Ep. 80 | The Education of an Inventory Manager – Pt. 1 -

Ep. 80 | The Education of an Inventory Manager – Pt. 1

On this episode of Inventory Nation we’re invited to join Host Nicole Clausen for an intimate look at her journey from a childhood passion for marine biology and furry animals to the happy accident that brought her into the world of veterinary medicine. It’s a community she has loved for all kinds of reasons right from the start, but it was her introduction to the “puzzle” that is inventory management that brought together all the things at which Nicole excels: Building relationships, figuring out systems, providing support and sharing a wealth of strategies for making your practice’s inventory a thing of beauty!

EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS

  • It’s Nicole’s Story! She is taking us back to how vet med found her and lessons she has learned along the way! (This is the first of a two-part odyssey!)
  • Twin Passions growing up in Washington State: Marine biology sparked by growing up on the shores of the Puget Sound in Seattle and loving the sheep and border collies on her grandparents’ farm.
  • Even as a seven-year-old, Nicole felt an entrepreneurial tug.
  • Enter Veterinary Medicine: Through a friend, Nicole got a job working as a receptionist at a vet clinic at 16 years old. Her first job – and she loved it!
  • Various animal-oriented majors in college never felt like quite the right fit, but the sense of community within vet practice provided a feeling Nicole knew was “home” for her.
  • Mean Girls in Vet Med? As much as she loved the culture at her clinic, Nicole also notes that the environment also featured some dysfunctional, even bullying, behaviors.
  • Inventory Management Training. Shake the bottle and when it’s low, order more!
  • As Nicole dug into her new role – sink or swim – she had extra duties beyond her reception work but didn’t really have the tools or extra time to perform as she wanted.
  • Leaping into the Chaos: Nicole sought out information about supply chain management and other inventory systems where she could find it, piecing together improvements:
    • Dedicated time for inventory management tasks.
    • A separate desk dedicated to the work of inventory management.
  • Early on, all the juggling and trying to stay ahead of the learning curve began to erode Nicole’s mental health. It’s an ongoing project maintaining those boundaries!
  • Nicole was all about developing strategies that enabled her to become more organized while advocating for and supporting her colleagues, her patients and herself with necessary self-care.
  • In the Quest: Nicole sought to leverage what she loved as a CSR in combination with figuring out the data analytics and puzzles to improve inventory efficiencies.
  • Connecting the Dots: Doing counts, regularly updating the practice management system, implementing reorder points – it was becoming a well-oiled and replicable machine!
  • Aha Moment! Having combined her love of people and the vet med community with her new-found expertise with setting up metrics and tools to make inventory management, well, manageable … Nicole’s future became clear!
  • Part II will focus on how Nicole made Vet Logic a reality – and lessons learned along the way!

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 have 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 are tasked with managing inventory, I understand first-hand the challenges you face.

When I first started managing inventory, I struggled with the same things that many of my client’s 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.

And at that moment, a shift occurs. You know exactly what you need to do. Your confidence rises. And the confusion, overwhelm, worry all begin to melt away like a bad, backordered-rabies-vaccine dream.

These are the moments I live for.

LINKS + RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THE EPISODE

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