Getting to Know the Features and Advantages of a Pharmacy Software

A pharmacy is a medical shop that provides medication to customers. Pharmacy software is a solution the shop utilises to ensure safe selling of the drugs to consumers and in an effective manner.A drug store keeps in its inventory a large number and variety of medicines. Remembering the crucial details of each is not possible for human workers. Management software can store information like toxicity, side effects, potency, expiry date, etc. and make it easily accessible to the employee.Some Features of a Medical Shop SoftwareThough a management software comes with countless characteristics, explained below are just few of the most important.

Loading of Data

The second the pharmacy begins operation there is a need to access and control a lot of data, i.e., information related to every medicine sold. This requires the mammoth task of manually filling in each detail of each inventory item. Even if the chore is given to a junior employee, it is vital to check their progress. Simply said, a lot of resources are put into just one job and a job that doesn’t guarantee to be 100% accurate because human-errors always happen.A good medical software will come with the feature to extract data from a CSV or Excel file and load it onto the system. With this attribute, the time taken to complete the task is reduced, and there are no chances of errors occurring.

Management of Inventory

Inventory management makes the pharmacy more efficient and decreases operational costs by keeping track of the medicines sold. Out of all features of a billing system, this is the crucial one.Using the software, the inventory of the pharmacy can be tracked automatically meaning an employee doesn’t need to perform the laborious task of handling and monitoring inventory. Their time can be utilised for more beneficial activities. This feature also controls access to the drugs in the store which improves security and enables accurate medicine dispensing.

Point of Sale Integration

The most practical application of a pharmacy solution is POS. The feature keeps a check on the cash flow on all floors of the pharmacy and other chains (if present).

Barcode Scanner

The barcode scanner allows verification of each drug that passes the POS and helps keep track of all sales. It also aids in

retrieval of refill information

verification of dispensed product

Advanced Reporting

Some pharmacy management systems come with a library of report templates. These built-in reports can be employed by workers to work faster. The process is easier for the employee and the information that needs to be tracked and reported is far more accurate.

E-Prescriptions

The application allows the pharmacy to receive new prescriptions from doctors or refill prescriptions directly. Electronic prescriptions make the process of getting the medicine to the patient faster.

e-Signature

The element saves time during the purchase of medicine because it allows the sale to be signed electronically. In one transaction, the employee can electronically track acknowledgment of each prescription sold.

Clinical Integration

Some pharmacies employ many clinical tools such as dosing guides, lab information, and drug interactions. The clinical integration allows the pharmacy software to be incorporated with the tools for better services.

Pill Imaging

The feature guarantees that no incorrect pill is dispensed. At the quality check, the pills are displayed and then compared with those being purchased. The comparison ensures that the right medicine is given. Pill imaging makes for a valuable tool to enhance the accuracy and quality of prescription filling.The Paybacks of a Management Solution for a PharmacyWhen the right pharmacy software is employed, a medical shop delivers the best possible care to patients while increasing profit margins. It frees up precious time and resources which can then be focused on producing more business. A few essential benefits that come hand in hand with a pharmacy management solution are:

The cost of ownership is very low.

The applications of the system are wide-ranging and can be controlled by having different logins for the owner of the pharmacy and other employees.

Each user of the software can have diverse privileges by manually setting the rights of the user.

The software can be customised as per the needs of the shop making it as comprehensive or as narrow as required.

The productivity of the pharmacy increases which, in turn, amplifies profitability.

The sale procedure is considerably sped up through the Barcode scanner because it records details automatically.

More than just a front-end solution, a medical shop solution also takes care of the supply chain.

From alerting when the stock is low to informing the pending expiry date of medicines, the system comes with many useful features.

The analysis, information, and reports the software provides assist in better decision making for the business.

All data is stored in a centralised location and retrieving the data is easy with an interactive user interface.

A software is more than reliable. It is secure that safeguards the sensitive information of the medical shop completely.

Alternative Financing Vs. Venture Capital: Which Option Is Best for Boosting Working Capital?

There are several potential financing options available to cash-strapped businesses that need a healthy dose of working capital. A bank loan or line of credit is often the first option that owners think of – and for businesses that qualify, this may be the best option.

In today’s uncertain business, economic and regulatory environment, qualifying for a bank loan can be difficult – especially for start-up companies and those that have experienced any type of financial difficulty. Sometimes, owners of businesses that don’t qualify for a bank loan decide that seeking venture capital or bringing on equity investors are other viable options.

But are they really? While there are some potential benefits to bringing venture capital and so-called “angel” investors into your business, there are drawbacks as well. Unfortunately, owners sometimes don’t think about these drawbacks until the ink has dried on a contract with a venture capitalist or angel investor – and it’s too late to back out of the deal.

Different Types of Financing

One problem with bringing in equity investors to help provide a working capital boost is that working capital and equity are really two different types of financing.

Working capital – or the money that is used to pay business expenses incurred during the time lag until cash from sales (or accounts receivable) is collected – is short-term in nature, so it should be financed via a short-term financing tool. Equity, however, should generally be used to finance rapid growth, business expansion, acquisitions or the purchase of long-term assets, which are defined as assets that are repaid over more than one 12-month business cycle.

But the biggest drawback to bringing equity investors into your business is a potential loss of control. When you sell equity (or shares) in your business to venture capitalists or angels, you are giving up a percentage of ownership in your business, and you may be doing so at an inopportune time. With this dilution of ownership most often comes a loss of control over some or all of the most important business decisions that must be made.

