Clint King, President Associated Pharmacies, Inc.
“I feel honored to have been around long enough to witness the evolution from a small organization to a nationally recognized co-op“
How long have you been employed at API?
I have been employed by API since 1996.
In your time with the company, what would you say is the greatest achievement made by API for the customers, industry, and as a company?
I feel honored to have been around long enough to witness the evolution from a small organization employing 12 individuals to a nationally recognized co-op saving independent pharmacy millions of dollars every month. Throughout the growth and changes accompanying growth, API’s commitment to independent pharmacy has remained unchanged. The greatest achievement yet is merging with United Drugs and both organizations remaining true to the core values and missions since inception.
What affect has the merger between API and United Drugs had on operations at API?
We have made significant operational improvements since the merger with United Drugs. Since most of the former United Drugs members were west of Alabama, our focus was servicing Pacific and Mountain time zones comparable to Central and Eastern without negatively impacting the current distribution process. Many changes including extended hours of operation, carrier negotiations, increased order transactions and eventually an additional distribution facility!
A member-owned warehouse is definitely appealing to an independent pharmacy. What are some benefits customers receive when ordering from the API Warehouse?
Of course supply chain improvements and increased pharmacy profitability are part of the equation but ultimately our members own the two API distribution facilities which in turn means our members are purchasing product from themselves. As participation increases, so does the profitability of their member owned warehouses.
API recently purchased a second member-owned warehouse. Is that facility fully operational?
Yes, the Memphis, TN facility has been fully operational since July of this year and I anticipate before this publication goes to print all west coast members, if they choose, will be supplied from the Memphis, TN facility.
Will all orders eventually be shipped from this new location?
Actually the Alabama facility supplies the majority of product to the Tennessee facility via intercompany transfers not to mention the assets located in Alabama. No, closing the Alabama facility is not in the short or long term goals of the co-op.
What are the immediate and long term benefits you foresee with this additional location?
The immediate benefit is increased capacity. Warehouse sales are higher than ever before seen and the Tennessee addition has undoubtedly assumed a portion of the increased volume. An extended deadline for the west coast is also a short term benefit that many of our members enjoy. Long term I hope to focus on other parts of the country that may benefit from extended deadlines. Disaster coverage and redundancy are also two long term benefits.
What would you see in the future for API and AAP?
We will continue reviewing and implementing changes involving the distribution process to increase efficiency and accuracy. We will also continue monitoring the market for new ideas and innovation that will not only increase the profitability of independent pharmacy but keep independents viable for many years to come.