Retail pharmacies, Independent Pharmacy Accounting, Startup Pharmacies, Tax

The Bottom Line Pharmacy Podcast The Hidden Cost of Not Automating Featuring Darin Gleason

With double DIR fees ending, it’s a great time to implement automation in your pharmacy.  

Whether your goal is to increase script volume or optimize payroll the opportunities that come with vial filling robots are fruitful.  

In this episode of The Bottom Line Pharmacy Podcast, Darin Gleason, National Sales Director for Retail and Chains with ScriptPro joins us to share his insights on:  

  • What’s next for pharmacies after double DIR fees 
  • Using automation to transition techs into profit centers for your pharmacy 
  • The importance of analyzing your scripts 

And more!

Join the discussion with us. 

The Bottom Line Pharmacy Podcast is your regular dose of pharmacy CPA advice to fuel your bottom line, featuring pharmacists, key vendors, and other innovators.

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More resources about this topic:  

Blog – Improving Profitability and Customer Service Levels Through AI 

Blog – Three Tips to Manage Payroll Expenses 

Blog – 5 Ways to Diversify Services in Your Pharmacy 

If you prefer to read this content, the video transcript is below:

Bonnie Bond CPA: Well, welcome everybody to another episode of the Sykes The Bottom Line Pharmacy Podcast. We are super excited today to have our friend and colleague, Darren Gleason with us. He is the National Director for ScriptPro Sales for Retail and also… the chains. If anybody is interested. But he’s got a lot of great information to talk with us about today. Darin, thank you so much for joining us. 

Darin Gleason: Thanks for having me. 

Scotty Sykes CPA, CFP: Now, Darins been around in the pharmacy space quite a long time. Isn’t that right, Darin? 

Darin Gleason: Yeah, I just started my 17th year with ScriptPro. So yeah, I’ve gotten old and gray during that time. 

Scotty Sykes CPA, CFP: A lot of ScriptPro… 

[Laugh break] 

Share with us some of your 17 years of knowledge and experience and where you’ve seen pharmacy go during that time and where you think it’s going in the future, especially with the double DR feed that a lot of pharmacies have been going. 

Darin Gleason: Sure. It’s interesting, you know, 17 years is a long time, and you see a lot of change. There’s been an enormous amount of change. I started with ScriptPro right about the time that Part D originally came out. And, you know, everybody thought when Part D became part of the normal operating procedures that, you know, the sky was going to fall, and it was going to be the end of pharmacy. And it wasn’t. I mean, reimbursements changed. But during that time volumes went up significantly as well. So, a pharmacy that was filling 150 to 200 prescriptions a day ended up spilling 300 to 350 prescriptions a day. So, their volumes went up, their reimbursements changed during that time. And the interesting thing is for the previous 30 years, pharmacy didn’t change much. It kind of stayed the same. And then once part D and all the changes started to happen, it started to change rather rapidly. And I think probably in the last three to five years, the rate of change in the retail space specifically for independent pharmacies has increased tenfold. There’s been more change in the last three to five years than the previous 35 to 40 years combined. Some of it’s good and some of it, I don’t know. I think the jury’s still out on it. 

Bonnie Bond CPA: I would just like to say that I’ve been at Sykes & Company longer than… 

Scotty Sykes CPA, CFP: How long? 

Darin Gleason: Hehehehehe 

Bonnie Bond CPA: Long time I just got to thinking about 20 years. 

Scotty Sykes CPA, CFP: You’ve been here 20 years? 

Darin Gleason: Wow. 

Bonnie Bond CPA: 20 years I have worked for and with Ollin Sykes. 

Scotty Sykes CPA, CFP: God bless you. 

[Laugh Break]  

Bonnie Biond CPA: Sorry, I just wanted to interrupt and throw that in there…Back to DIR fees.  

Scotty Sykes CPA, CFP: So, Darin, DIR, what are you seeing? What are you seeing in the marketplace right now? You’re out there with ScriptPro, Vial Filling robots. Tell me what you’re seeing in your customers and your experience right now during this double DIR feed time. 

