A new way to price-shop in practices


Vetcove could be an industry disruptor and change the inventory management game by providing Trivago-like comparison price shopping to veterinary hospitals.

The person doing the ordering in a veterinary hospital is often also a technician or manager, and the time they spend “doing inventory” takes them away from patient care or building the business in other ways. Most of the time, ordering is done in a rush with no time for price comparison-you just go on whatever the rep said about giving you the best price because there's no time to investigate.

The online Vetcove platform could change that, creating more price transparency and increasing convenience and efficiency of ordering. Vetcove is an online purchasing platform for veterinary supplies from all the suppliers you already use where you can buy what you need all in one place. It's like Trivago for inventory, but instead of comparing prices on hotel rooms, you're price-shopping amoxicillin or Normosol.

You set up an account, log into your suppliers through the platform and start shopping. All products available are listed for price comparison and the shopping cart keeps a running total in the sidebar, which is nice because it allows the shopper to budget and/or add to the cart to meet minimum order requirements.

Here are a few reasons I've enjoyed trying and using it:

> Alerts for any promos, so you already know what deals are before your sales rep hits your hospital. It also lets you know who has what in stock and whether something is coming from a different warehouse-which is helpful if you're waiting on something in particular.

> Ever wind up with too much of something in the hospital because of staff communication breakdowns? Vetcove has a feature that tells you the last time something was ordered by hovering the cursor over the product. That's nice, especially if more than one person is doing the ordering.

> It's free for individual hospitals. Larger chains pay for additional features for multi-hospital groups.

Now go forth and try it-and see if you save.

Dr. Sarah Wooten graduated from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 2002. A member of the American Society of Veterinary Journalists, Dr. Wooten divides her professional time between small animal practice in Greeley, Colorado, public speaking on associate issues, leadership, and client communication, and writing.

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