4 Minute Read

As our President and my Co-Founder John Wagoner says, we believe VerticalVet is called to do more – to be more – than just a group purchasing organization. It’s a lofty ambition.

But the reason we say it is that all of us at VerticalVet come from the veterinary industry in some facet and see the limitations in the status quo. Our team is, of course, driven by a professional desire to deliver an excellent product to our members, but our purpose of “doing more and being more” is rooted in the power of tangible impact. Every veterinarian understands this – there is immense joy in the successful care of an animal that can be felt and shared with your clients and team.

Most GPOs measure their performance by looking at the financial success of their member’s business. Which makes sense, but again, is limiting. Successful practices go beyond the bottom-line and elevate the well-being of the animals, as well as the impact of that well-being on the clients being served; they also take into account the well-being of their employees. All of this can be measured and is the real impact of a veterinarian’s work. When a GPO views amplifying these successes as its true purpose, it moves beyond a merely transactional “membership” with its group. Instead, it creates a deeper connection and collaborative environment with members, capable of being a powerful force for good.

Again, it’s a lofty ambition, but that’s why you get into this line of work – it’s not for everyone. And it’s also why we run VerticalVet as a Group Resource Community (GRC) and not merely a GPO.

I’ve put together a short list about what being part of a GRC means for your clinic and what you can expect from VerticalVet as we go forward. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out.


Too often, teams tell us they feel disconnected – from the industry, their peers, even from each other. The other thing we hear the most is how they’d like to talk to someone in their shoes who also is NOT a competitor. VerticalVet’s Platinum Program addresses both. We facilitate these member-to-member conversations on a monthly basis, helping curate custom approaches to implement industry best-practices on everything from recruiting, to marketing, to employee morale, to community engagement. Through these targeted, small-group learning opportunities, our members are working to change the narrative – together.


There are a multitude of 3rd party providers that can pull data from your PMS, but none of them are native to the buying group you belong to. Our platform, VerticalVet Reminders, is 100% native, which gives the practice control, and is also elegantly paired with our Platinum program to stunning results (Platinum participants using Reminders see, on average, a $100k return). Combining communications functionality with data dashboards on both buying and selling, the Savings potential with our vendor programs grows exponentially. And by integrating with VetCove, members can compare prices and place orders inside the Elevate platform in an environment they’re already familiar with.


At VerticalVet, we believe Practice Managers are the beating heart of every practice. We’re building tools to empower PMs to connect with VerticalVet directly to access the resources from our partners to help their practice achieve its goals faster and with less friction. Coupled with the Platinum Program, we are also helping clinics understand how to choose and use the correct resources for their business. In an industry chasing shiny objects, GRC members are able to focus on what matters to ensure they can deliver excellent patient care.


As a Group Resource Community, VerticalVet believes shared responsibility is the true currency of success. For us, this “Stronger Together” mentality is for both good times and bad; it is the glue that connects the dots between our GRC, your practice, the animals you care for and the communities in which you live and serve. It goes beyond a paying membership, or a seat on the board, or ownership. Real community is built by stripping away pretense and exploring the known and unknown about our work and the impact we want to have on this world. All of our members got into veterinary medicine to create a better reality for animals. More than being independent or buying things together, this is our unique identifier and at VerticalVet, we celebrate it and build stability around it before anything else.

If you’d like to get in touch to learn more, just click here and our team will be in touch.

About the Author

Dr. Hank Swartz, DVM, MBA is a career industry veterinarian. Over the last 30 years, he’s held corporate, entrepreneurial and private practice positions at Hill’s, IDEXX, Vet Metrics, Veterinary Management Solutions and ThinkPets, focusing on practice growth strategies through the use of performance metrics. As Co-Founder of VerticalVet, Dr. Swartz brings his reminder performance, internal marketing, client compliance, staff training and program implementation expertise to 1,500+ independent veterinarians as part of their Group Resource Community. He resides in North Carolina.

On Demand Learning

Info you want, when you need it.

Dr. Ernie Ward, Executive Director of Education, explores Vet Medicine, Finance, Business, HR and more with a broad range of guest speakers in Elevate, VerticalVet’s member platform. With nearly 30 video interviews available, the information you want is On Demand at your fingertips!

