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Retail Pharmacy Consulting

Retail Pharmacy Consulting

Retail pharmacies have been quite late in upgrading their retail game. These enterprises have remained long stuck with the brick and mortar format and other traditional ways of doing business. For long, their markets have remained confined to the local limits. Many have continued to taste success riding on a strong local reputation. But the danger of stagnancy was apparent along with a huge void of marketing efforts.

But in recent years, it has been observed that more retail pharmacies are becoming a part of the retail revolution. This has mainly happened with the adoption of the eCommerce route. Other contributing factors are the emergence of competitive business models and efficient channels, modernization of the physical stores, and digitization of business processes.

Why traditional retail pharmacies are falling behind

Lack of physical modernization

Retail channel strategy in one industry is capable of influencing customers’ expectations in other industries. When customers visit a super mall or a supermarket, the experience delivered to them is of a far superior level than the ones they get when they visit any traditional retail store. This difference is strong enough to build a perceptual void in the minds of customers to seek modernization where they do not get it. Retail pharmacies and clinics need to realize this. They may have a solid client base and generating healthy revenues for now. But sooner or later, competitors or new players will expose their vulnerabilities arising from not choosing to modernize.

Lack of marketing on the digital front

Many pharmacies do not seem to be making any significant effort to promote their brand on digital platforms. Being content with today’s success is one thing and not keeping up with the trends of the industry is another. This is a potential threat because businesses that deny evolving also deny themselves a future. It is important that traditional retail pharmacies keep up with the digital trends taking place in the industry. Uber can happen to any business.

By not having a strong digital presence, retailers are missing out on opportunities to attract clients on digital platforms like social media and search engines. They need not necessarily sell products online.

Digital presence and popularity cannot be achieved overnight. So, the right time for them to start with digital marketing is now.

Lack of growth and expansion

Growth and expansion are rare to see among retail pharmacies. Although this is changing, many traditional pharmacies that are successful and are capable of capturing bigger pies of the market are not moving forward in the direction of seeking to transform the business into a bigger brand. When a business does not seek growth and expansion, it puts itself at the risk of being overtaken by competitive forces. Whether a business reckons it or not, if the market it is serving has further potential, new players will enter and try to not only make their place in it but also try to eat away the market share of its competitors.

Not embracing eCommerce

Ecommerce has been the most potent disruptive force in the retail industry. The retail pharmacy business has also been affected by it. This was eminent in the protests that took place in many parts of the world against letting the eCommerce channel serve the retail pharma sector. But instead of complaining, a far better approach is embracing eCommerce in ways that are relevant to a business. It is an opportunity for traditional retail pharmacies to expand their business to new markets in new regions. They can still retain their local customer base with innovative changes in their business models and marketing strategies. In fact, by going online they can compete more effectively with eCommerce players and also capitalize on their brick and mortar experience by expanding in numbers.

Lack of automation and digitization

To compete with modern retail and eCommerce enterprises, traditional pharmacies need to adopt solutions for automation and digitization of business processes and operations. But in contrast, many retailers are still operating their business with systems that are highly dependent on human efforts and intervention. Bringing progressive changes in the operational systems can be cumbersome in the short run but in the long innings, it enhances the operational efficiency of businesses, makes their business scalable and keeps further avenues for modernization and upgradation at an approachable effort. Automation and digitization are not expected to be achieved overnight. It takes time in defining the business IT strategy, assessing and defining the existing business processes and operations, mapping the inter-functional dependencies, identifying software and other technological solutions to be used, financial planning and budgeting, testing and launch activities, staff training, control measures, etc.

Lack of training

Employees play a big role in the success and failure of a business. Customers would not mind shifting to another retail store whose staff are technically sound, behaviourally approachable, and emotionally cognizant of buyer and consumer behaviour. That was about the front line staff. For the back end operations, businesses need employees who understand their duties and responsibilities and possess the requisite skills and abilities to carry out their tasks. But employees do not always come job-ready. Every business has its unique requirements. Business processes and operations also vary. Even within a state or a city, consumer expectations and priorities can be different. Whether it is a small retail pharmacy or a branded store chain, training and development activities are critical for smooth counter activities and backend operations.

