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Inventory: The Largest Overhead for Independent Pharmacies and How to Get it Under Control

Inventory: The Largest Overhead for Independent Pharmacies and How to Get it Under Control

Inventory is the largest carrying cost within an independent pharmacy. Knowing this alone should make managing, shopping and mitigating risk with regards to the inventory you purchase, needs to be a priority. Too many pharmacies are running blind when it comes to keeping track of the dollars and cents sitting on their shelves. Datascan’s Pharmacy Management Software and point of sale system offers built-in inventory management and reporting features to help you better manage your OTC items and prescription drug inventory. Utilizing these software features properly will ensure your pharmacy is not over-ordering or sitting on slow moving or out of date items.

Did you know that Datascan’s Winpharm and POS software systems are designed to perpetually keep track of physical inventory and medications in your pharmacy? What that means, is anytime you pull up an item, the quantity on hand is your physical inventory count for that item. As you dispense medications or sell items in your pharmacy, the inventory is then deducted based on units dispensed or sold. In order to simplify the process, Datascan offers free EDI for updating inventory with your wholesalers. Purchase orders can either be manually created by scanning or entering drugs, or, you can set reorder points to auto create the purchase order. You can receive invoice files directly into the system to update the quantities you’ve received and also update any cost changes. NDC updates and OTC item updates are tracked and stored historically in both systems. While creating these purchase orders for your pharmacy, Datascan’s system can shop between your wholesalers to help show who has the best pricing on the products you need. In fact, you can turn on an option to automatically shop and choose the best priced vendor for that item.

Ordering products when you actually will need them is easy with Datascan’s sales forecasting tools and inventory reorder points. You can pin point your usage and look back over periods of time to determine if there are peaks and lows with certain medications, or just get a better idea of your overall usage so you can stock exactly what you need, without over ordering.

Here are 7 key features that Datascan offers to help you manage inventory and build profitability in your pharmacy:

1: Datascan’s EDI Interchange for creating and receiving purchase orders:  Use this to create and receive orders right into your POS system. When you receive the order, inventory is automatically updated with the actual cost you paid, for accurate reporting and a better profit picture when dispensing medications.

2:  Datascan’s Shopping tool to search for the best prices on products across multiple vendors:  Make sure you shop for the best price for any given item across multiple vendors. Saving money on your purchasing alone can cover the cost of the entire Datascan Pharmacy Software and POS system. This can be setup to be done automatically for all of your inventory.

3:  Datascan’s inventory forecasting tool to prevent over ordering:  Why order a bunch of expensive prescription drug inventory for your independent pharmacy or dispensary without knowing how much you really need or plan to run through? Why would you want the risk of expiring drugs or dead inventory sitting on your shelves? Use Datascan’s forecasting tool helps you order just what you really need to run your business, reduce waste, and free up cash flow.

4:  Datascan’s expired drug log auto run: Give yourself the opportunity to easily identify drugs on your shelf that you can either return, or sell prior to them being dumpster worthy. Remember that running a pharmacy isn’t just about how many prescriptions or OTC items you sell in a given day, it’s also about the waste you can curtail. Datascan’s pharmacy software and point of sale system can really help with all of this – you just need to use the tools provided to you.

5:  Datascan reports to identify slow moving inventory: On the prescription drug side, this can help you order less and lower waste on the shelves. On the pharmacy OTC side, why waste precious shelf space, or “real estate” that you’re paying for, if the items are slow to sell? Perhaps you could replace that item with something your customers want by digging into their needs more. Sometimes it’s not just about the standard OTC medications and standard pharmacy items — but offering unique boutique like items they would never find in the local chain. That is what will keep them coming back and hopefully impulse purchasing something they may not have even come in looking for!

6:  Datascan’s ability to identify and target when you will need expensive drugs for dispensing: Why pay for it now if you don’t need it for 2-4 weeks or possibly longer? Use the reporting tools to look at the expensive inventory, the patients using it, and their frequency of use. Buy these drugs when you need them instead of always keeping them on your shelf and tying up money you could be using elsewhere.

7:  Datascan’s automated vendor cost loads and PO’s for accurate reporting:  If your not doing this, how are you getting accurate inventory numbers in your pharmacy and POS software? More importantly, when you are either dispensing medication, selling an OTC item, or running reports to see your profitability, how is it accurate if the true cost you paid for these items are not even in the system? Using these tools will give you a much more accurate picture of your business – with PBM’s digging into your pockets and dwindling reimbursements, now is a better time than ever to implement and use the technology you are already paying for.

Use the technology and features that Datascan’s Winpharm Pharmacy Software and Datascan Point of Sale have to offer. They are designed to help you manage your inventory, avoid out of date items, and effectively order based on customer and patient demand. Getting a handle on your inventory will help alleviate unnecessary overhead and inventory costs, freeing up your time and money.