Not only is it important for a veterinary practice manager to look at financial reporting, medical records and community involvement, it is also critical for Managers to find innovative ways to keep their staff focused on patient care and less on inventory counts. So, how do you create new ways to free up your staff and control patient care? Below are just a few tips around the ways to communicate with your distributors, get your clinical team to buy in and save your veterinary office time and money.
- Find ways to control inventory being ordered from your manufacturers:
Having a clear operations management system will help you combine orders for vet vaccines, medications, parasiticides including any other assets or supplies you need to track within your facility. Also, you will have the capability to see which narcotics or inventory supplies will expire so you can predict re-order needs before supplies get low.
- Communications with Distributors:
If you consolidate your orders you will be able to see what needs to be ordered, cost breaks, where supplies need to be replenished all in one system. You will have the capability to establish records for all of your suppliers, select your given supplier per instance and send them what is needed to be stocked. Avoid over ordering and leaving out key supplies in your stock purchase order with a click of a button. You will even be able to submit orders before 5:00pm to receive your inventory the following morning giving you fewer deliveries, fewer boxes to open than break down and fewer invoices to pay. You are very likely to become a “key account holder” with your simple ordering processes.
- Get team buy-in and your staff involved:
Having buy-ins on an operations management system will help you create a process flow with your Veterinary inventory counts. Your staff can easily add tags to your assets and quickly place an order for a maintenance request. Creating a work system from the beginning of your processes will eliminate down times and create a good team work environment.
- Always have clear inventory counts:
Even if your tax structure is not mandated, conducting an inventory procedure will help keep track of how much money is sitting on shelves. You can compare the numbers to the previous year, to industry standards and to colleagues with similar practices to make sure you are saving money in the long run.
- Always rotate your inventory:
To avoid expiration risks, always rotate your veterinary inventory. Using an operations management system will help ensure you arenot passing inventory dates. You may be able to return and receive credit for expired drugs and products if done in a timely fashion.
- Color-code product tags:
Adding color-coding tags to drugs and veterinary assets will prevent you from running out of critical supplies. By color coding your veterinary narcotics, you will be able to log what narcotics need to be ordered at a more frequent rate, will allow you to effectively organize your assets, inventory and narcotics, help improve your stock rotations and track your involvement in the inspection process.
With a clear veterinary operations management system, your veterinary clinic will save time and money while helping you spend more time with what matters most, your patient care. It will also decrease the obscene amount of shipping materials you will have to deal with on a daily scale.
A veterinary practice manager knows that inventory management is a critical part of any well-run practice. If you keep a close eye on your inventory and ordering crew, you are certain to keep money in your veterinary clinic’s pocket instead of letting it gather dust on your shelves.