Vale Park Animal Hospital, located in Valparaiso, Indiana, is a six-veterinarian practice specializing in small/companion animals. Despite being understaffed and overbooked as a result of the impacts of Covid-19, Vale Park Animal Hospital experienced remarkable returns from their decision to switch to the Covetrus Prescription Management (home delivery) platform at the beginning of 2021.
Starting with their deployment in January of 2021, and tracking through May 2021, Vale Park Animal Hospital has averaged roughly $60,000 in supplemental revenue per month through the Covetrus platform. Equally remarkable to their financial performance, the team at Vale Park has expressed significantly reduced stress levels, increased efficiency, and even stronger, more trusting relationships with their client base.
Why the Technology Was the Right Tool
In a forward-looking move, Vale Park recognized the value of online pharmacy platforms 10 years ago with the deployment of Covetrus Prescription Management (Vets First Choice, at the time). According to veterinarian and owner, Dr. Brent Lakia, the reason they sought out an online solution in the first place was, in a word, “acknowledgment.” Even a decade ago, Dr.Brent and team knew, “that was where the market and our clients were going.” The practice implemented the solution knowing an online, ondemand, shipped-to-their-front-door experience was what their clients would ultimately want. Vale Park also understood that, from a business standpoint, it would be a missed opportunity not to tap into the trend.
People and Process: The Missing Pieces
After five years using Covetrus’ platform, Vale Park explored an alternate solution, as performance was adequate but not wholly in line with expectations. However, problems with their new solution arose relatively quickly.
At a high level, the most significant issues included:
Passive support and guidance from the provider
No success plan, no proactive deployment process, no marketing materials, and no best practice oriented advisory for performance.
No pharmaceutical oversight
Orders were processed without provider-side review or automated workflows; the onus was entirely on the practice for accuracy and compliance.
No price management automation
Product pricing did not move with the market; maintaining profit margins or competitive prices required manual updates for any supplier-side market shifts.
Dr. Brent explained, “We set it up and just kind of forgot about it. There wasn’t much of a plan on [the provider’s] part for us to roll it out.”
While the new platform itself was deployed in a hands-off manner, tasks like fulfilling orders and
managing prescriptions from other online retailers were very inefficiently hands-on. Multiple signature requests for the same prescription orders would happen on a daily basis. Orders would be entered correctly, but clients would receive the wrong dosages or versions of products. On high-volume client days, entering order data from the platform into the practice management software also became particularly time-consuming and stressful.
The breaking point ultimately came down to business performance. Running the numbers, Vale Park realized that they were losing money with every sale on some of the most popular products on their storefront.