What would your practice look like if inventory was under control, planned, and efficient? In this episode, Brynne and Nicole discuss the cost of managing inventory poorly, common problems that practices face with inventory, and some tips for how to get on track with inventory so that your practice can have what it needs without tying up resources and wasting money.

EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS

  • Associated Veterinary Purchasing is owned by veterinarians. 
  • The owners request specific items to be in inventory.
  • AVP stocks about 8000 items in stock in a 55,000 square foot warehouse. 
  • Brynne loved animals as a child.
  • First experience with inventory was as a head tech at a small animal hospital.
  • AVP has services that they offer free of charge. Inventory analysis is one of those services. Brynne found that inventory analysis was a great fit and enjoyed helping customers.
  • Inventory is one of the top 2 expenses at a practice.
  • General inventory management is a big challenge for many practices. What to stock, how much to stock, how much is on hand, what items are most revenue, etc.
  • Changing the mindset from inventory being “stuff” to connecting that it is actually money is important.
  • There are consequences to not knowing what you have in stock.
  • Consumable like gauze and syringes are not tracked well enough in many practices.
  • Central storage with min and max labels can be incredibly helpful.
  • Planning orders ahead is much more efficient than trying to buy one or two items as needed. 
  • Placing orders every day is wasting time and money. 
  • Some people manage inventory from a place of fear and order more than needed just to keep from running out.
  • One thing that practices could start doing today is to begin paying attention how long something is sitting on a shelf and asking if it needs to be there or not.
  • Items that sit on a shelf for too long are not benefiting the business.
  •  Practices should be stocked intentionally.
  • Advice for new inventory managers/techs is to speak with everyone and get them involved with inventory. Inventory is a team effort.

MEET BRYNNE HAGERMAN BSc, RVT

I completed my BSc (Biology) at University of Prince Edward Island, and then attended the Animal Health Technology program at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College. Upon passing the VTNE, I packed my bags in 1998 and moved to the West Coast, settling down just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia. I was an RVT in a small animal practice with a focus on canine reproduction, and learned so much about vet medicine, client education, inventory management, and helping to keep a practice successful. After over 4 years in practice, an opportunity came to be a Territory Manager for Petplan Pet Health Insurance. I was with them for 6 years, when I was then presented with the chance to join Novartis Animal Health. There my role was Companion Animal Territory Manager and I sold their entire companion animal portfolio for 6 years, continuing on in the role for another 2 years after Novartis was purchased by Elanco Animal Health. A few years ago, I’d grown tired of the “hustle” of sales, and left my position with Elanco. I was fortunate to have strong relationships with people in the industry side of things, and put the word out that I was looking for a new place to call home. A couple of weeks later, I got phone call from the General Manager of Associated Veterinary Purchasing, asking if I’d be interested in joining their Veterinarian owned buying group, distributing to the clinics in our province everything they need for supplies, pharmaceuticals and pet food. They had never hired an RVT before, and it was a role that was being created for me, so I was excited to join their management team as a Customer Service Manager. My role for the past few years has been one of partnership, support, and assisting with business development for our member clinics. I am the liason between our clinics and AVP, and I love being able to support clinics in doing what they do best. It was clear that there was a big gap around knowledge and training with respect to inventory management, and I’ve been lucky to work with hundreds of clinics helping them to streamline and manage their inventory, so that this vital piece of the puzzle goes smoothly and efficiently!

LINKS + RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THE EPISODE