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Choosing a veterinary buying group? Use your hiring process!

Posted in Operations @ Sep 21st 2017 - By Tracey Kamens, Practice Coach, Veterinary Growth Partners
Choosing A Buying Group Use Your Hiring Process2

Thinking of joining a veterinary buying group? 

If you think about it, what do you want a buying group to do for your practice?

Like all employees they should:

  • Enhance your practice by reducing costs and finding ways to improve efficiencies,
  • Be knowledgeable in their area of expertise,
  • Be willing to learn, and
  • Most of all “believe what you believe” (ie. share the same core values).

The best way to assess this would be to use your hiring process to choose the group that best fits  your needs.

'Recruiting & Selecting' the best Buying Group to suit your needs

So let's go through the process:

1. Create a “job description”

What do you want your group to do for you?

What tasks would you like to do but just don’t have the necessary time, staff or resources?

For example:

  • Reduce Cost of Goods
  • Assist with creating Business Plans
  • Financial templates and benchmarks
  • Practice Coaching
  • Provide HR support
  • Support staff training
  • Marketing
  • Leadership and Coaching training
  • Provide platform for collaborations with colleagues                       

The 'Buying Group' job description created will be unique for every practice but will more than likely have some or all of the above tasks included.

2. Advertising to fill your vacancy

In this instance, you certainly don’t have to put out an ad as all groups are sending you their unsolicited resumes anyway. But rather than just tossing them aside, review them to see if they have the basic attributes to fulfill the job.

3. Create a short list

Once you have your short list, you can continue your research as you would with any new employee.

First up, have a look at their online profile. Do they have any embarrassing pictures, or other “red flags” that they might not be the group that you want to associate with? Are they providing you with the information that you need or that you can identify with?

The areas you might want to research online include their:

  • Website
  • Facebook Page
  • LinkedIn Profiles, Company Page

4. Now it’s time for the Interview

Based on your job description what questions should you ask the potential group? For example:

  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • What would your members say about you?    
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • What do you think you could bring to our practice to improve it?
  • Describe a behaviour/activity that your group has that reflects our core values?
  • Why should I choose your group?

5. The selection decision

Once you have all the facts and you have had a face to face meeting, you can now make an informed decision.

Based on their skills, behaviour and attitude which of the 'applicants' will suit your practice the best?

So who should get a seat on your bus?

The analogy of who should be on your bus and what seat should they have, also rings true when it comes to buying groups. So when was the last itme you looked at your bus?

Admittedly, not every bus needs a buying group on it, however, I would ask you to look at your bus and see if there is a seat that you would like to fill and if a buying group may be the best way to fill it?

Feel free to contact me if you have questions or comments or just add them into the 'Comments' section below.

Click here to read Part 1 in the series: Do you need to be in a veterinary "Group" to be competitive?

About Tracey

Tracy has over 25 years experience in the veterinary industry, having worked as a nurse, practice manager, practice owner, industry rep, several buying groups and now practice coach for Veterinary Growth Partners Australia, www.vgpvet.com.au.

She is passionate about finding ways to help businesses improve and grow. Mentoring staff to achieve their potential along with customer service and marketing are some of the key areas she enjoys.  If you would like to get in contact feel free to email tracy@vgpvet.com.au

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