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created an approved vendor list for services such as drug
deliveries. "We're addressing every single item in this build
that we do," Shatanoff says.
Implementing those standards caused an immediate improvement in how stores operate. Rx30 accurately tracks the
sale and inventory of every drug. When coupled with a justin-time supplier, the POS allowed individual Benzer locations to greatly reduce inventory by preventing pharmacist
from over-ordering. If the system notices that a certain pill
only sells 100 units in six months, pharmacists now know
to keep only a handful in stock and can replenish quickly
whenever a sale is made.
In some cases, the system has helped stores reduce inventory from as much a $300,000 worth of medications down
to $100,000. "A lot of [pharmacists] are getting smarter
about that, but they're letting the system do the work for
them," Shatanoff explains.
Keeping in Character
The implementation of the new technology systems and
processes was going smoothly until Hurricane Irma struck
Florida on Sept. 10. Benzer's headquarters in Tampa, Fla.,
lost power for a few days and staff was relocated to dryer
sections of the building once work resumed. Additionally,
nine pharmacies in the region were affected by the storm,
although they remained open as long as possible so residents
Benzer says customers turn to it because they
want the feel of a mom-and-pop store with the
support of a larger organization.
could refill their prescriptions to ride out the storm. Aside
from the interruptions in service, there was minimal damage
to the infrastructure; however, the company lost a significant
amount of drug inventory that went bad when the refrigerators lost power.
Benzer is working through its insurance claims on the
inventory and cleanup work. It's a time-consuming process, and if Benzer waited for its insurance payouts it would
put its aggressive growth plans at risk. So the company is
spending the money to makes the repairs and replacement
inventory upfront with the expectation that it will be reimbursed down the line. "We're getting them back in the
game again and we're moving forward," Shatanoff says of
the affected pharmacies.
The fast return to operation following Hurricane Irma
reflects Benzer's eagerness to grow rapidly. To reach 200
company-owned stores before 2020, it must open about six
locations each month. "We want to grow," Shatanoff says.
"We're not going to sit there and wait."
But even as it acquires and converts more mom-and-pop
pharmacies, Benzer is carefully not to compromise the smalltown feel of its stores. It understands that every town has a
unique character and encourages stores to retain their design
and operate as family businesses. "Each store will have its individuality," Shatanoff pledges. "Internally within corporate
here, we're providing support so you're not just a number." O