Company Analysis- Benzer Pharmacy

Part
01
of five
Part
01

Benzer Pharmacy; Company Analysis

Benzer Pharmacy is a "chain of independent pharmacies" headquartered in Tampa, Florida and operating in 29 states in the United States. Benzer earns its revenue from the direct sale of pharmaceutical products and royalties from its franchise stores. Below is an overview of the findings.

Overview

  • Headquartered in Tampa, Benzer is a "chain of independent pharmacies" with 34 franchises and 82 corporate-run locations within 29 states in the United States. Benzer was founded in 2009 by Alpesh Patel who currently serves as the company's President.
  • Benzer Pharmacy strives to prioritize patients' needs over shareholder performance while providing pharmacists with the independence and discretion that they deserve. The organization seeks to deliver a reinvented vision for local pharmacies through its "People First" philosophy.
  • Benzer was named among Inc.'s list of the fastest-growing American companies from 2015 to 2018, and it has received several regional and national accolades.

Revenue Model

  • Benzer Pharmacy's specializes in the retail sale of specialty and compounding medications.
  • Benzer earns its revenue from the sale of pharmaceutical products, as well as other healthcare/wellness services including custom medication packaging and refill reminders.
  • Apart from direct sales from its corporate-run locations/pharmacies, Benzer also earns a royalty of $800 per month from its franchises. The company revenue surpassed $350 million in 2018.

Value Proposition

  • Benzer Pharmacy's value proposition is "Benzer, Your Affordable Neighborhood Pharmacy."
  • Benzer Pharmacy seeks to portray itself as a trusted community-focused healthcare provider with locally-sourced pharmacists/practitioners.
  • Benzer also promises to offer value by providing simplified treatments for complicated ailments at considerably lower prices.

Customer Base

  • Benzer Pharmacy is a chain of retail pharmacy stores that caters to members of the community including both individuals and families.
  • From an interview with Benzer's VP of marketing and the company's official portals, it is evident that Benzer's customer base is made up of all types of customers from the communities that it serves.
  • While Benzer only operates within 26 states in the United States, its target market is the entire United States as it offers a "mail-order service" for the benefit of customers who are outside its service areas.

Competitive Advantage

  • Unlike big-box pharmacy retailers, Benzer Pharmacy's independent model does not offer a "one-size-fits-all framework" but rather employs a "people first" philosophy that ensures that patients' needs come before corporate performance/profits.
  • As outlined in its value proposition, Benzer Pharmacy strives to provide personalized care to its patients by hiring local staff and interacting with its clientele in order to counter the culture of disconnection adopted by competing big-box pharma retailers.
  • Additionally, Benzer Pharmacy is "pursuing a technology-focused direction" in order to facilitate greater savings, better service, and improved outcomes. Recently, the company made agreements with Uber Health (to facilitate customer transportation), ScriptSave WellRx Premier (to promote customer savings on prescription drugs), and ScriptDrop (to provide drug delivery services), among others.
Part
02
of five
Part
02

Benzer Pharmacy; Social Media Analysis

Benzer Pharmacy has a social media profile on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube. They post at least weekly on all platforms except for YouTube. For YouTube, they are not targeting consumers, but they are trying to appeal to entrepreneurs that are looking to start a franchise. A more in-depth analysis of Benzer’s social media can be found below.

BENZER PHARMACY — SOCIAL MEDIA strategy ANALYSIS

  • After analyzing their social media profiles, it seems they are not using their social media as an essential marketing tool.
  • They are using lots of health tips, product updates, and service offerings to gain new customers online, but there is very low engagement.
  • Their social media content is the same on all sites, and there are little to no differences that were found between them.
  • For their Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn profiles, they advertised the same products and services.
  • Also, they never really pushed anything they posted; no content was repeated on the same platform.
  • None of their social media had very many followers even though they are frequently posting.

