Course Overview

How well a practice manages inventory affects patient care, team stress and the financial health of the practice. Consider: Have you ever reached for an item, but it was out of stock? Has the preferred treatment supply been "on order" when the need for the item is now? Or, do inventory items regularly expire before they can be used? Are sales representatives utilized to their full potential as an inventory resource? Are there too many hands in the proverbial inventory pot, yet nothing ever seems to add up and no one takes responsibility?

Inventory: It's the Basics That Count explains how to tame the inventory beast. This 3-week course will cover the basics of inventory management such as how to select an individual to oversee inventory as well as the processes involved. If you have ever wondered how to solve inventory problems and increase accountability and profitability, this course will provide all the "basics that count."


Continuing Education Credits

This course is applicable for 5 CE credits toward the continuing education requirement for the Certified Veterinary Practice Manager program offered by the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association (VHMA).


Course Content

This introductory 3-week course on inventory management provides the participant with an overview of the inventory system in a veterinary hospital setting. The material explores the basics of inventory management including general and controlled drug categories. The financial aspects will be covered including cost categories, pricing, billing, promotions and dispensing fees. Inventory system options will be also be reviewed.

Other components such as creating an Inventory Manager job description, working with industry representatives and shrinkage will be discussed as well.


Course Focus and Learning Objectives

Inventory: It's the Basics That Count is appropriate for all veterinary practice team members involved in inventory management who wish a fundamental understanding of the subject.

Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Develop an inventory manual
  • Consolidate inventory, maximize turnover rate, and define reorder points and quantities
  • Define and implement a central storage location
  • Determine when bulk orders are an economical investment for the practice
  • Define direct and indirect costs associated with inventory and use the minimum profitability analysis to determine appropriate product mark up
  • Identify potential causes of discrepancies
  • Manage controlled substances


Participation Access Parameters

The design of this course allows participants to enroll at any time. 

After enrolling, please allow up to 48 hours for course activation. Each participant will have a personal start and end date that begins upon activation.


Course Completion Requirements

Completed students are awarded a certificate of completion. Completion requirements include:

  • Instructor Graded Interactive Module Assignments: Designed to help the participant reinforce newly learned material

  • Instructor Graded Interactive Case Study Assignments: Designed to help the participant apply the newly learned skills and knowledge though patient and practice based scenarios

  • Examinations: All examinations must be submitted with a score of 80% or better

  • Course survey


Participant Feedback

...I found it very helpful and rewarding to see how many of the structures I have implemented in our practice are in line with the recommendations of this course. I also see where many improvements can be made and I have begun implementing new approaches that I think will be helpful in our practice.

...The information about the inventory turnovers, and how to calculate them. Having the basic terminology was also helpful.

...I learned how to keep better control of the inventory. Starting a Central supply area was very helpful. I learned how to compute Inventory turnover, shelf life and average inventory

...I loved the Inventory pdf that we had to download for the course. This handout was full of useful information. The only inventory that I kept before this course was a spreadsheet on the computer. Now I will be implementing a card system as well as updating how we record our controlled drugs, etc. I now have a full list of what I need to do to improve the inventory system in my />
...I really enjoyed reading about inventory procedures and how to consolidate inventory and monitor inventory turnover rates. I also found the pricing strategies to be helpful since I am new to Inventory Management.

...I had no background in inventory management other than a small bit of information given when I was in school. It really helped me get a base because I will be in charge of the inventory at our animal shelter.

...Our practice has many of the tools suggested already in practice. However, calculating to see if your costs are actually covered by your mark up will be used. The information regarding controlled substance disposal will be used starting Monday Morning. Because our practice is over half ambulatory some of the content was irrelevant but I hope to be able to adapt what I have learned for our purposes.

...The module presentations had good information that I will likely refer back to in the future.

...The entire course was informative. I learned the most from the unit on controlled drugs.

...The calculations are great to be able to give a concrete reason for changing our pricing structure for inventory products here at the clinic.

...The course book was easy to understand and provided a good foundation in inventory topics.

...I liked the way that this course was set up. You could read through a module, practice the skills learned through the assignments and then follow up with the exam. It had a good flow to it that aids in the students success. I also appreciated that the exams were repeatable, but that they did not give you the correct answer for incorrectly answered questions, only alerted you that they were incorrect. It allows for re-reading/studying to repeat the exam and get a better result.


Course Instructor

Laura Conn, CVT, CVPMLaura Conn, CVT, CVPM

Laura grew up in Cheyenne, WY and started her career in veterinary medicine in 1988. She began her journey as a volunteer in a small animal and wildlife practice. Over the next 25 years, she held every position in a veterinary clinic, including receptionist, technician, and practice manager.

Laura attended Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology and received her degree as a Certified Veterinary Technician. In 2012, after completing a practice management program through St. Petersburg University, she earned the designation as a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager. Laura is currently working as a technician/practice manager for a mobile veterinary clinic.

In 2012, Laura started the Veterinary Technician Association of Cheyenne to encourage local technicians to share their knowledge and obtain further continuing education hours. Laura is a member of the Colorado Association of Certified Technicians, Veterinary Hospital Managers Association, and the Veterinary Technician Association of Cheyenne. She is married and has three daughters. Laura and her family are entertained by the daily antics of their labs Charlie and Le Doux.



Price: $79.00

This course is eligible for the 10% Multi-course discount. To learn more about the discount please visit the Multi-Course Discount page.