We take a look at the future and the thirteen trends in last-mile delivery. And how they'll transform your operations in the years to come.
How to Achieve Uninterrupted Pharmacy Delivery in 2020
Learn how you can achieve an uninterrupted and on-demand delivery of pharmaceuticals, medicine, and medical equipment to customers or healthcare providers.
Supplying medicine and medical equipment to consumers is a time-sensitive process.
Any delay in the supply chain has a serious impact on the health of your customers.
If anything, the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus has exposed the risks in 2020. And the consequences if something doesn’t change.
In this article, we’ll show you the importance of uninterrupted pharmacy delivery and how to reach that goal.
We’ll also reveal a solution that can help you overcome all of the challenges of managing pharmacy delivery.
(But more on that later)
Right now, let’s take a look at the first step that you need to take.
5 Ways to Achieve an Uninterrupted Pharmacy Delivery
- Move your storefront online.
- Offer pharmacy delivery to your customers.
- Focus on customers remains important.
- Understand the difficulties of managing pharmacy delivery.
- Use delivery management software to optimize delivery.
Move your storefront online.
If the state of delivery in time of the coronavirus has shown us anything, it’s that there is a genuine need for a contactless purchase of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment.
Pharmacies have to allow customers to buy and refill prescription medication without stepping foot outside of their homes.
After all, it’s the only way social distancing is going to work.
But this disruption in the pharma industry had started even before the spread of the virus.
In fact, companies like Capsule had started offering consumers a chance to order their medicine online with same-day delivery in New York as early as 2016.
The initial success of the start-up prompted titans like Walgreens and CVS to establish online platforms, as well.
While Amazon entered the market with the acquisition of PillPack.
Still, customers remained reluctant to order a valuable commodity like prescription drugs online.
That’s why before 2020, only 1% of the total $275 billion in revenue that Pharmacy generates came from an online purchase.
But the trend is changing in favour of ePharmacy.
Now, if you want to know how to compete with Amazon delivery, Walgreens, CVS, and the likes, moving your storefront online is a key step in the process.
It’s also what your customers want.
Customers want the convenience of online shopping with immediate access to the purchase via a pharmacy delivery service.
And that’s exactly what you need to do next.
Offer pharmacy delivery to your customers.
Pharmacy delivery isn’t a new concept.
Community pharmacies and other small independent pharmacies have offered home delivery of medicine for as long as pharmacies have existed.
You too have probably delivered prescription medication to a loyal customer who is old or disabled at some point in time.
But by modern standards, this was only a small portion of the market.
These days, pharmacy delivery is the norm, and demand for it is growing at a rapid pace.
So much, in fact, that those same small independent pharmacies are finding it difficult to offer fast on-demand delivery with their existing business process.
And let’s face it, delivery isn’t a cheap operation.
So, the question comes to mind: is pharmacy delivery profitable?
The answer is YES, absolutely.
Like in retail or food delivery, your customers want convenience from their shopping experience.
And while it was easier for them to adopt home delivery of clothes and meals, the COVID-19 situation is helping consumers realize the same is true when it comes to their medicine.
For many consumers, online pharmacy delivery is fast-becoming as convenient as any other purchase delivery if not more so, especially when compared to visiting a brick-and-mortar store.
And statistics forecasts support this. By 2026, the global ePharmacy market size will grow to over $177 billion with a CAGR of 17.2%.
And if measures to stop the coronavirus pandemic as social distancing persist, pharmacy delivery will remain the only way you will be able to reach your customers.
That’s why it’s important to pay attention to what your customers want to get out of doing business with you.
Focus on customers remains important.
The pharma industry has always been consumer-centric.
Changing consumer behaviour is making it easier for small independent pharmacies to compete, despite the pressure from large enterprises.
First, consumers want choice when it comes to sourcing medicine.
Most people want to decide (with the help of their doctors) what type of medication they want to consume.
This is prompting consumers to turn away from generic or brand-name drugs to more quality products.
Pharmacies that can offer them will have the upper hand over their competitors.
In most cases, that means you can dedicate a lot more time and resources to provide a higher level of care.
It also means you can create high-trust relationships with your customers, making your services much more reliable (including pharmacy delivery).
Not to mention, this lets you anticipate the requirements of consumers.
For example, it lets you track and control inventory by aligning it to the supply chain.
That is becoming increasingly important when you want to maintain a reliable service, especially after the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus.
You can also listen to your customers’ pains and desires much easier than larger suppliers.
You can survey customers and incorporate services that customers truly want, such as ePharmacy platforms and home delivery.
And when it comes to pharmacy delivery, it’s a fantastic opportunity to grow your business.
That said, creating and maintaining a profitable delivery isn’t an easy task, and it doesn’t come without its challenges.
Understand the difficulties of managing pharmacy delivery.
The sudden spike in demand for pharmacy delivery is putting pressure on companies to introduce it as part of their service.
While it’s a great opportunity to generate revenue, you and I know it’s much more difficult than that.
To truly succeed, you will need to understand that pharmacy delivery depends on:
- Speed: Delivering medicine has to be fast. Significant delays can have major consequences on your customers’ health;
- Order allocation: A lot depends on your ability to ensure your customers receive the right brand of medicine, on the right day, and according to their doctor’s prescription;
- Inventory monitoring: Keeping track of inventory (to maintain stock) is a complex process that requires diligence in how you manage your supply chain. But it’s necessary if you want a reliable delivery service;
- Supply chain visibility: the complexity of supply chains in the pharma industry means you have to maintain control over how you source and deliver medicine across the entire network;
- Delivery transparency: both you and your customers have to know the location of every single delivery at any given moment to ensure a seamless transition from pick-up to drop-off;
- Delivery accuracy: Inaccurate delivery prevents you from providing a reliable delivery service. It also has a negative impact on customer satisfaction, as well as your cost-to-revenue balance;
- Communication: How well you can communicate with your delivery team and with customers, determines the success of each drop-off. You have to create a seamless flow of data internally, yet extend the line of communication between delivery agents and customers;
- Measuring key metrics in delivery logistics: Tracking and monitoring the performance of your delivery is vital if you want to maintain efficiency and cost-effectiveness. The only way to do that is to analyze key performance indicators of delivery logistics;
- Reverse logistics: Despite your best efforts, mistakes can still happen. Creating a fast and agile system that can overcome those issues will help you keep costs low and customer experience high.
If you overcome each of these challenges (and raise your delivery operations to another level), you will need to turn to technology for the answer.
Use delivery management software to optimize delivery.
Delivery management software is revolutionizing delivery across industries.
From retail to food delivery for restaurants, it is helping businesses realize their goals and those of their customers.
Besides being among the top delivery management trends for 2020, it is an increasingly important tool in last-mile delivery.
Not only that, but it can help you increase the status of your pharmacy delivery service.
For example, it can help you offer next-day or same-day delivery which matters so much to customers.
Deciding what type of software best fits your pharmacy isn’t easy.
But we can help.
We have everything you need to start improving your delivery.