May 3, 2017 by Edward L. Blach, DVM, MS, MBA
Inventory is the second largest expense in a veterinary practice. It, along with lab, radiology, mortuary, and related expenses should represent less than 20% of revenue in most practices, though many see this number as high as 35%. Therefore, it is important to secure your inventory, no matter where it lies in your practice.
The practice should have a locked pharmacy, with limited access by only a small number of people whom you trust will respect and implement your strict inventory control procedures needed to secure it appropriately. Failure to provide open access to your pharmacy to everyone is not a sign of lack of trust. It is good business. Would you leave a room full of stacked $100 billes unsecured so as not to offend your employees? Of course not. Lock your pharmacy.
The same goes to the other locations where you have large amounts of inventory. Perhaps in treatment areas in a medicine ward, or in surgery, radiology, or even in vehicles used for mobile services. It is absolutely necessary to put in place strict pharmacy controls to secure this inventory. Failure to do so lays the foundation for careless handling of inventory by all employees, no matter what the owners and managers say. If you don't value it enough to secure it, then it's probably not worth worrying about.
We know that's not true. But your decisions to secure or not secure inventory will determine how everybody in the practice manages this high impact expense in your practice.