We Care Pharmacy
We Care pharmacy has been in operation for one year now. The pharmacy works on the notion that demand for its services will continue to increase and for this to be realized, a cohesive marketing strategy needs to be in place. This pharmacy offers a wide range of prescription medicine where the client can either pick it up or get through mail order. This pharmacy has some good prices in comparison with other pharmacies and therefore their services will continue to be attractive for individuals that just need to buy their medicine at fair prices.
We Care pharmacy has some good information concerning the market and the target segments that they would like to serve. The pharmacy has been providing the market with a good source of discounted drugs. This market need is important since many Saudis are faced with the dilemma of using the meagre resources on medications. The We Care pharmacy seeks to address this problem by;
The market trend for pharmacies underlines consolidation. The entire medical fraternity has pressure being applied on them to attain cost efficiencies and to bring down the costs of various products and services (Parker & Garcia, 2019). In the last couple of years there has been extensive consolidation mostly to ensure cost efficiencies are attained.
The pharmacy will stock all type of medicines and medical self-test kits. For the enterprise to gain market share, subsidized deals will be offered to increase sales. The particular services to be offered will include consultative services concerning medication and wellness strategies, medical education, pharmacogenomics testing for prescribing personalized medications and disposable of obsolete personal medications. The products will include prescription compounded medications, over the counter medications, herbal supplements, home health care products, medical supplements and vitamins and lastly medical books and journals.
The nearby clientele may stop by We pharmacy store to pick up their medication. For the time being, the pharmacy will serve self-paying customers. The customers will be attracted to the store by the superior prices that will be on offer. For most of Saudi Arabians who do not have drug plans including the majority who the population that are over 60 years old, a less expensive pharmacy will be welcomed by the vast majority who live on tight budgets. We Care Pharmacy will still be sustainable on low margins due to operating efficiencies accrued from not accepting policy drug plans.
(i) Key activities
We Care pharmacy key activities will include dispensing prescriptions, communicating with prescribers on the dosage of the medicine that they buy and ensuring patients safety through checking medication every time that they get a prescription or a refill. Another activity that the pharmacy will undertake to do includes counseling patients concerning especially on matters concerning adverse reactions with medication, training the patients on how and when to take dose and making follow ups on to see to it that the medications taken are working.
Another activity of the pharmacy will comprise of sharing with patients’ advice on non-prescription remedies, taking of health supplements like vitamins and exercising and maintaining a healthy diet. The pharmacy will also manage staff through mentoring them to become experts in the field.
(ii) Key partners
We Care pharmacy will partner with wholesalers, bankers, lawyers, service providers, medical supplies bodies and local government authorities among others to ensure that the business runs smoothly. There will be a regular communication with these partners to ensure that every one is on the same page.
(iii) Value propositions
We Care pharmacy observes that healthcare is changing. There is need to move from the traditional model when patients could only get prescriptions by having to attend clinics only (Harris, 2018). The pharmacy seeks to offer efficiency and convenience. The pharmacy will be run by pharmacists that are highly trained to ensure that the clientele get safe, efficient and convenient services. The patients who will be accessing the services from the chemist will be assured of highest clinical standards. The pharmacy will follow the highest clinical standards. The philosophy of the pharmacy will be to ensure patient safety as the key priority. Convenience will also be a priority.
(iv) Customer relationships
The relationship that a business has with its customers continues to have a defining role in how customers perceive a business as a valuable resource (Peppers, Rogers & Kotler, 2016). The pharmacy will seek to make patients feel comfortable and there will be an easy access for the customers. The pharmacy will seek to endeavor to build confidence, reliability and trust. This will be achieved through better customer care and service through listening and addressing of their concerns. By effectively delivering valuable customer service, the customers will see value in the establishment. The pharmacy will take a proactive approach with the aim of bringing customer outcomes through initiatives like counseling, therapy management and disease state management
(v) Customer segments
By segmenting the customers, We Care pharmacy will be able to see the brand through the eyes of its customers that feature in the different market segmentations thereby ensuring its success. The customers will be segmented through psychographic segmentation. This will comprise of dividing them based on their interests, activities, lifestyle and opinions. The other segmentation include demographics. This will consist of dividing the population through variables like gender, age, family size, occupation and religion. The segmentation will also be done through behavioral characteristics. The customers will be divided through their behavior towards the brand through observing parameters like purchasing habits, awareness of the business, product knowledge and usage level among others.
