NCPA Executive Update

NCPA Executive Update delivers insights on legislative, regulatory, policy, and industry developments from NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, Pharmacist, MBA, to NCPA members and pharmacy leaders every Friday.

'Do You Know What Time It Is?' | NCPA Executive Update | November 4, 2016

by NCPA | Nov 04, 2016

Dear Colleague,

Doug Hoey

We careened into the parking lot practically on two wheels—typical for us on a hectic Sunday morning trying to get to church on time. The whole family was baffled to see that the parking lot was mostly empty. Then we realized—daylight saving time ended that night!

We are reasonably bright people so how we missed adjusting our clocks, I can't explain. Of course, we'll never forget again. Do you know what time it is for your pharmacy? Just in case you might have lost track, here are a few things it's time to do for your business.

Time for a business physical. That means evaluating the biggest drivers of profitability for your business—personnel costs, cost of goods, and your third party contracts. When was the last time you looked at any or all of these three profit drivers? The 2016 NCPA Digest, sponsored by Cardinal Health, shows, not surprisingly, that those pharmacies that manage their personnel costs the best are often some of the most profitable.

For cost of goods and third party contracts, are you in sync with your buying group, wholesaler, and PSAO? All three should be motivated to help your business be successful. Are you making time to take advantage of some of the programs they offer that could squeeze out a few more basis points that could mean the difference between a good year and a bad year?

Are pharmacies in your state developing local pharmacy enhanced services networks? If you're not already a part of this movement, time to check into it and contact them.

Time to synchronize meds—One of the many excellent speakers from last month's NCPA Annual Convention has described the key success indicators he sees in reviewing pharmacy financials. Number one on that list currently is medication synchronization programs like NCPA's Simplify My Meds®. He noted that pharmacies involved with med sync were having success overcoming some of the economic challenges pharmacies are facing. According to the Digest, 83% of community pharmacies are doing med sync but we know that some of those 83% are more committed than others. If you are on the fence or dabbling in med sync, it's time to take it up a notch or two by making sure your staff is trained, engaged, and enrolling patients who would benefit from being synced. Med sync allows you to better schedule your staff workload, more effectively manage your inventory and manage your time better, too.

Time to spend some time on yourself—Remember it's time to "fall back." That means the gift of an "extra" hour. There's a good chance that you can really use that extra hour. Most people can. Being a small business owner likely means you already don't feel like there are enough hours in the day. Well, this Sunday you get one back. Consider gifting yourself at least a little time each week to break out of your work routine and think differently about your business and its operations. The Annual Convention is the pinnacle of the numerous opportunities NCPA offers members to reinvigorate themselves and their businesses, but there are others throughout the year that will appeal to owners focused on accelerating the implementation of a variety of business aspects.

Flashback to the scene in the parking lot. We had an hour to kill so we went to a nearby McDonald's and had breakfast. Time got away from us. Instead of being early we wound up being our typical tardy selves. We found an hour….and then lost it. Learn from our mistake. Know what time it is and take full advantage of it for yourself and your business.

Doug Hoey