Manual management of stock and records

Of course, human intervention cannot be completely ruled out in the execution of many critical business processes and operations. But technologies are available that eases or reduces human effort or intervention. And one such area where technology has proven to be blissful for all businesses is inventory management. Traditionally, many manual systems have worked well and continue to do so. It is still common to see pharmacists keeping medicines in boxes and shelves in an alphabetical manner. That is a smart approach. But after some time, products begin to get mixed up. There are more medicines to fit into the 26-alphabet inventory system. Pharmacists also carry a notebook where they register that a certain product is out of stock and has to be reordered. If that notebook is lost or spoiled, days or weeks of work would go in vain. There will be no other way to check what products have to be ordered again. All these could be avoided with the help of software and hardware technologies. Suppliers could be automatically informed for a reorder with the provision of prior confirmation when the units of a product available in the store hit the reorder level. The use of a scanner could show on a digital screen which shelf a product belongs to.

How YRC can help: a glimpse

We are a boutique retail and eCommerce consulting firm with eight-plus years of experience. We offer a comprehensive range of services to retail and eCommerce clients in over 20 twenty verticals. Our team of consultants come from diversified academic and project exposure. Here’s a glimpse of our services to retail and eCommerce businesses to help them establish a robust enterprise with meticulous planning and immaculate strategies.

Market Research

In market research, we carry out an objective, detailed, and comprehensive assessment of the target market. Our goal in retail market research or eCommerce market research is not only to present a blend of statistics and the market realities with facts and figures but also to help clients in informed decision-making and more effective strategy formulation. In retail pharmacy consulting services, we follow a multifaceted approach for segmenting the target market on the grounds of distribution channels, product lines, product categories, end-users, product features, etc. A detailed segmentation helps in defining the target segments with higher precision and formulating better strategies for brand positioning.

Business Model Development

A high-value and competitive offering is critical in retail to rise above the ordinary. Conceptualizing innovation in business modelling has become an intriguing task in retail. Our retail pharmacy business consulting experts put to test every assumption made so far about the success of a business idea. After deliberating on every critical aspect and getting convincing answers, we move on to crafting business models. The entire exercise is carried out following systematic and proven processes.

In retail pharmacy consulting services, we seek to bring out the best UVP for our clients and define the strategic framework of the value chain and internal capabilities required to deliver the intended value. We help in formulating omnichannel strategies, identifying the business IT requirements, and mapping the operational aspects.

ECommerce Consulting

In eCommerce and retail pharmacy business consulting, we help retail clients formulate their business strategy to go online. We assess the unique business requirements and identify the areas where eCommerce could be applied. Some clients prefer only to take up digital marketing for their business. Some want to go omnichannel or multichannel. We offer our services as per the unique demands of each client. Our consulting services encompass business idea validation, IT and automation solutions planning, team management, digital marketing, digital analytics, CX consulting, eCommerce business model, eCommerce business plan, and more.

SOP Development

As a retail and eCommerce consulting enterprise with expertise in SOPs and business process management, we offer SOP consulting services for retail pharmacy businesses of all sizes. We also cater to family and franchise businesses. Our SOP development services are aimed at establishing operational routines, developing growth-oriented business systems, and achieving process orientation. Before we start working on SOP manuals, our team of retail pharmacy business consultants carries out an extensive analysis of the existing business processes and operations and maps the new requirements.

Layout Planning

In layout planning, YRC provides expert assistance to retail clients in the layout design of their stores, warehouses, and fulfilment centres. This is done considering the constraints and requirements of each client. The objective is to help businesses utilize their space with optimization aligned with the marketing objectives and business operations. Our retail pharmacy business consultants take into consideration customer experience, zone classification, ease of movement of goods and people, visual appeal, logistical aspects, safety and security concerns, and more.

SOP-IT Integration

Defining and mapping the business processes and operations across the enterprise is only half the task done. The other half is the integration of the SOPs with the business IT software platform. Without the integration of the software and SOPs, it is impossible for a business and its employees to follow the SOPs using the business IT systems. In retail pharmacy business consulting, YRC’s role is to help clients identify and define the specifications of the required business IT systems. This is followed by mapping the blueprint for SOP-IT integration. Our team of retail pharmacy business consultants may suggest customizations in the software functionalities to suit business requirements and SOP integration purposes.