Channel refers to the strategy that will be used to communicate to customers (Forsyth, 2020). We Care pharmacy will use various channels to communicate to its customers. These will include use of posters that will be displayed strategically where they can be seen. It will also use billboards and word of mouth from satisfied customers. The pharmacy will also use fliers and leaflets and also, the pharmacy will have a website where customers will be able to gather information that they want and also look up on health and wellness information that they might be interested in. It will also consider in having a heavy presence in medical forums and discussions where customers can be explained more concerning their products.
(vii) Cost structure
The financials overviews of the pharmacy will be linked to the marketing strategy. The first three months will be used for setting the store to get visibility. The money that will be generated in the first six months will be ploughed back to the business to improve the business and to add more stock. The expenses will be limited to only a third of the profits that will be generated
(viii) Revenue streams
The pharmacy will make revenues mainly from selling prescribed drugs to walk in customers. Besides this, the firm will carry out allergy tests and lab test and point of care well ness tests. The pharmacy will also do pharmacogenic interpretation tests and also sell supplements and other closely related retail products. It will also generate money from weigh loss coaching. People are becoming increasingly conscious about their weight and it would be prudent to have this as a source of revenue making entity for the pharmacy (Wexler, 2016).
Figure 1: Expected sales from various brands of medicines for the pharmaceutical industry
Company management and organization structure.
The pharmacy will be headed by a general manager who will be tasked with making day to day decisions. The general manager will have an assistant and he will be tasked with assisting the general manager in carrying out some tasks. The pharmacy will have two divisions. These are; pharmacy and retail. The pharmacy section will be headed by a head pharmacist. He will have several workers under him. The retail section will be headed by a retail manager who will be the head of the retail side of the business. The head pharmacist and the retail manager will be tasked with certain responsibilities that concern their areas. These functions will include employing and dismissing employees and scheduling tasks to them. They will also be tasked with submitting budgets for approval to the owner and also make orders concerning inventory. The head pharmacist will be linking with pharmaceutical companies and relevant healthcare regulatory bodies.
2. Demographic Analysis
(i) Geographical location
We Care pharmacy will set up its business after making several considerations that will boost its sales. For any retail business, location is a critical success factor (Joseph, 2010). One of the things that will be considered will include traffic. Under this it will considered if that location has many people frequenting that area. It will also consider opportunities available. These will include looking at nearby businesses that complement the pharmacy, whether the medical officers are available and if the area has a constant flow of potential customers. Also to be considered will be visibility. It will be expected that the pharmacy will be easily noticeable and should not be in an area that has many obstructions and limitations on signs. The business will put into consideration accessibility factors. The question that will need to be asked is if people can easily enter and exit the business premise and whether there are ample parking spaces. Lastly, the size of the pharmacy will also be taken into consideration by considering whether the pharmacy can grow in that location.
(ii) Population and customers ages and sizes
The population of the vicinity will be analyzed. There will be a need to consider whether the population of the area is big enough to support We Care pharmacy and if there are enough prescribers for the various niches that the pharmacy will be seeking to offer. The target market will not be defined more by the ages and sizes of the customers but the geography. The pharmacy will have a wide range of medications, products and services so as to serve people of all walks of life with a diverse range of needs. It will serve people of all ages as well as people of low income neighborhoods and wealthy customers too.
3. Current Analysis
(i) Economic conditions
The market will be observed by examining the quantities of the prescriptions demanded and what will be supplied. Some of the factors that will be considered include monopoly power, barriers to entry, regulatory environment, assymetric information and third party insurance. Under monopoly power, for those medicines that are only made by one single manufacturer, the price will be a bit higher since there will be no substitutes available. The barriers to entry into the marketplace will be checked to ensure that the pharmacy is able to establish a strong market presence and be able to set the prices that will make it remain profitable. Some of the barriers that will be considered include patents, economies of scale and high fixed costs among other factors.
