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The Secret to Saving Time & Money Through Better Veterinary Inventory Management

Posted in Guest Blogger @ Sep 26th 2011 2:25pm - By Cath Colton from Veterinary Business Solutions
Drug Vials

Every veterinary practice runs some type of practice management system – software, cards or files, it’s all a system.  Unfortunately most practices are not receiving what they need from their system because they have not invested the time to learn, set up or understand what that system can really do for their business.

Everything we do on a daily, weekly or monthly basis should be questioned….. Is there a more effective or efficient way we can do this job?  In most cases there is and it will usually save you time and make you money!!

How many Hours to Manage Your Inventory?

Inventory Management is one of our biggest expenses in the business yet one that is never managed.   Did you know that most practices spend 5 – 10 hours per week on their drug orders?  Most of this time is spent ordering what they ‘think’ they need instead of letting their practice management software tell them exactly what they do need to ensure it is sold – wasted or expired stock in reality, is wasted dollars.

How many hours per week does it take your practice to:

  • Place your order?
  • Add to your order?
  • Unpack your order?
  • Enter invoices in your system, including price changes?           
  • Process credits?
  • Monitor back orders?
  • Manage expired stock?
  • Place special orders?

There are many great ways we can control the processing of stock as it moves in and out of our practices.  Even consumables can be tracked and measured for in-house costs.

Have a good look at your shelves and think about the amount of stock you have sitting nicely in rows – how long will it take you to sell this stock?  How long has it been there?  Are you one of the practices that sell a particular product twice a month but likes to have 10 on the shelf because it looks better???  How many dollars are sitting on that shelf that will never be returned to your business?

 A great investment for any business is a point of sale scanner.  There are so many over the counter products that your clients purchase from you that have similar sizes, names and prices that it is very easy to record the wrong product for sale.

Compliance   Remind   Recall   Promote!

You cannot do any of the above unless you have the correct product attached to the correct patient.  How many times does Mr Jones walk into your practice and ask for "..The dog food for fluffy that Mrs Jones always buys”.  If the correct product is not recorded you cannot give this client good service or ensure his pet receives the correct diet.

We all know how busy it can be at Reception with clients waiting to be seen and the phone that never stops ringing!  I can guarantee that there are times you have entered the wrong product to sell; or handed the client a 6 pack of flea prevention and only charged them for 4; or sold the client a 3 kg bag of puppy food when you have handed them a 3 kg large breed puppy food!

If the correct product is not recorded you are unable to remind the client to purchase this item again, you don’t get the chance to inform the client if there is a promotion regarding this type of product and if the product needs to be recalled you have no records available.

Point of Sale scanners are very easy to install, just plug them into your USB port and start scanning your barcodes.

Many veterinary businesses are complaining that their clients are purchasing OTC from the pet shop – if you don’t record your client’s sales correctly and can't keep up to date records of the products they purchase for their pets then why should they purchase from your business?


About  VBS: Veterinary Business Solutions can support you to understand and utilise your veterinary practice management software to benefit your business.  If you would like to discuss or view a demonstration of the new OPEN VPMS (practice management software) and see the new way to take control of your software without paying expensive license fees per year. 

Call us today:  0402 323 409 or visit us


Sam @ Jul 11th 2013 11:33am
You are right that a business can save time, effort and money if they will use warehouse management software. Thank you for this wonderful thoughts! Having this type of software is indeed important.
Judy @ Jul 11th 2013 12:29pm
Thanks for stopping by & for your kind words Sam. If you've got any advice on this topic for the veterinary industry then feel free to get in contact with me. Judy

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