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Improve and maintain accurate inventory

 

Are you confident that your pharmacy is maintaining accurate stock on hand records? If not, you may have a problem. One that can potentially flow on to other areas of your business and cause issues such as over or under stocking products, inaccurate reporting, inefficient use of staff time – all of which can ultimately impact your pharmacy’s cash-flow.

 

In this two-part blog post, we will first provide a simple and actionable stock management plan. In the second article, you can learn about Strategies to control your inventory.

 

Assess the efficiency of your current stock management processes

To understand whether your pharmacy has issues with its stock management processes and to identify the root cause of the issue, it is useful to undertake an audit of your current situation. In your audit, consider including questions such as:

  • How often do you count your stock (e.g. monthly, quarterly, annually) and is your stock on hand accurate?
  • Do you have a list of priority items that you stocktake more frequently? (e.g. high-cost items, short-dated products, top sellers)
  • What tools in your POS software can you use to manage your inventory? (e.g. setting MOQ and min/max thresholds, product catalogue to manage barcodes, stocktaking barcode scanner)
  • What reports are you reviewing before you place an order to ensure you are stocking the right items? (e.g. reports on seasonality sales, monthly sales, top sellers, KVI)
  • How effectively are you categorising products? (e.g. use category reports to ensure you have the right assortment of products in each category to meet demand)
  • What are your pain points? (e.g. theft, holding excessive stock, stock outs, duplicated stock cards)
  • Is there an easier way to receive stock? (i.e. as receipting orders is a time consuming activity we offer Minfos/Symbion SSCC Tote Identifiers integration to streamline the process. This feature makes it easy to receive multiple tote orders and locate high-cost items.)

 

Create an action plan

Once you have the answers to your audit, create a documented action plan that details:

  • Issues: outline the problems you have uncovered in your stock management processes
  • Improvement actions: list the actions you will take to address these problems from your audit
  • Responsibility: ask staff to volunteer or assign staff to tasks
  • Priority: assign a priority to each task – consider: risk, importance, benefit, time
  • Timeframe: decide how long each task will take and assign a completion date

 

Communicate the new inventory management processes

To effectively manage new inventory processes:

  • Let your staff know of the upcoming changes and capture their input
  • Update any process and procedure documents impacted by these changes
  • Allocate a segment of your staff meeting to discuss stock management
  • Organise training on any new processes that deviate from the old method

 

Looking to gain control of your inventory? Minfos software enables you to manage every aspect of your pharmacy – from dispense to retail. Let us show you a demo.

 

All advice provided is general in nature and is not intended as legal advice.