Sometimes, owners are enticed to sell equity by the fact that there is little (if any) out-of-pocket expense. Unlike debt financing, you don’t usually pay interest with equity financing. The equity investor gains its return via the ownership stake gained in your business. But the long-term “cost” of selling equity is always much higher than the short-term cost of debt, in terms of both actual cash cost as well as soft costs like the loss of control and stewardship of your company and the potential future value of the ownership shares that are sold.

Alternative Financing Solutions

But what if your business needs working capital and you don’t qualify for a bank loan or line of credit? Alternative financing solutions are often appropriate for injecting working capital into businesses in this situation. Three of the most common types of alternative financing used by such businesses are:

1. Full-Service Factoring – Businesses sell outstanding accounts receivable on an ongoing basis to a commercial finance (or factoring) company at a discount. The factoring company then manages the receivable until it is paid. Factoring is a well-established and accepted method of temporary alternative finance that is especially well-suited for rapidly growing companies and those with customer concentrations.

2. Accounts Receivable (A/R) Financing – A/R financing is an ideal solution for companies that are not yet bankable but have a stable financial condition and a more diverse customer base. Here, the business provides details on all accounts receivable and pledges those assets as collateral. The proceeds of those receivables are sent to a lockbox while the finance company calculates a borrowing base to determine the amount the company can borrow. When the borrower needs money, it makes an advance request and the finance company advances money using a percentage of the accounts receivable.

3. Asset-Based Lending (ABL) – This is a credit facility secured by all of a company’s assets, which may include A/R, equipment and inventory. Unlike with factoring, the business continues to manage and collect its own receivables and submits collateral reports on an ongoing basis to the finance company, which will review and periodically audit the reports.

In addition to providing working capital and enabling owners to maintain business control, alternative financing may provide other benefits as well:

It’s easy to determine the exact cost of financing and obtain an increase.
Professional collateral management can be included depending on the facility type and the lender.
Real-time, online interactive reporting is often available.
It may provide the business with access to more capital.
It’s flexible – financing ebbs and flows with the business’ needs.
It’s important to note that there are some circumstances in which equity is a viable and attractive financing solution. This is especially true in cases of business expansion and acquisition and new product launches – these are capital needs that are not generally well suited to debt financing. However, equity is not usually the appropriate financing solution to solve a working capital problem or help plug a cash-flow gap.

A Precious Commodity

Remember that business equity is a precious commodity that should only be considered under the right circumstances and at the right time. When equity financing is sought, ideally this should be done at a time when the company has good growth prospects and a significant cash need for this growth. Ideally, majority ownership (and thus, absolute control) should remain with the company founder(s).

Alternative financing solutions like factoring, A/R financing and ABL can provide the working capital boost many cash-strapped businesses that don’t qualify for bank financing need – without diluting ownership and possibly giving up business control at an inopportune time for the owner. If and when these companies become bankable later, it’s often an easy transition to a traditional bank line of credit. Your banker may be able to refer you to a commercial finance company that can offer the right type of alternative financing solution for your particular situation.

Taking the time to understand all the different financing options available to your business, and the pros and cons of each, is the best way to make sure you choose the best option for your business. The use of alternative financing can help your company grow without diluting your ownership. After all, it’s your business – shouldn’t you keep as much of it as possible?

The Portuguese Property Market From the Finance Perspective

The first thing that is evident is that there is less choice available when looking for finance. This is because several of the banks, which were actively lending to foreign investors have stopped doing so, these would include BBVA and BCP. That said, there are still other banks that remain in the market, just less of them.The banks that remain however have more stringent terms for their lending. Products, which were available at 75% loan to value in 2007, are now reduced to 60%. Banks are looking for high net worth clients and interest rates are far higher. Lenders are seeking to improve the quality of their lending books and this is reflected in their policy.With certain lenders, it used to be the case that if you managed to negotiate a price well below the market value, you could achieve a 100% loan against the price, as the lenders would allow the loan percentage to be a reflection of the valuation. This is no longer the case, far more conservative lending policy now no longer allows this and even if you get a discount you’ll be restricted to a percentage of the purchase price.Although these changes to lending criteria have restricted the availability of lending, there has been a positive side to this. The market is now far more realistically priced that it was 4 years ago, this is reflected in the valuations that are coming back from surveyors. Judith Price at Caixa Geral de Depositos told me last week “in my experience valuations are all coming in at purchase price or slightly above”. Realism in any market is a good thing as it leads to stability and confidence.There are of course still over riding factors which could destabilise everything, you only have to look eastwards to Greece to see where these originate. In September there were some purchases that fell away over the Greek problems and the IMF moving in. The cost of money went up and these increases are passed on to the end borrower.As far as actual development finance is concerned, the picture is even bleaker. Weak demand and falling prices have meant that there are many projects already at a stand still and lenders are of the view “why lend on more?”So are there any good bits of news and what should investors consider?To start with, variable rate loans in Portugal are usually linked to Euribor, When looking at 6 month Euribor, in March 2011 it stood at 1.352%, in September 1.755% but now stands at 1.505%, so it is possible that barring other financial shocks, rates may have passed their peak.Bank loan margins are still high though, because of the cost of money, so it may be better to consider a fixed rate product for the next few years.Portugal still offers good value for money and with Sterling’s recent strengthening against the Euro this has again improved. Investors should also consider whether they could raise finance in their own country at a cheaper rate than those available in Portugal, although this needs to be weighed against having Euro debt against a Euro based property if their own currency is outside the Euro zone.Remember that finance is more difficult to obtain across Europe. Portugal remains a wonderful country with far better value in the property market, than a few years ago. Whilst the economy still has a large debt overhang, the government has taken strong steps to try and bring this under control.