If you are in the process of buying a new pharmacy software system, you will need to know how to evaluate a price quote. Each vendor will provide you with their own quote that shows how much you can expect to pay for the software, as well as what is included in that cost estimation.
The components and layout of each vendor’s quote will vary, so you need to know how to break down each quote and equally compare your options. That way, you can make an informed decision and know what you are actually getting with the cost of your new pharmacy software.
Comparing Apples to Oranges
When comparing price quotes, it can be tempting to simply look at the total costs at the bottom of the page. However, this can be extremely limiting and lead to an inaccurate comparison. You’ll quickly find yourself comparing apples to oranges, instead of apples to apples.
Instead, it’s important to look at the line items on each quote and determine exactly what's included in each estimate. Sometimes, you may not be getting the full picture of the costs your pharmacy will incur.
A La Carte Pricing Models
A la carte pricing is when a customer can select individual options to add-on to their product package. While this can add customization, buyers should be wary of how a la carte pricing can affect their quote.
You may get a quote that looks inexpensive at first glance, but what’s actually included in that cost?
You may end up having to add-on some basic features of your software system and inflate your monthly cost with additional fees. So when looking at your total price on a quote, remember to dig deeper and get a detailed breakdown of every feature that is included - and what features you’ll end up paying extra for.
Always remember that this purchase is an investment for your business. Will you have all the tools you need to run your business efficiently? Will your software be able to grow with you or will you be forced to switch to another system later on?
Instead of just looking for the lowest initial price, think about how the software system will set your pharmacy up for success. A pharmacy software with the right features will save you more money in the long run, with intuitive tools to manage DIR fees, keep a lean inventory, run robust reports, identify opportunities to save money, and more.
An inexpensive system might save you some money at first, but as you begin to run your business, the missed financial opportunities will compound over time.
Line Items to Look for in Your Price Quote
These are a few common costs you will likely encounter when purchasing a pharmacy software that might not be listed in your initial quote. Take a look at your quote and see if these are listed - if not, ask your sales representative if these costs will be added on later and how much you can expect to pay.
Additional Hardware Costs
Each software vendor has a list of minimum hardware requirements to run their software, so you will likely need to purchase some additional hardware. Confirm what hardware your pharmacy will need and what the pricing is.
Set-Up and Installation Costs
The actual set-up of your new software will likely include data conversion, software installation, and staff training fees. Check if this is already included in your pricing quote.
Software customer support is crucial for independent pharmacies, and you will need a reliable support team to assist in the everyday operations of your business. Support fees are usually a component of your software pricing, so check to see if it is already included in your quote.
Lastly, check for the pricing of transaction fees like eScript fees and claim fees. These are usually a “per-transaction” fee that will depend on your pharmacy’s operations.
What's the Real Cost?
All in all, the main point to remember is - ask for the real monthly cost.
As a potential customer, you have every right to ask questions and have full knowledge of what your actual expenses will be if you purchase a vendor’s software system. Many pharmacists will get demos from multiple vendors and compare their options. Just remember to compare equally and know what you are getting for your money - and determine if the capabilities of the software will be a valuable investment for the future of your pharmacy business.