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Walgreen Co. Message Board

  • taiguyandcheeky taiguyandcheeky Feb 19, 2008 10:50 AM Flag

    cmxsux, CVS vs WAG

    Before you left CMK, did you find out much about how CVS operates? I'm interested in comparisons such as work flow, technology, convenience, etc.

    Let's start with technology. Are their stores connected nationwide, like Walgreens? Have they incorporated imaging and dynamic workload balancing? Or are they like they rest of the competition with out-dated computer systems, paper-faxing MDs and calling their own stores for transfers? I'm trying to get a sense of how they'll compete, when they move out west.

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    • I compared the two before I left.
      I speculate that tech, work flow, quality and convenience to favor WAG.

      However, WAG is stuck because they are resistant to change. This may be a good thing for them or not, only time will tell.

      Purchasing and strategy will strongly favor CVS.
      I do believe CVS will kill CMX in time, especially with MAC and others gone.

      • 2 Replies to cmxgen
      • taiguyandcheeky taiguyandcheeky Feb 20, 2008 11:39 AM Flag

        <However, WAG is stuck because they are resistant to change.>

        I respectfully disagree. Walgreens was the first big player to pioneer large freestanding corner stores, drive-thrus, a satelite system linking all stores, multi-language scrips, 24-hour stores, imaging, E-scrips, dynamic workload balancing, etc. All of our competitors are playing catch-up. I remember the competition laughing and mocking us for having drive-thrus. "RPhs will quit in droves, the drive-thru will kill front-end business." Now it seems they've all (even Walmart) have seen the light. In other areas, Walgreens may not be the first, but we usually end up being the best (e.g. internet pharmacy).

        Impulsive change just for the sake of change, or just to copy your competitor, is a foolish waste of resources.

    • Great point cmxsux. All IT issues are fixed expediently and remotely ... and that goes for ANY problem - computer, phone, fax, register, scales, scanner, etc. A colleague of mine at kroger told me his fax machine recently broke down and it took the assigned contractor 3 days to address the problem, during which time their operation was extremely hampered.

      Also, the computer system is great for recruiting and for keeping RPhs at Walgreens.

    • To be my normal kill-joy self, the last many posts confirm that people who work in the industry, and specifically for WAG, think that, gee whiz, it is so neato. WAG is the best at what they do etc. I have no argument with that.

      All the innovations that started many posts ago, are related to the "store is king" concept and help make that a reality. Good job WAG!

      Now that being said, innovation comes in many forms. Doing the job better, faster, cheaper is great. It is also an absolute neccesity in this modern world. A cost of doing business if you are just going to survive.

      The innovations I continue to look for are concerning different business models, not only making the existing model the best it can be.

    • ". I wonder how rph’s for osco, Eckerd, CMX etc felt about waking up one morning and finding out their company had been sold"
      "s unfortunate that an employee would wake up some morning to find the company they have put a lot of work into has been sold…"

      This happened to Target pharmacists in the late seventies/early eighties when the company made a decision to get out of the pharmacy business in most areas of the country (not all areas had a pharmacy), except Minneapolis, where they were headquartered. Pharmacists came to work in the morning and either found their pharmacy padlocked or Target and Walgreens pharmacy supervisors going over the pharmacy inventory and files that Wag was purchasing. It happened before and you wonder if it could happen again!

    • <The innovations I continue to look for are concerning different business models, not only making the existing model the best it can be.>

      Do you have any suggestions?

    • Sure,

      Nothing I haven't said before. Diversification ... geographic and lines of business.

      I know it is easier said than done ... I'm not getting paid to come up with the right ideas. But if WAG continues on a store only US strategy, it will continue to grow, at an increasingly slower pace, and be the target (small t) of all the newcomers. They can beat anyone in that game, but at what cost? And the P/E continues to contract so it will take more and more of the same earnings to get to the same share price.

    • I believe Walgreens is going after the home infusion and clinic/hospital markets. Also, WHI is another branch. I hope we aggressively go after the longterm care (nursing homes/assisted living) market which Walgreens could easily dominate, IMO.

      But remember, there's still 83% of the retail market left to grab. With the demographic/Rx volume trends, I support managements aggressive growth strategy and feel, at the moment, it's the best use of resources.

    • Ump, I find most of your posts deliberately Obama-ish, vague and full of platitudes, hardly ever going into specifics. Example:

      <Now that being said, innovation comes in many forms. Doing the job better, faster, cheaper is great. It is also an absolute neccesity in this modern world. A cost of doing business if you are just going to survive.>

      Uhh, thanks. But any specifics on what you'd like Walgreens to be pursuing? And why?

    • Taiguy

      Obama-ish hmm. I'll take it. I HOPE that they can see the future and do something about it.

      But let's dig just a little deeper into your assesment of me. You are a pharmacist. From your posts I believe you are good at your job, proud of your company and secure in your future. So your background in undersanding the future of the company is based on what?

      My background includes consulting for major companies from within and from the outside on long term corportate strategy. One thing I know, is that when people who haven't studied the subject in some detail come around, they don't have a clue about the right strategy for a company. So the fact that I am light on specifics is irrelevant. They have a strategic group that makes big bucks. Everything that has come out of that group so far is "stay the course". The few innovations that you talk about that are not store based will not "move the needle" on the future of the company. At some point in the past 20 or next 5 years, they have come up with something that will make a difference that doesn't not include building more stores.

      If you want, my day rate while consulting is $2000. I would be happy to spend six months and I guarantee I would come up with signigicant improvements to the strategy ... not the tactics.

      But they don't need me, they already have ideas and have discounted them for one reason or another. That is their pattern and my principal concern.

    • So with demographic/Rx volume trend, do you think their "stay the course" rapid store growth, lock in the best corners for 50 years strategy is a mistake?

      Surely, without having to fork over your $2000/day fee, you can give us ONE idea. Else what is the point of reading your posts?

      <One thing I know, is that when people who haven't studied the subject in some detail come around, they don't have a clue about the right strategy for a company. So the fact that I am light on specifics is irrelevant>

      You've been here for a while, so you must have some interest in Wag. Don't you have one or two opinions on strategy. Buy a PBM? Go international? Buy Longs, Bartells, Rite Aid?

      It seems like you have absolutely no opinion, except you don't like the current strategy of rapid store growth.

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WAG
76.67+0.16(+0.21%)Dec 24 1:02 PMEST

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