Every consumer in America is accustom to the point-of-sale (POS) systems that make purchasing goods a breeze at every big box store in the country. POS systems play an especially significant role in the pharmacy industry.
If you own a small pharmacy and are unsure of what can your pharmacy do with a POS system, other small pharmacy owners have found that it benefits the patient through refill management and the pharmacy by conveniently meeting HIPAA requirements, preventing fraud or conflicting prescriptions, and even managing inventories.
After asking, “What can your pharmacy do with a POS system?” and getting an answer that convinces you, you might still feel overwhelmed by the cost and options available. Fortunately, many small apothecaries and private pharmacies find that independent pharmacy software costs only a small fraction of the systems that major retail pharmacies use, if you avoid these mistakes:
- Selecting a POS provider that doesn’t understand independent pharmacy practices. Look for a provider who has ample experience with your exact kind of business. Also, make sure that all of your business processes are captured in the new system, so you can get a feel for how well the automation works during the demo phase.
- Not talking to other customers. Another benefit to using a POS provider who specializes in independent pharmacies is that you will be able to get references for other clients with similar needs who use the system your reviewing. If possible, visit other pharmacies who use the same version of the system that you would be getting, so that you can see how the business operates with it first-hand. Make sure to ask how implementation went, how they like the product now that it’s in place, and how efficient ongoing support is.
- Not getting thorough training. If you and your staff do not understand how to use the system to the full extent of it’s capabilities, it will end up becoming a fancy cash register. By investing a little extra in training, you will get a return-on-investment several times the money spent by maximizing the efficiency of the POS system.
- Letting price drive your decision. With both the POS hardware and the software, you’ll get what you pay for. Companies who offer unbelievable deals are able to do so because the components in their product are so cheap that they still make a profit. You’ll save a little upfront, but end up spending and arm and a leg on repairs and support when it doesn’t stand up to being used constantly for 18 hours a day, day in and day out.
- Choosing a system that has to be customized. After decades of development of POS systems specifically for millions of pharmacies just like yours, there is most likely a POS solution that meets all of your needs, right out of the box. If you use a solution that has to be customized, you will be unable to upgrade from the customized version without additional costly customization, and data integration to a new system in the future will nearly impossible.
Do you run a independent pharmacy that recently acquired a point-of-sale system? What can your pharmacy do with a POS system that it was unable to do without? Please share your experience in the comment section below.