labeled incorrectly. Label your shelves instead, but know that this process may be separate from your recovery processes. This is because your price updates will come through in one batch. Use your point-of-sale label program to only print labels for the items you carry and set effective dates for the price changes, so you have time to get labels on the shelf.

You’re all set to start your recovery program! Here are some of the things you should do:

1. Dust and clean.

Pick up debris in the area, dust the shelves and the products, as well. Give everything a good onceover even if it looks clean.

2. Stock as needed.

You’ll likely stock shelves as your totes come in but if you have backstock, or haven’t gotten your orders all out on the shelves, it’s a good time to fill up empty spots.

3. Declutter.

Clutter can be just as detrimental to the appearance of a display or shelf as a bare shelf, so if you have sections that are stuffed to the gills, pull some of that product back for a cleaner, more organized look.

4. Face your products.

Make everything nice and neat! Turn all the products to face forward and pull them to the front of the shelf.

5. Label as needed.

While your label maintenance for price changes may not be part of your recovery program, you can make note of labels that need to be replaced because they are missing or damaged. Also, if you have out of stocks, it’s a good time to put up signs noting the issue and perhaps proposing alternatives.

6. Count (if you’re going to).

If regular inventory counting will be part of your inventory management process, build it into the recovery process. Count products during this time to help keep inventory counts accurate, identify shrinkage, and more.

Ready to get started? RMS has the tools to help you implement and manage inventory control. From automated ordering and integrated shelf labels, to convenient handheld devices for inventory counting and all the reports you need, FrontEnd by RMS has you covered.

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