The dental industry has one of the highest overheads of any profession. This includes costs such as office rent, staff salaries, and equipment and lab fees. With so many factors under consideration, your bottom line can quickly and easily become unmanageable. One area that may help that cost is in dental supplies. Here are a few ideas on how to save your practice money.
Do you really need all of the supplies you have on hand, or do you have several extras that are not being used? Keep track of how often it takes you to go through a box of any one item and how many extra boxes you currently have. This information is helpful when ordering supplies so that you don’t order more than you need just to have it sitting around, unused, for extended periods of time. Ordering in bulk can be profitable – just know which items are used most frequently to take advantage of this deal. Otherwise, you may have an abundance of items that will sit on the shelf for too long.
Another strategy for keeping the supply closet under control is to keep all of the supplies in one location, if possible. That way, you can keep a better eye on your inventory without wasting time or energy looking for anything.
Make a Supplies Budget
Take a look at exactly how much is spent on supplies each month, each quarter, and each year. An appropriate annual overhead percentage for dental supplies is about five to seven percent of total net collections. Try to make sure that finance charges are not part of this expenditure. Look at what you’ve been paying for finance charges in the past and work on a goal of paying supplies off each month to avoid extra charges.
Understand What You Order
Knowing what you’re ordering can help you find alternatives that can reduce costs. Having a good understanding of your supplies can also help you get a better deal on what you’ll have to pay each month. Meet with your supply representative to get a better understanding of different price alternatives for different brands; be open to trying new brands as they may be more cost-effective and preferable to your current brands. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with your dental supply companies. In fact, shop around to find the best price for certain items to see if you can have it matched. Supply companies may offer a savings plan if you purchase a certain amount. Taking advantage of these plans can save you money and/or provide you with bonus supplies.
Make Careful and Smart Purchases
It may be enticing to purchase the latest high-tech gadgets that are offered to you, but always keep in mind how those purchases fit into your overhead supply budget. It is, of course, necessary to stay current with the best and latest in dentistry products, but considering that the first generation of most new products is usually a market test, don’t be afraid to wait for the second or third generation after the product has been tested and proven. And, of course, make sure that the company you’re interested in buying from is credible and backed by research.