You may be surprised to hear this but the dental industry has one of the highest overheads of any profession. From the office rent and staff salaries to equipment and lab fees your bottom line can easily become unmanageable. Here are some ideas on things you can do in the area of dental supplies to save your practice money.
Reduce Inventory - Reducing your inventory leaves more money in your bank account. Be aware of and make a list of the extra supplies you have on hand. How many extra boxes of each item do you have? Keep track of how often you go through each supply and be careful of how many you order at one time and how long they sit around. If possible, keep all of your supplies in one location so you can keep a better eye on your inventory.
Order Monthly - Another aspect of reducing inventory is only ordering what you need on a month by month basis so you dont have an overabundance of inventory left on the shelf. Be aware of how many items you are buying in bulk and make a note of how long they last. For items that you know you go through quickly it is okay and usually more profitable to order them in bulk. Just be sure you know which items those are and which ones are just sitting on the shelf way too long.
Make A Supplies Budget - While you are assessing your inventory also take notice of how much money you spend each month, each quarter and each year on supplies. Set an average budget based on monthly production and how much will be needed for supplies. Figure out an overhead supply percentage you are comfortable with based on what percentage you spend on average over 12 months and come up with an average monthly production budget and try to stay within the budget or even stay under it.An appropriate yearly overhead percentage for dental supplies is typically between five and seven percent of total net collections. Some months may be over the allotted range, but the year-to-date percentage is the true indicator that you are managing this department well.
Avoid Finance Charges Finance charges for supplies that are not paid for on time are a complete waste of money. Take a look at what youve been paying for finance charges in years past and work on a new goal of keeping your supply costs down and paying them off each month to avoid the extra charges.
Understand What You Order Its important to really understand what you order and perhaps look at alternatives to reduce costs, or figure out how you can get a better deal for what you are paying each month. Negotiating with your dental supply companies is a must. Meet with your supply representative and get a good understanding of different price alternatives for different brands. One perk to trying a new brand is that you may like it more and save money. And dont be afraid to negotiate with your sales rep.
Compare Suppliers - Try to find the item somewhere else for a better price and see if you can have it matched. Find out if the supply company offers a savings plan if you purchase so much with them. And also ask about any free items that are available. In the long run the free items you receive from manufacturers can also help lower that monthly and yearly bottom line. Dont be afraid to look around. Determine the core supplies you will need and find reliable suppliers that will give you a discount or special incentives if you purchase all of your supplies through them.
Make Careful And Smart Purchases Besides the typical items your practice will need to operate efficiently, you will also find yourself persuaded to buy the latest high-tech gadgets. Always be aware of what purchasing decisions you are making, and how those purchases fit into your overhead supply budget. It is important and understandable to stay current with the best dentistry products available, however, dont be tempted by new products just because they are new and someone says they are revolutionary. Be smart with your purchasing decisions. It is a fact that the first generation of most products is usually more of a market test and the more reliable and proven products will emerge in the second and third generations. If you are interested in a product, study the company offering it and make sure it is backed by credible research.
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