Discount Drug Stores has named its Pharmacy of the Year and announced a series of transformations to its customer service model, at its 2016 national conference in Sydney.
The group’s top pharmacy is Balwyn North Discount Drug Store; the award recognises the exceptional customer service Balywn North offers its customers.
“Our brand values and core mission at Discount Drug Stores is about making a positive difference to our customers’ and community’s wellbeing, and no store embodies or exemplifies those values more than the team at Balwyn North Discount Drug Store,” says DDS executive general manager Douglas Kuskopf-Dallas.
“It’s this dedication to their customers and to providing their community with quality healthcare services which has seen them beat out over 140 other stores in our network to win the Pharmacy of the Year award.”
A number of finalists and award winners from multiple categories were also honoured at the event. Sunny Park Discount Drug Store was awarded the National Professional Services Award, Waikiki Discount Drug Stores took out the National Marketing Excellence Award, and Kings Langley Discount Drug Store was named for the Service Excellence Award.
For the first time, individuals were also honoured at the event, with Trang Quach of Kings Langley Discount Drug Store names Pharmacist of the Year, Mary Martella of Mandurah Discount Drug Stores named Pharmacist Assistant of the Year, and Rhonda Tilley of Toongabbie Discount Drug Store named Retail Manager of the Year.
Meanwhile, Kuskopf-Dallas says it has been a challenging year for the pharmacy industry but Discount Drug Stores is adapting it service offering and embracing innovation and technology to better serve their customers.
“We have always placed significant emphasis on our professional services to deliver strong healthcare advice to our customers, and with the recent PBS reforms putting more focus onto professional services, we will continue to help our pharmacists find new ways to spend more time with our customers,” he says.
The company is investing in a Nostra Data analytics platform to help with the reporting of store performance, and announced a partnership with Next Level, which offers dispensary workflow training and innovations, designed to enable pharmacists to spend more time on the shop floor with their customers.
The company also announced an extensive marketing push to be rolled out this year, offering franchisees a strong pharmacy brand with both buying power and media spend backing their investment.
“Discount Drug Stores is one of a handful of true retail pharmacy brands who are comprehensively marketing to consumers. This is a distinct difference to the many banner groups who are either not marketing to consumers at all, or are actually pulling back on what little marketing spend they do invest in,” Kuskopf-Dallas says.
“Sigma’s backing enables us to provide corporate services including financing, human resources and learning and development expertise to Discount Drug Stores franchisees, providing vital business support so franchisees can spend less time in the books and more time on providing excellent service to customers,” he says.
“We’re also delighted through the Sigma corporate strength to launch a new sleep apnoea service to members, in partnership with APSS.”
As well as transforming customer service, Discount Drug Stores also donated over $37,000 to charity and announced the sponsorship of two new puppies for Assistance Dogs Australia, having already raised over $237,700 for charities since 2012.
Finally, DDS also announced its supplier of the year at the conference.
The top award went to Johnson & Johnson, which also won the Health & Lifestyle Supplier Award and Medicines Supplier Award. L’Oréal was named Beauty Supplier of the Year, while Proctor & Gamble took out the General/Front Shop Supplier Award.