TARGET HITS THE MARK WITH CUSTOMER-DRIVEN PHARMACY SERVICE

Susan Farley
Published Online: Friday, February 1, 2008
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The ClearRx prescription-drug packaging system

When Target's first store opened in 1962 in Roseville, Minnesota, a movement began for trendy items at affordable prices. Target has expanded to approximately 1500 stores in 47 states, including more than 175 SuperTargets that offer an upscale grocery store in addition to its traditional departments, and will continue to expand operations across the globe by constructing a state-ofthe- art operations campus in Mysore, India. Target maintains its goal of meeting all of its customers' needs, but it is the pharmacy service that shines and has made Target a shopping mecca for its customers.

Target has made pharmacy service a priority and, by doing so, has provided pharmacists with an opportunity to join a growing team dedicated to community service—the company gives back about $3 million per week to the communities it serves—as well as innovation—Target is dedicated to environmental issues and recycling.

The goal of a Target pharmacist is to provide outstanding service and patient care. With millions of people shopping at Target every day for household items and other merchandise, the pharmacy department at Target has distinguished itself by offering a wide variety of generic drugs at $4. Customers also earn a 10%-off shopping day with every 10 prescriptions filled at Target. This kind of customer-driven marketing keeps the pharmacy service busy and is where the vital component of customer service comes into play. Each pharmacy has certain goals of meeting service and sales expectations, which is accomplished by working as a supportive team member of pharmacists and technicians.

GETTING STARTED

A recent graduate of pharmacy school could begin a career at Target through a couple of different avenues. Graduates can get in touch with their pharmacy school career center; the center can then connect them with a Target campus recruiter. Pharmacy school graduates also can go online and apply for a pharmacy position at www.Target.com/careers. For those looking to test the waters before graduation, Target has student internships available as well.

STAFFING THE TARGET PHARMACY

"The pharmacy industry is very competitive," said Pam Bernadella, manager of pharmacy professional services for Target. "At Target, we are always looking for high-performing, diverse talent. We want to be the place where pharmacists want to work by providing training and development opportunities, career growth opportunities, and a focus on guest interaction."

PROFESSIONAL GROWTH

Target offers a variety of training and leadership opportunities to ensure pharmacists have endless opportunities to either grow within their career as a pharmacist or advance into leadership roles. "At Target, we are a performance-based company, and our team members are rewarded for their performance and, because of our growth, there are multiple advancement opportunities for a pharmacist," said Bernadella.

One thing that sets Target apart from other large chain store pharmacies, said Bernadella, is its focus on leadership. Leadership development at Target is an important part of every team member's career, particularly in the pharmacy. Pharmacists are often the main point of contact in the community for health questions. "Our guests look to our pharmacists to provide them with the information they need to help keep their families healthy, so providing our guests with direct access to their pharmacist is incredibly important and a top priority for Target. This is one way that we help our communities thrive," said Bernadella.

WORKING ENVIRONMENT

Target is a unique working environment in many ways, according to Bernadella. "Pharmacy is an important part of our continued growth. Our guests view their pharmacy as part of their Target store.We are continually looking at how we can improve our pharmacy service to meet our guests' needs. For example, in new stores, we moved our pharmacy closer to the entrance so it is more convenient for our guests to pick up prescriptions," she said.

TARGET INNOVATION

Colored rings on bottles help prevent mix-ups

"At Target, we are known for our innovation and great design that enhances the lives of people everywhere. In 2005, we launched the ClearRx system nationwide," said Bernadella. This innovation in product packaging and labeling was the first of its kind within the pharmacy industry in more than 50 years. ClearRx is designed to help simplify, clarify, and enhance the safety of taking medications. It features colorcoded rings for each member of the family and an improved label that is clearer and easier to read. The label also includes a patient information card with important personal and drug information that stay with the bottle at all times.

"The new system has been a great success with our guests," said Bernadella. "We even received recognition from Surgeon General Richard Carmona who praised our innovative design solution. This is just one example of how innovation and design are helping set Target pharmacies apart from the rest."

COMPETITIVE BENEFITS

According to Bernadella, Target pharmacy team members receive one of the best pay and benefits packages in retail pharmacy, which includes competitive pay, insurance coverage, and a wide range of perks and benefits. Some of these benefits include:

  • Health and dental benefits on starting employment
  • Vacation, personal holidays, and national holiday pay
  • Training and development courses designed with team members' careers in mind
  • Contribution to retirement through pension and 401(k) plans
  • Adoption, education, and homeloan assistance to name a few
  • Discounts at Target stores

PHARMACY DESIGN

The pharmacy setup is an important aspect of work life for a pharmacist. Something for a pharmacist to consider when selecting a career path is if the workflow is designed in a manner that can best serve the patients and make things easier for the pharmacist. "Serving our patients is top priority for Target.We provide our teams with sufficient support help and standardized workflow processes, enabling our pharmacists to personally interact with our guests. And our guests tell us we are doing a great job," Bernadella said. In fact, she notes, in 2007, Target Pharmacy received the JD Powers Award for Highest Customer Satisfaction in Mass Merchandiser Pharmacies.

"We will continue to challenge ourselves and invest in providing solutions for our guests and their families," said Bernadella.

Climbing the Target Pharmacy Ladder

Pharmacy Intern
Pharmacy students can begin their careers at Target by applying to become a Pharmacy Intern, a critical part of the Target team. This internship provides an inside look at community pharmacy, patient counseling, and prescription preparation. Pharmacy interns also will learn how the Target Pharmacy is integrated into the Target store. This opportunity will help pharmacy students develop the necessary skills for a career not only in a Target pharmacy, but in any community pharmacy.

Pharmacist
Target pharmacists are the go-to people for keeping the pharmacies running as smoothly as possible. This may include, but is not limited to, filling prescriptions promptly and accurately and providing advice and patient counseling when necessary. As a Target staff pharmacist, it is important to meet and exceed customer service expectations and professional obligations while upholding Target standards.

Executive Team Leader—Pharmacy
This position is the pharmacist-incharge. An executive team leader is responsible for the productivity and profitability of the Target pharmacy. This integral position involves the supervision, coaching, and training of store pharmacy team members and charging them with the goal of achieving service and sales expectations. Other duties include counseling patients on prescription and OTC medications, establishing effective working relationships with other departments within the Target store, and ensuring compliance with state and federal regulations.



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