Darin Gleason: Yeah, the last six to nine months have been challenging, especially challenging for our retail pharmacies as they kind of weather and figure out what’s going to take place and what has taken place. And, you know, we were talking earlier, but one of the things that everybody was worried about the double dip and how it was going to impact overall financial health of the pharmacy. And I think everybody, you know, end of the summer, fourth quarter last year really started to prepare and the ones that were ready and looking forward to what could potentially happen, they started to put themselves or try to get themselves in a strong cash position, building up cash reserves, being able to withstand that three to four months of double callbacks. And then now we’ve reached a point where we’re kind of cycling through the end of those clawbacks. And it has been a challenge from a casual perspective on a lot of pharmacies. I think that as we get to the end of it, we’re seeing a point where there’s some optimism in the pharmacies. And I think they’re seeing that they’ve withstood probably one of the biggest challenges that they’ve faced to this point. When you had like the PBMs clawing back after the fact, and now they’re clawing back after the fact and point of sale. And let’s, you know, I don’t even know what the averages are, but if, if, you know, if they were losing 5 to 7% in clawbacks and on the backside, and now they’re taking that on the front side, you’re talking about a 15% change immediately. So, I think as these pharmacies are finishing up this, this cycle, there’s going to be some really strong retail pharmacies left and in a good position from a volume perspective and a good position from a cashflow perspective. You know, we talk about it in the industry and I think that I’ve heard a lot of people say it. They really just, they know that if they can get to the end of June, first part of July, see where they’re at, then they feel like they’ve got a really good shot at being successful moving forward.  

Scotty Sykes CPA, CFP: Yeah, I mean, we’ve seen, definitely seen some pharmacies stand out during this time, period of time. In fact, better than last year. So it’s kind of all over the place. 

Bonnie Bond CPA: Yeah, it’s very interesting to look. Yeah, it’s all over the board. We see some suffering from the lower D that…  

Scotty Sykes CPA, CFP: You okay over there? 

Bonnie Bond CPA: I I’m not I drank too much coffee this morning. I was like you on Friday Scotty was off the chain on the podcast.  

Scotty Sykes CPA, CFP: No I was not. 

Bonnie Bond: I’m kidding. What the hell are we gonna do about it?   

Darin Gleason: Do you guys, when you see the stronger the pharmacies and those kinds of things, is it because they’re bracing out? Is it because they’re doing additional things in their pharmacy?  

Bonnie Bond CPA: Yes. 

Darin Gleason: Yeah. 

Bonnie Bond CPA: So I was going to say, unfortunately, those some, you know, every situation is different, every community is different, but a lot of pharmacies that have chosen not to branch out and diversify their revenue, the way we’ve been preaching about this and the industry has been preaching about this and CPA has been preaching about this for years, you know, we can definitely see the suffering is harder there during this time. Because you definitely, yeah. 

Scotty Sykes CPA, CFP: Well, there’s still pharmacy owners I think that have never really, there’s some pharmacy owners that have never really paid attention to what they’re filling. They think volume, they’re not paying attention that I’m losing money on these. There’s still pharmacies out there that do not pay attention to that. Whatever reason. They got other things going on, whatever but there’s still some pharmacies out there doing that and it’s cost them, obviously. I mean, they’re filling some prescriptions that are not good mix for the pharmacy and it really is hurting them. And when we have conversations or when you’re talking to pharmacies that come to us and their margins are down, you know, it’s, what are you feeling? Are you checking what you’re feeling? Do you know what you’re filling and who are your profitable patients? So on and so forth. A lot of them say, well, no, I’m not doing that. So, there’s still some out there that are not paying attention to that. It’s just surprising. 

Darin Gleason: Yeah, I think, you know, obviously insurance plans and independent pharmacy, you know, it’s all about service, right? And a lot of times they’ve, they’ve serviced the same patients for 10, 15, 20 years. And if they change plans, it may not be a good plan for the pharmacy, but they’ve had that patient forever and they’re, they’re going to accept the plan no matter what. 

Scotty Sykes CPA, CFP: Well, and to add to that, Darin, pharmacies are meant to serve their patients, right? I mean, that’s what they’re there for, but now with the change in the way the market is in pharmacy, you have to do what you never had to do before, which is you have to scrutinize every prescription. And it’s a shame that’s where it is btu that’s where it is. 

Darin Gleason: That’s right. 

Bonnie Bond CPA: Right. Yeah, because it’s a business and at the end of the day, yeah, it’s a business. Yeah. Yeah. We’ve, Darin, we’ve talked about this already on the podcast, I think in prior episodes, but we’ve even got people that are, you know, drilling down into family units to see kind of a net that they’re like, you know, maybe we lose on dad’s prescription but we make money on moms and the kids and so net We can keep the whole family unit if we look at them as a whole and not prescription by itself so it’s just it’s mind -blowing to me the amount of research and kind of the get it into all that data that that these independents are having to do to really make sense of if they can feel You know a script or not. It’s a lot.  

