Ep. 67 | 3 Sneaky $$ Leaks in Your Inventory -

Ep. 67 | 3 Sneaky $$ Leaks in Your Inventory

Are you staying ahead of price increases – especially in an economy where the cost of everything seems to be going up, up, up? On this episode of The Inventory Nation Podcast you’ll find out why it’s more important than ever to have systems in place to prevent three common pricing mistakes that can erode bottom-line revenue. Host Nicole Clausen, founder of Veterinary Care Logistics, is highlighting some of the sneakiest reasons inventory managers often feel like they’re scrambling – and still (quite literally) coming up short. She shares key strategies for keeping clinic operations running smoothly – and profitably – with protocols around things like receipt and processing of shipments, maintaining up-to-date practice management systems and setting up backstops for the inevitable pricing outliers and “special exceptions” that can trip us up. The good news is: Nicole has been there and knows what it takes to audit, analyze and help us incorporate gold standard operating procedures that ensure our veterinary inventory practices are optimized – and the headaches minimized!

Would you like to learn more about Inventory 911 Toolkit, the powerful step-by-step blueprint to help inventory managers to leverage knowledge and strategy with confidence? Click here!

You inquire about VCL’s remote consulting services by clicking here or join a free virtual neighborhood for inventory managers and other veterinary professionals by visiting this link.

A FEW UPDATES

  • Nicole issues a little reminder: She loves the veterinary inventory community and welcomes DMs from anyone with questions via her social media channels. Providing support is her top priority and the reason she founded Veterinary Care Logistics!
  • Exciting News: Starting in mid-to late-July, Nicole’s Inventory 911 Toolkit will be available – a step-by-step blueprint for putting out and eliminating inventory fires.
  • Stay tuned for fascinating upcoming webinars on mental health topics that Nicole will be hosting in partnership with a therapist and veterinary social worker.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

  • About the data that Nicole’s inventory audit and analysis provides based on:
    • Costs
    • Revenue
    • Quantities sold
    • Markups, profit margins and ratios
    • A deep dive into the nitty-gritty of each item that uncovers hidden info.
  • Sneaky Inventory Liability #1: Not updating costs as they increase. 
    • Current jumps in price are significant and if not kept up-to-date can dramatically impact overall practice revenue. 
    • Remedy: When a shipment or order comes in, put in place a process to receive it directly into a practice management system. Immediately entering new orders into a system keeps expenditures current.
    • Also: Incorporate a markup percentage entry so that as costs increase, your practice management system will recalculate accordingly. 
    • If a receiving/markup function isn’t available (as is the case with many cloud-based practice management systems), implement a manual process to identify cost increases so that pricing can keep up. It’s important to stay vigilant!
    • Be prepared for orders that arrive without prices on the packing slip. It’s key to have defensive strategies in place, including price lists at the ready and a commitment to taking the time necessary to enter the information.
  • Sneaky Inventory Liability #2: Not adjusting your break or “special exception” pricing.
    • Codes may not be set up to increase across all amounts of any given medication or other inventory item.
    • When pricing items, it’s important to adjust for any break pricing so that it applies across the board, irrespective of volume.
    • If you don’t adjust to compensate for quantity, already razor-thin margins can evaporate altogether.
    • Be aware of sku codes and how they can vary.
    • Be sure to have a system in place to deal with discrete price matching or exceptions – even when things are hectic!
  • Sneaky Inventory Liability #3: Setting up injections as a flat-price service with no mechanism to adjust to anomalies or fluctuations.
    • With flat charges, there are no inventory item quantities linked for pricing reasons, so rising injection costs will not be reflected.
    • It’s essential to review the costs of individual injectable medications to keep flat charges current.
    • The weight of animals under treatment also impacts the relative amount of medication administered, thus the cost. Create a structured way to analyze and compensate for disparities.
    • Consider setting up separate procedures for especially expensive injectables (like Cytopoint, Convenia or ProHeart).
    • Injectable pricing can be fluid and vulnerable to losses as the result of outdated inventory practices.
  • Vet practice managers and owners should ask these important question: 
    • When was the last time we reviewed pricing for services and procedures heavily associated with inventory items? 
    • Do we have a process in place to accommodate cost increases? 
    • Do we have checks and balances to catch gaps?

KEY QUOTES

  • “I remember when I first got started managing inventory and it felt like a very lonely uphill road, so when I started Vet Logic, one of the things that was most important to me was … no matter your role, that you felt supported whenever you needed to inventory; that someone was in your corner, cheering you on. That’s been my mission from Day 1.”

  • “I love taking a challenge and digging deep to find out what’s going on … and a lot of people in our community are, like, ‘Spreadsheets are my love language and I love investigating!’ So I know that I’m in good company with you.”

  • “A lot of times in vet med – especially on inventory – it’s kind of passed down from one generation of inventory management to the next generation … Don’t be hard on yourself if that’s what’s happening. Just give yourself grace because the cool thing is that it’s something that is easily fixable.”

  • “When we have systems in place, like gutters on a bowling lane or training wheels on a bicycle, it just kind of keeps us on the right path … Even if the day goes completely wackadoo or sideways, we still have our systems and processes that we can fall back on. It’s one less thing that we have to keep in our brain because it’s on paper and we can reference it, follow it or have other people help us in the process.”  

  • “Make sure that as your costs increase that you have a way to also increase your prices because, in order to serve and care for our patients, we need to have open doors! We cannot run the risk of losing out on the profit margin.” 

LINKS + RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THE EPISODE

ABOUT VCL

Veterinary Care Logistics serves veterinarians and their teams who are frustrated that their current inventory system is not functioning correctly and are facing out of control inventory costs and improperly stocked hospitals. VCL helps veterinarians through inventory analysis, comprehensive step-by-step action plans, and thorough team member training. My clients experience great success and rave about my work because I roll up my sleeves and get dirty working with your hospital to improve your inventory as if it was my own hospital.

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