Automation coronavirus-Autonomous cars, drones delivering packages and robots filling prescriptions are becoming familiar sights, so today we look at where automation might impact businesses the most.
Even before the global pandemic, waiting in line to get prescriptions filled in a pharmacy was a pain. Enter NowRx, a company that started in the Bay Area and expanded to Orange County with sights on extending its reach to other regions of the state and Arizona.
The company claims it has 99% of the pharmaceuticals typically found at brick-and-mortar pharmacies (and online) and can deliver medication to you on the day or sometimes hours after your doctor submits a prescription.
Volume and speed
How can that happen and be profitable? Automation and logistics are key.
“NowRx uses a micro-fulfillment strategy that matches its service up against the 10 or more pharmacies in a 5-mile radius of its warehouse,” says co-founder and CEO Cary Breese.
Breese says the company operates with significantly less overhead with no need for retail spaces, and the use of robotics means prescriptions are filled “extremely fast.”
Also, a typical pharmacy in a grocery store, with people counting pills, might average a couple of hundred prescriptions a day according to McKesson, a pharmacy advisement company. “The NowRx pharmacists can process more than 2,000 a day,” Breese says.
Getting to you quickly
The company also uses technology to speed up deliveries. Drivers follow specially designed routes that use technology to optimize speed and the number of stops per route.
“It might cost a typical big-box pharmacy about $8 per prescription to make, while our cost is down to about $2,” Breese said. A study of human errors in dispensing pharmacy prescriptions found a mistake rate of about 0.015. NowRx’s dispensing error rate is about 0.00012.