Browsing through the news last weekend, a couple of stories caught my eye.

The first was about driverless cars. Not too many years from now, there will be vehicles on our roads making their way from point A to B with not so much as a human foot near the accelerator nor a finger on the steering wheel. My mind immediately turned to Saturday nights, and not having to pick up kids from parties. Bring on those cars!

A couple of clicks away was a (somewhat less inspiring) story about the closure of two large pharmacies in Rockhampton. I was saddened as I read on: money squandered, jobs lost, and what were likely to be long-held dreams shattered.

What do these two stories have in common? On the surface very little, but actually both relate to change and progress, and the need to be agile in an ever-changing world – regardless of the industry.

The pharmacy industry is under extraordinary pressure. Having worked as a pharmacist before, and having studied accountancy, I understand better than many the dynamics and drivers of profit and sustainability.

Accelerated PBS price disclosure and price cuts, increasing competition from discount pharmacies, and reduction of wholesaler discounts and generic rebates are just a few of the potholes that pharmacies have to navigate on the roads that are our current business landscape.

Bunkering down and hoping the “storm of change” will pass is not an option.

What’s required is long-term strategic thinking. To make up the lost profit from PBS price cuts and increasing competition, independent pharmacies are in a unique position to be a health destination. The traditional role of the pharmacist has to evolve if you want your pharmacy to remain profitable. Offering health services, some of which are funded by the government, will immediately increase your profit.

The pharmacy guild recently launched business support resources to assist pharmacists in planning and delivering health services. Offering health services such as vaccinations, clinical interventions, dose administration aid (DAA) management will make a real difference in your customers’ lives as well as boosting your net profit. A happy customer is free advertising – positive word of mouth is one of the best means of promoting your business.

Having the right advice and tools to measure and track the success of your strategy is more vital than ever. Even if your business is highly profitable, you must still manage your cash flow and predict the unpredictable.

Much like the driverless cars waiting just around the corner, it’s time to embrace change. Climb into the driver’s seat – even if the journey is a little daunting.

To discuss your pharmacy’s strategy to success, call MT for a complimentary review of your plans for the new financial year, cash flow position, and further areas you may not have considered...

Author: Shirin Haklar – Marsh Tincknell – Accountants Brisbane

I am an Accountant at Marsh Tincknell Accountants specializing in Pharmacy Accounting with 15 years’ experience as a Pharmacy Manager. I bring in depth knowledge and strategy to the Accounting for Pharmacy specialization. I hold a Diploma in Accounting, a Bachelor of Pharmacy and DMAS accreditation from the Australian Association of Consultant Pharmacy.

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