Spotlight on the 2024 PharmaChoice National Trade Show: PharmaChoice celebrating 25 years of Empowering Independent Pharmacies

In the bustling world of retail pharmacy, where big corporations often dominate the landscape, independent pharmacies stand as pillars of community health and personalized care. Their significance goes beyond just dispensing medications; they are integral parts of neighborhoods, offering tailored services and fostering trust among their patients. As one of the largest independent pharmacy groups in Canada, PharmaChoice showcased its commitment to community focus and patient care while celebrating their 25th anniversary at the recent PharmaChoice Trade Show in Halifax, NS and Auto-Star was there to take it all in. Here are our top takeaways.

Technology Enabled Customer Engagement

One of the key highlights of the event was the unveiling of the PharmaChoice Perks Advantage program—a testament to PharmaChoice’s unwavering support for its network of independent pharmacies. Integrated with the Star-Plus Pharmacy POS solution, this program not only rewards loyal customers with points and offers but also provides the banner with key sales and movement metrics which enables smarter purchases, negotiating tools and tailored promotions in an increasingly competitive market.

Community at Heart

At the heart of PharmaChoice’s offerings is the recognition of the vital role played by independent pharmacies in their communities. Each interaction, whether it’s a consultation about medications or a recommendation for wellness products, is infused with a sense of care and understanding unique to these local establishments. As the PharmaChoice team emphasized during the trade show, community involvement isn’t just a tagline—it’s a way of life. We were in awe of this community spirit with the expansion of the groups donation matching program in support of cancer research through The Terry Fox Foundation.

Strength in Numbers

Founded in 1999 in Nova Scotia by a small group of independent minded Pharmacies, PharmaChoice now has over 1,000 members across Canada under the PharmaChoice and RxHealthMed banners. Though comprehensive supports like the Star-Plus integrated project velocity digital enablement programs, which enables independent pharmacies to simplify data and promotions management, in tandem with the leading Option+ private label line, PharmaChoice continues to attract new members to the group.

Innovation to do More with Less

As independent businesses are challenged by macro factors like inflation and availability of labor, PharmaChoice members understand the importance of leveraging technology innovation to do more with less. As an innovative retail technology solutions provider, Auto-Star plays an important role in giving PharmaChoice members the tools they need to succeed and thrive in their communities while freeing up time to offer the local patient focused care they are known for.

One technology innovation that garnered a lot of attention was Auto-Star’s Star-Plus Pharmacy Point of Sale solution integrated with Electronic Shelf Labels (ESL) by SES-Imagotag. By updating electronic shelf-tag automatically pharmacies can; enable efficient pricing updates, real-time promotional management, accurate products information and enhanced customer engagement saving time and money.

We continued to garner attention with our affordable QuickScan360 self-checkout solution for independent pharmacies. By bringing the convenience of self-checkout to local pharmacies, Auto-Star enables PharmaChoice members to cater to modern consumer preferences while preserving the personalized touch that sets them apart. Add to this the easy convertible design which enables users to quickly switch from a fully attended checkout to an unattended self-checkout and PharmaChoice members and their staff can do even more with less freeing up valuable time for merchandising, loss prevention & patient care.

Shared Commitment to Customer Service

Beyond the innovative technology and business solutions, what truly resonated with attendees was Auto-Star’s unwavering commitment to exceptional customer service and technical support. In an industry where every interaction matters, PharmaChoice goes above and beyond for their customers and they expect that their technology partners like Auto-Star do the same. We were delighted by the response of existing Star-Plus users on the show floor that were more than satisfied with our technical support services. Both with 24/7 help desk support as needed but also as a true technology partner that enables them to leverage innovative solutions to remain competitive.

Pharmacy Workflow Optimization

Part of high-level community focused patient care is the efficient management of pharmacy workflow. From accepting and filling scripts to efficient and accurate counseling on and sales of prescriptions, the Star-Plus point of sale solution enables a 360 view of processes for accountability and optimization. Integrated with leading dispensary systems like Propel Rx, Fillware, Applied Robotics and Telus Kroll Pharmacy management software, the Star-Plus Pharmacy POS software ensures that every prescription is accounted for. Our PharmaChoice Star-Plus users were excited to hear about upcoming new developments that will make their lives even easier by further optimizing and automating the reconciliation process in the dispensary.

As the curtains drew to a close on the PharmaChoice Trade Show, attendees left with a renewed sense of optimism and purpose. The event wasn’t just about showcasing products and services; it was a celebration of the resilience and ingenuity of independent pharmacies. In an era dominated by big-box retailers and online giants, PharmaChoice reaffirmed its commitment to empowering local pharmacies to thrive and serve their communities with excellence.

The PharmaChoice Trade Show was more than just a gathering of industry professionals—it was a testament to the enduring spirit of independent pharmacies and their invaluable contributions to community health. Through investments in technology, innovative programs like Perks Advantage, and unwavering support, PharmaChoice continues to redefine what it means to be a partner in pharmacy excellence. As we look to the future, one thing is clear: the future of pharmacy is bright, and PharmaChoice enabled by technology innovation from Auto-Star is leading the way.