Pharmacist Has Formula For Success

Running a #RetailForward pharmacy means focusing on convenience, prices, and, ultimately, people. Find out how Jim’s focus on service put his pharmacy on the map.

How do you go from not even being the top pharmacy in your area to being in the top 10 nationwide? (And winning a divisional pharmacy of the year award while you’re at it.)

Jim P., pharmacy manager, Store 1463, Xenia, Ohio, made it happen. And all it took was some entrepreneurial thinking and some extreme customer service. Read on for his take on how.

Make a Business Plan

First, I gather information from the company meetings at the beginning of the year and ask, “What will apply to my community?” I then develop a business plan. From there, the two basic things are having a sense of urgency and execution and making sure you’ve empowered your associates with the knowledge of where you are, where you want to be, and how you’re going to get there.

Do Whatever It Takes

Walmart has done a fantastic job with their $4 and $10 prescription lists, but it’s up to us to use that. When a patient comes in and can’t afford a prescription, we ask, “Will you allow me to call your physician to see if we can get an alternative?” When you’re running efficiently, you have the time to go above and beyond for the customer. The results:

  1. You’ve provided the patient the medicine they need.
  2. You’ve impressed them with your customer service.
  3. You’ve most likely built customer loyalty.

Recruit From Your Front Porch

Nothing’s more critical to the business than long-term associates. I hire almost exclusively from within the store. We’re looking at a talent pool every day. I observe associates. I get to know them on the floor. Then when I have an opening, I know who my next associates are going to be, because I already know their work ethic and how they interact with customers. 

"The most important part of a pharmacy manager’s position is quarterbacking every minute of every day, continually moving your people out to the customer."

Always Watch the Line

The most important part of a pharmacy manager’s position is quarterbacking every minute of every day, continually moving your people out to the customer. If we have two people in line, we’re sending people up. If a customer can’t pick up a prescription in a timely fashion, they don’t care how quickly you filled it. It requires a sense of urgency.

Detail the Community

Countless patients have said to me, “My doctor told me to come to you.” That’s because my first month on the job, I went to every physician’s office in my area and introduced myself as the new Walmart pharmacy manager and let them know the services we offer. It’s up to us as pharmacy managers to say, “We’re here, and this is why we’re better than the competition.” If I had to pinpoint one thing that caused our growth, that would be it.

For more stories, advice, and inspiration, download your copy of the Winter issue of Walmart World here!

 
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