I was the owner of the very first hospital that LegacyVet purchased and then transitioned and we are a fully integrated Banfield hospital now and have been for the last five months. The most positive parts of the Legacy transition I would summarize is saying that Legacy kept every promise they made to me. My concern wasn’t so much Legacy because I did have a prior relationship with the doctors and founders of Legacy. My concern was, once we are turned over to Banfield, how is Banfield going to treat my staff, my clients, and my business that I put blood, sweat, and tears into for these last 36 years. Now that I am on the other side of that, I can tell with all sincerity that Banfield has taken every bit of as much care as Legacy did, have lived up to every promise that they made me which made me feel good. My staff is well taken care of, they have better pay and better compensation, better benefits than they did when I owned the hospital. Our clients are happy; I think during the transition, we lost a total of 5 clients because they just were not going to stand for our clinic becoming a corporately owned hospital. One of them told us that they only buy local. Two of those clients, I am happy to say, have actually returned to us, I am happy to say are a part of our fold, part of our clients once again.
One of the things I do appreciate about Banfield and Mars, since they now own our hospital is how respectfully they have treated not just myself and the other doctors, but also our staff and our clients and our patients. And they have actually treated this more like a merger than an acquisition and the thing I think is really smart and I really appreciate is the fact that they have not really changed much of what we do at all. They wanted to maintain our culture, which they have done, they wanted to maintain the unique aspects of our practice and our position in the community. The few things that they did change was we run on Petware, we use Wellness Plans as one of the fundamental parts of our business model. We do order from their supply chain and I appreciate the standards that they expect our doctors to practice by. Aside from that, they have not changed a thing so when I make the statement that they have treated this more like a merger than an acquisition, that’s exactly what I mean. They have been respectful of what we have built, they brought in some of the significant but relatively small number of the ways we do business has changed, and what we are enjoying now is the synergy of both worlds. We have happy clients, happy patients, our staff is happy, and our doctors are well taken care of. It really is good.
One of the things I appreciate about Legacy is the investment they made in our staff. They truly understand that without our staff... our staff is invaluable. And understanding that, they invested huge amount of time, effort, resources, and money into our staff. And so, consequently, our staff made the transition quickly and they were completely on-board. The investment of time, effort, and resources by Legacy is what made the transition as smooth and with as little conflict as we had. I appreciate that, that feels good to me.