TWITTER

  • Followers — They have 962 followers.
  • Post Frequency — They look to post at least every few days even though their posting is very inconsistent.
  • Audience — They are targeting individuals who frequently use pharmacies and may need medicine delivered. Typically, people who need medication delivered are elderly or disabled in some way.
  • Brand Reach — They don’t have very many followers on Twitter; their brand reach is not very strong on this platform.
  • Marketing Strategy — They are posting health tips and news to gain and get repeat daily followers. Some posts say things like “Tip Tuesday,” which would mean they want followers to at least check their profile weekly.

FACEBOOK

  • Followers — They have 3,310 followers.
  • Post Frequency — Here, they are consistently posting at least one post daily.
  • Audience — In addition to targeting people with pets who need medicine, they are targeting individuals who frequently use pharmacies and may require prescriptions delivered.
  • Brand Reach — They have considerably more followers on this platform. Also, there is more audience interaction on Facebook with reviews, but there is little to no engagement on the content itself.
  • Marketing Strategy — The material on their Facebook is the same as what is posted on Twitter. It is assumed they used the same market strategy for this platform.

INSTAGRAM

  • Followers — They have 470 followers.
  • Post Frequency — They don’t post as frequently as they do on Twitter and Facebook. Posts are inconsistent but still go no longer than a few days apart.
  • Audience — They mention the fact that they have specialty medications. But the overall content is the same, so they are still targeting individuals who frequently use pharmacies and may need medicine delivered.
  • Brand Reach — Their brand reach on this platform is very low compared to Twitter and Facebook. Out of the 165 posts they have made, none of any comments.
  • Marketing Strategy — Since Instagram is mainly about images, there all ads are image-based. There are product and service announcements, but none of the content is designed to get followers to come back to the page.

LINKEDIN

  • Followers — They have 4,922 followers.
  • Post Frequency — They post a few times every week on LinkedIn.
  • Audience — LinkedIn is more of a business-oriented platform, so here business professionals that need a pharmacy would be the target. They also target professionals that may be interested in working with their company.
  • Brand Reach — Their brand reaches the farthest on this LinkedIn since they have the most followers on this platform. But there is still little to no engagement with their content.
  • Marketing Strategy — Here, they mixed the same material that had been used on all their other social media profiles except for employee spotlights and business advice. They are trying to find new talent, highlight current talent, and gain new customers.

YOUTUBE

  • Subscribers — They have 145 subscribers.
  • Post Frequency — They are not actively using their YouTube channel. The last post is from one year ago.
  • Audience — The audience here is entrepreneurs looking to buy into a franchise. Most of the videos are talking about how franchising a Benzer Pharmacy works as well as franchisee testimonials.
  • Brand Reach — There is no visible reach on this platform. All the content is old, and they have less than 200 subscribers.
  • Marketing Strategy — The goal of their YouTube channel was to get business owners and entrepreneurs interested in franchising their company. This profile was used for b2b rather than b2c.
Part
03
of five
Part
03

Benzer Pharmacy; Media Analysis (Top Level Executives)

Official statements from various top-level executives form Benzer Pharmacy have been published across sources like PR Web, TotalPharmacy, Chain Drug Review, and MarketWatch. Top-level executives who have been featured in the list include Alpesh Patel (Founder and CEO), Meghann Chilcott (CTO & CMO), Noah Chapman (COO), Tonya Shackelford (VP of Clinical Services).

Media Statement #1

  • Alpesh Patel, President of Benzer Pharmacy
  • Meghann Chilcott, Chief Technology and Marketing Officer
  • Benzer Pharmacy recently collaborated with Uber Health. Alpesh Patel said that this is a proud moment for the company, and it is an example of the company's commitment towards its customers.
  • Meghann Chilcott said that this collaboration is going to be really beneficial to those patients who lack transportation facilities and are not able to receive immediate medical care due to lack of proper transportation.

Media Statement #2

  • Vinesh Darji, President of Franchise
  • On the occasion of the first franchise opening of Benzer Pharmacy in North Carolina, Vinesh Darji, President of Franchise stated that this is a new milestone for the company and collaborations between individual pharmacies and Benzer have had a strong positive impact on the pharmacy owners because they are able to do what they have always wanted to do.