Business Plan Development

Once a business idea is close to its execution plan, the entire project has to be scrutinized from a financial perspective. What is sought to be answered in a business plan is whether and how the business idea is commercially feasible. This entails a financial assessment of the implementation plan. We follow a planned, systematic, and comprehensive set of SOPs in making these financial projections and assessments. If the financial indicators are not promising, we ask clients to reconsider their ideas and models. In retail pharmacy consulting services, our objective is to provide clients with a clear financial vision and roadmap of their proposed business projects.

Organization Design and Talent Management

Whether it is a single-store pharmacy or a chain of stores comprising hundreds of employees, organization design and structure are essential for every business enterprise. In organization design and structure, an enterprise is represented in terms of functions and departments, roles and positions, authority-responsibility, accountability and reporting, formal routes of communication, the flow of work, etc. As part of our retail pharmacy consulting services, our offerings include planning and implementation support in organogram design, staff analysis, succession planning, HR policies and SOPs, recruitment and training, change management, and more.

We are a boutique retail and eCommerce consulting enterprise. To know more about our retail pharmacy business consulting services or if you have any queries for our retail pharmacy business consultants, drop us a message and we will get back to you.

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We work only for Visionaries.

PROCESS AUTOMATION

The idea of having Ecommerce Consultants on-board from the beginning itself points towards reducing the involvement of the promoters in daily operations. Ecommerce Businesses willing to be a brand reaping profits & sustaining the competition must ensure that most of their processes should be automated. The more the manual intervention, the more would be the errors.

In Ecommerce business, you get only 1 chance to impress the customer & if you mess up there, you lose the customer for long.

Process automation in respect to all the activities pertaining to customers from order receiving to order fulfilment is a must for a seamless experience for the customers.

Task Management is another grey area where most deadlines fail as 90% of the tasks are assigned manually & are forgotten, unheard, misunderstood or mistaken.

YRC Team of Ecommerce Management Consultants helps to make maximum of the processes system-driven to ensure minimalistic manual intervention.

VIDEOGRAPHY & PHOTOGRAPHY

No matter how good your product is, the customer would know only if it looks good.

Photography includes the following steps:

  • Cataloguing your products
  • Cataloguing your images
  • Backup your images (A few cloud storage solutions include Dropbox, Google Drive, Bitcasa, Apple’s Cloud Storage etc.)
  • Choose the right camera & lens (You may also outsource the photography to a third party agency)

DIGITAL MARKETING

Digital Marketing includes SEO & SMM. SEO i.e. Search Engine Optimization includes activities like back-linking, meta tags, blog-writing etc. to ensure your website ranks on the 1st page on Google Search.

Next comes SMM i.e. “Social Media Marketing” which as the name suggests including promoting your products on all the social media sites, email marketing, influencer marketing & several other BTL activities.

These activities are going to be recurring & would decide the traffic on the website, the conversions, whether the right target market is tapped, the likes, the views, the orders, the reviews & much more. YRCs Ecommerce Consultants create a budget for digital marketing right from pre-launch to launch & for each month thereafter.

Building digital marketing strategies in coordination with the agency, selecting them to signing them off would be the role of YRC.

This ensures seamless coordination, detailed interactions & desired execution as it is always advisable to work with a single agency than multiple of them.

IT INTEGRATION

Selection of the right software for smooth functioning of back-end operations right from production to webstore display would be suggested and integrated by YRC Team.

YRC’s Team defines SOPs of Product Movement, maps it with the locations & people. They then create a blueprint of all the features required in the software & help in shortlisting & selection.

IT Integration involves connecting your offline inventories with real-time online webstore so when a sale occurs, inventories get deducted real time across offline as well as online platforms.

This helps in accurate inventory management, maintaining the MOQs, re-order levels & achieving the optimum inventory levels.

Some popular software include unicommerce, viniculum for your front-end website management & Genisys for your entire back-end Purchase, Production, Accounting, Invoicing etc. management.

WAREHOUSE & LOGISTICS PLANNING

  • How many cities or countries you wish to sell in?
  • Where should your Warehouse be located?
  • Should you have one warehouse in each country or city?
  • Should you be having your own delivery team in your base city?
  • Would the 3rd party vendors be reliable? What happens when they lose or misplace your product during delivery?
  • How should I manage the logistics if my goods are coming from different countries?
  • How should the goods be stored and barcoded?
  • How much space do I require for warehouse?
  • I am sure several such questions must be haunting you while you think of starting your own fashion ecommerce brand.

