Dentists face many day-to-day challenges, with making sure patients are well looked after at the top of their list of priorities. Profitability is also a key consideration for dentists, particularly in regards to ensuring their dental practice is financially stable. As businesses, practices cannot survive without a steady profit, which ultimately enables practitioners to continue delivering high quality care day in, day out. The two most direct ways of improving profitability involve reducing overhead costs or increasing revenue. There are practices that are lucky enough to do both at the same time, but if your business is already operating at peak capacity, it can be difficult to drive up revenue without expanding your services and facilities, and employing more staff.
Fixed costs are often locked in for a period of time, but variable costs such as the price of dental supplies can be reduced without sacrificing on the quality of the services you provide. This involves eliminating wasteful processes, improving efficiency, and optimising your dental supply chain. Practices without an effective inventory management system risk under or over ordering stock. As a result, clinicians may run out of products and materials, which could stall the provision of treatment. You could also order supplies that sit in the stock room for too long and end up expiring, which is essentially money thrown away. Thankfully, there are some measures you can employ to avoid this issue and increase overall profitability.
One to stock them all
It is essential that you designate one member of staff as the only person in charge of ordering supplies within your practice. This eliminates confusion among the dental team and ensures that you are not placing multiple orders for the same product. Moreover, they will be in the best position to make suggestions on how you can improve the efficiency of inventory management within the practice. For example, they might find that there is a particular item that is regularly used amongst the dental team. In this case, the individual in charge of stock would order the product in large quantities to save on long-term costs of purchasing the item more frequently.
Keep it tidy
As the saying goes, a tidy room is a tidy mind. There is nothing more frustrating than going into the supply room and not being able to find what you seek because it is unorganised. If necessary, have the entire inventory labelled and documented to make it clear to everyone what is stored where, particularly if they are looking for something specific. It may be worth stocking each operatory with a small quantity of supplies to ensure that every member of staff has what they need to hand on a daily basis. You will also be able to monitor directly how much product is leaving the supply room, so that you can order additional stock when it starts to run low.
It is important that you avoid waiting until the last minute to reorder supplies. By planning ahead for upcoming appointments and ordering in plenty of time, you will save on the cost of rush shipping fees. Bear in mind that there are also certain times of the year when supply companies offer special discounts. Being aware of these deals and holding out on your purchases until then will enable you to take advantage of extra savings. This is also a good time to plan for the future by purchasing a little extra on essential supplies, in order to tie you over until the next time you spot a bargain.
Deal with a trusted dental supplier
It is worth taking the time to consider who you are sourcing supplies from. Building a good relationship with one reliable dental supply company may be more beneficial than co-ordinating with several vendors. By dealing with a single company you can not only avoid ordering more than you actually require, you could also benefit from a variety of different services all under one roof. Some vendors offer exclusive discounts for the volume of stock you seek and the supplier may even suggest that you invest in slightly lower cost products that don’t compromise on quality. Other suppliers go one step further by providing samples of items to try before you buy, which is a great perk if you are considering a new product.
In any case, it is important for your practice to have a reliable inventory management system in place to ensure the efficiency of your dental supply chain. The most reliable suppliers provide professional advice and guidance on how best to optimise your ordering process. Denka – which stocks over 1,000 high quality dental products at competitive prices – offers access to the intuitive MyDenka supplier portal, which enables you to order and maintain stock of essential items and specialist equipment. Practitioners that utilise similar systems in combination with a trusted dental supplier are the ones who are better able to manage the quantity and quality of supplies they have. Ultimately, this enables them to increase practice profitability and provide a higher standard of care.