Pharmacy U

Watch & Learn: Richard Smith and Peter Meraw’s 5 tips to manage workflow


We expanded and renovated our Minden Pharmasave to position ourselves to compete against other big brand chains, create new revenue streams to offset losses from the reduction of generic drug rebates in Ontario, and improve the level of service to customers.

By Richard Smith and Peter Meraw, pharmacist-owners, Minden Pharmasave

With big changes comes the need to manage workflow more effectively. Here’s what we do:

1. Don’t be afraid to go big

The $900,000 we spent on changes to our operation is helping reposition ourselves to become more competitive in the marketplace by offering a more attractive retail merchandising experience along with a more efficient dispensary, which would allow us to better handle customer traffic, reduce wait times and improve workflow efficiency.

2. Expand wisely to increase business

We purchased the building next to us, tore down the walls separating the two buildings and joined them together, adding another 2,000 sq. ft. of retail space on the street level plus some storage space on the second floor of the building. The expansion has given us the extra space to properly service a local 92-room nursing home and add some services to generate new revenues.

3. Grow your dispensary if it’s a good sales generator

The new layout increases the size of the dispensary by about 250 per cent, or about 14 per cent of the total footprint, allowing for a more efficient, better organized dispensary workflow and allowing for a better use of technology with more efficient staffing.

4. Expand your frontshop

The entire store was decorated in a “cottage” style to appeal to the many wealthier, upscale urban customers who shop at the store from May to Labour Day. Each section has distinct flooring, lighting and colour scheme to give the store the feeling of an inside mall with stores within a store.

5. Add new revenue generators

We added a major new revenue stream and attraction to the store for tourists and the many local seniors in the community: a 230 sq. ft. photography section with glass showcases and two photo docking stations where customers can develop their pictures and get help from a staff member to create their own, personalized calendars.