 

At YRC, our warehousing and logistics experts can help you devise a strategy for all of the above mentioned queries and much more.

We design the layout of the Warehouse considering the inward, goods processing, software entry, barcoding, outward, goods return, scrap storage, goods stacking & much more.

Logistics route plan is devised considering the manufacturer to your warehouse and from there to last mile delivery locations.

UI & UX DESIGNING

This Step involves 03 distinct parts:

Part 1: Choosing the right Platform:

From several platforms available in the market right from Shopify to magento, woocommerce, prestoshop, wordpress etc. you must choose the one that fits best for your business

Part 2: UX Designing:

“UX” denotes User Experience, which if put in simple language is building the functional requirements of the website.

UX Designing includes designing the features required in the website, customer journey map, website features, the browsing features, navigation features, ecommerce order management process flow, checkout cart features, catalogue management, ecommerce payment system, cross selling features & much more.

“As per statistics, 68% of the customers abandon the carts before payment”

An interesting UX ensures the customer sticks on to the website for a longer time.

Part 3: UI Designing:

UI stands for User Interface, which means designing the look and feel of the website. UI includes using the right colours, elements and the entire aesthetics of the website.

A good User Interface ensures the user completes the task that he has come for. It navigates the user through the journey of the brand in the simplest but most effective way.

The UX designer maps out the bare bones of the user journey; the UI designer then fills it in with visual and interactive elements.

If User experience is the bare bone, user interface wraps it up with an attractive cape.

At YRC, our team if experts can help you develop the entire User Journey to ensure it is engaging!

SAMPLING & PRODUCTION

This step follows the “Designing” Phase, whether you have an in-house design team, freelance designers or an outsourced design company. It is one of the most exciting phases, as here you see your designs turning into products & your ideas turning into reality.

In most start-up cases, production is outsourced i.e. brands tie-up with the established manufacturers/ job-workers to get their products manufactured.

Sampling involves multiple 04 Stages, Fit-Sample, Prototype Sample, Pre-Production Sample & the Production Sample.

Prototype Sample is the first sample provided to the buyer. It can be in any fabric/ colour. This sample is just to understand whether the product design looks equally great in reality.

Fit Sample, as the name suggests is prepared to check the fit of the garment i.e. the various sizes, length, width etc.

Pre-production is made by the actual production line. Here the stitching quality and other aspects related to manufacturing are checked. This is the last stage where rejection can be accepted.

Production Sample is made before the production which is the replica of what is going to be finally produced.

Once you are through with all this, you are good to go ahead & get your goods manufactured.

PRODUCT DESIGNING / SOURCING

Product Designing or Sourcing is the heart of the Ecommerce Fashion Brand.

Product Designing / Sourcing can be done in several ways, as follows:

  • In-house Design Team
  • Freelance Designers
  • Outsourced Design Team
  • Ready Product Sourcing (From Manufacturer or Wholesaler)

At YRC, we evaluate your business strategy & business model to arrive at the decision, which of the above ways would be best-fit for your business. In certain cases, product sourcing may be a combination of the above.

These are the people who are going to build your brand! Whether they are the designers or merchandiser, your brand look is going to be in their hands.

If you are designing each garment from the scratch, the sourcing would play crucial role in developing design identity of your brand.

Sourcing includes fabric, trims, lining & all the raw material required to build the garment.

BRANDING

Branding is the “Look of the Brand”, right from logo to tagline, the colours used, the brand story, the brand communications on social media, the packaging & all the other aspects which speak directly or indirectly to the customers. Branding constitutes the look & feel of the brand & hence must be thoughtfully planned to match with the product that we are selling.

Branding must appeal to our target audience. Example : A golden colour logo depicting finesse, art, richness, premium, however beautiful it may be individually cannot go with a brand selling affordable kids wear products. So, your logo must be in-line with your brand positioning, whether you are an expensive brand or a luxury brand or a value for money brand, it must be depicted from your “Branding”.

It is an integral part to attract the target audience.

