Getting smart about delivery
COVID-19 presents a variety of challenges for the healthcare industry, many of which are no longer limited to strictly clinical settings. One of the most pressing challenges of today exists within the vast world of retail pharmacy.
Like grocery stores, it has been essential for pharmacies to stay open during the pandemic. Unfortunately, keeping pharmacies open, while it may serve some consumers well, does not address the issue of servicing consumers who are too vulnerable to venture out into stores safely. There are also some segments of consumers who are simply unwilling to risk going into stores while the virus thrives. Whatever the reason, there is a significant portion of consumers who rely on deliveries to get their medications and other drug store essentials.
Industries like grocery and retail have pivoted quickly to adopting top-notch delivery services to consumers. While major drug stores and pharmacies are certainly doing the same, there is still so much room for improvement in delivery services, and some of the smaller retail pharmacies and drug stores may simply not have the resources to power a legitimate delivery service for their customers.
Add to this reality the fact that the Amazon-originated concept of same-day delivery has shifted consumer expectations (to the point where they want everything now) and we are left with a bit of disconnect between what consumers want and what pharmacies can deliver, no pun intended.
When medications run low, the sense of urgency in getting them refilled is arguably much stronger than the need to replenish low inventory household items. The consequences of running out of medications can even be dangerous for some people. The pandemic situation we all now face sheds even more light on these challenges, especially as people forgo in-person pharmacy pickup and begin to rely heavily on pharmacy delivery services.
Further, with Amazon’s entrance into the pharmacy industry, not only does a legitimate delivery service meet the needs of many consumers during the pandemic, but it can mean the difference between thriving and surviving as a business.
Technology may be drug stores’ saving grace in helping them thrive. It can power pharmaceutical deliveries, meeting consumers’ ever-increasing expectations for the same level of customer experience they receive when they order other products to be delivered to their homes. Innovation will be pivotal in making improvements to the retail pharmacy delivery cycle, ensuring consumers everywhere have their needs met and receive their medications when and where they want them delivered.
Cutting-edge delivery orchestration and management technology can eradicate some of the more pressing issues in the pharmacy delivery cycle, giving pharmacies more control and end-to-end visibility into their delivery operations, as well as improving the customer experience by increasing delivery speed and agility with real-time visibility and notifications.
From a pharmacy perspective, technology can improve delivery capacity and efficiency at scale, ensuring every aspect of the delivery process is seamless and void of complications. The local drug store chain can leverage modern technology to quickly implement delivery solutions to extend reach to an entire network of millions of delivery drivers. Suddenly, with the aid of advanced machine-
learning and automation technologies, lack of internal resources for delivery services are no longer a roadblock between a business and its customers.
Technology has the power to democratize delivery services for pharmacies, while enabling them to keep control of their own data, essentially adding cutting edge digital capabilities to pharmacies’ existing assets and yielding actionable insights to help pharmacies make more informed decisions when it comes to their delivery cycles, such as optimizing dispatch and routing.
In turn, more streamlined delivery operations help improve the customer experience, expediting deliveries while providing excellent service and real-time transparency into delivery progress. Elevating delivery in retail pharmacy ultimately helps improve health outcomes and overall satisfaction something every pharmacy should be concerned with.
Mike Weber is the director of enterprise solutions for Bringg.