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Monday, September 21, 2015

Set up for Failure

What are your company's expectations? "Unrealistic" should be the answer no matter what number you give. Let's examine flu shot goals, um targets, I mean quotas, er, plans. Math is good here.
Here is an example of averages in statistics: On average, 55-60% of the US population votes in presidential elections. The numbers vary little from elections after 1920 going as low as 49% to a high of 63%. It is fairly accurate to say voter turnout is ~57% every year since 1920.

As it regards pharmacy, let's assume the following:

On average, 40% of the US population receives a flu shot each year. The numbers vary little year to year. This is, for all intents and purposes, a finite number. (And the number of the counting shall be 40%. No more. No less.)
Your company expects an increase of 20-60% in the number of flu shots administered by your store.
Where will we get these shots?
Ten years ago when I first started immunizing, it was easy to show growth. I was the only person in town giving shots. It stayed that way for 4 years. Then everyone got in the game. Now you can receive a flu shot from your prescriber, an urgent care clinic, in hospital, during an ER visit, from the fire department, at the county health department, any pharmacy on any corner in any town, or during any vaccination clinic provided by any of these groups.

Another number to add to the equation: Prescription Growth. Each year we are given metrics, um targets to reach as it pertains to prescription growth. I have yet to work in an existing (not new construction) store that had a goal of 20-60% growth in prescriptions. Usually these goals are single digits, but always much less than 20%.

As I understand it, corporate people want us to grow one segment of the business by 40% in a saturated market where growth is stagnant and our overall prescription increase, the bulk of our business, is only expected to grow by <10%?

Where do we get the flu shot business? We are expected to steal, pilfer, and swipe it from competitors. Guess what? They have the same unrealistic, unattainable goals as we have. While we may not lose business over this, we are certainly not going to gain 40% either.

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