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In this episode of the Inventory Nation Podcast, Nicole is breaking down some common misconceptions and things that vet med often gets wrong about inventory. Throughout her time as an inventory consultant, she’s heard a number of different “truths” that people believe about inventory, but after working with hundreds (if not thousands) of veterinary professionals, Nicole has found the opposite to be true.
Here’s what veterinary medicine gets wrong about inventory:
- It’s okay to not know — there is so little training out there. When I have one on one clients, the number one question I get asked is am I the worst you’ve ever seen? Absolutely not; almost everyone struggles! It’s a very common experience and struggle throughout practices. No matter if you are a one veterinarian practice in rural Montana or a 100+ veterinarian specialty center in a huge metropolitan area.
- “It’s always going to suck” — hint: inventory doesn’t have to be a horrible, mind-numbing process. Usually, when I mention I teach others how to manage inventory or I start talking about inventory management, it usually causes a visceral negative reaction. Ugh, why do you do that? I hate inventory? Don’t get me wrong, inventory can be really rough but it doesn’t HAVE to be. I think the idea that it’s awful has been passed down from person to person, generation to generation.
- “My inventory will never be under control” — that’s not true; it is possible to have a streamlined inventory system that doesn’t take up a million years each week. It is possible to have an inventory system that runs smoothly. If you don’t know what’s possible and if you expect and even accept that your inventory will be a hot mess, then that’s what will continue. A tip: ask questions, think about what’s the worst part about managing inventory, ask yourself, could this be better?
- “No one will ever WANT to manage inventory” — there are individuals who love managing inventory. It’s not for everyone, but hiring the right fit can make a world of difference
- “No one ever writes in the want book” — don’t get me wrong, I love the “want book” as much as the next person, BUT we don’t have to rely on it and use it as the only way to know when something is low
- “Because of Chewy and 1-800-PetMeds, I shouldn’t even bother with inventory anymore” — The answer is not to get rid of our inventory completely but strategically adapt and pivot
MEET NICOLE CLAUSEN
Hi, I’m Nicole Clausen and I started Veterinary Care Logistics with the dream of changing the way we manage inventory together.
With 14+ years of experience in the veterinary industry, I’ve worked in several positions from receptionist to operations manager for several different hospitals.
While no two practices are ever just alike, I noticed one common problem: a lack of inventory management and control.
If you’re tasked with managing inventory, I understand firsthand the challenges you face.
When I first started managing inventory, I struggled with the same things that many of my clients experience: a to-do list up my chin and a pretty persistent case of imposter syndrome. But jolting awake in the middle of the night, wondering if you remembered to order rabies vaccines is no way to live.
I knew something had to change.
Veterinary Care Logistics was born out of the demand by several industry leaders to utilize my inventory system as a model throughout the country.
Whenever I tell people what I do, I usually get a puzzled reaction: “Why would you want to do that? I hate inventory!” Truthfully, I love the puzzles, the numbers, and the strategies of inventory. But what really sets my soul on fire is creating lightbulb moments.
New clients who often come to me tell me that they feel like they’re drowning or that they think they’re just not cut out for this. Then once we start working together, putting systems in place, there’s always, always an “ah-ha” moment.