Darin Gleason: Yeah. Well, it’s one of those where, you know, it used to just be about filling prescriptions, right? That was what the pharmacy was there to do. And it’s not like that anymore. And we run into so many pharmacists that are owning and working in their business on a daily basis. And they’re there until seven or eight o ‘clock at night. And, you know, it’s interesting. I talk a lot with pharmacy owners about being able to find the time to work on your business, not in your business. And it’s for things like that. Like you do have to be so in tune and so analytical about every single thing that you’re doing on a daily basis to make sure because margins, you know, when you’re talking about losing 30 cents or $3 or making $1, like you have to know where everything’s going and coming from. 

Bonnie Bond CPA: Yeah, and then the way, and then obviously scrutinizing everything you do about the way you buy. It’s every piece, and then keeping your expenses low. Payroll, which I know we were gonna talk about, that’s another big one. And again, I just wanna plug, to be able to know how you’re operating and how any, where you are with any of these numbers is you have to have up to date real time accounting. Just wanna throw that in there or else you don’t know how you’re doing at all. So, I think probably it’s never been more important to know how your pharmacy is operating than it is right now and to have real time numbers. Let’s you be able to see that. 

Darin Gleason: There’s not much they can control anymore. A pharmacy can’t control a whole lot, right? Your three biggest expenses are your labor, your inventory, and your building. You have to have the inventory. You get to choose where your building is or what your lease is, and you get to control your labor. And you get to control your insurance to an extent based on what you’re willing to accept. But other than that, you’re at the mercy of the insurance company and the PBMs for everything else. 

Bonnie Bond CPA: So, let’s talk about the payroll. Yeah. Go ahead, Scotty. 

Scotty Sykes CPA, CFP: So that gets into what you can’t control in addition to that, which is some diversified revenue opportunities, Darin. And there’s a whole list of what those could be, whatever fits in your marketplace. And we do see pharmacies that are successful in several different areas there, depending on just where you are. And it does make a difference to that bottom line. But when it comes to diversifying that revenue and putting in the time and effort to what already pharmacy owners are just, they wear so many hats. Some of the hardest working folks you’ll ever meet, which is probably why you’re saying the ones that do come out of here, on the other end, they’re gonna be as strong as ever because it takes a strong pharmacy owner to get through this. But with that, you know, comes the payroll piece and, you know, making sure you have the right people in the right places and you’re taking advantage of the opportunities you can with the right people. So, you’re involved in ScriptPro and vial filling robots. How does that, you know, the vial filling robots can have to those opportunities for pharmacy owners.  

Darin Gleason: That’s a great question. And it doesn’t matter if it’s a ScriptPro robot or if it’s technology of any kind. 17 years ago when I started this, ScriptPro at that time had been around for about 13 years. Robots made a lot of sense then. They made sense from a safety and accuracy perspective. They made sense from an efficiency perspective pharmacies that put robots in 17 years ago benefited significantly from them. I don’t think there’s ever been a time where automation is more important than it is today. You still have the safety features, you still have the efficiencies, but right now the way that the labor market is, pharmacy owners are paying technicians wage rates that are higher than they’ve ever been and bordering a line of unattainability where they’re not going to be able to continue to go any farther. And that’s if they can find the right person to do the job. Turnover rates are through the roof. You know, since COVID, we’ve seen all of this, you know, whether they don’t want to stay any longer or, you know, they feel like they need more money. It’s reached a point where it just doesn’t, it can’t make financial sense to keep throwing money at people to solve those issues, especially when you have good people already. If you have good people already, automation can free up some of their time so that they can, I use the word reallocate. You can reallocate that person to something else, another task in the pharmacy. Technicians are able to do more now than they’ve ever been able to do with vaccinations and pharmacies being able to do point of care testing and some places are moving toward test and treat. Those things take time, but those also generate profit. And so if you can take your technician off the bench for 10 minutes or 15 minutes and they give a vaccination that your pharmacy gets paid $25 instead of paying that technician $25 an hour to fill prescriptions or count by five, that technician then becomes a profit center. They just made you $25. They didn’t cost you $25. And that’s a really elementary example, but it is kind of one of those things where pharmacies that are utilizing the people that they have to take advantage of some of the things they’re able to do in the pharmacy. It allows for, yeah, go ahead. 