ORGANOGRAMS & SOP’s

Organogram is the “HR Blueprint” of the business which is created at the onset, to map out the team required across each function at various stages of the business. At the launch, only key people need to be got on board to ensure the project gets started & at this stage, all of them need to multi-task. Similarly, certain financial as well as operational goals are set for addition of the further team. Example, for the operations team, we hire 1 operations manager during the pre-launch phase & we add 1 more only when the business kicks-off & we reach a volume of selling more than 1000 pcs/ month or a turnover of more than 0.1 million USD.

SOPs are Standard Operating Procedures, a bible to run the entire organization right from Sales, Purchase, HR, Order receiving to Order fulfilment, Inventory Management, Accounts, Warehouse, Logistics, Supply Chain, Production & all the other relevant functions for the business. Business must be organized from its first day of operations; only then the tasks can be delegated.

At YRC, we design the organization structure, the processes, and approximate time taken to execute each process, job profile of every member within the organization, their KRAs, KPIs & the Reporting Structure.

CRITICAL PATHWAY

Critical Pathway Analysis (CPA), is a project management technique which cannot be overlooked while launching an ecommerce fashion brand. Brand launch process is cumbersome with multiple inter-dependent & time-bound tasks involved, which need to be tracked to ensure the project remains on track.

CPA outlines key tasks across the project, their turnaround time (TAT) & the dependencies of tasks upon each other. It identifies the sequence of tasks, their interdependent steps from inception to completion, their criticalities, and their dates of onset, target dates of completion along with the key responsible person for the respective activities. Critical Pathway helps in understanding the unimportant & not urgent tasks which may jeopardize the execution of the project because of an unexpected snag! It also maps out the potential bottlenecks which might be posed because of the dependencies of tasks upon each other & cases where the next task cannot be commenced before the completion of the previous one.

CPA detects the minimum & the maximum time involvement of a particular individual or team to execute the task, thereby arriving at the overall deadlines associated with the project.

At Your Retail Coach, we design the Critical Pathway & review it periodically to ensure the project is on track & the progress is measurable.

BUSINESS STRATEGY & BUSINESS PLAN

Business Strategy includes the vision, mission, goals, business model, business plan & strategy for all the functions within the organization.

Business Strategy is a well-defined plan that outlines who, what, where, why, how & when for the company; for example, who would be the target market, how to attract the target audience, when to launch new products, where to operate from, how to handle competitors, what would be the USP, what would be long term goal of the organization & several other answers to the 5Ws of Strategy.

Business Strategy aligns the organization towards a common goal. Business SWOT helps company to identify & overcome their weaknesses & focus to sharpen the strengths. Business strategy forecasts future risks and helps business in building skillsets to overcome the potential threats.

YRC’s Business Plan focuses on creating a “Blueprint” of the business, thereby deriving the feasibility of the concept & gauge whether the opportunity is lucrative to invest time, energy & effort. Business Plan creates cash flow understanding i.e. building inflow & outflow cash projections from Week zero to week 60 i.e. 05 year projection. Business Plan calculates the capital investment, operating costs, one-time costs, recurring costs & all the other numbers relevant to obtain the breakeven sales, return on investment, return on capital, internal rate of return & several other ratios. Business Plan is also one of the important requirements if you are targeting the “Investor Route”. Fund raising becomes extremely transparent & channelized. With business plan panned out clearly, the business will know until what point must it be stretched & where to stop, which reduces the probability of unplanned investments.

MARKET RESEARCH

Starting the concept of Ecommerce Fashion brand with Market Research ensures we get detailed understanding of the industry & this research report also acts as a social confirmation for your concept. Market Research helps in understanding the target locations, their population, potential online buyers for your product, competitors for each category, and top selling products of the competitors, competitors’ price range, offers & their responses & much more. Market Research helps in thorough understanding of your brand position as compared to our competitors. It helps in identifying gaps in the market, in your category along with the scope of the said product in the desired market. This will help in validation of your concept & prevents you from making the same mistakes as your fellow brands, eventually saving your time, energy & efforts. This phase is also a make or a break phase, as the market research study may at-times come up with some eye-popping numbers & statistics which might compel you to re-think on your product or category that you are planning to sell or alter your entire concept itself!! Market Research Reports analyse the competitors’ webstore for their traffic, conversion & sales. This is extremely valuable information to derive our inventory budgets & projections, which takes us to our next phase.