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Managing Multiple Pharmacies: Entrepreneurial Operating System

Managing Multiple Pharmacies

November 5, 2020

Inside: This novel management technique will help you communicate with staff to meet your goals. 

The move from running a single pharmacy location to multiple pharmacy locations introduces a whole new set of challenges as a manager. While you used to be able to put all hands on deck, now you have to rely on your staff members to execute your vision.

If the idea of managing a growing business is daunting, you might benefit from using an Entrepreneurial Operating System, or EOS. While it may sound like a piece of computer software, and EOS is actually a method developed by Gino Wickman and Tom Bouwer designed to organize the “human energy” of a business.

By implementing an EOS, you will grow to trust that everyone who works for your pharmacy knows the vision of the business and understands their part in executing that vision. It gives staff autonomy in their roles so they feel more fulfilled with their work, while at the same time creating a structure that ensures everyone is walking down the same path.

Six Components of an Entrepreneurial Operating System 

The Entrepreneurial Operating System encourages business owners to take a holistic look at their organizations. Instead of zeroing in on meeting metrics or getting tunnel vision for a long term goal, these six components work together to create success in all areas.

1. Vision

Your vision should be shared by everyone in your pharmacy. By having a clear vision, everyone knows what they are working for and has a good idea of how to accomplish it. Using EOS, you can clarify your pharmacy’s values by zeroing in on these eight issues:


2. People

You can’t steer the ship alone — you need a great staff and leadership team to build a solid business. EOS emphasizes making sure that you have the right people in the right seats, and that people’s responsibilities align with their skills and talents.

To make sure people are in the right role, create a “people analyzer” that categorizes staff members by their strengths, then break down each work function by the traits someone would need to do it well. Then, you can match staff members to the right responsibilities based on their existing skills.

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3. Data

While people take action to make your pharmacy successful, it’s also important to look at the pharmacy through a lens of data. The objectivity of hard numbers can paint a different picture than the attitudes of those around you — with an optimistic team, you may not realize that your sales are down from last year unless you go to the data.

EOS recommends making a “scorecard” of measurable data points to help you stay in touch with the numbers. It can include financial data, like current cash balance or accounts receivable, as well as other metrics, like customer satisfaction.

Set a goal and check in with them every week to see your progress.

4. Issues

In order to make your pharmacy stronger, you have to be honest about all the issues it is facing. Once you know what the issues are, you can tackle them so they don’t become recurring annoyances or even bigger fatal flaws. EOS recommends approaching your pharmacy’s issues with the following process:


5. Process

You know what you need to do, and going through the process stage of an EOS will help you figure out HOW to accomplish those things. You will create a system that documents how things need to be done in order to meet your goals. By having that documentation, you can make sure everyone in your pharmacy is on the same page.

6. Traction

Once you’ve identified and worked through the other five components of the EOS, your next challenge is to follow through. When you have traction, you have the discipline and the accountability to execute your vision, use your people, parse through your data, identify your issues, and create a process. All this together will help you become a confident leader who can lead a successful pharmacy.

Implementing an Entrepreneurial Operating System

You’ve now identified the six key components to strengthening your business. Now, it’s time to implement a process that will help you stay true to your vision and meet your goals.

90-minute meeting

Getting started with an EOS only takes about 90 minutes. You’ll want one person at the head to be the Implementer. This could be you or someone from your leadership team, or you could bring in a professional to help you implement your goals.

At your first 90-minute meeting, you’ll bring together your whole leadership team to the concept of an EOS. You won’t be making any big strategy decisions right now, just getting to know the process and tools of the EOS.

Focus day

On your Focus Day, your leadership will set the agenda. You’ll identify your “rocks,” which are the most important things that you need to get done in the next 90 days. Once you’ve identified what those are, you will assign responsibilities to individuals and create a scorecard in order to create accountability and measure success.

During your Focus Day, you’ll create the agenda for your Level 10 meetings, which are weekly meetings for your leadership team that help to keep you focused on the current issues and make sure you are all on the same page.

Vision building

A month after your Focus Day, you and your leadership team will devote two entire days to Vision Building. Here, you’ll get to talk about the big picture of your pharmacy, and then break it down into smaller parts.

You’ll start by establishing your core values and core focus — why your business exists, what you’re doing now, and what you want to accomplish in the future. This will help you establish a long term target for where you want to be in 10 years.

Then, you’ll start to narrow your focus. You’ll refine your marketing strategy to help you achieve your long term goals, and then break it down into shorter intervals of three years, one year, and quarterly. Once you’ve clarified all the steps, your pharmacy’s leadership team will be able to see how the next 90 days will help them get to their 10-year goals.

Quarterly pulsing

Once your grand plans are in place, Quarterly Pulsing will help keep you on track. Your weekly Level 10 meetings are great for dealing with issues that need to be addressed immediately, and quarterly sessions will help you refocus and resolve things that are keeping you from making progress on your long term goals.

Then, once a year, hold a version of your Vision Building days, where you and your leadership team take two days to check in and update your vision and plans for the coming year.


Follow the Series

Managing Multiple Pharmacies: Creating Formal Policies for Every Location






This blog series is all about the unique aspects of managing more than one pharmacy location. Follow along as we discuss how to improve efficiency, productivity, and profit across multiple pharmacies.

Part 1: Key Factors to Succeed With More Than One Location

Part 2: How to Create Consistent Results Across All Your Locations

Part 3: Creating Formal Policies for Every Location 

Part 4: How to Manage Managers

Part 5: How to Build a Loyal Following With a Unified Brand

Part 6: The Key to Consistent Communication

Part 7: Lessons From the Nation’s Most Successful Franchises


An Independently Owned Organization Serving Independent Pharmacies

PBA Health is dedicated to helping independent pharmacies reach their full potential on the buy side of their business. The company is a member-owned organization that serves independent pharmacies with group purchasing services, expert contract negotiations, proprietary purchasing tools, distribution services, and more.

PBA Health, an HDA member, operates its own NABP-accredited (formerly VAWD) warehouse with more than 6,000 SKUs, including brands, generics, narcotics CII-CV, cold-storage products, and over-the-counter (OTC) products.

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