Is the cost of your dental office supplies getting out of hand?
There’s no getting around the fact that you need certain supplies to keep your dental office running smoothly. But you don’t have to pay a premium for those materials.
Being strategic about how you order your dental supplies can make a significant dent in how much you spend.
The average dental practice overhead is 60% to 65%. Supplies are only one part of your overhead, but cutting your dental supply budget can decrease your overhead, which makes your practice more profitable.
Check out these 10 ways to cut expenses when you order dental supplies.
1. Assess Your Budget
Effective budgeting is an important part of dental practice management.
Spend some time looking over your budget for dental supplies. Then, compare that to what you’re actually spending each month. Do the two numbers match up?
The ideal budget for dental supplies is 5% to 6% of your total overhead. Having a good understanding of your overall financial picture helps you calculate those numbers.
Knowing where your budget stands helps you set goals and track how you’re cutting expenses.
2. Take Control of Ordering
Ideally, you’ll have one person who handles all of the ordering. This allows you to hold that person accountable.
It also makes it easier to avoid double ordering supplies or making mistakes on orders.
Take control of the supplies your office orders. Make sure everything that goes onto the order is necessary.
Set procedures and expectations for ordering so that the person who handles it has guidelines.
3. Know Your Needs
Knowing what you actually use and how much you use in a month is important for accurate ordering.
You might quickly go through some supplies on a regular basis. Gloves are a perfect example.
Other things might not be used as quickly. Evaluate supply usage and communicate with your staff for necessary insight.
4. Get Freebies From Manufacturers
Even a small quantity of free supplies can help reduce your supply budget.
It also gives you a chance to test out new supplies before you order them. Without sacrificing quality, you might find that a certain brand is a lot cheaper than what you normally order. Or you might discover that another brand performs poorly, so it’s not worth the money you’d save on it.
5. Comparison Shop
Do you stick with one vendor out of convenience? You’re likely paying more than necessary if you aren’t comparison shopping.
Large markups on dental supplies mean vendors can offer you lower prices to earn your business. Using a little healthy competition between vendors can help you come out ahead.
Our marketplace makes it easy to benefit from vendor competition. You can easily compare the options to find the lowest prices.
6. Look for Alternatives
It’s easy to order the same brands and types of supplies every month. But there could be alternatives that are just as good but at a lower price.
Many products could be similar no matter who produces them. Save on costs by looking for alternative manufacturers or different versions of the same product from your favorite manufacturer.
If you need new dental equipment, consider buying used equipment. Avoid equipment that’s outdated, but buying gently used equipment that’s still in excellent condition can save you money.
7. Consider Payment Methods
The way you pay for your dental supplies can help save you money.
If you use a credit card to pay, look at the interest and fees you’re paying. If you don’t pay off the balance each month, you’re increasing your dental supply costs with the interest being paid.
Not paying your account on time can add to your expenses. Vendors often add charges if you don’t pay within a certain time frame.
8. Keep an Accurate Inventory
Having an accurate inventory system ensures you order the right amount of each supply.
Having too much on hand means you’re spending more than you need. Buying in bulk is often cheaper, but if it takes you over a year to use up bulk supply inventory, you can probably save money by ordering smaller amounts.
Running out of supplies before your next order is also expensive. You might have to place a rush order, adding more costs for expedited shipping or quick delivery.
Your inventory system helps you check historical usage and the current levels of your supplies. That information lets you make better ordering decisions so you don’t overspend.
9. Buy Reusable Supplies
Many dental supplies are available in disposable and reusable versions. Disposable options are often convenient because you don’t have to worry about repeatedly sanitizing them. But you also end up spending a lot more money over time on the disposable versions.
Safety glasses are an example. You can get disposable safety glasses for the dentists and assistants in the office. They might seem cost-effective per pair, but the investment adds up quickly.
If you buy reusable safety glasses, you’ll pay more upfront. But you’re cutting down significantly on your monthly costs and often save money over time.
Look at the disposable supplies you use frequently. Determine if there’s a reusable version available. Compare the costs to see how much you would save over time to decide if reusable is the better option.
10. Assess Quality vs Cost
The cheapest option isn’t always the most cost-effective in the long run.
Look at the quality of products in addition to the cost. Paying more to get a product that works a lot better and lasts a lot longer can help your long-term supply budget.
Save Money on Dental Office Supplies
Cutting your dental supply budget can improve your overall profitability. A few changes to your ordering routine can make a big difference.
Are you looking for a new way to buy your dental office supplies? Learn more about how our system works to start saving money on the things you need.
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Last modified: May 1, 2020