Most veterinary practices only take advantage of 20% of their practice management software functionality. As with most technologies, this is often because staff aren’t aware of what the software is capable of doing to create a more seamless practice workflow.
According to the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association, inventory is one of the largest costs for your practice and inventory management is a “sophisticated and complex office function.”
So, it makes sense to make sure your staff has the necessary skills and training to handle inventory properly.
Here are four key steps in inventory management that minimize waste and maximize returns for your practice.
Get the basics right
The first step in maximizing your inventory is to set up the basic information correctly. For example, when dispensing medication you need to set the dispense amount, the order amount and the order cost. This ensures your inventory levels remain accurate and you’re charging the right amount for the medication.
Optimize your inventory management features
Not using your inventory management software features correctly can impact your practice in the same way, if not more, as not having them at all. Incorrect setup, for example, can lead to:
- Inaccurate inventory reporting
- Stock level discrepancies
- Incomplete purchase ordering
Worst-case, it could mean an item is sold or used before it’s even entered into your inventory system. Specialist training for those with inventory responsibilities in your team help unlock the ‘next level’ features in your software.
Find the sweet spot
Both too much and too little inventory can cause problems for your practice. With too much stock, your revenue is needlessly tied-up while you wait to use or sell the product. You may also end up having to throw away or reduce stock that’s past its use-by date. Too little stock may mean you’re losing out on revenue through lost sales, or even having to postpone treating a patient as you wait for new supplies to arrive.
Training can help determine which reports to run and which numbers to check when deciding on optimum stock levels and re-stock cadences. Training can also help staff understand how to set minimum stock levels and re-order numbers so ordering happens automatically. This will help ensure your practice always has adequate stock on hand, but not over-stocked.
Keep track of your inventory
An inventory management software solution looks after the stock ordering and handling process from start to finish. You’ll never wonder how much stock you have left, or whether the numbers are correct. Purchase orders are created in the software itself and, once stock arrives, all your team has to do is confirm and the numbers are automatically updated.
In addition, inventory quantities are automatically updated when a medication is used during a consult or sold at the front desk