In this episode of the Inventory Nation Podcast, Jennifer Potts, RVT joins us to talk about her path into veterinary medicine and her role managing inventory in her practice. She not only discusses her challenges with the inventory system when taking on the role of Hospital Manager but also goes into some detail about the process she uses today. Jennifer also talks about what she wishes she’d known sooner as well as a few pieces of advice for anybody trying to manage inventory.
In addition, the importance of the business culture and the path to repairing the culture at Chimney Hills is also highlighted.
Jennifer always had an interest in science and math and while she was in the National Honor Society she volunteered to work at the Humane Society. She fell in love with working with the animals and the medical aspect of veterinarian medicine.
Worked at teaching hospital at Oklahoma State while earning her degree. She was trained as an assistant.
She then went to community college to earn an Associate Degree in Veterinarian Technology.
Jennifer had some previous experience managing the “needs” list but no formal training or experience with inventory until this position. Her first big project at her position was optimizing the inventory system.
Cleaning the practice management software (Avimark) was the first big step. Took most of the first year to clean it up.
The entire process took nearly two years to get running smoothly.
Switched from Avimark to Evetpractice. The clinic wanted something more cloud-based and Evetpractice has been great with inventory.
The transition from AviMark to Evetpractice had a few minor challenges but only took a few months to be up and running.
The culture wasn’t great when Jennifer started as the Hospital Manager. It took time to change the culture and a lot of care was taken during the hiring process to match the fit of the culture that they wanted to transform into.
Having a great culture gets your practice noticed. Jennifer has a waiting list of prospects that would like a position at Chimney Hills.
Chimney Hills has an open book management system (except for salaries). So all employees know what the goals are and where the business stands.
Jennifer tries to update all inventory metrics at least once a year.
Data is one of the keys to running the business and helping employees understand and be a part of the business success.
Jennifer recommends taking inventory slow when you first start. Don’t try to rush it. Understand that it can take a year or more to optimize.
Learn your practice management software deeply.
Understand the metrics, calculations, and data in the software so that you can use it to optimize your inventory.
MEET JENNIFER POTTS
Jennifer is the Hospital Manager at Chimney Hills Animal Hospital in Tulsa, OK, and has been managing the practice for almost 8 years. She originally came from a background in Emergency Medicine and has been in the veterinary field since 2003, and an RVT since 2010. Jennifer is currently working towards her CVPM, with a goal to test in November of 2021. She has a passion for all things culture-related and believes in making sure you have an effective management team and a culture that the employees want to work and thrive in only helps the hospital on a holistic level.
Regarding inventory, she didn’t have much experience with inventory before starting with her current hospital. It was Jennifer’s first (and only) project when she took over the management of the hospital. She started from ground zero having to do full inventory counts, and set up maxes and minimums, and then setting up everything to pull properly in her management system and keep up with the physical inventory. Jennifer has grown to love inventory over the years, as she feels like it is a place where she can make a big difference in the hospital. Jennifer is also a self-proclaimed number and spreadsheet nerd, so it also plays into that for her as well.
Nicole is the owner and founder of Veterinary Care Logistics and the Veterinary Inventory Strategy Network. VCL was born out of the demand by several industry leaders to utilize her inventory system as a model throughout the country.
She currently lives with her four dogs, two rabbits, and a cat named Hei Hei in the beautiful state of Montana. When she's not being an inventory nerd, you can find her in the garden, enjoying the mountains of Montana, or swimming in the ocean.