The Deliveryman’s Importance has Grown Exponentially

By
Jonathan Jacobs
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The Delivery Service-Expanding their role in your stores’ success…

Pharmacies and more specifically mom and pop (independent) pharmacies have been providing delivery service to their customers for as long as we can all remember.  Getting important medications to customers at their homes via delivery service plays an important role in a stores’ success and line of communication between themselves and the community they serve.  However, now in our current societal ‘closing’ to prevent the spread of COVID-19, delivery’s importance and role in your stores’ success has grown exponentially.

Gone are the days when a pharmacy’s delivery person is just someone capable of riding a bike or driving a van.  The normal expectation of the store owner or PIC-Pharmacist in charge of the delivery-person was to simply deliver the prescriptions with a notebook or more recently, a handheld device. Then they would scan a prescription bar code and when prompted by the device, collect a signature and possibly co-payment and adjudication of such transaction via a credit card to be processed or the collection of cash for said co-payment. A simple greeting and/or a drop-off of the medication was usually all the encounter encompassed.  At a time when we’re all taking steps to self-quarantine and socially distance ourselves from others, it should come as no surprise that delivery services are seeing a surge in the business of pharmacy. Companies like DoorDashUber Eats and Postmates have benefited from the current state of affairs, bringing our favorite foods, beverages, and even groceries directly to our doors.

Those services are making it much easier to weather the storm, allowing many people to remain inside and away from large crowds, potentially safeguarding their health in the process. But what about those who need to venture out to the pharmacy in order to have an important prescription filled?

According to reports, those with preexisting health conditions are more susceptible to the coronavirus, making any public outings potentially dangerous. Thankfully, prescription delivery services are a viable option, with several companies offering ways of getting medications directly to the patient.

Pandemic and Beyond

This has certainly changed quite quickly! Once the government shut down most public places and labeled pharmacies as “essential”, the game changed.

  • Commuting to and from your local pharmacy to refill medication isn’t always a viable option — especially if you need to stay away from large crowds and safeguard your health.
  • Thankfully, there are plenty of prescription delivery services that offer same-day, next-day, or same-week shipping of prescription medications, allowing you to refill what you need from the comfort of your home.
  • Along with third-party services like PillPack or ZipDrug, many drug store pharmacies like Walgreens or CVS offer their own prescription delivery service — and this perk often comes standard to existing customers.
  • Due to the spread of COVID-19, and a rise in demand for delivery services, some of the delivery estimates for each service in this guide may actually be longer than what’s listed.

Vital Service-The Frontline

The deliveryman just became, in many situations, your most customer-facing employee!  Your stores’ verbal and physical attachment to all your customers accepting deliveries just went from you and your pharmacy technicians to the deliveryman!  You can use he or she for much-needed communication and dare I say sales?  This person was more than capable of being trusted with important medications and following instructions on a PED previously… why can’t they also deliver circulars with sale information? Or remind the customers when at the door, that previously unthought-of front-end purchases of cleaning items, paper towels, or any of the stores front end items that are available. Marcus Wilson of Integrity Pharmacy explained “though my operation is of the closed-door nature, my delivery person is essential in letting our ALF customers know about store items we can deliver and seasonal specials and items such as Easter chocolate and or toothpaste on sale. When customers communicate back with us through the phone and or refill requests and ask for previously unrequested item’s, I know it’s due to the delivery person’s efforts. That is a direct contribution to my stores’ success.”

Wilson also went on to explain the virtue of also rewarding the efforts of those previously only hourly paid employees.  “These are often employee’s that may not have had access to earn additional dollars with an incredible opportunity for themselves.” The ability to increase a business’ revenue be it in small doses is good old fashion business, one customer, at a time. The delivery driver has benefited from this crisis and of course, when properly protected can continue to help your operation adapt and grow in this ever-changing economy and healthcare system.  A search on the internet today revealed 74 positions locally available for pharmacy delivery drivers.  Delving deeper into these listings, many local NYC jobs require only riding a bicycle as a necessary skill.  Surprising to see that though most listings ranged in compensation from hourly wages between $13-$20 to what I would indicate as higher compensated delivery positions with a drivers’ licenses required starting at $45,000!

Joe Navarra who owns Town Total Compounding in Woodbury Long Island noted that his delivery people deliver vital information regarding when prescriptions are refillable.  The mere fact that he or she is out there on the front lines representing your operation dictates that store owners need to aim a bit higher for these positions.  “My delivery people’s communication helps maintain our customer’s compliance with a verbal reminder but the friendly face and the information they (the delivery person) deliver is what sets us apart.  The other services we can provide such as blood pressure monitoring and specific counseling we can bill for, our delivery people are most important in letting our customers know are available. The delivery people can sell for you if they are trained properly”.

The CDC is constantly updating their website with the most relevant information related to COVID-19. As the conversation and recommendations by the CDC change, pharmacies nationwide are taking quick actions to ensure public safety. The entire team at Point of Care Systems wishes everyone well through this crisis and beyond. Please remember to maintain social distancing and to always support Independent Pharmacy in your community.

Please contact us to discuss how our Pharmacy Management System at Point of Care Systems can work for you. To begin a discussion or schedule a demo please click the below link. I look forward to speaking with you soon. -JJ

Jonathan Jacobs

National Sales Manager

Point of Care Systems

Holbrook, NY 11741

jjacobs.rx@pocsrx.com

Additional Resources: 

27+ Restaurant Chains With Free Delivery

How to Become an Immunization Pharmacist

 

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