It is estimated that home-delivery of medications are offered by nearly85% of community pharmacies. High-touch pharmacy service comes at a price and as customer demand for delivery speed and flexibility grows, pharmacies must find new ways to optimize their last mile operations and make them as lean and cost-efficient as possible.
Several aspects of home-delivery operations factor into the steps retailers can take to keep costs down without compromising the customer experience:
There is a growing trend for community pharmacies to build the OTC sales by providing fast customer deliveries. For example, Amazon created 58 Amazon Prime Now hubs in the US last year to fulfill same-day instant deliveries. While few retailers have the resources to create their own urban warehousing network, there’s still opportunity for pharmacies to start building their e-commerce business and beat big-box stores and online store at their own game.
This element includes the time frame, order size, delivery scope and mileage, making congestion, or inefficient route planning, hidden costs that add up to even more last mile expenses. Pharmacies need to pay closer attention to route optimization and truck or car capacity. Fuel and driver costs can escalate and easily get out of hand – a great service shouldn’t come at the expense of a company’s ability to remain profitable!
The number of individual SKUs, packaging needs, order fulfillment time, and amount of orders are at the heart of any retail delivery operation. The future possibility in which fulfillment will performed by everyone from manufacturers and major 3PLs to an Uber-esque network of independent packers, drivers and small parcel shippers. Packaging will play a bigger role than ever in ensuring product integrity and an ideal customer experience no matter whose hands touch each order first, third or last.
While we can see a lot of headlines about how robots, drones and self-driving cars will reshape the delivery industry, they’re still a few years away from becoming a feasible resource for most retailers. However, there’s currently a huge wave of tech innovation in which is empowering community pharmacies with software solutions that can be implemented immediately and are focused on tracking, managing and optimizing the last mile – and pharmacies must take advantage of these to remain relevant and profitable, not to mention the delivery record in case of PBM audits. DoorstepRx® can help you grow and thrive.