Media Statement #3

  • Alpesh Patel, Founder and CEO of Benzer Pharmacy
  • Alpesh Patel recently opened up about his expansion plans in Ohio; he also said that Ohio is a really crucial step for the company and its efforts towards improving the existing pharmaceutical services.

Media Statement #4

  • Vinesh Darji, President of Benzer Pharmacy Franchise.
  • Benzer Pharmacy recently changed the upfront costs for franchise members, and it now stands at $5000, but the monthly fees have not been changed. The president of the franchise segment of the company said that while the standards for franchise membership may seem higher, they are actually not prohibitive and since the company has expansion plans, it is important for the company to ensure that every new partner is able to achieve it.

Media Statement #5

  • Alpesh Patel, Founder and CEO of Benzer Pharmacy
  • According to Alpesh Patel, Benzer Pharmacy's franchise segment has seen consistent growth since Vinesh Darji joined as the President of the Franchise Team.

Media Statement #6

  • Noah Chapman, Chief Operating Officer
  • Noah Chapman in an interview with the Chain Drug Review stated that the company is well distinguished from its competitors because it has always been true to its role in the health care and pharmacy community, and it has consistently worked towards strengthening its position as an "access point to patients, providers, health systems and caregivers."

Media Statement #7

  • Tonya Shackelford, VP of Clinical Services
  • Benzer Pharmacy recently collaborated with MinibarRx® for promoting adult vaccination; Tonya Shackelford has termed MiniBarRx as a valuable effort towards fighting life-threatening diseases.

Media Statement #8

  • Meghann Chilcott, Chief Technology and Marketing Officer
  • The company recently partnered with ScriptDrop and signed the deal for mail order deliveries and in-workflow delivery systems. Meghann Chilcott said that this partnership is undoubtedly going to lead to a more efficient process for the member pharmacies and will facilitate a seamless delivery system.

Media Statement #9

  • Alpesh Patel, President of Benzer Pharmacy
  • Benzer is expanding its presence in Orlando, the President of the company stated that the appeal quotient of Benzer lies in its consistency and the fact that the brand is a bit familiar to the local public, adds to its advantage. He also revealed that the company is going to have more and more franchise stores in the city of Orlando.

Media Statement #10

  • Meghann Chilcott, Chief Technology and Marketing Officer
  • Benzer Pharmacy recently joined hands with OrderInsite, and according to Meghann Chilcott, this is going to be fruitful for both the companies, and it is going to lead to happier customers, effective front line staff, and better margins for pharmacies.
Part
04
of five
Part
04

Benzer Pharmacy; Media Analysis (Company Image)

Benzer Pharmacy has been featured in various news articles published by Veterinary Practice News, Cision PRWeb, Benzinga, and Business Journals among others. Below is a detailed report of media sources that have published a positive or a negative statement about Benzer Pharmacy.

Comment #1

Comment #2

Comment #3

  • This comment was published by Benzinga and is positive.
  • In this article, Benzer Pharmacy announced that it had entered a deal with Uber Health to provide "patients with safe, affordable, and efficient transportation options for picking-up prescriptions and/or meeting their local pharmacist for in-person consultations at participating locations throughout its system."

Comment #4

  • It is a positive article published by Cision PRWeb.
  • In this article, Benzer Pharmacy announced that it had formed a joint initiative with OrderInsite™ aimed at improving improve inventory management as well as making sure that medications are always in-stock, ready for collection.

Comment #5

  • This is a positive article published by Business Journals.
  • The article talks about Benzer Pharmacy opening another franchise location in North Carolina. This is the 30th franchise for Benzer Pharmacy.

Comment #6

Comment #7

  • This is a positive article published by Cision PresWeb.
  • In this article, Benzer Pharmacy announced the opening of another location in Ohio. This is in line with its promises of further expansion into Buckeye Nation."

Comment #8

  • This article was published by Cision PresWeb and is positive.
  • In this article, Benzer Pharmacy announced the opening of two new locations in Texas.
Part
05
of five
Part
05

Benzer Pharmacy; Innovation and Technology Analysis

Benzer Pharmacy is one of the fastest-growing companies; it has a powerful presence in the pharma industry. The tech analysis of the company highlights its collaboration with tech leaders in the sub-industry segments of the pharmacy industry.