Scotty Sykes CPA, CFP: And that’s really gonna continue, Darin. I mean, don’t you think, I mean, obviously with the states allowing pharmacies to prescribe and treat, test and treat, that’s only gonna continue where there’s opportunities for staff to get involved in maybe some higher margin, higher dollar opportunities, which leaves so -called, I guess, gaps in the script filling side, but then that’s where the automations could come in play such as a vial filling robot. 

Darin Gleason: Yeah, it’s interesting. I don’t like to talk about COVID a whole lot anymore. But I think what it did… 

Bonnie Bond CPA: You’re over it. 

Darin Gleason: Right. I think what it did was it opened the door for our community pharmacies. And frankly, it opened it and it cracked the door open. And these community pharmacies and the owners, they kicked it wide open and it showed the rest of the world and it legislatures and the people that make the rules. It showed what they were capable of doing. And I think that it’s opened that door to really evaluate the pharmacist and the pharmacies as part of the total healthcare team, not just your corner drug store that fills your prescriptions. And because of that, now we’re seeing these gradual shifts in what pharmacists are being allowed to do through legislation, what technicians are being allowed to do since COVID and all of those are good things. When you can’t get in to see your general practitioner for six months because they’re booked, if you have something, why not be able to go to your pharmacist? If you need to get a cholesterol test and get a prescription renewed, why can’t you go do that at your pharmacy? Why do you have to wait six months to get into your doctor? 

Scotty Sykes CPA, CFP: I think you’re exactly, I agree 100 % with what you just said. And with that being said, it seems like now is a very exciting time to be getting into pharmacy with those opportunities that are coming down the road, presumably as it unfolds. But going back to the automate…Go ahead. 

Darin Gleason: I was just going to say, even when you look at the educational piece, when we’re talking about test and treat and all of those different things, that’s very clinically based, right? It’s clinically based pharmacy. It’s clinical based pharmacy. When you look at it from an educational perspective, for the last eight to 10 years, pharmacy schools have really leaned heavily on the clinical side of the pharmacy education. So, if it allows those kinds of things, then our pharmacists coming out of school are going to be prepared not only to not only to be a pharmacist, but also to be a healthcare provider as they’re allowed to do more of those things. I didn’t mean to interrupt, sorry Scotty. 

Scotty Sykes CPA, CFP: Yeah, you’re fine. Absolutely. So, when does it…When does it make sense to explore automations in terms of a vial filling robot? Not just to say I have these opportunities, but also just in general for a pharmacy filling 200, 300 scripts a day. When does it make sense to be exploring those opportunities? 

Darin Gleason: Yeah, that’s a great question. And frankly, there’s not a set answer for that. It really depends on what’s going on in the pharmacy, particularly. I’ve got pharmacies that do 175 prescriptions a day and they have a robot. They’re in a rural area. They can’t find people. There are pharmacies that do 400 plus that don’t have a robot. You know, right? It kind of goes back now to the labor thing. There’s got to be something driving that. 

Bonnie Bond CPA: Yeah. 

Darin Gleason: That equation for them. Being able to… 

Bonnie Bond CPA: Yeah, I was going to say, Darin, I mean, I talk to people all the time that cannot find staff, literally a warm body. They can’t find anybody. So, they have been, I have one in mind, particularly that had to do just that. I mean, they had to do some sort of automation because they couldn’t keep somebody in there because of turnover and just literally not being able to find a person. So, but it’s worked out great. So, you know. I think you’re right, I think there’s two issues that everyone in the country is experiencing is the turnover not being able to find people and then just not being able to keep the right people. But in some situations, you’re almost forced to do the automation if you can’t find someone to do the work. 

