When you ask Sam Zoghbi, director of community pharmacy group Simply Pharmacy, what has made his business a success, he says it all comes down to relationships, hard work, dedication and a passion for the industry. 

“A lot of our success has been due to the relationships I have built with not only the partners of Simply Pharmacy, but the teams. Our teams are built on trust, hard work and loyalty. The trust I can put in my managers enables me to focus on running the business smoothly.

Simply Pharmacy was established in 2008 in Toronto, in the Lake Macquarie region in NSW. Over the nearly 20 years we have been in operation, we have grown to over 180 staff with nine locally owned pharmacies throughout the Newcastle, Central Coast and South Coast region, and have also expanded to Ingleburn in south-west Sydney. 

The past few years have seen a lot of change in Sam’s business model. In 2019, the business successfully transitioned their banking from Bankwest across to CommBank, a process that was understandably complicated but the smooth process allowed little disruption to their daily business activities. 

Simply Pharmacy’s CommBank banker, Dev Koppikar says the business really benefited as they could access more products and services across the bank.

“They are one of the more complex groups we’ve had to transition, with products and accounts throughout different parts of the bank, but we worked alongside Sam and his team and trained them all on the new facilities and product offerings, and it’s really made a difference to their business. They now have access to a whole range of specialists across the bank, from healthcare to asset finance and business lending, Dev Koppikar says.

For Sam, the key to success for the transition was minimal disruption to his business operations and access to new business technology.

“You know it’s a success when it barely impacts your business. Dev worked with us throughout the whole process and connected us with the right people in the bank to ensure we were up and running with little problems,” Sam says. 

“Now, we have access to technology we didn’t have before. It’s clear that CommBank is leading the way in technology, their online facilities are clear and easy to use, and they’re regularly releasing new products for us to bring into the business. We’ve been able to work with them now as we look at other opportunities for Simply Pharmacy, whether that be diversifying into other areas, or opening new branches in different regions.”

Covid signalled another major transition for the business, as Simply Pharmacy changed the way they worked with their customers.

“With Covid, our relationship with our customers in each of our communities has really shifted. We have always been very customer focused and know most of our customers on a first name basis, but more customers come to us for additional patient care and advice than ever before. It’s not about the number of people coming through the door, but about the care and health solutions we give them, and that’s what has been setting us apart.”

“The business is in a good place now to capitalise on any opportunities, and that is thanks to our partners who have supported us through the ups and downs over the past few years, and I’m excited for what the future holds.”

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