When balancing your practice’s dental supply budget, it can seem like there’s never a good time to allocate dollars to upgrade, enhance or add to your equipment. Relatively small equipment can come with a significant price tag. So how do you discern when to purchase higher-dollar items and how to get the most value?
Also known as “the law of the vital few,” the Pareto principle, named after an Italian economist, is often expressed as 80 percent of effects coming from 20 percent of causes. You’ve likely observed this phenomenon in your own practice — whether it’s a large percentage of revenue coming from a relatively small number of procedures or a high percentage of new patients coming in from one of your many marketing efforts. However, one of the areas in which the Pareto principle is most evident is in your dental supply budget.
One year after clicking the “place order” button to purchase dental supplies online through The Dentists Service Company’s Marketplace, James Stephens, DDS, added up his 12-month savings — $13,000 total. Stephens, who owns a Palo Alto practice with his wife and business partner Susan Park, DDS, was among the first dentists to test the new TDSC Marketplace in February 2017, and he knew at the time that CDA was about to change the way dentists buy supplies.
While you may not suffer from metathesiophobia, the persistent and unwarranted fear of change, you might still get palpitations when leaving your “comfort zone.” Change can sometimes create feelings of anxiety and insecurity in even the most seasoned dentists and harmonious practice teams. In the evolving dental marketplace, change is inevitable, and having the ability to adapt to that change means your practice also has the ability to compete. Because your team probably gravitates toward its comfort zones too, changes large and small require a strategic approach.
Each practice’s annual dental supply budget is influenced by its size, patient base and technologies, as well as which small equipment is categorized as supplies. Dental supplies have traditionally equated to 4–7 percent of collections. For many general dentists, however, supplies are now equating to 6–7 percent of collections.
With a growing diversity in practice models, including an increase in dentists working as employees or contractors and a decrease in practice ownership, there is no denying that the business challenges for dentists across the nation continue to grow as well. Feeling the combined impacts of dental benefit pressures, growing market competition and the rapid expansion of large group practices, CDA members voiced a need for more control. The association responded with a forward-thinking approach — the creation of The Dentists Service Company — launching services designed to support members’ freedom to excel in a changing marketplace and practice on their own terms.
Built on a commitment to make shopping for dental supplies more convenient and affordable for practices of any size, The Dentists Supply Company’s newly developed online shopping site provides an easy-to-use shopping experience while leveraging the buying power of CDA’s 27,000 members to offer significant savings.
TDSC Marketplace is home to 25,000 items from trusted suppliers
When The Dentists Service Company launched its online shopping site for dental supplies to CDA members earlier this year, it was with a commitment to make purchasing easier and more affordable for practices of every size. The TDSC Marketplace was also designed to allow dentists and their office staff to procure supplies across categories with confidence in the source and quality of every item.
The savings were so significant the first time Richard Barnes, DDS, and his staff compared dental supply prices on the TDSC Marketplace that they thought there had been a mistake. Barnes, a Visalia dentist with three offices, including a surgery center, compared Marketplace prices to what he regularly paid for supplies and saw a 25 percent savings.