Ep. 87 | 5 Inventory Things that Shouldn’t Be Normalized in Vet Med

Time flies! On this special episode of Inventory Nation, Host Nicole Clausen is celebrating six years of serving her favorite people – us! When she started Veterinary Care Logistics in 2017, it was out of a strong desire to help the many inventory managers who feel overwhelmed or beaten down by their job descriptions. Having once been there herself, Nicole knows well the behaviors and assumptions that have been normalized when it comes to inventory managers and what their jobs entail. And she also knows how we can push back, creating systems and processes that benefit us and our entire practice! You’ll learn on this episode about nine of the biggest myths Nicole has encountered over her years of working with a huge variety of clients across the U.S. and beyond. She’s giving us permission to question business as usual and practical tips designed to set our practices up with protocols that work. If you’re feeling confused, lost, devalued or burdened by unrealistic expectations (your own as well as those imposed by others) then this episode will serve as an important reminder that you’re not alone. Far from it – and stay tuned! Because things can (and will) get better. You can join a community of inventory managers who feel mastery on the job and peace of mind – even on their days off!

Ready to get optimized? Don’t miss Nicole’s latest free workshop, available here! This three-day class (April 18-20) will teach you how to effortlessly craft an inventory action plan, including helpful insights into how to consolidate orders and navigate everything from new vendors to shipping costs. We’ll be teaming up, winning prizes and having lots of fun!

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

You can also join the Inventory Strategy Network – our free virtual neighborhood for inventory managers and other veterinary professionals – by visiting this link.


  • You’re Not Alone: Nicole recalls her introduction to inventory management and how overwhelming it was initially – until she navigated out of the weeds. You can too!
  • What Does “Low” Actually Mean? Why bringing numbers and tracking into the equation is a lot more reliable than the old “shake the bottle” method!
  • Busting False Assumptions & Normalized Myths About Vet Inventory Management:
    • #1: It’s inevitably going to be a time-consuming, cumbersome, grueling process.
      • Wrong! You just need the right systems in place to streamline operations.
    • #2: There’s only one way to manage inventory.
      • Wrong! Yes, there are foundational concepts, but you can customize protocols that work with your particular practice’s size and focus. It’s a unique puzzle!
    • #3: Being the inventory manager or “order person” is a bummer.
  • Wrong! Don’t buy into the negativity. A lot of gifted people out there absolutely thrive in their role and embrace their operations or system-minded capabilities!
    • #4: Inventory managers are less valuable to the practice because they aren’t involved directly with patient care.
  • Wrong! Without medicines, supplies and the systems to keep operations flowing smoothly, patient care and overall practice morale both suffer!
    • #5: Cost of goods is running high? It’s your inventory manager’s fault!
  • Wrong! Practice leadership need to establish guidelines, policies and systems that set inventory managers up for success. Effective decision-making depends on clear mandates (budget/spending/allocations).
    • #6: There are no days off for inventory managers.
  • Wrong! Being constantly available and worried about operations is NOT part of the job description. A team communication plan can really help maintain boundaries around your hard-won free time!
    • #7: You’re never, ever allowed to run out of anything, anytime no matter what!
      • Wrong! Managing hundreds of items is A LOT, so give grace and know that unpredictability is inevitable. If supplies never run out, you may actually be overstocking!
    • #8: Inventory managers must be Superhumans.
  • Wrong! We are all imperfect and doing the best we can in a world that upends even the most carefully formulated systems. But that’s okay – and why we have plans to mitigate.
  • #9: Inventory managers have to juggle multiple jobs – all at once all the time!
    • Wrong! Having adequate resources and dedicated time to focus ensures smooth operations and your practice’s long-term growth.
  • Parting Thought: Push back on false assumptions! Clear the decks and you’ll be better able to figure out how to transfer all that amazing knowledge out of your head into clear, replicable inventory management processes that reduce the guesswork and open up more space for happy patients and a happy practice!


  • “I started Veterinary Care Logistics six years ago with the whole goal in mind of helping practices manage their inventory a little more easily and hopefully have more fun at the same time!”
  • “Trust me! If I can do it, you can do it too! … And seeing other people get their inventory under control is a reminder that, hey! You’re not alone!”
  • “Sometimes when inventory takes a ton of time, it just might be a signal that we have not found something that works for us, works for our brains and unique practice.”
  • “There’s no one way (inventory) has to be done. Our practices are so unique, our patients are so unique, our teams are so unique and there are tiny shifts that you can make so that it makes the most sense for you.”
  • “If you feel like you aren’t as valuable because you aren’t directly working with patient care, I just want to remind you that you are such an important and valuable part of your practice. You are taking the reins and enabling patient care!”
  • “More and more vet med is recognizing the value that inventory managers have. So if no one has told you how amazing and fantastic you are, let me be the one to tell you that!”
  • “Being responsible for high inventory costs but not having any training or guidance puts a huge amount of pressure on the inventory manager to get it right. But we’re not telling them what ‘right’ looks like.”
  • “(Expecting) that you’re never, ever, ever going to run out of something puts an immense pressure on you. Things happen and are out of our control. We can plan the best possible way and something will still happen that’s out of our control.”


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.


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