Business Academy Live

Take a deep dive on everything from Wellness Diagnostic Testing to Dental Compliance to the Opioid Crisis and how it can impact your clinic.

Vet Med School Live

Veterinary peers and consultants discuss new advancements, current trends, treatment alternatives and more.

Business & Industry

Experts in Business Growth, Finance, HR and Medicine discuss compliance, managing tricky patients, persistent challenges and other pressing topics.

Let us know what you’d like to hear more about (or if you want to be a guest)!


Freedom to focus on what’s important.

Does your team send personal emails or postcards to clients about lapsed prescriptions, missed appointments, or worse? Reminders is your path to greater efficiency (which means more opportunities to provide dynamic patient care). Reminders:

Optimize Communication

Use the extra time to build your social media following AND your relationship with clients when they visit the practice

Boost Client Engagement

On average, Reminders users saw 300+ more clients in a year-over-year comparison

Generate Incremental Visits (and Revenue)

On average, practices using Reminders increased weekly revenue by $1,610 (that’s $81,000 annually)

Increase Compliance

On average, practices improved preventative care compliance 50 – 70% using Reminders

Get started with Reminders by booking a Healthy Practice Assessment today.

Social Media

Tools to keep you connected.

Your clients use social media to learn more about the world around them, and that includes who is caring for their pet. Be part of the conversation! Our monthly tool kits provide you with templates and ideas to build a winning social strategy.

Content Calendar

Pick a channel and use the guide to plan your month of content using the PIEE method – Promote, Inspire, Educate, Entertain.

Key Performance Indicators

Track and measure your metrics at intervals that matter to you with this simple template.


As the best way to help clients find relevant content, use this hashtag guide for your own posts to create a conversation.

Sample Posts & Graphics

We’ve made it easy to manage your social media with sample posts and suggested graphics – free of charge!

Log in to Elevate to get started! Don’t have access to Elevate? Contact us to get connected.

Custom Campaigns

Ready to get it done?

With a little planning, your practice can elevate its marketing quickly. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how to put together a Compliance Improvement, WinBack, New Client Acquisition, or Home Delivery campaign. Check it out!

1. Call Us! Before we do anything, let’s talk about your goals

2. Schedule a Healthy Practice Assessment. This creates the basis of your plan.

3. Data! We provide a report and recommendations based on your PMS data.

4. Green Light. You decide on your plan and the campaign to start with.

5. Images, Emails, and Post Cards Creation Oh My! – Don’t worry, we got this 🙂

6. Book a meeting with your team to talk process (transparency is key).

7. Launch? Launch! We will tweak and test along the way.

8. Results: In 90 Days, you’ll be able to truly see the fruits of your labor.

Contact us to get started!

Terms and Conditions


Practice is a licensed veterinary practice. VerticalVet (“VV”) is a veterinarian buying group (“VBG”). Practice desires to join VV to use VV as its preferred VBG and VV desires to add Practice to its VBG.


In consideration of the mutual covenants and agreements hereinafter set forth, the parties agree:

1. VerticalVet Membership. The VV annual membership fee is $550 (“Fee”). Practice will never receive an invoice from VV, the membership fee is retained from accrued Practice rebates (“Accrued Rebates”) as described in Section 4. The Fee total cannot exceed $550, but fees for additional services may be assessed as provided in Section 2 and 3.

a. For new VV Practices that are not using VV’s VerticalVet Reminder (“VVR”) services, VV shall schedule a free VVR Performance Review to demonstrate VVR’s value to Practice ($795 value – no charge).

b. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, VV retains the right to modify (i) the Fee no more than annually upon written notice provided to Practice including an opportunity to opt – out, and (ii) the payment schedule for Accrued Rebates. Practice may review Accrued Rebates by contacting VV at any time.

2. Boehringer Ingelheim Platinum Program. For an additional $450 per year, a Practice manager or DVM owner may participate in VV’s Boehringer Ingelheim Platinum program (“Platinum”). Information about the Platinum program is available at: www.verticalvet.com/faqs/. If Practices desires to add additional Platinum participants, Practice’ Platinum program fee increases by $300 per additional Platinum participant. Collectively the $450 to participate and $300 per additional member are the “Platinum Fees.”

