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The People Behind the Business... Nathan Harris COO @ Knose Everyday Pet Care

Posted in The Person Behind the Business.. @ Mar 21st 2018 - By Nathan Harris, COO Knose Everyday Pet Care
The Person Behind The Business Knose Everyday Pet Care 1

This week Nathan Harris, COO & co-founder of Knose was happy to answer some of my (many) questions and show us just how passionate he is about their business and the veterinary industry in general.  

What’s your background? …What led you to start Knose?

I have a long background in Financial Services, Investments, Superannuation and Insurance. In fact, the three founders all have a background in Financial Services but we bring different strengths to Knose

The 3 founders have developed a platform and service which provides vets with big business capability to run Wellness Plans without losing any independence. 

Vets don’t want to sell someone else’s plan they want to sell their own. And so they should. We help vets design a plan based on their existing protocols and objectives so every single plan is different.   

It started when we were all working at PetSure and noticed something vets seemed to want. While the spend on pets seemed to be going through the roof, vets didn’t seem to be experiencing the same trend. In the last three years, vets have only experienced 10% growth, representing a staggering $630m difference than if they had the same growth rate as the broader pet industry.  

So we designed the Knose platform to provide vets with the technology and administration necessary to successfully operate pet wellness subscriptions without actually needing all the various departments of a large corporate.

Our  service takes care of all the technology, communications, compliance, administration and product delivery which means vets are free to run their practice and look after their clients and their pets

It just makes so much sense to us - that the vet, pet owner and pet’s interest are all aligned when a Wellness plan is well designed. And plans have enormous business benefits for the practice.

What is Knose all about?

Australians love their pets and boast one of the highest pet ownership rates in the world. There are more than 24 million pets in Australia with 62% of households owning at least one.  

Companion pets fuel the $12.2b pet care industry with $11b (>90%) spent on cats and dogs. This represents a staggering 34% increase over the last 3 years! What is even more interesting is that the change in spending is not due to an increase in pet numbers, Australians are simply spending more on their pets. But the numbers also show sadly, that this growth is not going to the local vet, in fact quite the opposite. 

The Knose platform will increase the bond between vets and pet owners by making it easy for owners to follow their vet’s advice as well as reducing the barriers for them to visit the vet if they have a concern. It also gives clients everything they need for their pet so they don’t go elsewhere.

In a nutshell, we established Knose as a much-needed innovation for the Independent Veterinary Industry. It is about giving corporate capabilities to independent vets in the form of technology, logistics, e-commerce and payment processing, to be able to offer Pet Wellness plans and package up what they are already doing for their clients, to compete with the corporates.

When did Knose start?

We started the business in July 2017 and have never been busier. The response has been amazing. We know many vets had considered plans before but the demand for a customised and delegated solution the vets can trust has been a bit of a surprise.  

Why do you think there’s a need for what Knose offers?

The Knose Everyday Pet Care platform places the local vet back at the centre of pet care and is fully customisable both from inclusion and pricing perspective. It was really important to us that we build a platform that allowed vets to set their own protocols and pricing. The high level of customizability supports vets’ independence and caters to the needs of pet owners across every location in Australia.  

As our lives have become busier, there has been a big shift towards subscriptions in every industry. Pet care is no different and owners want a ‘set and forget’ plan that gives them peace-of-mind that they are doing the right thing by their pet.  

With Knose they don’t have to have various reminders on the fridge because everything specified by the vet arrives on their doorstep when due. And when it’s time for a check-up or vaccine, they’ve prepaid so they don’t get a big bill. 

The Knose Everyday Pet Care platform allows vets to get their own pet wellness subscription to market quickly, easily and affordably. The Knose team can also help with training staff in how to discuss the plans with clients, marketing to existing clients and to attract new clients.  

Pet owners have increasingly sought advice from the internet and specialty stores instead of their local vet and despite the increased spend on our pets, there is a surprisingly low compliance rate with recommended vaccinations and parasite protection. In 2016, 21% of dogs and 35% of cats have not been taken to the vet and only 53% of dog owners and 47% of cat owners reported they took their pet for vaccinations. And many more pets are left exposed to serious preventable diseases as compliance with parasite prevention treatments dwindle.

If you’re an independent vet then you really need clever innovation to protect your livelihood and to help you remain in the game so you can continue saving the lives of our dogs and cats!

What are your views on the current state of the veterinary industry and how does Knose fit into the picture? 

Independent vets have lost out in business from the rapid change to the veterinary landscape with corporatization, as well as sales revenue loss from clients buying preventatives online or from big-box retailers. We want to help vets once again participate in those sales, give them technology & services to be able to offer their services in plans with more affordable instalments spread out through the year, and also to protect and retain their client base.

I believe vets are an important part of any community and the decrease in owners seeking advice from highly trained professionals is disturbing. We see a lot of innovation in the pet industry but it has largely been for the benefit of the larger corporates and actually to the detriment of the local vet.

We want to be here for vets, to innovate for vets and make the vet front and centre of the pet industry’s growth.  

What does the future hold for Knose?

In the short term, we are focused on helping vets get their wellness plans up and to market quickly.  In the background, we have several things on the go that will help attract clients to vets and innovated products and services for vets.  So watch this space...

About Nathan

Nathan Harris has helped businesses enter new markets, access new channels and maximise benefits from existing markets. He has overseen and developed products across investment, superannuation and insurance industries for Colonial First State, Vanguard Investments, IOOF, BT Financial Group and PetSure.  

Nathan is now applying his post-graduate qualifications in Economics and MBA to the Pet industry and helping vets and pet owners. 

Click here to visit the Knose Everyday Pet Care Page in the Vetanswers Business Directory

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