"Customer convenience is our top priority so having a technology partner like PDX with such a strong development team adds a bit of comfort for me."
Director of Pharmacy & HBC | Lunds & Byerlys
Thank you for agreeing to this interview. You are highly regarded as an experienced, hands-on customer satisfaction expert. Would you care to share some insights into customer preferences?
Customer shopping attitudes and choices have changed a great deal over the past few years. Retailers have adjusted by raising the bar on customer convenience. Social media has provided an extra platform to help with this challenge. From our pharmacy standpoint, we believe touch-points with our customers must be used deliberately and with a lot of careful consideration. For example, our pharmacists personally call our customers when their prescription is ready or if it needs a doctor’s approval…touching base with them on a regular basis. Building trust requires that we keep as much of a personal connection as possible. It’s the Lunds & Byerlys Pharmacy way.
We know that our customers have a choice of where to shop. We get it. It’s our challenge…I would say our opportunity, to be there for them every day. Someone they can trust. It’s not rocket science that the right technology is a big key to connecting with our customers so we have complete access to their health & wellness preferences with our PDX system. We want to offer them a personal touch in a high-tech world.
What keeps you up at night?
That’s a good question. Lunds & Byerlys has stressed delivering a high value for our services. To make that happen we first needed a laser focus on margins. Since third-parties dictate our gross margins on drugs it’s up to us to purchase our inventory carefully…very carefully. We take advantage of a special inventory application that guides us in maintaining efficient inventory levels. We also must be able to forecast our profits by including estimated DIR fees., which is very important. A third leg of that stool is participation in networks that continue to be increasingly narrow. All of these items are part of our ongoing customer centered operations that deliver value.
How do you feel the business of health and wellness has matured over the past few years?
Our customers have taken much more interest in their own personal health. Our pharmacists spend a good deal of time helping them evaluate the many options available. We are applauded for offering a holistic view of healthcare to our customers which includes alternative medicines right alongside the more traditional options. From general colds and flu, to medication advice, or vaccinations & immunizations, we are there for them. It’s always a challenge to track the right data elements, but having access to their past medical issues helps us consult effectively using trusted information. Fortunately, PDX, our technology partner, offers that reliable medication data.
We take responsibility to see that our customers understand what they are reading on the internet and help them step through solutions. Our team of pharmacists are simply the best…working with each customer and carefully listening while sharing advice.
How has your technology partner helped with keeping track of all your patients’ clinical data across your entire chain?
PDX helped us connect all pharmacy patient records regardless of which store it is filled in. Our merged and cleansed patient profiles take into account each and every regulation and applies those rules against the prescription transaction. It allows for a smooth and seamless interaction. Our pharmacists can instantly access any patient’s prescription record, review any clinical data and offer counseling at any time.
We are currently evaluating a new clinical tool PDX offers called Care Rx™. It allows an expansive field of clinically related data elements and programs important for our pharmacists offering advice to our patients on their health-related topics.
Technology is screaming ahead so fast. How has that affected your pharmacists communicating with your patients?
For the past 6 years we have hitched our wagon to PDX. They have the largest team of software engineers in this business (over 300) and they are constantly delivering new functionality. For example, access to data and reports has been enhanced significantly with their new analytic technology, Explore Rx™, and we are currently evaluating this new tool. Customer convenience is our top priority so having a technology partner like PDX with such a strong development team adds a bit of comfort for me.
How would you describe or rate the ongoing support PDX extends to your pharmacies on a day to day basis?
We are 100% satisfied. PDX has a team of bright, friendly experts eager to help with any issue whenever our pharmacists need help.
Tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up? What University did you attend? Any sports or off hours activities?
I’m from a small town in South West Iowa. My high school graduating class numbered 30 students. I received my Pharm D degree from Drake University. Interestingly since then there have been 3 young women from my high school graduating from Drake as pharmacists. Pretty cool.
I have been appreciating hockey since moving to Minneapolis-indoor games only, as I haven’t quite learned to appreciate the frigid temperatures! My off hours are devoted to my two delightful daughters, ages 4 and 7. Every day is a new adventure.