Darin Gleason: Sure. Well, and it’s, you know, going back to the labor piece, it’s to that point, right? If you’re paying, if you’re paying a technician and it depends on where you’re at and what part of the country you’re in, but I was in California a couple of weeks ago and they were paying technicians $26, $27 an hour. When you throw on top of that, you put their tax benefits or the tax rates and the benefits that they’re paying. That technician is costing that pharmacy anywhere between $35 and $40 an hour by the time it’s all said and done. You know, you look at that, that’s $80 ,000 a year for a technician. You look at it on an hourly basis, a robot, the script pros a little bit different from an automation perspective. We’ve got six different robots, six different models, six different sizes. When we look at a pharmacy and what they’re trying to accomplish, we try to match the right robot to the pharmacy. And that could be based on the volume that they’re filling. You know, you guys know that pharmacies are coming in all different shapes and sizes. Some pharmacies may have more space than others. Some pharmacies are extremely small. So matching the right robot, but still being able to give them the ability to take advantage of automation is extremely important. But when you look at the cost of a technician and you break that down and you look at it over, 3 years, 5 years, 10 years. Compare that to the cost of a robot. The hourly cost of a robot’s gonna average you the first five years about 15 to $16 an hour. And it’s gonna fill half your prescription volume. So if you’re filling 300 prescriptions a day and a robot does 150 of those, you’re gonna do that for roughly $15 an hour. If you’re gonna hire a technician, you’re gonna pay 20, 25 plus taxes plus benefits. When you really put pen to paper and start to look at it from that perspective, it makes financial sense to look at automation. And I know everybody that’s heard it and every automation company uses it. It’s not going to call in sick. It’s not taking vacation. But it’s true. And all technology has glitches and there will be times where it has to be fixed and worked on and we’re no different than anybody else but it’s there every single day. And so that’s a huge benefit of that. And if you’re doing 300 a day and we take 150 of them out of the equation that the staff isn’t dealing with, then you take that time that they were going to spend filling that 150 prescriptions and that gives you the opportunity to go back and to reallocate. They can do other things. They can do those vaccinations. They can do the other things that need to be done in the pharmacy and possibly become profit centers rather than cost centers for the pharmacy. 

Bonnie Bond CPA: Yeah, we talk about that all the time. People hate, I know there’s a lot of people that hate the thought of taking away jobs for people, you know, in the US of A, but we’re not talking about that. We’re talking about, like you said, moving them to other areas that are more beneficial to the pharmacy. That’s huge. And we know that there’s a need, just like we were just talking about, I have a pharmacist I work with, and he uses that staff member. For example, to pull these reports we were just talking about at the beginning. That’s part of their job is to look for the winners for the losers to dive down into that information. I go into my local pharmacy all the time and hear the pharmacist on the phone with insurance companies constantly. I mean, that’s something that you can pass along. We have people that can work to look at third party reimbursements that are not coming through to make sure those are, you know being reconciled and handled because there’s pharmacies that don’t do that. They just fill and pray and hope that they get paid. And so there’s so many areas that these people can be used. So it’s not about taking a job away. It’s about moving it to something that can be more beneficial, I think, for the pharmacy. 

Darin Gleason: Yeah. I think the other thing in there too is, you know, employee retention is huge. You have to be able to retain your employees. And, you know, being a technician, it can be pretty mundane. It can be a job where it’s repetitive. You do the same thing over and over and over again. By allowing them to do other things, if they have the time to do other things. 

Bonnie Bond CPA: Yeah. 

Darin Gleason: You can, they can cross train, they can do those other things. I think sometimes you see job satisfaction go up as well because they’re more involved. They’re doing more than just pulling stock bottles and counting. Whether that’s they get to interact with the patients more, they get more personal interaction. They’re not separated. And that’s a good thing, right? Anytime you can cross train and diversify what your employees are doing, I think it can lead to higher satisfaction rates with your employees, which leads to less turnover. 

Bonnie Bond CPA: Yeah, that’s a great point. And we see that in many different industries. I mean, because automation is here, AI, all these things that are coming out. I mean, anything that you can automate and do more inexpensively, but correct. And then you can push your people to do more and have more value, you know, in what the business is offering. So, I think that’s a great point.  

Scotty Sykes CPA, CFP: I think it just comes down to you better have a damn good excuse why you don’t have automation. In other words, you should have it and if you don’t, you better have a damn good excuse why you don’t. It never makes sense. 

Bonnie Bond CPA: Darin, what do you see for like, for new entities, new startups? Do you ever see people jump right into something like that when they don’t really have any volume or is that something they usually kind of stand back for a little bit just to kind of see how it’s going? 

