Understanding Animal Health-01

An Intro to Animal Health Business World

N.B. Synopsis of ProSell© Vet- Animal Health focused selling skills program- Copyrights Eyad Harfoush- 2006

I had always visualized the “Art of Selling” not only as a backbone skills for salesmen, but as a cornerstone in today’s global citizen character. How often you need to convince others in your personal as well as professional life? How frequent do you need to persuade their decisions to favor your objectives? In the onset of such situations, did you ever wished to control the mind of your audience to ensure the result? Well, selling skills is about that, about granting you the power to convince and persuade. Millions of people on the planet earth claims being salesmen. During my professional life, among the numerous salesmanship claimers I have met, only 40% had strong foundations for their claim.

In animal health business, like all other life sciences-based businesses, selling skills importance gets much more sophisticated, compared for instance to FMCG related selling skills. In animal health we sell in a framework of science, which increases our challenge and makes the conquest harder. Moreover, we either handle matters related to welfare and quality of life on the companion animals side, or related to return on investment on the production animals side. In both cases, drifting from the fair competition ethics can father devastating outcomes.

Now, as you step inside the world of animal health selling with this course, you might find some parts to be too basic to your knowledge, as it was designed to fit a wide range of trainee profiles. Yet, I promise you will find something or two you can add to your knowledge in a highly competitive market.

The Marketplace
Dynamics guarding animal health market essentially different from every other healthcare market. The following graph shows the strength of each decision making group among the decision making cycle

In broad terms, animal health business can be categorized based on customer category as follows: Hereunder, we shall elaborate about some of these market segments (This segmentation is not for strategic marketing applications, as it is a mono-factorial segmentation. It is application limited to selling related aspects.

Production Animals- Poultry- Broilers Farming:

  • Performance focus in terms of: Bodyweight & daily weight gain, Feed intake, Carcass quality (not in live-bird market)
  • With an overall purpose to decrease feed conversion ratio (FCR) with subsequent improvement in farm economy
  • Focus on minimizing mortality rates specially in older ages where mortality represents more losses after feed and materials consumption.
  • Greater concern of drug-withdrawal period in countries with distinctive regulations, e.g. EU / USA
  • Sector stability varies greatly between live-bird markets and frozen/ chilled markets, essentially due to relative short shelf-life of the end-product in the first.
  • Cost versus quality orientation in the purchase decision of vaccines, pharmaceuticals, feed-additives and premixes fluctuates according to live-weight selling price, increase of selling price encourages investments to maximize profits, while unstable or low prices develops risk averse behavior among producers.
  • Similarly, price increase of feed & essential materials negatively affects demand on animal health products other than basic vaccines.

Production Animals- Poultry- Layers Farm

  • Performance focus in terms of: Eggs / Hen , Egg weight & quality , Feed consumption , Mortality specially in production
  • Cost versus quality orientation in the purchase decision fluctuates according to table eggs selling price. That is in general more stable compared to live-mass in live bird markets
  • Increased importance of ration related feed additives and premixes to adjust sufficient nutrients for different periods from rearing to laying to molting.
  • Greater concern of drug-withdrawal period in countries with specific regulations, e.g. EU / USA & wherever green food concept is established, in addition to withdrawal time for materials altering palatability of table eggs.

Production Animals- Poultry- Breeders Farm

  • Performance focus in terms of: Feed efficiency, Days to 50% production, Egg weight, Shell weight & thickness, Hatchability %
  • Mortality rate specially in production
  • Quality orientation greatly higher than broilers and layers sectors due to high flock value with subsequent high economic impact of diseases.
  • Price fluctuation in live-bird market backfires on breeder sector with the smallest shelf life of the end-product (day-old chicks) with zero possibility to delay selling to catch a high market wave.

Production Animals- Poultry- Hatcheries

  • Animal health related products other than equipments are mainly: Vaccines for day-old application e.g. coccidiosis, Marek’s disease…etc and Biosecurity products e.g. cleaners and disinfectants.
  • The new concept of in-ovo vaccination programs will highly increase importance of this sector to all animal health companies. Needless to mention the vitality of this role to vectored vaccines technology.
  • Relatively high quality orientation in some products’ categories due to direct impact on hatchability e.g. biosecurity products

Copyrights© 2006. Eyad Harfoush

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