Gone are the days when managing your dental inventory meant an excel spreadsheet maintained by a handful of staff who would manually enter product details off of invoices and packing slips. For the longest time, it has been commonplace for dental practices to store copious amounts of paperwork in a supply binder as their primary means of keeping track of their dental supplies. The manual method is very tedious and highly unreliable since it is prone to human errors. The challenge is even greater when it comes to managing a complex inventory of implants, cover screws, abutments, bone grafts and membranes. Maintaining the records of purchased supplies, ordered supplies and supplies for reserve on a regular basis requires enormous human resources, which in turn will end up costing a lot more, while leaving the office team feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. This time could be better spent on patient care, planning and consultation.
How is overstocking and understocking affecting your practice?
Overstocking implant inventory is what most offices will do in hopes that every implant option will be available for any specific case. However, this method still does not guarantee that you will have the right size or type of implant on hand given that each patient’s case is unique depending on their individual bone structure and treatment circumstances. Even worse, it could be very possible that if the implant you need is in fact in stock, it may end up being expired by the time it’s needed. Given the high cost of such components, inefficient inventory management processes may lead to substantial monetary loss for the practice. Under stocking, on the other hand, limits the number of implant related procedures you can perform should you not have the right products in stock when a patient requires it. Also, you’ll find yourself with the added stress of last minute ordering with no guarantee on delivery dates, paying higher prices for single unit purchases and increased rush shipping fees.
One of the greatest challenges most dental practices face is how to maintain inventory efficiently. Advances in technology however, means practices can now leverage software tools in streamlining inventory control processes.
For instance, Sowingo offers a comprehensive solution that empowers dental teams with real-time visibility and control of all matters relating to inventory, ordering, and reporting. Sowingo simplifies the complexities of managing inventory using an intuitive and easy to use software and mobile application. The platform is cloud-based, offering instant access to inventory data from any computer or device, at any time and from any place. Sowingo offers several inventory management solutions including:
- Single Scan Data Entry: Update inventory counts with an easy-to-use mobile app; including Lot #, System, