Professional services vs professional service


How to get professional service right in six easy steps. Glenn Guilfoyle explains

A recent AJP article, We take a look at 12 key business-related findings and statistics from the 2016 UTS:Pharmacy Barometer, shows us that three (ie 25%) of its key findings are about professional services. 

As a keen student of, and stakeholder in the evolution of retail pharmacy, I have no doubt that those pharmacies that survive and thrive David Quilty’s “burning platform” will be exemplars of professional services delivery.

My concern is the degree to which “professional service” seems to be overlooked through the noise and fanfare surrounding “professional services”. No, I am not being tautological.

More than 250 studies of the health customer engagement experience and script processing efficiency across a broad cross-section of the Australian industry show how under-utilised pharmacy-only and pharmacist- only medications are. 

Indulge me to do some “join the dots” and put forward a thesis for your consideration:

  • The average number of S3 + S2 + unscheduled health product items (“non-script health products”) per script customer visit serves as a proxy to tell us the degree to which the staff:customer counter conversation generates a product based version complete solution for each script customer
  • The current industry average is 0.29 “added on” such products per script customer visit

Step 1 – run an observational data collection exercise for a few days…..instruct your cash and wrap staff to run a log to count the number of “added on” products for every script customer.  See how you compare to 0.29.

  • The average number of non-script health products per OTC customer visit serves as a proxy to tell us the degree to which the counter conversation generates a product based version complete solution for each otc customer
  • The current industry average is 1.18 “basket size” such products per OTC customer visit

Step 2 – run another observational exercise for a few days…..instruct your cash and wrap staff to run a log to count the number of these products for every OTC customer (ask the dispensary counter staff to drop a little colour card into the customer basket for customer flagging). 

See how you compare to the 1.18 industry average .

  • The average number of S2 + unscheduled health product items per “health gondola aisles” customer visit serves as a proxy to tell us the degree to which the self-selecting mid-store is working in parallel with counter conversations in generating further volume throughput of these types of products (notwithstanding that the gondolas cannot carry S3 medicines, nor in some states, S2)
  • The industry average on this ratio is currently unknown

However, a complete suite set of metrics in relation to all the above can be derived,  if each metric in the suite described above is “normalised” back to a “per script customer transaction” ratio. 

Step 3 – Run another observational, manual log over a few days again,  to get enough data to give you average number of script items per script customer visit. 

  • The national average is 1.9 – that is, 100,000 scripts per year, divided by an average of two script items per script customer processed shows 50,000 script customer visits/transactions annually  

See how you compare.

Click here to read Part 2 of this article.

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