Another barrier that will be considered includes the first mover advantage. When a client is used to one pharmaceutical brand, there will likely be a resistance to switch to other brands (Joseph, 2010). The customers who are accustomed to one particular pharmacy in the area will experience difficulties switching to the We Care pharmacy.
Another economic condition that will be considered is the amount of investment that will be needed in setting up the business and expanding it. Since We Care pharmacy is a small startup pharmacy, it might not enjoy the economies of scale that allows it to be sells its products and services at a better rate compared to its competitors. The regulations that have been placed by the government also affect the viability of the business and how successful it might become (Bock, 2015). Many regulations may hinder the smooth operations of the business. The other economic condition includes how the insurance industry affects the supply and demand of health care goods and services. Insurance companies provide cost sharing thereby reducing the price of prescribed drugs. This in turn makes the drugs cheaper to the clientele. If most of the potential clients have insurance covers, they will have the capacity to buy the drugs.
5. SWOT Analysis
The pharmacy is expected to outperform others in the surrounding areas. It enjoys the advantage of being well equipped and being in a good location that is accessible for majority of the potential customers. In this era of coronavirus pandemic, We Care pharmacy will offer discounted vaccines to under insured majority. It also has the strength of being able to conduct workshops and clinics concerning prevalent diseases in the area like diabetes and heart disease. It will have the advantage of offering advisory activities unlike other competitors. Other advantages that the pharmacy enjoys include having a unique business environment appropriate model. It also has highly trained staff who offer great customer service and who are very attentive. The pharmacy will also offer unique great prices and also the fact that it has a website from where customers can but various medications on various items that they happen to buy
The pharmacy is likely to face several challenges including the fact most of the employees do not have enough experience and the absence of supportive staff for clinical pharmacy services. There might also be challenge of having different sets of pharmacists for offering counselling and for selling prescription. The business being a recent start up is faced with the challenge of not having adequate furniture, telephone facilities, filing cabinets and some other equipment that may be needed for offering clinical pharmacy services. The other weakness can be seen in having poor collaborations among staff members, communication barriers between staff and customers and also absenteeism of pharmacists in the various working areas of the pharmacy.
The other weakness that We Care pharmacy might face could emerge from having already well established competitors in the market who might be hard to dislodge. The employee will also need regular training in order to keep themselves abreast on the changes in the medical world and this might not be easy for the business to accomplish since they are relatively new and might not have the financial muscle that they need. The lack of adequate training on the part of staff might also result into numerous complaints by customers and this might give the business a bad name in the market when it is trying to establish itself.
There are several opportunities that exist for the We Care pharmacy. There are good infrastructure in the area where the business will be set up. The availability of good roads will help ensure that it is easier for movement of both products and services. There is also a high quality of human resources for employment due to the increased number of clinical pharmacists that are graduating every now and then. The pharmacists in the area have a strong professional association body which governs how they operate. This body also takes disciplinary measures on errant employees. This will help We Care pharmacy reign in on errant staff who might bring up discipline issues at work. The Saudi government has also committed to improving the healthcare in the country and such startups that are related to healthcare are exempted from several taxes and this will help ensure that the business is able to operate in an environment that it can thrive financially. The business entity also has numerous chances of getting credit facilities and loans to aid it in expanding the already existing facility and buy more stock. The pharmacy also has website and is in the process of making an app. This will help keep customers on the available drugs and other prescription item. The pharmacy has also placed itself at a good position of partnering with like-minded complementary businesses and it can also partner with the surrounding community to improve the welfare of the local people. There is also the opportunity that the number of people taking medication has been on an upsurge in the recent past.
This means that there is likely to be an increase in market competition facing We Care pharmacy. Competition in the early stages of the business might not be a very good thing since the pharmacy is still relatively new. There is also an increased chance of consumer purchasing behavior being unpredictable. Today they might flock the business and then tomorrow they might flock elsewhere. The government might bring in extra heavy tax policies and more regulations. Independent pharmacies are likely to face stringent regulatory issues from the state compared tp large scale pharmacy chains. The prices of some of the products might be beyond the reach of the ordinary customer since most of the medicine sold prices is dictated by international medicine manufacturers. The pharmacy might be forced by circumstances to stock cheaper options of some medications to enable its clientele buy what they can afford. The increased number of highly qualified pharmacists might mean that they are likely to ask for high salaries than the industry can afford.
