This article is sponsored content brought to you by Greencross Vets.
Looking after our patients, our clients and the teams that serve them
Veterinary practice owners spend years building up a brand, a very loyal customer base and they have staff whose future welfare and livelihood they care about—all important considerations for those vets preparing to retire who want their legacy to continue. Moreover, many vets seeking to exit the profession wish do so gradually, still keeping their hand in while being free to pursue other interests.
Greencross Vets ticks all these boxes and more when it comes to “succession planning for a vet who is planning for retirement but keen to be part of the transition from a stand-alone clinic to joining a network”, according to the company’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Rachel Chay. “We always encourage vendors to stay on with the business and be part of the transition to look after their team and provide continuity of service for their clients,” she says, adding that she is always “pleasantly surprised” by just how long many end up staying with the business. “A lot of our vendors will come into Greencross looking at 12 months or two years, then stay well beyond their expectation and ours, which is fabulous. These are terrific vets and it is vital to keep these senior vets on as part of the network.”
Dr Chay says Greencross understands very well that a vet practice is so much more than bricks and mortar. “If we’re not acquiring the team that the clients have the relationship with, then realistically we’re buying an empty shell. So, it’s incredibly important to us as part of the acquisition process to look after the vendor and equally as important to look after the team.” This means that from the client’s perspective very little changes, Dr Chay says, “except for the uniform and a new sign on the door. Otherwise it’s business as usual for clients (and their pets) with the added bonus that they can become Healthy Pets Plus members, which presents them with the opportunity to be really top notch pet owners, and they can join our customer loyalty Friends for Life program.”
Becoming part of the corporate entity that is Greencross has many other positives too, enthuses Dr Chay, namely “the Greencross Support Office functions in Brisbane and Sydney, which look after operations, finance and HR, education, administration, marketing … all those things that are part of a small business that can’t be avoided and that as part of our larger business we can shoulder the burden for. We also offer our clinic team members unparalleled opportunity for career progression.”
Dr Chay believes that what sets Greencross apart from the competition is its wealth of experience. “Even though we are still continuing to grow both through acquisition and also through our co-located clinics with our retail stores, we’ve been through a journey of constant finessing of the process which I think has led us to have a model that is very supportive of our vet team and of the industry as a whole.
“Of course, everything we do can be imitated. We’re very conscious of this which is why we’re always looking at the way we do business and trying to stay ahead of the game. But I think given our size and scale, and the length of time we’ve been doing this, we’re just a very well-oiled machine.”
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