Recharge your veterinary pharmacy deliveries

By MWI Animal Health

Rethinking delivery and ordering practices improves sustainability
MWIUK electric delivery van

The innovation of electric vehicles allows veterinary wholesalers and their practice customers to add a layer of environmental friendliness to their operations. MWI Animal Health recently became the first company in the UK’s animal health sector to own and operate an electric vehicle. 

This delivery van has the capability to run 146 miles before a recharge. Within 40 minutes, the vehicle can achieve an 80 percent recharge, extending its reach to 250 miles.

Its delivery route, starting from the distribution center in Stoke-on-Trent and circling out to include Manchester and Birmingham, is carefully calculated, considering the locations of charging stations to reach the maximum number of practices. Sixty percent of MWI customers in the UK can potentially be serviced by this electric van. 

If your veterinary practice is not on that initial route, your orders may come via electric van one day soon. If this van is successful, plans are to replace traditional vehicles at the end of their lifespan with electric versions.

Introducing electric vehicles makes smart business sense. Beginning in 2030, the UK will ban the sale of new, combustion-engine vehicles, an ban that will extend to vans in 2035. Companies that start to change to electric before demand grows will have the upper hand. From a maintenance perspective, it’s estimated that owning the electric van will cost one-third less over its lifetime than a van with a combustion engine.

Improving delivery practices

While switching to electric vehicles is boon for the environment, it’s just one piece of the sustainability puzzle for the veterinary industry. How frequently items are delivered from the wholesaler to your clinic, as well as how products are packaged, are of utmost importance. 

Veterinary practices often operate on a “just-in-time” model for medication orders. But has your practice stopped to consider the time and labor costs to staff to compile, check-in and reconcile orders every day? These repetitive actions actually increase the overhead indirectly into your practice versus the cash flow demand that you would be smoothing.

When veterinary nurses are focused on ordering, it takes away time they could be spending communicating with pet owners or working with patients. Often, practices become stuck a loop of constant ordering because they their technology systems are not set up properly with minimum and maximum order volumes. Mismanaging the pharmacy with poor stock control contributes to time management troubles.

Sustainable savings

Adopting a two or three day a week delivery system is a paradigm shift would calm down ordering frenzies and prevent stock leakage. Our data shows 25 percent of stock is wasted through poor inventory management. This equals £41,667 lost per year. Beyond the hit to your practice’s bottom line, the waste generated from out-of-date stock has negative environmental consequences.

Beyond the value to your staff’s time, less frequent deliveries mean fewer delivery trucks on the road. That brings a greater benefit: reduced carbon emissions. 

Consider this. For every 5000 kilometers taken off the road, carbon dioxide is reduced by one metric ton. Switching deliveries from daily to two or three times each week takes the equivalent of 10 vehicles off the roads.

Another sustainable ordering tactic is using recycled and reusable packing materials. You unpack your order that was carefully packaged using plant-based, compostable packing peanuts. But since that order was delivered in a reusable, plastic tote, you return the tote to the delivery driver, who brings it back to the distribution center, where it’s sanitized and ready for another customer. In one year, reducing the number of cardboard boxes is predicted to save £26,000.

By rethinking delivery and ordering protocols, you can drive success for your veterinary practice while creating positive environmental change.

Wholesale services

Our intuitive, multi-platform ordering system and consultative services are designed to enhance your profitability and reduce waste