Business and political leaders constantly talk about innovation, but innovation isn’t powerful unless it empowers your workforce, your business partners and your customers. In the context of technology, it’s about how customer-focused technology investment can facilitate and support better outcomes for your customers.
The healthcare industry is continually changing as new developments in medicine and technology provide new opportunities to advance the delivery of healthcare services and products. So, having a sharp focus on the role that technology and data play in this dynamic and disruptive commercial world is critical. We must think about technology and technology driven business change through the lens of how this can help create and deliver value for our pharmacy customers who are at the coal face of customer interaction, and ultimately how it improves services for and the experience of the end customer.
You don’t have to be the expert in everything, but you need to know who the experts are. Delivering a leading edge retail platform that will support over 700 pharmacies across Australia is a great example of how a targeted partnership and platform will help create greater commercial value and unleash new business possibilities for brand members. It means leveraging the scale of partners to implement a single fully integrated cloud based technology solution to future proof the business, improve the pharmacy experience, drive end –to- end synergies, and drive sales for pharmacy brand members.
Technology can also play a significant role in delivering knowledge to support members to cut through the clutter and better service their customers with confidence.
Whilst Technology Solutions Can Deliver Great Data, Ultimately Data Is Really Only Relevant If It Is Properly Collated, Analysed, Integrated And Utilised
An incredible amount of health related information and opinions are available online, which can confuse and concern patients, as it is difficult to discern fact from fiction. Partnering with several subject matter experts and leading integrated health organisations enabled the development of another Australian pharmacy first - an innovative in-store education platform that guides pharmacy members to offer credible, up-to-date evidence-based advice on all kinds of medicines and products in an interactive research database. It is another great example of how partnering with experts can provide a streamlined, credible and consistent customer experience, whilst also improving workflow efficiency. Again, it grew from identifying what is best for the customer.
As well as using technology to enhance existing customer experiences, an integrated and innovative technology approach can be very effective to open doors to a broader customer market. We used our existing online consumer facing technology in two completely different scenarios.
We extended our reach offshore, re-skinning our retail website into Mandarin to offer around 7000 products from Australia direct to the Chinese consumer, supported by fulfilment expertise, and offering WeChat Pay to break down any barriers to doing business. Locally, we have introduced “Endless Aisle” kiosks, which again leverage existing online technology solutions to give pharmacies and their customer’s effective access to over five times the normal levels of products.
Whilst technology solutions can deliver great data, ultimately data is really only relevant if it is properly collated, analysed, integrated and utilised. Partnering with big data experts to build a system that taps into a universe of point of sale systems has proven very powerful in providing intelligence to our members on their business metrics compared to de-identified competitors. This provides invaluable insight into their business and how performance can be improved operationally and financially, which is incredibly empowering.
Ultimately technology is not the answer itself. Using integrated technology in partnership with targeted expertise can however be incredibly powerful in achieving better outcomes, particularly if viewed through the right lens.
A lot of people have reflected on the great innovators. Author Jim Collins has said that the great innovation of Henry Ford was not the Model T car, but the creation of the modern car production line. He also says Disney shouldn’t be remembered for creating Mickey Mouse, but embracing a creative culture which we see every day at the movies or on TV. People talk too much about technology products. The reverse should be true – start with the customer, the employee and the business partner and first reflect on how they can be empowered.
Check Out: Top Pharmacy Management Technology companies