Pharmacy chain management software
Must have features of Pharmacy Chain Management Software.
Disclosure: While I will try my best, I can’t help but feel biased towards eVitalRx (www.eVitalRx.in) in writing this article but hopefully I will have made my case by the end of the article. If you would like to learn more about eVitalRx, you can also visit our Youtube Channel: www.youtube.com/c/eVitalRx
Whether you call it, Pharmacy Billing Software or Pharmacy Management System or PharmaERP or anything you like, you know what we are talking about! The system to Manage your Pharmacy, from Billing to Inventory Management.
Let’s assume that you are starting a new Pharmacy in India. Besides setting up furniture, hiring people and procuring medicines, one of the key decision that you will have to make is to get software to run your Pharmacy. Why do you need one, you ask? Good question.
You need a software to run your pharmacy, to manage your inventory (even new pharmacies tend to carry 3-5k unique medicines/FMCG products), to generate GST billing (patients prefer electronically generated bills, especially if they have to submit for insurance claims), to manage your expiries, to schedule payments to your distributors etc. And these are some of the most basic functions of running your pharmacy, if you want to be very efficient at running your pharmacy, you will need more - and that will decide what kind of Software you can choose.
Regardless of type of your Pharmacy (more on this in upcoming posts), buying and using Pharmacy Software is always a great return on your investment. For software like eVitalRx.in, you can pay as little as 10 INR a day and still benefit from the most-advanced technology that exist in the space. (Yes, at the cost of one Chai a day).
One of the key decision you will have to make is to pick either Desktop-based Offline version software or Cloud-based software. There are certain key differences between these two major distinction of software and will also decide trajectory of your pharmacy in upcoming year.
Before we begin to dive into deeper analysis of which version should you pick, I must say there are various desktop based offline software that does provide “server backup” and claim to be cloud-based, they are not. Some are also based on LAN connection, but it’s not quite the same as cloud-based. These software even have Mobile app but it requires syncing (often manual) and thus have always conflicting records of transactions (sales, purchase, inventory etc.). Put it simply, it’s a patchwork to create a functionality of cloud-based software, but it’s not the same experience.
Want to know some of the apps that you are familiar with that are purely cloud-based? Whatsapp, TikTok (good old days), Instagram, Facebook, Youtube etc.
If you want to know, why don’t we (eVitalRx) make Offline software for pharmacies, you can watch the following video:
If your shop is in area where no internet is available, then yes, for sure, you should go for Desktop-based Offline Software. However, you don’t need fast internet speed in order to run Cloud-based software (especially, eVitalRx - www.eVitalRx.in ) - HotSpot internet from Mobile Carrier like Jio can easily support the operation. Indeed, just like Water, Gas and Electricity, Internet has become an essential part of living in 2022 and thus, mostly available in even Tier 3-4 towns of India. Moreover, India has the cheapest Internet data available in the World.
What I like to tell people is we, as consumers, like to use all the Apps that are cloud-based, then why should we run our Business on some old technology that was built in 2005?!
Mainly there are two popular way of selling software in Pharma space and the model defines the way you receive service and support (and quality of it). Direct Model and Partner Model. Direct Model is where software provider itself has sales and support team and you are directly dealing with them. Partner model (also known as Channel /Reseller model) is where software provider sells bulk licenses to third party (known as Channel Partner) and they are selling the software to you as Pharmacy owner.
Depending upon the city/town you are in, it could be available to you as either model. However, one has to be conscious when it comes to Customer support, who will be that go-to provider.
Believe me or not, this plays an important role. Admittedly this is more about up and running pharmacy but its important enough to bring up. If you don’t have Dot-Matrix printer and have gotten Laserjet or Thermal printer, you are in for good news, as these printers support Cloud-based software and many other advanced features like Dynamic QR Codes for payments and app downloads. If you already have Dot Matrix, unfortunately these Cloud-based software is very hard to work with. However, the good news is printers are cheaper than it used to be (Thermal Printers could be cheap to buy and even cheaper as in maintenance). On a similar note, Dot Matrix do give you a look that is from late 90s, as shown below.
Below is the screenshot of Customer’s Mobile screen when they click on invoice sent by your Pharmacy via Whatsapp.
Image of Invoice copy that Customers get from Dot Matrix Printer
I think the Choice is clear, what kind of presentation would you like to have for your Pharmacy in front of your Customers!!
Why is this important? If you are personally attending the store for more than 8-10 hours a day (with 6 days a week, perhaps 7), then Offline Desktop software could do just fine as you don’t need to “monitor” activity at the pharmacy remotely. But if you are like most pharmacy owners, you need some time away from the pharmacies, to scale your business (i.e. open more than one location), vacation and social events, in this case, you might be better off getting a software that is cloud-based and has full-fledged Mobile App, such that you can keep tabs on your pharmacy operations, and other details while you are away from the Pharmacy.
While you are opening new Pharmacy, it is certain that you are making some upfront capital investment and thus some Pharmacy owners like to include Software investment upfront and prefer paying AMC later on every year.
One of the key questions you need to ask yourself are as following:
But I am not a fan of this pricing structure. Why? For one, when you pay a substantial cost upfront, when you need service/support later on, it is reasonable to assume that companies are not that excited. Rather lot of software companies try to upsell you a product that you may not even need. Secondly, imagine you recoup most of the cost upfront as software provider, would you be interested in adding and updating new features to existing customers without additional cost? I will let you answer that question.
I prefer subscription based pricing - only available in Cloud-based software. That is you don’t pay upfront and you pay 3,000-10,000 INR per year. This way, imagine if the company fails to provide service/support/updates, you can always switch to another provider later on and not lose any upfront cost.
If you want to learn more about our pricing, visit: www.eVitalRx.in/pricing
This is a big one. Integrations are like highways & bridges that connect two or more cities. Think of your own city or town. If you didn’t have highway or bridge that connects your town/city to other town/city, would it develop? Probably not.
Indeed, one of the biggest advantages Cloud-based softwares (not just Pharmacy) is of integration. Integration are very natural extension of cloud-based application (Web 2.0) and have opened up plethora of productivity and opportunities in 21st Century. Example? Imagine the Credit Card Payment gateway didn’t support the integration into Flipkart or Amazon. Amazon or Flipkart doesn’t create their own Payment Gateway, they simply integrate with Razorpay, Paytm, CashFree etc.
Similarly, eVitalRx has integrated various 3rd party products through integration, that is otherwise impossible (or clumsy) with Offline desktop based software. Some these integrations are as following:
I understand that as a founder and CEO of the company that makes Cloud-based Software for retail pharmacy, I may sound biased, but I leave you with one thought:
How many new software are being built in Offline Desktop manner?
I could also ask: when we was the last time you wrote a Postcard to your friend vs. when was the last time you sent Whatsapp?
You get the point! If you have any question or concern, please write to me at email@example.com and I will be extremely happy to help in choosing the right software for your Pharmacy. Good luck!