3. VV Data Insights. If Practice is a Platinum participant and an active client of VVR, VV Data Insights (“Insights”) are supplied at no cost. If Practice is a Platinum participant and not an active client of VVR; but desires Insights, it can be provided at an additional fee of $50/month to cover data and administrative fees (the “Data Insights Fee”). Information about Insights are available at www.verticalvet.com/data-insights/.

4. VV Program Benefits. VV negotiates with manufacturers, providers, and suppliers (“Providers”) of medications, foods, sundry items, and services, including medical and business focused continuing education programs, to secure Practice benefits (“Benefits”) that, when possible, meet or exceed those offered by other VBGs. Benefits are listed in detail on VV’s website, www.verticalvet.com, and updated as Benefits are added. Practices are not required to make minimum purchases to participate. The Fee, Platinum Fees, and Data Insights Fee are collectively the “Total Fee.”

a. VV administers, collects and pays Practice Accrued Rebates exceeding the Total Fee annually. If the Total Fee is met, and Accrued Rebates total less than $50.00, they shall be applied to the following year’s Fee. Practices should expect rebate payments sometime in quarter 2 of each year for the prior year’s Practice Accrued Rebates. If Practice does not accumulate Accrued Rebates to cover the Total Fee, VV covers the balance.

1. Conditions. The following are conditions of membership: (i) Practice is not required to withdraw from any other VBG to be a member of VV; (ii) Benefits secured by VV may exceed benefits offered by other VBGs; but this is not guaranteed for each Benefit offered; (iii) Practice must retain its license to practice veterinary medicine or its membership shall be automatically terminated; (iv) Practice authorizes VV to share its identifying information with Providers to the extent necessary to set up and demonstrate Practice’s authority to purchase and use the Benefits offered; and (v) by executing this VV agreement, Practice acknowledges that VV is Practice’s preferred VBG and will be recognized as such with participating VV vendors. If Practice determines, at any time, to (i) designate a different VBG as its preferred VBG or (ii) is sold to a non – VV member or veterinary practice corporate consolidator, it waives its right to collect Accumulated Rebates processed and collected by VV for that year.

2. Confidentiality. The parties acknowledge that the existence of this Agreement, all information related to it, and anything conspicuously marked confidential is confidential and proprietary (“Confidential Information”). Confidential information shall not be disclosed for any purpose unrelated to this agreement without the prior written consent of the other party. Confidential information is not: (i) information that s or publicly becomes known through no fault of a party hereto; (ii) information received from a third party authorized to disclose it; (iii) information developed independently by a party; or (iv) information a party is required to disclose by government authority or a court of competent jurisdiction.

3. Representations and Warranties. Each party represents and warrants that it is authorized to enter into this Agreement, that they will carry out its terms promptly and professionally, and that they will comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

4. Independent Parties. The parties are independent entities. Nothing in the Agreement is intended to create an agency, partnership, joint venture, or fiduciary relationship between the parties and neither party has the authority to act for or on behalf of the other except as provided in the Agreement.

5. Term. This Agreement begins on the Effective Date, continues through its one (1) year anniversary and automatically renews for subsequent annual terms upon conclusion of the prior Term. Practice or VV may terminate this Agreement at any time, but no portion of any annual Fee is refundable.

6. Notice. Notice required or permitted in the Agreement shall be in writing and sent by electronic mail, subject to confirmation receipt requested to VV’s ‘Contact Us’ email address provided at www.verticalvet.com and to Practice’s email address provided during online registration. All such notice shall be deemed received the following business day from the date it was sent.

7. General. This Agreement constitutes the entire understanding of the parties and supersedes all prior communications and understandings. It may only be amended in a writing executed by both parties. Practice may not assign it without the written consent of VV. The Agreement shall be governed and construed under the laws of the state of Ohio. Any dispute regarding the Agreement shall take place in the state or district courts of Franklin County, Ohio. If any provision is found invalid or unenforceable by a court of authority, the remaining provisions are valid.

8. Execution. This Agreement, by its presence on the website is executed by VV and becomes a binding Agreement when Practice accepts it and completes their registration.

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