The Tech landscape at Benzer Pharmacy

  • Benzer Pharmacy is operating in a variety of industry segments, including med-courier services, vaccination services, medication dispensing and delivery services, patient transportation services, to name a few.
  • While these sub-industry segments are purely digitized, the company isn't creating its own technology; rather, it is collaborating with industry leaders and incorporating their technologies into its mainstream business. For instance, its recent collaboration with ScriptDrop for all sorts of mailing and courier related services is a brilliant example of how intelligently the company is using some of the most renowned technologies and incorporating them into the existing business model. ScriptDrop is "one of a kind delivery program, which can be integrated into the pharmacist's existing workflow."

Sub Segments and Technology

  • The company is expanding its business operations around several industry verticals, and it is using collaboration as a tool to deal with market competition and technology challenges. In an interview with Pharmacy Edge (2016), the president and the co-founder of Benzer Pharmacy revealed that collaboration helps in sustaining and individually, it becomes tougher for businesses to compete in the pharmacy segment.
  • Additionally, in an interview with the Tampa Bay Business Journal, the president of the company revealed that they are collaborating and partnering with some of the best companies in the industry to provide the best services t their clients. "From an operational perspective, the company is pursuing a technology-focused direction, introducing a host of new initiatives for better service, higher savings, and improved outcomes."
  • "At this point, the company has entered into agreements with Uber Health for transporting patients to-and-from the pharmacy for prescription pickup; ScriptSave WellRx Premier for prescription drug savings cards; ScriptDrop for mobile courier prescription drug delivery; and many others, currently in negotiations."

Current Technology

  • Currently, the company is using a wide variety of technological systems, including telehealth support systems, advanced patient management technology systems for franchise owners, online connected healthcare management systems, medication adherence technology, medication delivery systems, inventory management solutions. Some of these technology solutions are the fruit of collaboration and tech partnerships.
  • The Crunchbase profile of the company states that the company has three main self-hosted mobile applications. The mobile apps are RX care, Benz Health, and Benzer.
  • The official website of the company incorporates several tech integration and tracker systems like Google CDN. Benzer uses Amazon web services EC2 for cloud computing services.

Tech Innovation and Advancement Plans

  • Benzer Pharmacy is planning to expand its operation in the telepharmacy segment of the industry, and as it grows, it is much likely that the company will incorporate more advanced technology systems to meet the demands of the patients.
  • The company has not announced any expansion plans into the medication adherence technology, but with the recent Spencer certification from Catalyst Healthcare, it seems like the company is planning to expand its operations in the medication adherence technology space.

Benzer Pharmacy and a Variety of Technology Systems

  • Telehealth support systems are primarily used for communication services between the pharmacies and the patients.
  • Advanced patient management technology systems for franchise owners, provides several services, including tracking systems for at-risk patients, and it also tackles insurance and affordability issues. "Benzer franchises receive powerful, intuitive analytic, patient management, and business operations' technology to increase the health of your business and your patients."
  • Medication adherence technology is used by the company to provide effective healthcare services to patients since these are highly automated systems which help in "organizing dosing schedules based on time and date, calling out audible reminders when it's time to take which medications and what to take them with." The company uses medication delivery systems for delivering medication prescriptions.
  • Inventory management solutions are used to process and manage inventory and to "employ sophisticated predictive analytic—drawing on historical demand patterns, real-time pricing fluctuations, and other daily variables—to more accurately assess quantities and improve product workflow from the store shelf to the front counter."

Tech-Related Challenges

  • The company believes that advancements in technology are an essential part of the pharmacy business, but as technology evolves, the audience, or the consumer behaviors towards the technology also change. Understanding the changes in these behaviors and making the required changes to the technology segment of the business stand is a major challenge.
  • Tech giants like Amazon have a disruptive presence in the prescription delivery industry, keeping up with the competition would be a major challenge for Benzer Pharmacy. Amazon would be strong competition and a major challenge because the company (Benzer) is relatively new to the segment and is working with ScriptDrops' prescription delivery systems.
  • Streamlining the operational process at the tech front would be a challenge for the company, but the company is already tackling it.

