Hy-Vee honored for politcal action
During the Political Involvement Reception at NACDS Total Store Expo on Saturday evening, Hy-Vee was honored for its engagement in the NACDS Political Action Committee with the Politically Engaged Pharmacy award.
“We present the PEP award to a person — or a company — that’s made a big difference in advancing community pharmacy with policy-makers, so we can do more to serve our customers and patients,” said Richard Ashworth, president of pharmacy and retail operations for Walgreens and chairman of NACDS-PAC, when presenting the award. Ashworth noted that Hy-Vee team members throughout the
company have “stepped up big time” to be engaged participants in NACDS-PAC, and they exemplify that “passionate voices can make a world of difference.”
“Our team at Hy-Vee really has worked hard to make a difference,” said Hy-Vee chairman, CEO and president Randy Edeker when accepting the award. “Together, we’re stronger than we are individually. This is a nice recognition for all of our folks who have done a lot with NACDS-PAC.”
The bipartisan NACDS-PAC supports federal congressional candidates who advance pro-patient and pro-pharmacy policies.
“NACDS makes it a priority to tell pharmacy’s story to lawmakers and to the public,” said Martin Otto, chief merchant and CFO at H-E-B, and chairman of the NACDS board of directors, when welcoming attendees to the event. In addition to describing the importance of electoral engagement, Otto spoke about the success of the NACDS RxImpact grassroots advocacy program.
NACDS also welcomed Nicolle Wallace — New York Times bestselling author, political strategist and former director of White House communications for President George W. Bush — as a guest speaker.
Efficacy key to effectiveness at NACDS
Political science scholars use the concept of “political efficacy” as one measure of a society’s strength. It refers to the people’s belief that they have a say in their government and can affect its course of action. Could this concept help to explain your decision to engage in the NACDS Total Store Expo?
This conference was created from the fact that the NACDS membership not only has a say in the association, but also remains the very reason for the association’s existence. With the input of the membership, the NACDS board of directors acted boldly to announce the NACDS Total Store Expo in 2011, and to launch it in 2013.
The vision was to stop balkanizing the store and to create an opportunity for strategic discussions that span the pharmacy, the front end, health and wellness broadly defined, technology, transportation, distribution, logistics and more. Also motivating the exciting change was the desire to create a better-timed, more efficient and more integrated calendar of annual NACDS conferences. While achieving these objectives, NACDS knew that it would be necessary to sustain the standard-setting customer service for which our events have been known.
Call it “political efficacy” or “customer service,” but the NACDS Total Store Expo is designed to be all about you, and about your collaboration with your business partners to serve consumers and patients. The conference reflects that in the lead-up to the event, throughout the running of the event and in the follow-up.
Preparation remains key
I hope you found helpful the resources that were rolled out in the months prior to the conference — including online tools, instructional videos, webinars and even mentorship opportunities. The greatest levels of success arise from pre-planned meetings that have clear agendas. With the guidance of retailers and exhibitors alike, the resources were intended to help deliver that success.
The program is powerful
The conference agenda includes popular, tried-and-true features, including Meet the Retailer and Meet the Market. It also presents opportunities to feature and discover new products and ideas — from the Insight Sessions to the Vision 2027 and Product Showcase attractions in the exhibit hall — and to connect with people during the social functions. Really, every minute on the schedule and every square foot of the exhibit hall include tremendous potential. The most successful and savvy participants in the NACDS Total Store Expo always recommend engaging completely in the event, and not retiring to the hotel to check email. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard of a game-changer coming out of the decision to seek out one more meeting.
Follow-up is key — for your company and for NACDS
The program may say that the conference closes on Aug. 9, but not for those who truly maximize its value. From substantive meeting follow-up to timely thank you notes, there will be plenty to accomplish in the days and weeks ahead. Just as there are success stories from those who seek out one more meeting before wrapping up the schedule, there also are success stories from those who absolutely nail it with the follow-up. Likewise, we invite you to help NACDS with its follow-up, as well. Right after the conclusion of the conference, registered participants will receive a survey that will go a long way in helping to fine-tune this conference for next year and into the future.
Speaking of next year, it is never too early to plan ahead. We hope to see you next year in San Diego for the 2017 NACDS Total Store Expo — Aug. 19 to 22 — as well as at other NACDS events.
As you focus on the execution of this year’s conference, I hope you will meet with the success that you envision and for which you have worked hard. I also hope you will see numerous examples of the ways in which you and your colleagues have contributed to the creation and the refinement of the NACDS Total Store Expo.
Thanks to you, this conference is “efficacy” and “effectiveness” defined.
Narrowing strategy key to win with digital
When it comes to online retailing, said a Walgreens executive, the way to win with digital is by narrowing your strategy, not broadening it.
That’s what Wayne Duan, director of digital commerce for Walgreens.com, told attendees of a panel discussion at the NACDS Total Store Expo in Boston on Sunday. Duan added that narrowing down the digital strategy is exactly why Walgreens decided to shut down drugstore.com and Beauty.com two weeks ago.
“At Walgreens, we have an internal mantra. We don’t want to be the next breakfast cereal,” Duan said during the workshop, which also included speakers Soyoung Kwon and Todd Huseby of A.T. Kearney. Duan characterized breakfast cereal as something that is on its way out as consumers switch to smoothies and protein bars as their preferred morning meal.
“You cannot chase after every shiny new object in digital like Periscope, Instagram, Vine, etc. These things will consistently change over time. You have to focus on your digital core and make sure that is really amazing,” Duan said. “The things that comprise your digital core are product images, product attributes, product reviews. If you don’t have your act together with these things, you won’t be able to scale.”
Duan offered some specific recommendations for any retailer interested in becoming more digitally savvy:
- Success: Are you solving a problem for the customer? Are you making things better for the customer than the status quo?
- Focus: For long-term success, focus on curation, not throwing up everything that you sell online. Make sure you are looking at paid search and SEO. Make sure your teams are aligned and working together. Make sure your intellectual capital is up to par.
- Execution: If you can’t execute, the customer won’t reward you. And the way to measure execution is with good metrics.
Todd Huseby of A.T. Kearney talked about the mixed messages CPG companies are getting from retailers in terms of what they want as their digital priorities. His firm surveyed retailers in 2014 and found that retailers still do not understand digital consumer behavior. Soyoung Kwon also discussed the challenges that companies face in navigating the digital waters, specifically how exactly to invest in digital efforts.