The Boston Consulting Group on Strategy was a recent purchase and has quickly gained prominence on my bookshelf. It’s a collection of BCG articles from over the years, grouped together into a huge, helpful resource.
User @kahji asked about Automated Prescription Vending machines on today’s BusinessLunchClub discussion. Great question! It made me think about the pros and cons, and I sent some in a tweet but am expanding on it here.
- Lower cost: Less cost for storage, pharm-techs, etc.
- Reduced human error: I can’t read those doctor’s prescriptions and I’m not sure that pharmacists can, either.
- 24/7 service: Assuming that these are in a publicly accessible place 24/7. (Although, in some neighborhoods, that might be a con, not a pro).
- It seems like there is little control over who can pick up the meds. APVs would allow anyone with the right prescription document to get it. That doesn’t seem right to me. Isn’t there some kind of identity check required for the release of meds? [Disclaimer it’s been a long time since I’ve had a prescription filled… so maybe there isn’t].
- Pharmacists are (in my opinion) a HUGE part of the medical system but are undervalued as merely being human prescription vendors. I think they can do much more and I’m afraid that we would lose that with a vending machine. In many ways, it’s not like a bank’s ATM (replacing the teller) or a pop machine (replacing the convenience store clerk). Pharmacists also provide advice.
Potential middle ground: Standard meds for seasoned users would be a good use for APVs. But for first time med users, and for medicines that have serious side-effects or non-standard formulations, a pharmacist is still necessary.
As an investment opportunity, I’m curious about getting one of these for the lobbies of doctor’s offices. Doctor writes a prescription and it can be filled right in the lobby on the patient’s way out the door. Fast and convenient. I’m not sure about the ethical implications, though: would a doctor tend to prescribe medication that was available at their APV (assuming that they’re getting a small incentive)?
Here’s a cautionary tale from my college days: We had a vending machine in the laundry room of my dorm. And someone discovered that if you put inyour change, you could get your pop… and then you could also get as many iced teas as you wanted, simply by pressing the iced tea button several times. And then you could press the coin return button and a handful of change would be dispensed. As you can imagine, it lasted until we ran out of iced tea and change and then the company switched machines. Note to APV manufacturers: You’ll want to implement some related controls!
If you’re a business owner who is stuck at your desk for lunch, you might be getting work done but you’re missing out on the powerful networking opportunities of a business lunch. That’s where BusinessLunchClub comes in. BusinessLunchClub is where entrepreneurs on Twitter have lunch. If you’re stuck at your desk but want to do some networking, tweet while you eat and add the hashtags #businesslunchclub, #bizlunchclub, or #blc.
Here are a couple of tips to help you get more out of BusinessLunchClub:
Either invite a handful of people to participate or tweet out that you’re looking for others to join you.
For example: @AaronHoos you around for #businesslunchclub?
Or: Stuck at my desk. #bizlunchclub anyone?
You might also want to schedule your next BusinessLunchClub meeting. Mondays with one group of colleagues, Tuesday with another, etc. Consider having a business problem that you’d like to talk about.
Just like many business lunches have a purpose (besides eating at the same table), BusinessLunchClub is made more beneficial when you participate with a goal in mind. Perhaps it might be “I need to find someone to help me solve this business problem” or it might be broader, like “I’d like to learn something about a few of my followers or it might just be a nice way to make your stuck-at-your-desk lunch a little more valuable.
Everything you enjoy about business lunches is now available on Twitter with Business Lunch Club. If you find yourself unable to have a real business lunch, simply tweet while you eat and add the hashtags #businesslunchclub, #bizlunchclub, or #blc.
Here are some ideas to get the benefits of a business lunch from Business Lunch Club.
1. Find others who are stuck at their desks over lunch. You’ll make your at-your-desk time far more productive while you eat.
For example: Stuck at my desk. Anyone else in the same boat? #businesslunchclub
2. Start a discussion about a topic that you might normally talk about over lunch. You’ll engage others in topics that interest you and shape the discussion on Twitter.
For example: How has the economy been impacting your lead generation? #businesslunchclub
3. Participate in a discussion that someone else has started. You’ll add value to other people as you talk with them. Several people can join in at once, just like a real discussion.
For example: Re: lead-gen I’ve had to really ramp up the value of my offering. How about you? #businesslunchclub
4. Ask for help. Leverage your relationships to ask professionals for advice on issues you face in business.
For example: Can anyone point me to a good online bookkeeping system? #businesslunchclub
5. Get to know your followers. You have lots of followers but how well do you know them? Get to know them a bit better and perhaps you’ll discover some potential opportunities.
For example: Taking a break from work for #businesslunchclub. @IAC_Heather tell me a bit about your business
6. Talk about a joint venture or collaboration idea. Twitter is the perfect place to start up a discussion, test interest, and find experts to collaborate.
For example: @AaronHoos I’d like to work together on an ebook about sales. #businesslunchclub
7. Introduce a couple of colleagues who you think are a good match for each other. Network and help others to network. This is like #FollowFriday but far more focused.
For example: @IAC_Heather, you should talk to @AaronHoos about that book you’d like to write #businesslunchclub
8. Visit BusinessLunchClub.com and meet other people who are #businesslunchclub participants. Follow them to gain access to a whole new network of people interested in win-win business growth.
For example: Hi @AaronHoos I saw you on BusinessLunchClub.com and wanted to follow you #businesslunchclub
In the business world, lunch time is often a time when business relationships are solidified, sales are made, insight is shared, and new partnerships are born. Traditionally, this involved two or more business people meeting at a restaurant. However, today’s business world doesn’t always allow for that: Entrepreneurs halfway around the world from their colleagues can’t easily meet for lunch; small business owners are stuck at their desk while they work; freelancers may not have the hour or more it can take to drive to the restaurant and wait for the meal to arrive.
That’s where Business Lunch Club comes in.
I’ve collaborated with a colleague of mine, Heather Villa, a business coach and the owner of IAC Professionals and IAC-EZ, to create Business Lunch Club. It’s everything you get in the traditional business lunch… on Twitter! She calls it “Lunch 2.0” which I think is the perfect term!
Business Lunch Club enables business professionals who can’t get away from their desk, or who have time or distance constraints, to meet for lunch on Twitter.
Participating in Business Lunch Club is easy. Simply start a conversation with one or more of your followers, or participate in a discussion already underway. And, be sure to add the hashtags #businesslunchclub, #bizlunchclub, or #blc to your tweets to indicate that they are part of the conversation.
Want to know who else is participating? Want to review what you’ve discussed? Want to find and follow other BusinessLunchClub participants? Visit BusinessLunchClub.com to see all of the Business Lunch Club conversations going on.
Let’s do lunch. And this time, it’s on Twitter!