Darin Gleason: I think it depends on their funding. I think it depends on where they’re at in their professional career, what their reserves are, maybe what their business loan looks like, what it’s allowed to do, and even where they’re opening their store. You’ll see places where a pharmacy closed or a pharmacist retired, and they just closed up shop and someone comes in six months down the road and they know that they’re the only independent pharmacy in town and they’re going to take that business. And so, they could see growth happen immediately. I don’t see it a whole lot where it comes into play from a startup perspective. Probably less now then I used to and that’s probably more it’s PBMs, it’s insurance reimbursements, it’s the cost of opening. Interest rates right now are extremely high. But when you look at a startup, you’re talking about a pharmacy that may start doing 20, 25, 30 prescriptions a day and you do that with your pharmacist and a clerk. Sometimes you do it with just the farmer. That’s right. They’re in there by themselves until they get to a point where the cashflow and they’ve got inventory that they’re going to have to pay off. And so sometimes it doesn’t make sense to take on the additional debt that comes with a piece of equipment like ours or somebody else’s. 

Scotty Sykes CPA, CFP: And for our tax segment, automation may have qualified for section 179 or bonus depreciation, which 179 could allow 100 % write -off. And bonus, what bonus is down to 40% this year or is it 60% 

Bonnie Bond CPA: 40? I’m not sure. 

Scotty Sykes CPA, CFP: 40 or 60% bonus, you can create a loss with bonus depreciation. So, there’s some planning opportunities with the tax when it comes to automation. So, for our tax segment listeners out there, you do have those options. 

Bonnie Bond CPA: I’m sure everybody’s in a doom and gloom right now, not worried about their income right now causing tax return issues, but we’ve got another, there’s those people that are, that are doing great and we have another six months too. So, but yeah, you’re right. I mean, that’s always has been, you know, you’ve got to think about the tax. I mean, obviously we always say we want you to have an economical reason to purchase anything you don’t just purchase it because you have income and you want to bring it down you know you need it obviously but you got to think about when you’re looking at the cost the actual tax savings it’s there what the actual after-tax cost is when you look at the ability to write those off and you know what opportunity there. Darin how are you guys looking this year as far as if people are interested in a purchase getting those installed and in use because obviously to use for a tax deduction we just always want to make sure people understand that that has to be in use in your pharmacy and able to fill up at least one script before the end of the year. 

Darin Gleason: Yeah, so right now, ScriptPro’s delivery timeline is about six to eight weeks. Every robot that we sell is built per the customer specifications. We don’t build the robot until the customer orders the robot. So, we don’t have a warehouse full of them. And in the past, we’ve worked and I’ll, and I remember we’ve had test and validation agreements is something that we’d use for pharmacies that are maybe a little bit later in their planning. If we can’t get a robot installed in the pharmacy, we have an agreement, it’s called a test and validation agreement, which allows for basically it says that the robot is deemed installed and we’re doing extra testing, running test prescriptions, those kinds of things at the request of the customer. So, from an installation purposes, it qualifies. And I know Ollin has used this on a number of times. I remember there was one time and gosh, this was probably 10 or 11 years ago. I was in South Carolina visiting with one of your customers on the day before New Year’s Eve and flew home on New Year’s Eve, because it was a last-minute kind of thing and finally got around to, I think this particular person knew it was coming, but just wouldn’t make a decision. And finally, he realized that they needed to do something at that point. So, there’s ways that we can work with the customers to make sure that we’re doing that. We tend to, once we get to probably October, is when we really kind of drill down and look at our installation timelines and our orders and what’s got to be in. And we segment those as well. We put priority on ones or I won’t say priority, that’s not the right word. We know in the contracting process if it’s something that needs to be done before December 31st and we can manage that as well. 

Scotty Sykes CPA, CFP: Yeah, because gotta be in use for those tax benefits in the tax year. It’s kind of what we’re touching on there. Bonnie, what about our bottom line? You want to kick off our bottom line? 

Bonnie Bond CPA: Sure. I just think everyone in your own specific situation needs to obviously have up -to -date numbers so you know how you are operating, what kind of income you’re looking at, even as early as partway through the year, just being able to kind of have an idea of that. If you have income, I’m kind of hitting on the tax piece here. But if you think you’re gonna have some income and this is something that automation and it’s something that you possibly could use in your pharmacy, definitely start having some conversations. You don’t wanna wait till the end of the year to do that. Because again, you have to have those things of use, but just definitely take a look at that and see if it works for you. Talk to your tax advisor about options there. 

