By Pharm. Okoh Godwin Atta
Strategic management has been touted as a continuous process of strategic analysis, strategic creation, implementation and monitoring used by organisations with the purpose to achieve and maintain a competitive advantage (ovidijus, 2013). It has been seen as one of the effective management tools in strengthening organisational performance through effective decision making and systematic strategic formulation and implementation (David, 2009), Key to Success in Community Pharmacies.
Although there is overwhelming evidence in business literature that strategic management can be essential to the survival of an organisation as well as strong evidence of a positive correlation between strategic management and organisational performance (Langley, 1988). The use of strategic management in pharmacies is unexpectedly small especially in community pharmacies (Donald, 1996). According to Donald (2005), full use of strategic planning in community pharmacies was associated with significantly higher performance.
Since 1990s, there has been series of published data on the advantages of strategic management in community pharmacies in the western world. Donald and Brian posited that strategic planning is crucial in today’s dynamic healthcare environment; as a result the process of strategic management has become central to the prosperity and indeed the survival of community pharmacies.
Key to Success in Community Pharmacies
Community pharmacies in Nigeria are healthcare facilities that emphasise providing pharmaceutical services to specific communities. Typically registered pharmacists provide health information and dispense medicine. They focus on dispensing and retailing, carrying out wholesaling of medicine, feeding the hospital and clinic within the community and adopting best global practices in all aspects, especially management of the business as a whole (ACPN, 2015).
Community pharmacists and their teams in Nigeria work at the heart of communities, and are trusted professionals in supporting individual family and community health. They are often the patients’ and public’s first port of call, and for some, their only contact with healthcare professionals. Community pharmacies in Nigeria are not only valuable health assets but also important social and economic assets. As social assets, community pharmacies are often the only health facilities located in an area of deprivation. As economic assets, community pharmacies are some of the core businesses that make a difference between a viable high street and one that fails commercially. They also serve as source of employment, and pay tax to the government, thus playing significant part in Nigeria’s growth and development.
The role of community pharmacies as a catalyst of health, economic development, as well as political and social stability is undoubtedly critical given its various advantages as first point of contact to majority of the public, source of employments and as social assets to most deprived areas. It is this context that the adoption of strategic management /planning by Nigeria’s community pharmacies as tools for enhancing their performance is pertinent.
How can Community pharmacies in Nigeria adopt strategic management?
Community pharmacies in Nigeria can adopt strategic management following the framework as suggested by western literatures such as “Strategic planning in community pharmacy “(Donald, 1996) presented seven Steps of Strategic Planning in community pharmacies as:
- Development of the pharmacy’s mission statement, goals, and objectives. Most organisations in Nigeria especially the small and medium scale do not have well detailed mission, goals and objectives; even those that have don’t follow it at all. It is the same scenario with community pharmacies. However, this could change if the pharmacist/owners of community pharmacies in Nigeria become aware of the meaning of the above.
Pharmacy mission: It is not possible that an organisation is formed in a vacuum; if it has no purpose it cannot stand. Of course, it has a reason for its existence which is specific; it runs based on it. The purpose is known as mission. It may be mentioned in a few words, such as, producing goods or providing services and so the objectives are communicated through the mission statement. The Mission of an organisation is the base, and it is that the strategies are built upon. It focuses on the purpose of an organisation through a statement describing the reason of an organisational existence – It answers the question why the organisation has been established.
Mission and vision are both related to an organisation’s purpose. And this is communicated in some written form. Mission and vision are both statements that give the answers about who we are, what we value, where we are going and where we want to be in the future.
Objectives: Objective in general indicates a place where you want to reach. In organisational literature it means the aim which an organisation tries to achieve. Objectives are generally in plural form. Objectives are predetermined; they provide clear direction to the activities and results to be obtained from the planning process. Objectives must be SMART (Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely). Objectives must be clearly defined so that the works become goal-oriented and the unproductive and unsystematic tasks can be avoided.
Goals: A Goal is simply something that somebody wants to achieve. The synonyms of goal are: aim, ambition, purpose, target and objective. Simply speaking, goal refers to the purpose towards which the efforts are made or endeavours are directed. Goal has a time-frame which is generally long term. So, it’s a long term plan.
NB: To be continued: