The Business of Practice: Supply Chain Issues and Opportunities for Veterinary Building

animal arts vet hospital wood truss roof construction
Is 2023 a good or bad time to expand, renovate or build your current equine veterinary clinic or hospital? Courtesy Animal Arts

Anyone who has tried to do any sort of construction has experienced supply chain issues. In this episode of The Business of Practice podcast, we discuss this issue for equine veterinarians seeking to build or renovate. Our guest is Heather Lewis, AIA, NCARB, of Animal Arts architecture firm.

Lewis discussed the issues with the physical creation and movement of needed construction supplies globally as part of today’s supply chain issues of U.S. building. When looking at labor, Lewis points to the fact that veterinarians are in high demand. So are skilled construction workers

“There is a lack of certain kinds of workers,” she said. “Some construction was affected by ‘the great recession’ that caused many U.S. construction companies to leave the field.”

She also noted that the push for young adults to get a college education rather than entering trades (such as construction, plumbing, electrician or welder) has left a hole in the labor market.

However, Lewis said 2023 is a good time to build or renovate. “There are economic opportunities,” she said despite supply chain issues and labor shortages. She also predicts about a 6% inflation in construction costs in the next year.

Equine Vets are Unique

Lewis said vets are entrepreneurial and make their lives the way they want. “They can take risks when others curl up in a fetal position,” she stated.

Despite all the supply chain issues and other complications, Lewis reminded veterinarians taht “things are not going to be cheaper than they are now.”

Topics discussed in the podcast include:

  • Why is it so hard to get building supplies and labor?
  • With the term “recession” being bandied about, is it still a good time for equine vet practices to build or renovate?
  • What are your recommendations for 2023 if a practice needs more room, new facilities or has specific clinic neds?
  • What are the opportunities in this economic climate?

About Heather Lewis, AIA, NCARB

Heather Lewis joined Animal Arts more than 20 years ago and became a Principal in 2004. She is highly experienced and extremely versatile in every aspect of animal care architecture, having designed numerous award-winning veterinary hospitals, animal shelters, and assistance dog facility projects. She is a member of the Fear Free Advisory Board and an author of the Fear Free standards for veterinary hospital design. Heather also leads the Building and Facility working group for Human Animal Support Services (HASS). She has dedicated her career to creating environments that bring people and animals together.

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