The New Year is a great time to look at your past challenges and success and make resolutions to improve in 2018. For independent pharmacy owners, it is a great time to optimize your pharmacy inventory management system.
Even if you have no issues with your current inventory management system, the start of the year is a good time to evaluate and identify any room for improvement.
Pharmacy Inventory Management Audit
The most important thing you can do in 2018 is to perform a pharmacy inventory audit. While your inventory management system may be good at tracking exactly what you have in your pharmacy inventory, it’s important to periodically review your inventory to confirm exactly what you have in stock. This can also help you identify any expired or near-expired medications, signs of damage to packaging, or any products that don’t match purchase orders.
Once you have a complete understanding of your pharmacy inventory, here are 3 changes you can make to your pharmacy inventory management system in 2018:
Implement Cycle Counting
While an annual pharmacy inventory audit is good, it doesn’t allow you to act quickly to inventory issues or opportunities. Cycle counting is a great way to get a more continuous understanding of which products are moving quickly and what orders need to be filled.
Cycle counting involves taking a pharmacy inventory of various parts of your inventory throughout the year. With this system you focus on your fastest moving products more frequently and only do a full pharmacy inventory audit periodically (yearly or quarterly).
Leverage 340B Drug Pricing Programs and Short-dated Rx
The biggest benefit to fully understanding your inventory and having an accurate pharmacy inventory management system is the ability to take advantage of drug pricing programs and short-dated Rx.
The 340B drug pricing programs are expected to rise in use in 2018. However, they do have strict requirements that might not make them an option for every pharmacy. Participating in 340B will:
- Increase audits
- Add complexity to pharmacy operations
- Provide significant cost savings
Another way to reduce pharmacy inventory costs is through overstock and short-dated Rx. If you have a good handle on what products you’ll need and when, it makes it much easier and more profitable to improve pharmacy margins with these methods.
Utilize Inventory Analytics and Data
2018 will also see an increase in the use of the data and analytics provided by pharmacy inventory management systems. Hopefully by now you have implemented some form of pharmacy inventory management software that automates certain inventory tasks and provides you insights into your inventory and purchasing trends.
This inventory data can all be used in 2018 to increase operational efficiency and allow you to better anticipate inventory needs and trends.
Looking for more ways to improve your pharmacy inventory management system? Check out our 2018 Buyer’s Guide for Pharmacy Owners.