Pharmacy businesses should have a clear vision and a business plan: ‘Without the vision you will not get anywhere,’ John D’Arcy, Numark’s managing director, told delegates at the group’s conference in Buenos Aires last month.

There are three critical success factors for pharmacies moving forward, he suggested – ensuring profit in the business, great customer service and making best use of pharmacy IT. He described the current situation for pharmacy as a ‘hostile environment’. Businesses can’t stay the same or wait for change to happen and then respond. ‘We’ve got to move that reactivity to being proactive.’ Service delivery remains an opportunity and needs to be made happen ‘en masse on the ground’, he suggested.

The IT system in a pharmacy ‘should be at the heart of your business’, he said. The level of customer service a pharmacy offers determine whether or not people come back to you, he said. ‘Patients are going to judge pharmacies on customer service.’

Be clear that you explain to staff about the vision for your pharmacy, in this and other areas, he added. ‘We’ve got work harder and harder for the money we’ve got. A lot of people would have you believe that profit is a dirty word. It’s not. It’s a business and the key thing is to make a profit,’ he said. Numark has 2,500 independent pharmacy members. ‘Make full use of Numark, he said. ‘We want to help you in profitable business.’

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