Evaluate Your Supply Costs

Keeping supply costs down is a struggle to which almost all dentists can relate; with that in mind, we’ve developed a few methods that can help you make your ordering process more manageable.

Start by preparing a list of your most commonly ordered supply items, which can be obtained from prior invoices or statements from your vendors. Many suppliers should be able to furnish you with an annual report, if requested. Once you obtain your spending reports, you will be able to determine your purchasing frequency; determine if you are you purchasing supplies for the month or only on an as-needed basis. We’ve found that you will get better pricing when you purchase supplies in bulk at regular intervals, whether it be monthly or quarterly, versus purchasing small quantities weekly or as needed (if your office does not have suitable space to stock bulk supply quantities, consider having your floor plan analyzed to see if room can be made). Typically, there are shipping charges attached to the overall cost, so by controlling how often you order, you can instantly reduce that extra cost.

Once your list of regular supply items and their average quantities is prepared, share it with your major supply representatives and let them propose their best pricing based on your monthly / quarterly / annual quantities. 

If you find your supply costs are incredulously high, you may have an issue in terms of waste / loss management within your practice. Looking into specific types of practice management techniques may be able to help reduce the amount of waste or loss your practice experiences. For example, a gallon of bond wasted over a period of time can cost your practice in excess of $40,000- that’s one of the most expensive liquids in the world! This is a go-to example you can use, when expressing the importance of conserving materials to your staff.

With this cost management under your belt, it really becomes a matter of trusting your supply company and considering alternative or house-brand products to get the job done!


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