The new year is an opportunity to make a change. For Bob Lomenick, 2018 is the year to add locations, including a store he acquired from a retiring colleague. A conversion may seem simpler than starting a new pharmacy, but when he officially took over operations at G&M of Oxford on January 1, 2018, Bob realized he had his work cut out for him.
G&M is a forty-minute drive from Bob’s flagship store, Tyson Drug, and he describes the new acquisition as “your typical store.” The former owner refused to sell and retire because he was worried no one could take care of his patients the way they needed to be cared for. After one conversation, the owner trusted Bob with the task of caring for his patients and was willing to sell the business to Bob. Although the store has a strong foundation rooted in care, its technology didn’t reflect its mission. Bob lists an outdated computer system, only two workstations that fill over 500 prescriptions per day, no point of sale, and no automation, which meant all fills were counted with a counting tray. He has taken a more hands-on approach to G&M, including going through messages on the pharmacy’s answering machine for hours at a time to write down refill numbers. (He is gradually working towards a full IVR system as the G&M staff becomes more comfortable with the changes.) “This is a personal challenge for me because so many people are telling me I can’t transform this store, but I know I can!” he says. “Even my store was like that at one point.”
Now that Bob has introduced a new pharmacy software system to the store, his focus has turned to reconstructing the workflow. Filling 500 scripts a day in a small space is a hindrance, so Bob decided to move the intake station to the other side of the store. “Ninety-five percent of the store’s activity was happening in twenty percent of the store,” Bob explains. As eager as he is to bring G&M up to speed with his other stores, he knows the journey will be a gradual one. “There are so many wheels in motion, but we have to take baby steps. There is so much opportunity in this place.”
As he works on bringing out G&M’s full potential, Bob has also undertaken the task of opening a new store with his friend and colleague, Chris Cornelison. The two already talk daily and have different strengths, so they seized the opportunity to own a store together. After experiencing both a conversion and a new store, Bob believes new stores have a much smoother process. “Working with a store from the beginning and starting immediately with sync and organization is much easier as opposed to taking on a store with no processes in place, which is more challenging,” he explains. No matter what hurdle this new store presents, Bob knows he and Chris can work with each other on innovative solutions.
As he works on these two additional locations, Bob also volunteers his time as a representative for CPESN℠ and a preceptor for the University of Mississippi. “My ultimate goal is to help other people be successful,” he says, and he carries out that goal by encouraging pharmacists to pursue enhanced services and showing students how their clinical knowledge can impact the independent, retail setting.
Bob is also gearing up for PioneerRx’s Connect 2018, where he will join other industry leaders in a weekend rich in knowledge and pharmacy comradery! You will not want to miss his class on data mining! PioneerRx users can click the banner featured on the software login window for more information.