Some of the indicators will include payroll ratio. It helps measure efficiency. We Care pharmacy will work with the ratio of 14% so that the business remains healthy. The employees will also be evaluated to ensure that they remain they can increase their efficiency and bring in more revenue. It will also use net dirhams per prescription to measure its bottom line. This will help unearth key gaps between gross margin prescription on the top and how much remains left to the business’s bottom line. To check this, there will be a regular review of financial statements.
There will be checking of number of prescriptions for every employee per hour. This will help measure the productivity level of employees. This will be done on a monthly basis to help know the areas where improvements can be done. There will also be a measure of over the counter sales per employee hour. There will be an incentive program which will help track the employee that sold the most over the counter prescriptions per hour. This will make the employees work with the aim of improving productivity.
The other KPI will consist of return to stock percentage. This will help measure the percentage of prescriptions that are likely to be returned to stock. Doing this will help find out the reason why prescriptions are being filled and yet not being picked. It will be easier to find out why patients are not picking prescriptions. It could be that they are unaware and therefore the pharmacy will need to work on the workflow issue. The business will also do inventory turn. It will be important to know the current inventory at any given one time. This will help know the drugs that are moving and the ones that are not. It will then become easier to know what should be replenished often. The volume that is more profitable will be checked and it will be regularly refilled
Lastly, the business will keep track of gross margin per prescription. This will help measure how much the business is dispensing. It is important to keep trends in the pharmacy so that the owner can know where they should keep their focus on.
We Care pharmacy is likely to face competition in its endeavor to penetrate the industry. One of the competitors will be chain pharmacies. That is those pharmacies that are state or national chains. These chain pharmacies have the advantage of having better prices due to economies of scale and personalized services. Stiff competition is also likely to come from local pharmacies in the surrounding areas. They are also likely to offer personalized services and convenience. The other competition will likely come from mail order and internet pharmacies.
The pharmacy will need to be registered by the ministry of Commerce and Industry. The construction has to be permanent in nature and well lit. The entity will need to have basic equipment like a refrigerator, weighing balance, measuring cylinders, spatula and slab among others. The owner will need to obtain the necessary licences that permit him to operate. He will also need to show financial muscle of maintaining employees and other business necessities. The employees will also need to be verified that they have the required academic background needed to run a pharmacy.
The pharmacy will focus on providing prescription medication to residents of Kusei. There are only pharmacies within a four mile radius. The nearest pharmacy close to We Care pharmacy is about a kilometer away. This shows that there is a high market potential for the pharmacy to thrive in the area. There area has also seen an upsurge of people who are seeking wellness and fitness services and who want to maintain a high quality life (Botland, 2016. This pharmacy sis expected to continue giving them convenient and easily accessible prescriptions every day.
The sales will be pegged on having a good marketing plan. The business will use posters, leaflets, business cards and banners to market itself and get customers. The pharmacy will also be redesigned in a better way to make it look attractive to the customers. It will also employ loyalty schemes with customers who purchase drugs there being rewarded with points that can be redeemed in the next purchases. At times, the pharmacy will hold monthly in store events. The business employees will also attend local events where networks of customers will be created. The website will be regularly updated and a heavy presence created on the social media.
The pharmacy will be expected to have hit ground and start being profitable six months into operation. More research will continue to be done to ensure that the business thrives. It be expected to employ at least 20 people within a year and also be able to access credit facilities for expansion. A new branch will likely to be opened after two years of operation in some other place.
This essay has looked at the business plan of We Care pharmacy. It began by looking at the distribution of pharmacies at Saudi Arabia. This project plan has laid a good foundation on the development and maintenance of We Care pharmacy. It has looked at the common ideas that will help the pharmacy become a success and the goals that need to be realized. It has looked at the SWOT analysis and the timelines that will guide the pharmacy to become a viable entity
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