Google Maps is a great tool to help get you where you’re going. If I’m heading out to a destination I’ve never been to, it’s my tool of choice. As the most-used map for daily navigation in the world, it has over 154.4 million users per month.
When it comes to a personal mapping solution, who could ask for more?
So how does it stack up as a solution for prescription delivery? It’s not ideal.
If you’re using Google Maps to grow your delivery service, you’re likely to face some issues. In this article, we’ll talk about the limits of using Google Maps and how they’ll affect your service.
Then we’ll explore three advantages to using prescription delivery software.
When Deliveries Get Out of Control
One of our delivery customers, we’ll call him Noah, had a big problem. It was early 2020, COVID had just hit, and pharmacies everywhere were scrambling to keep up. Noah is an innovative pharmacy owner who prides himself on his forward thinking. He was aware of the need to offer delivery and he’d been working on his service, but it wasn’t quite where it needed to be yet.
So when demand exploded, things got a little tense.
“The biggest problem,” Noah says, “was this big surge in calls for delivery on top of new COVID restrictions. Demand had been growing in the previous few years, but with COVID it became an immediate need. Everyone was running scared, and we weren’t even using a prescription delivery solution at the time.”
In desperation, Noah and his team turned to Google Maps.
“We’d used it here and there for routing,” says Deborah, Pharmacy Manager at Noah’s location. “But we’d never done this kind of volume before. It worked for a while, but once things started growing it was a disaster.
“If we had less than ten orders on our run it worked fine, but that didn’t last long. It was a lot of manual work, figuring out what order to deliver in. We had this crazy spreadsheet a mile long and it got time consuming.”
“We tried everything,” Noah remembers. “After a while we had the drivers in charge of mapping their own runs. That didn’t work out so well with some. They tried, but it took forever.
“Then as the service grew our patients started to have expectations, so we needed new features. Our cobbled-together process wasn’t cutting it anymore.
“We started to get calls for more specific ETAs, and we needed something for that. Then we had some situations with priority orders that didn’t go as well as I’d have liked.
“We were so busy with other COVID issues that we didn’t have time to deal with it all. But it got to the point where we didn’t have a choice.”
Growing Your Service to Meet Escalating Demand
It’s true; you can use Google Maps when your delivery service is small. In fact, if you’ve recently started delivering, it can be the perfect tool to experiment with. It’s free and easy to use, which makes it a good option when you’re figuring out what you need.
But if your goal is to grow your deliveries to meet the escalating demand, it may not take you far.
So what exactly are the limitations?
- Your route must include no more than 10 deliveries.
- You can only optimize routes for one driver at a time.
- Optimization does not include route constraints such as delivery windows or driver breaks.
- You must use a manual process to put your deliveries in the most efficient order. This is difficult when you’re lacking information on route constraints as mentioned above.
If you’re planning to scale to keep up with demand, it makes sense to start with a solution that will help you grow.
The Secret to Offering the Best Prescription Delivery Service
With the rise in demand for shopping online, prescription delivery is the future. Pharmacy is evolving to meet the challenge; mail order pharmacies are everywhere. Every large chain in North America now delivers; not to mention most independents.
Delivery has become the way to offer stand-out service, to wow your patients.
But hacking together a quick, manual system is no longer a viable option. With the number of pharmacies in the delivery game, you need a polished solution.
So what should you look for in a prescription delivery software?
Affordable options are important, as well as quick and easy implementation. You need to get up and running fast. But a great delivery software will also have compliance tools to keep your patients safe. Which means your provider should understand day-to-day pharmacy life.
How else can prescription delivery software help you grow your service?
Three Advantages of Using Prescription Delivery Software
Route Efficiency and Tracking
Efficient routing is at the heart of every great delivery service. Your prescription delivery solution should offer one-click routing combined with real-time tracking.
By tracking your routes and delivery times, you’ll know what needs to improve.
Some questions you should always be asking are:
- How quick and efficient are your routes?
- Are your delivery times as impressive as they could be?
- What can you do to improve them?
Remember, this is about patient safety and satisfaction, so the quicker the better.
How about your employees? Do they take the fastest, most efficient route to their destinations? Or are they dawdling along the scenic route while your customers wait for their meds?
Improving your routes efficiency will improve your delivery service. Your solution should provide you with fast and efficient routing, plus real-time tracking.
No matter how organized you are, there will be twists and turns in your delivery queue. It happens to everyone. So loading up your driver and sending him or her on the road for the day isn’t always practical.
Say you get part way though the morning and a patient calls in with an urgent need. They didn’t realize they were out of meds, or they forgot to call in their order the day before.
With real-time tracking, you know exactly where your driver is and how many orders they have left for the day. Knowing if your driver will be close by the pharmacy means you can call them back for the emergency order.
Knowing what orders are already done gives you the power to rearrange your run if needed to fit in new orders. Which means you can accommodate an emergency for your patient.
For patients who are getting a routine script filled, chances are they’ve got busy lives. Often, they’re going to want to know where their delivery is and when it will show up at their door.
For patients who are sick, the situation becomes even more crucial.
Being able to give your patients an accurate ETA is an important part of running a delivery service. With a good prescription delivery software, you’ve got this handled.
If you’re using Google Maps to route your deliveries, anything could happen. It could mean the difference between happy customers and a delivery run gone awry.
The Power of Expertise: A Solution Built for Prescription Delivery
To offer your patients the delivery service they want, you need a solution made for pharmacy. And as any pharmacy team will tell you, there’s just no substitute for quality.
With EconoRoute™ you’re not only getting the benefit of a simple yet flexible solution; you’re also getting the product of years of pharmacy software expertise.
Want to grow your prescription delivery service? Get started today.