Today's Veterinary Business

APR 2018

Today’s Veterinary Business provides information and resources designed to help veterinarians and office management improve the financial performance of their practices, allowing them to increase the level of patient care and client service.

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50 Today's Veterinary Business Leadership Managers and nurses spend a great deal of time in this area, whether tackling the job them- selves or managing others who do it. Wouldn't it be great if the efforts were rewarded? They can be by using some simple strategies. There is much more to managing in- ventory than placing and receiving orders. You want to ensure that: • Items are available when needed. • Overstock is controlled. • Reports are accurate. • Guidelines are in place for adding products. • Adequate markups and pricing are done. • Budgets are adhered to. • Turnover rates are appropriate. • Protection measures are maintained. How Do You Compare? The first step in getting a handle on inventory is to figure out your status. Look at financial statements to see the percentage of monthly revenue being spent on inven- tory items. Drugs and medical supplies are typically the largest inventory expense and among the most difficult to control. Benchmarks are available from sourc- es such as the "The Well-Managed Prac- tice" and should be used as a guideline for acceptable inventory costs. The purpose of benchmarking is to understand what is "normal" in veterinary medicine and to provide guidance when setting goals. Compare your numbers. Once you have a feel for your situa- tion, the next step is to enact systems to man- age inventory levels. Out-of-control inventory can have many causes. A lack of time and training and inadequate software use are the most common reasons. Make inventory management a priority. Think of inventory as money sitting on the shelf. Inventory is an asset, and like any other asset it needs to be controlled and protected. Inventory management is a challenge for most veterinary practices. How much is enough, and how much is too much? Leadership GETTING TECHNICAL By Sandy Walsh, RVT, CVPM Start with your reports. Print a com- plete inventory list and then clean it up by: • Deleting or inactivating obso- lete products. • Checking for and consolidat- ing duplicate items. • Making sure everything is correctly classified. • Removing or reclassifying medical supplies that cannot be tracked accurately. Limit the Choices Address the issue of duplicate products with the doctors. If you have several products that accom- plish the same thing — whether they are heartworm medications, flea and tick products, antibiotics or NSAIDs — the doctors should be able to agree on which ones you need to keep in stock. When new products become available, careful consideration should be given before they are When new products become available, careful consideration should be given before they are added to your inventory. Do the math Proper inventory management is more than just tracking products that come in the door and go out. Sloppy recordkeeping and poor decision making can be costly.

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