The rise in pharmacy deliveries is bringing great opportunities – and growing pains. Your customers’ expectations and audit pressures are only increasing, so the tools that worked before may not scale for more medication deliveries, more routes, and more drivers. You find yourself asking whether delivery management software could be worth it.
In short, yes. A delivery software created just for the needs of long-term care (LTC) pharmacies, to get medication from order to doorstep, really can save you enough time and money to be worth the initial investment. Let’s look at the real-world benefits of software for your pharmacy delivery service.
Efficient delivery. When it comes to delivery, people want it fast, on more days of the week, in tighter time windows…which can mean more lightly loaded vehicles driving more miles. Delivery software crunches data to automatically arrive at optimal routing. Delivery software designed for pharmacies can automatically create and geocode delivery addresses based on information provided by your pharmacy system. And it’s no great leap of logic to understand this saves on fuel and driver-related costs…which brings us to a second reason to invest in this software.
Profit margins. Research has shown that when you rely simply on spreadsheets and other basic tools to figure out complicated routing, your drivers may travel up to 30% more miles than they need to. That’s a lot of fuel and employee costs to tolerate. If you know your expense per mile, you can do the math on, say, just a 15% efficiency gain from using a tool designed specifically for pharmacy delivery.
Compliance. Further, you’re in a business where every delivered prescription requires a signature to ensure you get paid. That’s why LTC pharmacies say purpose-built delivery software is a huge benefit for them. It can reduce or eliminate proof of delivery related non-compliance fines. Software like DeliveryTrack eliminates digging through logs and manual paperwork to answer whether you delivered an item, or if someone actually got their prescription. It sends completed proof of delivery (including deliveries via UPS® or FedEx®) back to your pharmacy system. Instead of 30 minutes spent looking through delivery sheets or waiting for the driver to get back, you can print proof as soon as they deliver and get a signature – proof that files back to your pharmacy management system to become searchable by tote, manifest, or Rx. In tandem with certain pharmacy systems, you can do full delivery manifest reconciliation and have a crucial piece to a full audit trail.
Adaptability. Whether it’s audits or pandemics, it’s hard to argue that the pace of change is slowing down. It is increasingly critical to have the business tools that can keep up. Delivery routing software offers agility in the face of changes. It’s responsive to your pharmacy’s internal processes and can be used to mimic your current delivery process and build the routes you want (static, dynamic, STAT, or sweep). It can re-route drivers on the fly and avoid costly delays.
Accountability. Even as delivery software makes your pharmacy better able to adapt, it will also be better able to report on success. Increased accountability surrounding delivery is becoming the norm, and detailed reporting helps you demonstrate improvements and value to the business. Pharmacy delivery software can provide both real-time and historical metrics such as planned vs. actual routes taken and on-time performance.
Competitive advantage. Because delivery is now a more visible part of overall success, rather than just a cost to be managed, it’s also become a top competitive differentiator. LTC facilities may choose one pharmacy over another because of more appealing (or reliable) delivery options. By removing the guesswork from route planning and scheduling, delivery software helps get prescriptions there more predictably. The advantages?
- Sales and marketing can talk about your accurate, on-time delivery performance.
- Accounts payable works with more accurate information during invoicing.
- Customers stay with you.
- Revenue grows!
These positive outcomes are an important component to consider when you’re thinking about the ROI on new software for your pharmacy delivery service.
Key takeaway. It seems clear that delivery software streamlines the time-consuming tasks of calculating optimized routes, tracking in real time, capturing proof of delivery, and collating all the information for easy sharing. Ultimately, the best reason to invest in software for your LTC pharmacy delivery service is the freedom it gives you to serve customers better and win more of them.