Most pharmacies have closed business because of not managing well their stock. Stock losses can occur due to theft by staff, poor receiving, selling and not charging the client or through expired medicines. Being able to reduce some of these loses and common errors can help prevent stock loss and eventually helping a pharmacy grow especially a community pharmacy. Here are a few ways that can help prevent stock loss either in a pharmacy business or in any other business.
- Do frequent stocks takes
Most pharmacies have been doing stock take once or twice a year but that seems to be inadequate. If that can be done daily, it would be better. Doing stocktake every two weeks for a busy store saves stock loss big time. If you are unable to do it every two weeks, do it at least once a month.
- Avoid expiries
Ensure you are selling drugs on FIFO basis that is first in first out. Don’t sell new stock leaving the old stock to expire on the shelves. Make sure the arrangement is made in such a way that medication that will expire early is sold first. Don’t receive medication that is about to expire if you are not going to sell immediately.
- Pay for an inventory system
A stock control and financial management system can help in checking the stock movement. You will be able to tell what you have used and what is remaining so that you are able to place an order without overstocking or missing an item out. The software assists also when paying your suppliers. There is so many software on the market the most popular one being Phamacore by Corebase.
- Manage your shorts and excesses appropriately
In any pharmacy business, you will most of the time encounter variances in a busy set up. It is either a loss or excess. How you handle your shorts* and excesses matters a lot to your business. Excess cash that is not possible to account for should be kept aside, this could be an item someone forgot to post and they cannot remember. The cash can later be used when posting items that will be missing after a weekly or monthly random stock take.
- Have a proper ordering and Receiving system
Receiving should be done in a specific area, every item counter checked with the delivery invoice. Unless an item is fast moving, do not receive medications with short expiries. Receiving can be done by the person who placed the order, or by counter-checking with the purchase order. Writing down expiries on the invoice as you receive can help scrutinize each and every item ensuring no expired drugs are received and the right quantities are delivered.