Why Pharmacies Should Adopt Smart Scheduling

Labour costs and scheduling pharmacy staff are two of the biggest headaches for managers in the industry. Creating an appropriate staff schedule within budget is a difficult balancing act, and one that takes up a great deal of time. Time that should be better spent managing your business.
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Labour costs and scheduling pharmacy staff are two of the biggest headaches for managers in the industry. Creating an appropriate staff schedule within budget is a difficult balancing act, and one that takes up a great deal of time. Time that should be better spent managing your business.

The trick is to deploy as few staff as possible, and as many as are necessary. It is quite a tough balancing act. Do labour patterns match sales patterns? It is worth taking time to identify the reasons why things go quiet. Pharmacies based in a university campus or near office areas may see most of their business occur on weekdays, with a lull during weekends.

Why should Pharmacies consider an online scheduling solution?

Pharmacies will see negative effects on workers and managers when schedule creation is heavily mismanaged. Many problems usually stem from changes to the schedule getting made last minute, with a lack of clarity and consistency potentially affecting performance. Pharmacists understand the need for extending shift time in times of high demand,  however, extending shifts without warning can reduce motivation and increase stress. This could be disastrous as the responsibilities of a pharmacist  involve extensive accuracy and speed, combined with specialised knowledge of prescription medicine. Affecting your staff like this can bring significant risks for both business and customers. This holds the same for pharmacies that create schedules at the last minute as well.

To counter this understandable but ultimately harmful practice, consider smart scheduling as an important tool for maintaining your staff health and and performance levels.  Many pharmacies  look to workforce management solutions to streamline this need without affecting the businesses bottom line – and potentially even improve it.

Think about the cost, too

Labour costs can be a big sink on your pharmacy’s resources. Scheduling and organising payroll for hourly paid part-time dispensing assistants can be a risk to the distribution of time for your business. However, in today’s market, there are many systems which ease this struggle, and allow your managers to save hours every week on important operations without sacrificing quality. 

What about locum pharmacists?

Locum pharmacists are staff that are hired on a temporary basis. Given their nature, pay rates for locum pharmacists can vary as from region to region, average wages in areas like Wexford can be as high as €38, while in some parts of Monaghan they are paid as low as €31 an hour. For more information on the locum market in Ireland, see Clarity Locums for more information.

This can be important information while hiring locum pharmacists as negotiation is an incredibly important part of the hiring process. Of course, you should be hiring the best fit for the job regardless of price, but every bit of information helps when aiming to reduce operational costs.

Varying and fluctuating pay rates can be a pain for the business – each employee will end up getting individually calculated for projected pay based on hours worked. This tedious process can be cut out with the right workforce management software.

A Few Tips To Achieve the Best For Your Business

Set Clear Targets

Without clear targets, there is no way to ensure a steady labour cost. Work out what your current target labour cost is based on this week’s schedule and see if you can reduce it by 5% for next week. Small, incremental changes every week make a real difference over a few months.

Monitor Targets

Target sales per labour hour (SPLH) is a great key performance indicator (KPI) to track for your business. If you have target sales of £2000 and target hours of 40 then your SPLH is £50. Try and maintain a steady SPLH throughout the week and don’t let it fluctuate with sales patterns. This will also ensure you have adequate staff cover for each day. Pharmacy scheduling software is one tool that managers use to accurately set, track and monitor their key monthly targets.

Bizimply: The All In One Workforce Management Solution

Bizimply simplifies workforce management for multisite hospitality and retail companies, optimising the entire people journey, with an all-in-one cloud-based solution. Employees can see their shifts and hours worked on their smartphones. Managers save hours creating and communicating schedules with simple drag-and-drop. Monitoring attendance is fool proof with photo capture and Bizimply automatically generates all staff timesheets for direct transfer to payroll systems. Bizimply gives managers full visibility over operational metrics such as sales per labour-hour and enables 100% compliance with labour law. Last but not least, the entire system is customisable, and the Bizimply team is always available to provide support.

First, our solution greatly simplifies the process of setting up the schedules – you just drag and drop staff names into the open time slots. This will typically save two or three hours of a manager’s precious time. Then you can communicate schedules to all staff members at the click of a button.

Second, Bizimply gives you the insight you need to take the kind of decisions we discuss here, which will boost your profitability.

Whether you are an existing customer or somebody considering moving to Bizimply we will happily provide you with a consultation to help improve your schedules.

Don’t hesitate to contact us by phone, email or social media if you have any questions:


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