Effects of automation?
Automation in the pharmacy creates space for four fundamental changes in the pharmacy:
1. Reduction in costs
Faster and more efficient processes in the back office allow the reorganisation of personnel and providing the possibility to respond more flexibly to any fluctuations.
The use of an Apostore automated picking system makes the management of slow-moving items and expiry dates easier and faster, and drugs no longer need to be written off. Handling errors due to the complexity of the changing discount contracts are minimised. With regular balancing of machine and goods management, stock discrepancies are found quickly and corrected immediately.
Physical stocktaking becomes obsolete when using an Apostore system.
2. Increased efficiency in inventory management
Experience has shown that with the introduction of Apostore automation, stock levels can be reduced by 10-15%. This freed-up liquidity has operating advantages: for example, for an extended use of cash discounts for wholesale invoices.
Since it is now possible to order smaller quantities of specific products, less packets are taken into storage but a greater variety of products. With less stock, the out of product rate is lowered (the average packet depth in Apostore-automated pharmacies is 1.4 to 1.9 packets per item).
Customer satisfaction increases and the expensive courier trips are reduced.
3. Increased sales through more customers
Packet dispensing at the sales counter eliminates the search in the drawers and the sales staff has more time for individual patients and at peak times, more patients can be served. In addition, the number of out of product incidents is reduced by the greater range of stock that became possible.
More regular customers can be gained through better advice and better prescription availability (the main expectation of patients visiting the pharmacy).
4. Higher margins through additional sales
In the time gained for the patient, more additional sales from the off-the shelf and especially from the over-the-counter assortment can be generated.
More relaxed and reorganised processes allow new business lines (cosmetics / nutrition advice / home delivery, etc.) to be set up or expanded, without increasing the staff.