Scotty Sykes CPA, CFP: So, Darin, all our podcasts, we do a bottom line. Well, most of them, sometimes we don’t. Most of them we do a bottom line, kind of recap, take, you know, 30 second takeaway. Bonnie’s is usually like four minutes, but Darren, what would be your quick bottom line to the listeners out there? 

Darin Gleason: Yeah, I think bottom line for us would be that everything’s changing and we’re getting to a point where automation is more important now than it’s ever been. Labor perspective and efficiency perspective, being able to take on additional and do additional things in your pharmacy that can help you generate revenue to offset some of the insurance contracts. And it doesn’t matter if you’re filling 200 prescriptions a day or a thousand prescriptions a day. Everybody has challenges and right now the challenges seem to be similar for everyone. It is insurance and reimbursements and profit margins and staff. And that’s something that automation can help with. It can help with all of them. It can help with your labor challenges. It can help increase your margins because if you take the time and reallocate people to income or revenue generating tasks, we can help do it all from that perspective. 

Scotty Sykes CPA, CFP: And my bottom line is you better have a damn good excuse why you don’t have automation. And it better be a damn good excuse too. Now, Darin, you’re gonna be at trade shows this season, I’m sure, right? Everybody can see you there. 

Darin Gleason: Yeah, yeah, we’ll, you know, it’s that time of year. I think I was looking, I think I’ll, I’ll do 14 different shows this year. but we’ve got some, we’ve got some coming up. We’ll be, I’ll be in, San Antonio, Texas, the second week of May.  

Bonnie Bond CPA: It is. 

Darin Gleason: That’s the Apex conference. And then the… 

Scotty Sykes CPA, CFP: No. 

Bonnie Bond CPA: June. 

Darrin Gleason: Yeah, June, sorry. Yeah. See, I’m already messed up. I can’t keep it straight. well, I’ll. Yeah, I’ll be at the McKesson conference the week following that, the third week of June and then Cardinal and Amerisource in July. We’ll have NCPA in October. So, I think we’ve already done five or six to this point as well. Yeah, if you’re out. 

Scotty Sykes CPA, CFP: So, the Cardinal and the AmeriSource are overlapped. Are you going to be hopping your private jet to do it today? 

Darin Gleason: Yeah, that’s going to be a week. Yeah, I’ll be at the Cardinals show on Wednesday and Thursday. And then Thursday, I’ll catch a red eye to Orlando and I’ll be at the Orlando show on Friday and Saturday for the AmeriSource show. 

Bonnie Bond CPA: Look at you, that’s impressive. We had to like, we’re dividing and conquering here. 

Darin Gleason: Divide and conquer.  

Bonnie Bond CPA: Yeah. 

Darin Gleason: Yeah. So, we had to do that too. We’ll have a crew in Chicago and then I’ll leave that group and then I’ve got another team member that’s going to meet me in Orlando. So, we kind of had to split that up as well. It’s never happened where, well, they’ve been at the same time. So, you just had to pick and choose. Last year was great. You kind of felt like the stars aligned a little bit because they were all of it was spent every other week for those three for the three major wholesalers and you kind of thought that they got you know maybe they got together and now they went back they went back to you know i but at least at least yeah at least it’s staggered enough because if you guys remember Cardinal used to be Thursday to Saturday.  

Bonnie Bond CPA: It was last year, it was very spaced out, yeah.  

Darin Gleason: And so they’ve changed it to Wednesday to Friday, which for, you know, for vendors, if you’ve got two shows, they, the way that it worked out is if you, if you want to try to be at both, you can, you can, you can be at both. So that’s, that’s a good thing. I’ll need, I’ll need a week vacation when I get back from that week. But, you know, that doesn’t, that will, yeah, but that doesn’t happen until probably January. Cause that’s, you know, it’s when people come. 

Scotty Sykes CPA, CFP: Yeah, they’ve got orders coming in. 

Darin Gleason: Yeah, that’s what the more, with buying groups and the wholesalers and the shows and people go to those shows to evaluate because they can’t get out of their pharmacy. That’s when they go to look at everything and evaluate technology and talk to other people and see what they’re doing and what’s helping them become successful. And there’s always a lot of follow -up that takes place after that. 

Bonnie Bond CPA: And don’t forget baseball. You’ll have baseball mixed in there, I’m sure. Except there’s the injury, the injury. We’ll have to fill you in on that, Scotty. 

