QS/1, ECRS Pilot Grocery-Pharmacy Hybrid Solution at Star Supermarkets
Pharmacy technology vendor QS/1 and point-of-sale solutions provider ECR Software Corp. have jointly released an interface linking ECRS's CATAPULT point-of-sale system and the QS/1 NRx pharmacy management system (PMS).
The QS/1 and ECRS systems integration was developed to allow grocery retailers with pharmacy departments to better coordinate systems for improved accountability, data accuracy, customer service, and streamlined work flow.
Star Super Market and Discount Pharmacy, a four-store grocery chain in the Huntsville, Ala. area, served as the model and pilot site for this first-of-its-kind project. (See coverage of this pilot in the March 2011 Progressive Grocer Independent)
"I believe the relationship between ECRS and QS/1 will help provide the best customer service, drive loyalty, and prevent costly errors by consolidating our CATAPULT point-of-sale system used in the pharmacy and grocery with our QS/1 NRx pharmacy management system," stated James Ahlschlager, CIO for Star Super Market and Discount Pharmacy. "With tighter integration, and through the incorporation of new technologies, we are striving to make shopping easier for our customers."
Ahlschlager continued: "The interface between ECRS and QS/1 helps accommodate our evolving needs in the grocery and pharmacy industries. We have also met a key market demand by breaking down barriers seen in many current point-of-sale systems with limited ability to serve, and consolidate, varying departments within one store."
This tightly-woven software integration was jointly developed to improve bi-directional communication between the POS and the PMS and merge all pharmacy and grocery department business data into a centralized repository.
"The traditional supermarket business model has evolved into one where customers expect to be able to fulfill a wide array of needs spanning many different services under one roof," said ECRS President and CEO Pete Catoe. "Tying all of these mini-businesses together in one common retail system can really pay dividends for retailers by cutting costs, improving visibility and providing a higher level of customer service. Progressive retailers, like Star Markets, have figured this out."
Interface functionality includes bi-directional communication between CATAPULT and QS/1 for sold prescription tracking, co-located prescription data for easier retrieval, signature prompts and centralized signature storage (HIPAA, electronic payment, prescription pick-up, counseling, etc.), and accurate, real-time Will-Call bin management with available Family Link at the POS. This functionality provides flexibility and convenience for pharmacy staff and faster, more accurate customer transactions. It also provides a centralized place for all store transaction data resulting in more accurate reporting across all departments and locations.
"Supermarkets with pharmacies can benefit from a robust point-of-sale solution with tight integration," said QS/1 VP of national sales Tom McLeod. "Combining our NRx system with CATAPULT gives supermarkets a complete view of sales on both sides of the pharmacy counter, while giving the pharmacy complete record keeping of prescriptions and required signatures."