Research Methodology

In an attempt to provide a detailed innovation and tech analysis of Benzer Pharmacy, we searched credible media sources, industry publications, interview statements from top-level executives of the company. While most of the requested information was readily available, technology challenges for the company and their future advancement plans were not found in the public domain. In order to provide information about the challenges and the tech advancements plans, we have conducted an analysis of the company focusing on what could be the possible challenges for the company. For tech advancement plans, we combed through the press release, media statements by the top-level executives to get a grasp of their though process about tech and innovation. We have used third party databases like CrunchBase and NetCraft for identifying the tech stack used by the company website and mobile application. For providing a glimpse of the company philosophy in terms of technology innovation and its core business strategy, we have used one old source (published in 2016). It is highly relevant and the company philosophy hasn't changed since then.
Sources
Sources

From Part 03
Quotes
  • "Teaming up with Uber Health is just the latest example of Benzer’s commitment to the customer,” said Alpesh Patel, President of Benzer Pharmacy. “Years ago, we developed a proprietary platform for free home delivery. This agreement underscores what we’ve always done in terms of eliminating one of the most troubling risk factors for non-adherence."
  • "According to Meghann Chilcott, Chief Technology and Marketing Officer for Benzer Pharmacy, the move is intended to assist those who formerly may have had trouble making travel arrangements with a reliable way to get in, and out, and on with life."
Quotes
  • "At this point in the growth of Benzer Pharmacy, every new store opening represents another milestone for the chain. But here in Wadesboro, you can really see the impact when an independent is able to continue doing what they’ve always done by joining forces with us,” Franchise President Vinesh Darji said in a prepared statement. “Economic factors being what they are, it only stands to reason that traditional pharmacies are able to stand taller when they stand together under the Benzer banner"
Quotes
  • "As President Alpesh Patel sees it, the new partnership in Alliance, Ohio is a cornerstone of the company’s efforts to improve the delivery of pharmaceutical services in small communities across the country. Living in less populated areas doesn’t have to mean living with higher costs or untimely delays in prescription refill time,” Patel said. “As the first pharmacy to come online in the system, we envision the new Alliance, Ohio location will flower into something very special for local customers—the same location they’ve known for years, only reborn with a new look and a host of new benefits for the first time."
  • "Benzer Pharmacy believes in what we’re doing to improve the pharmacy business from the ground up,” Patel explained. “With a little TLC, backed by a brand that has the resources to stand toe-to-toe with the big box stores, we offer a powerful combination to cultivate success in any setting"
Quotes
  • "In a move intended to fortify its rapidly expanding base of franchise ownership, Benzer Franchise has announced a change in upfront costs for independent pharmacists or investors looking to join the Benzer Pharmacy family. Benzer’s initial, one-time fee is now $5,000, yet monthly cost remains unchanged."
  • "The standard for franchise entry may be a little higher, but hardly prohibitive. Considering our plans to expand to 80 to 100+ stores over the next six-to-nine months, it’s important to ensure each new partner is in it to win it.” In the meantime, Patel says the benefits to pharmacy owners remain compelling. He points to the organization’s efforts to supply current and future franchisees with the best resources the industry has to offer, including exceptional group buying power and a substantial corporate support structure on back end operations."
Quotes
  • "Benzer Pharmacy Franchise has definitely gotten better with Vinesh Darji as President. We have every expectation that he’ll exceed our expectations,” Patel predicted."
Quotes
  • "We have not lost sight of the importance and responsibility of our role in the health care community to be the access point for patients, providers, health systems and caregivers,” says Chapman. “That is how Benzer sets itself apart from the big-box chain ­pharmacies."
Quotes
  • "Describing the reasoning behind the rollout, Tonya Shackelford, VP of Clinical Services, explained that MinibarRx offers patients safe, convenient, and easily affordable access to a variety of essential vaccines in just one-stop at participating Benzer locations. When patients learn they need a vaccine, like Hepatitis A, for example, they don’t want to wait several days for it to be ordered; then, have to make a second trip for administration,” Shackelford said. “Having a perpetual inventory in stock can be instrumental to preventing potentially life-threatening diseases. "
