Vet Supplies: 10 Things You Must Check Before Choosing The Right Supplier

5 min read

Before we dive into vet supplies, consider yourself a Master Chef or baker, or someone who dabbles in the kitchen on occasion. Would you understand the importance of quality ingredients? Without fresh and high-quality ingredients, your recipes will fall flatter than that soufflé you attempted. 🍮

The same holds in veterinary medicine. It’s almost impossible to provide excellent care for your patients without high-quality products, equipment, and tools. Knowledge, experience, and a well-rounded skill set go a long way toward practicing gold standard medicine. However, you need the proper vet supplies as well to offer a great pet owner experience. Forming a sustainable relationship with the right vet supplier will ensure you receive top-of-the-line products to continue providing optimal care. The following is a checklist of 10 things you must evaluate in potential suppliers before forming a business relationship.

Free Download: 5 Veterinary Time-Saving Checklists

Make sure the supplier,

☑️ Offers high quality products

Product quality is perhaps the most vital aspect to check in potential suppliers. You have to find a comfortable balance between quality and cost in your vet supplies. Although you can’t perform a test run on every item before you order it or even see it in person as you would in a store, you can do some research to determine product quality. Sift through customer reviews and search chat forums for personal experiences with particular products, especially when hunting for that elusive white tape that won’t rip off your patient’s skin when removed. Make sure you ask the supplier about their return policy if you receive products that fall short of your expectations.

💡 Quick Tip: Discuss products you’re interested in with a sales rept, and see if they can bring in a sample or schedule a demonstration of a new-to-you product.

☑️ Will be available for constant vet supplies

High-quality products are ideal, but if you can never order them because they’re constantly out of stock, they’re of no use to you. Ask your supplier how they handle shortages and backorders and consistently provide a great product, despite limited availability. Making sure products are constantly available will give you peace of mind for purchasing regularly required products.

☑️ Has a wide range of products

You will find suppliers that focus only on a specialized range of products and equipment or ones that offer a broader range of items to fulfill all your needs in one go. However, if you’re looking for common antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, or more difficult-to-find medications, vet supplies, and products, you should consider picking them if the supplier can complete your order list without a hassle. Generic and name-brand options will round out a comprehensive inventory, helping you provide quality care.

☑️ Is completely reliable

Does your current supplier frequently call you to say they couldn’t complete your order or that it may take longer than usual to arrive? Or, you may receive shipments that belonged to another veterinary practice. Sounds chaotic. If you enter a business relationship with a supplier, you expect reliability and consistency on product quality, availability, and shipping speed. Before choosing the right supplier, you need to question them on the systems they use to obtain and ship goods reliably and ask to be walked through their ordering process to ensure it’s easy to use with no chance for mistakes. 

☑️ Can deliver your order fast

Quality products are no good to you if they fail to arrive when they’re needed. When you’re running low on an essential item, like anesthetic drugs or euthanasia solution, speedy shipping is a must. Large supply companies typically have fully stocked warehouses throughout the country, making shipping products overnight or within two days. When evaluating potential suppliers, discuss their typical shipping times and how they handle delays.

☑️ Offers affordable vet supplies

Higher prices generally equate to higher quality and advanced service, but that is not always the case. Many suppliers offer excellent deals when items are purchased in bulk and often provide payment plans to help spread out the cost of large purchases. Shop around for the best rates on the products you need, but don’t sacrifice quality when searching for a bottom-dollar price.

☑️ Has a reputation for satisfied clients (reviews)

People tend to voice their complaints in the heat of the moment more frequently than they leave compliments, so keep that in mind when skimming through a supplier’s customer reviews. Search on Google, Yelp, and Facebook business pages for a supplier’s reviews, and ask colleagues for recommendations on preferred suppliers.

☑️ Offers a friendly customer service

The customer service team can make or break a business. A friendly, helpful customer service representative can cement your relationship with a supplier, providing unparalleled support, advice, and the inside scoop on upcoming deals and promotions.

☑️ Has an efficient system for quality control & delivery

Suppliers with control over their supply chain and processes boost their reliability and ensure quality products. Control over shipping options, quality control measures, and storage methods helps ensure a supplier can provide top-notch goods and flexible service in unexpected situations.

☑️ Suits your cultural factors

A supplier’s business ethics and general culture can be a dealbreaker if they don’t align with yours. You should share the same values that provide a mutual benefit in your business relationship. For example, you may choose a supplier that only ships items in recycled shipping materials or boxes that provide a much smaller carbon footprint than other companies.

Final thoughts

Evaluating potential suppliers on various aspects of their products, quality, reliability, and culture will help narrow down the field to find the ideal veterinary supplier. When choosing your veterinary product supplier, you can use our list to begin the evaluation process and add other vital criteria to create a personalized checklist of must-haves.