Bruiser is BCF Ultrasound’s Top Dog. Here he discusses return-on-investment – to help you reach your full pawtential.
I’ve worked in the ultrasound game since I was a pup, and I’ve picked up a thing or two over the years. Veterinary business is a dog-eat-dog world so I thought I’d share my wisdom to give our clients a helping paw…
Let’s start on the topic of return on investment. It’s important to BCF Ultrasound that our clients get the most return from their ultrasound equipment so that you don’t have many “ruff” days. And if you don’t have an ultrasound yet, it’s important to review a few of these things mentioned below to ensure you make an economically viable investment before you take the leap.
Here’s some steps to follow:
Part 1: The Basics
Define the budget:
(i.e. maximum potential expenditure) Most people that call us haven’t defined their budget yet, but it’s the first place you should start.
Review your needs:
e.g. will you need colour Doppler and advanced imaging capabilities? Do you need a portable, durable unit for ambulatory calls? Do you need a versatile machine for doing all species? Do you need battery capability for farm and cage-side use? How many probes will you need?
Once you know the answers to these 2 points, then give us a call and we can help match your budget vs. expectations.
Part 2: The Nitty Gritty
Service, repair and warranty:
For many suppliers, warranty is charged on top of the price of the machine. Make sure you know if there is an included warranty, how long it is for, and if there is an option to extend it.
Ask for the recommended frequency and cost of routine maintenance. Does your supplier require an annual service agreement?
Another important point is whether your supplier provides in-house repairs, servicing and technical support.
How experienced with ultrasound are your vets? Will you need to invest in training? Does your provider offer installation training, support/provide clinical workshops and offer online support and resources?
There’s a direct correlation between the investment in training and the successful use of your equipment. The better your staff are trained to understand the equipment, the more comfortable they will be using it and the more use they will get out of it. Not only will it will improve the diagnostic capabilities of your practice, but it will increase your revenue stream as the machine is operated to its full potential.
Determine price points:
Figure out some sample prices for different levels of exams (e.g. AFAST/pregnancy checks in dogs vs. full abdominal exams vs. more specialised exams (e.g. cardiac).
Estimate usage volume:
How many of your current cases could you use the ultrasound on? Will you start using it to do ultrasound-guided cystocentesis or FNAs? Or start using AFAST and TFAST on emergencies?
Part 3: The ROI Calculator
Now it’s time to try our ROI Calculator to make sure your costs aren’t through the roof, and see if your price points are hitting the mark.
Part 4: The future
You need to track your return on investment annually. If you are not attaining maximum utilisation, you may need to:
- Increase your pricing
- Re-evaluate your marketing plan (website, newsletter, email database, social media)
- Invest in further training so that you can offer more services with the equipment.
Bruiser’s Take Home Message:
With ultrasound equipment, the best deal won’t be necessarily the cheapest – post-sale technical and service support and training is vital. Luckily for BCF Ultrasound clients, that’s what we excel in. We include basic training on ultrasound physics, image optimisation and systematic exams of the abdomen – saving you that extra expenditure that you don’t need to outlay initially. Once you are up and running, you can then attend our weekend workshops to fine tune your skills and start doing more advanced imaging. And when tight on time, you can check our website or Facebook page for handy hints and links to educational content.