Quotes
  • "By partnering with ScriptDrop for in-workflow prescription delivery, we are working to make the process more efficient for our member pharmacists, while promoting a seamless delivery solution for patients. – Meghann Chilcott, Chief Technology and Marketing Officer"
Quotes
  • "In a statement, company spokesperson Nicholas Potts said that ScriptDrop embodies “the first medication delivery program [of its kind] to integrate directly into the pharmacist’s existing workflow…reducing [incidences] of medication abandonment through innovation at the pharmacy."
Quotes
  • "In the words of Meghann Chilcott, Chief Technology and Marketing Officer for Benzer Pharmacy, the move is intended to produce a two-fold outcome that benefits participating pharmacies in terms of optimizing reserves for better margins, while enhancing the ability of frontline staff members to deliver exceptional customer service at the point-of-sale."
Quotes
  • "Benzer’s expanded presence in Florida’s largest inland city is noteworthy, in no small part due to the location’s “magical” surroundings. As President Alpesh Patel explained, if there’s a theme to be found in forging ahead in the “Theme Park Capital of the World,” it’s in the idea of giving the Benzer Pharmacy “treatment” to businesses that can really benefit."
From Part 05
Quotes
  • "Even more encouragingly, from an operational perspective, Benzer is actively pursuing a technology-focused direction, introducing a host of new initiatives for better service, greater savings, and improved outcomes. At this point, the company has entered into agreements with Uber Health for transporting patients to-and-from the pharmacy for prescription pickup; ScriptSave WellRx Premier for prescription drug savings cards; ScriptDrop for mobile courier prescription drug delivery; and many others, currently in negotiations."
Quotes
  • "The right technology can save lives by quickly identifying at-risk patients, as well as insurance and affordability issues. Benzer franchises receive powerful, intuitive analytics, patient management, and business operations technology to increase the health of your business and your patients."
Quotes
  • "While Chilcott’s assertion is easier said than done, the technology that makes it possible has a track record of proven success and is currently used by OrderInsite partners such as the American Association of Pharmacies (AAP), PioneerRx, and Medi-Span, among others."
  • "According to a statement on the company’s website, OrderInsite’s algorithms employ sophisticated predictive analytics—drawing on historical demand patterns, real-time pricing fluctuations, and other daily variables—to more accurately assess quantities and improve product workflow from the store shelf to the front counter."
  • "OrderInsite CEO George Lazenby explained, “Our solutions integrate with existing practice management systems, corporate communication structures, and ordering systems, utilizing bi-directional data feeds to enable streamlined and straightforward implementation.""
  • "“The tools we bring to the table automate and add precision to things pharmacists normally do—from forecasting changes in demand, conducting cycle counts, tracking dispensing, and managing equivalents to recommending transfers, documenting purchasing activity, monitoring compliance, and making key purchasing management decisions. This automation allows our customers to focus more on their customers while optimizing their inventory”"
Quotes
  • "No doubt that’s going to take some heavy lifting, especially in terms of her stated goals to “streamline operational processes” and develop a “top-notch, personalized patient experience.”"
Quotes
  • "Digital Pharmacist Inc. (www.digitalpharmacist.com), a rapidly growing digital health company that powers digital, communication and adherence solutions for 7,500 pharmacies, announced today that an additional one thousand five hundred pharmacies have adopted its platform in the past 12 months. Benzer Pharmacy recently joined Digital Pharmacist Inc. "
Quotes
  • "At Benzer Pharmacy, we’re working to expand medical care by connecting patients to telepharmacy services in the many communities we serve, helping patients better manage their care from the comfort of home without sacrificing quality in the slightest. As Meghann Chilcott, Chief Technology and Marketing Officer, has said in the past, “Regardless of whether the pharmacist is directly interacting with patient face-to-face; or counseling them via teleconference, he or she is still held to the same requirements by the state boards of pharmacy.”"