Q&A: Make smart purchasing decisions


How can we make sure we're buying high-quality equipment and medical supplies? Manufacturers' materials don't always tell the whole story.

Talk to people you know and trust, says Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member Dr. Fred Metzger, DABVP, owner of Metzger Animal Hospital in State College, Pa. Each company will provide you with a stack of information that lists their products' features and benefits. But who do you trust when their competitors refute that information? Check the company's referral list, Dr. Metzger says. The company obviously won't list someone who hates their products, but if you can find someone on that list you know personally, you're more likely to get an honest opinion.

Use your own contacts too, Dr. Metzger says. Call your classmates and colleagues to find out what products and equipment they're using, and ask for an honest review. Finally, consider the company's reputation. For larger equipment, ask the company how many units are in the country and in your state. If the number seems especially low, perhaps there's a reason no one uses the equipment.

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