Dispensary system boosts stock visibility

Lloydspharmacy has developed a bespoke dispensary system for its 1,520 outlets that lets head-office staff see how much stock is held in its pharmacies and how medicines are being distributed.

Lloydspharmacy has developed a bespoke dispensary system for its 1,520 outlets that lets head-office staff see how much stock is held in its pharmacies and how medicines are being distributed.

It is believed to be the first such system adopted by a nationwide pharmacy chain.

The retailer, which has UK sales of £1.3bn a year, wants better visibility of its stock in each pharmacy in order to boost profitability, efficiency and free staff time to allow pharmacists to give more advice to customers.

Lloydspharmacy’s head of business intelligence, Ian Fereday, said, “We will see what is going out through the door and have a clearer understanding of the profitability of individual stores.”

When the dispensary system goes live across the stores later this year, staff at head office will be able to see how much working capital is tied up in each pharmacy.

The in-store system will feed the information into the head office business intelligence application, called Microstrategy 7.5, which also integrates with Lloydspharmacy’s merchandising execution system.

Although the retailer implemented a new electronic point of sale system less than four years ago, for this project it still needed to develop a separate dispensary system to provide Microstrategy with accurate store volumes.

Fereday said, “Using our bespoke application Compass, we will grab dispensary data out of the stores and integrate it within our business intelligence platform. The process within a pharmacy is very complicated and no one has delivered that process as an off-the-shelf application.”

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