Pharmacies can no longer hope for price wars

In some regions of the country, such as Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Nizhny Novgorod, there are pharmacies with zero efficiency. Trying to attract additional customers flow with advantageous price, pharmacies reduce prices, often unreasonably. Representatives of IT companies are confident that they can help in this situation.

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According to AlphaRM, the pharmacy market revenue amounted to 85.4 billion rubles in the first half of 2017, which is 13% more than in the same period in 2016. At the same time, the average monthly revenue of one pharmacy increased by 3% and is about 1.4 million rubles.

According to the managing partner of ASNA Alexander Kondratyev, everyone understands that marketing money is an instrument of price war. "Nobody even hides that. The more you earn money from the manufacturer, the more you invest in pricing. We now have regions with zero profitability, such as Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod. In this situation, we must work with our internal effectiveness," he said at the conference "Direct contract: everyone wins!"

Pharmacy chains can raise profitability due to category management in the field of Conditional own brands (COB) and contract production. Own logistics can help. Because of price competition, pharmacies cannot have a large range of goods, but they can expand it using the Internet. "Own logistics is the logical development of this story. If your pharmacy is not a discounter, then its revenue does not grow, the distributor looks at you suspiciously, cuts down trade credits, and requires bank guarantees. Therefore, a need for domestic supplies arises," Mr. Kondratyev explains.

Neither COB nor OB can be launched without some changes in the pharmacy: first of all, in its software that takes into account the front and back margin in pricing, the possibility of prompting the pharmacists about substitutions and additional sales of products taking into account the INN, symptoms, and dosage regimen, as well as motivation systems.

Cost optimization is another way to increase profitability. As the development director of Maykor-GMCS Dmitry Mchedlidze said, an IT company offering technology for business has always opportunities for optimization. Companies rarely analyze their own data, which can be used. In particular, when a company is consolidating a pharmacy business, its number of outlets grows, as does the number of leases contracts. A special IT solution can help ensure that they are renewed and paid on time, etc.

"All companies have similar problems," says Konstantin Tiunov, marketing director for the new In-Tek company, which supplies IT solutions for the pharmaceutical market. “This is a large amount of data, which is still often processed manually. Because of this, mistakes are made, and some decisions are made too late."

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The company In-Tek is sure that large regional pharmacy chains can create their own associations for working with manufacturers on marketing contracts, and an IT company can help them do it. Some pharmacy chains and distributors have already made such attempts earlier, but most of them were unsuccessful. According to Konstantin Tiunov, this was primarily due to the lack of necessary software. He noted that the associations that use IT-technologies show growth, in particular Proapteka. Therefore, the company In-Tek suggested solutions that allow companies to manage marketing contracts, document circulation, predict the implementation of plans, monitor defective goods, etc.

"With our software, we manage a marketing association in which most pharmacy chains continue to work on their software. We believe that no one has the right to impose conditions of cooperation on pharmacy owners, whether in their choice of software or in the conditions for purchasing goods, even if they are bad for the turnover. With our solutions, a pharmacy chain gets the opportunity to better manage the promotion of drugs within the scope of the opportunities provided by legislation provides," said Mr. Tiunov.

At the conference of Pharmvestnik, the company came out to the public for the first time, and was met with mixed feelings. Software developers tried to find out the differences between their products and the competitors' ones; pharmacy chains demanded guarantees. However, the new company aroused interest. According to Andrei Belashov, vice-president of the company Obolenskoe, the market will put everything in order and keep the players, in which the clients are really interested.


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