Scotty Sykes CPA, CFP: I know the standout baseball star, but I haven’t heard an update like that. 

Darin Gleason: Yeah, he’s hurt. He tore his ACL and LCL in, in January. So he’s out until October. So he hadn’t played all year. He didn’t get to play on the high school team. He doesn’t get to play on his travel team. 

Scotty Sykes CPA, CFP: That’s a gut punch right there. 

Darin Gleason: So… You know, it’s one of those things that I’m a big believer that there’s a plan and a reason for everything that happens. I’ve watched him mature in different ways this year. It may not have been athletically, but you know, watched and saw him become stronger as a person. So, you know, everything happens for a reason. You know, you can look at it classically. 

Bonnie Bond CPA: Yeah, yeah, for sure. Yeah. And the good news is he’s going to be able to play, right? Once he heals. He’s ready to go. 

Darin Gleason: Yeah, no, he’s, he, yeah, he started throwing. yeah. Yeah. He started throwing again about three weeks ago. His PT let him start a throwing program. He got released to start a small running program. So, he’s working his way back. it’s just going to be, it’s just the time and yeah, he just turned 16, and 16 year olds are extremely impatient. you know, kind of like, kind of like sales reps. they, you know, they, 

Scotty Sykes CPA, CFP: Yeah, you can come back from those injuries. Yeah.  

Darin Gleason: They want things to move faster than they do sometimes. And, and, you know, that’s not a bad thing for him. You know, I like his drive and, and, and his determination and he wants things to happen. It’s just, it’s just a process. Yeah, it’s a process. 

Bonnie Bond CPA: Yeah. Well, I guess the only positive is it’s not going to mess up your, you’re not going to have to worry about baseball during your summer trade show schedule. 

Darin Gleason: No. Bonnie it’s funny because before that, we planned our trade show so far in advance and his summer tournament schedule is done in January as well. We know where we’re supposed to be and the way these shows work. I would get home from a show on Sunday and I’d be on a plane with Helm to Atlanta on a Tuesday and then I’d get home on a Sunday and then I’d be on a plane to New Orleans for a trade show on Tuesday or whatever. I mean, I there was a Last year between July and our June and August there was a stretch where I spent eight days in my own bed for the entire two months between work and following him around and getting to his stuff and you know… 

Scotty Sykes CPA, CFP: I’ll tell you what, they don’t play around with baseball. I was never big into baseball, but even with T -ball with Pete, it’s like four, three, four games a week. 

Bonnie Bond CPA: We got one tonight. 

Scotty Sykes CPA, CFP: I know at seven o ‘clock at that. 

Darin Gleason: Yeah, yeah. That’s past their bedtime.  

Scotty Sykes CPA, CFP: That’s like their bedtime. Yeah.  

Bonnie Bond CPA: It’s when those giant mosquitoes come out too. 

Scotty Sykes CPA, CFP: Or the Nats. Anybody listening in, if you… Whatever you do, don’t go to Rocky Hawk in the summer, because the Nats… I don’t know if anybody knows this, but the melons that grow out there, there’s Nats everywhere. And Bonnie grew up with that, I don’t know how you did, and probably what’s wrong with you, but… 

Bonnie Bond CPA: I grew up with it. I feel like I’m in heaven right now where I’m not in the Nats anymore. It’s a whole different life. But I will not be at T-Ball tonight, Scotty, so you’ll have to deal with that without me.  

Scotty Sykes CPA, CFP: You got out, huh? You got out of that. 

Bonnie Bond CPA: I got this senior something every night, every night. All right. She got a scone. She lies. yeah. It’s awesome. Awesome.  

Scotty Sykes CPA, CFP: All right, which by the way, she got the scholarship. Congratulations, Eliza on getting our Georgian Alex Memorial Scholarship. She earned it. All right, well, I think we’ve done our only one for the day. Thanks, Aaron, for hopping on. 

Bonnie Bond CPA: All right. Thank you, Darin. We appreciate it. 

Darin Gleason: Thanks for having me. Thanks for letting me join. 

Scotty Sykes CPA, CFP: We’ll have to get together and see at the trade shows and do this again sometime. But I appreciate your time today, Darren, and speaking about your experience and some knowledge for the pharmacy owners out there. 

Darin Gleason: Thanks again for having me. I’ll see you guys in a couple of weeks. 

Scotty Sykes CPA, CFP: Yep. 

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