INDUSTRY CONSOLIDATION OFFERS OPPORTUNITIES
At the end of nearly every interview with a distributor sales representative, I ask “what is the greatest change you’ve seen during your career?” The answer is always about the industry’s consolidation.
On the producer side, fewer numbers of operations has been met with fewer numbers of companies that serve them. Producers want choice, but they also want the best deal possible. For both parties, getting bigger seems to be the answer.
The hope for each one of these mergers is that we are not only getting bigger, we’re also getting better – at serving customers, at anticipating their needs, at managing the inventory, at developing new technologies that will serve future generations.
Answering the call
Steve Cunningham at Animal Health International, Inc., gives us great perspective on how livestock producers are changing – and how the industry is adjusting to meet the challenge (read more on page 19). As he points out, the company’s knowledgeable employees are the best way to ensure each customer gets a customized solution.
Successful DSRs are often featured in this publication, and a common theme in their stories is changing career paths. It often takes a move to help individuals grow their skills and resources.
For example, Stacey Roth with Bayer Animal Health has moved across the Midwest and helped different customers. Along the way, she’s teamed up twice with Scott Hertzke, territory manager with MWI Animal Health, once helping with companion animal products and once on the livestock side (read more on page 24).
DSRs that can adapt to the ever-changing business environment also have the opportunity to grow and learn. That’s a good lesson for anyone, no matter what the industry.
Vet-Advantage is undergoing a change of our own. This year, we’ve joined the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) Publishing division, helping make it the largest publisher in the veterinary industry.
Just like many of our readers have experienced, becoming part of a larger organization has its benefits. We’re now working alongside professionals who produce the annual NAVC Conference (to be called VMX in 2018), which hosts more than 17,000 attendees each year. We’re also part of group that includes VetFolio, an online CE platform in conjunction with AAHA; the NAVC Institute; the Veterinary Innovation Council; and journals like Today’s Veterinary Practice, Today’s Veterinary Technician and NAVC Live and NAVC Discovery.
We’re excited about our next step, and we look forward to serving you, our readers.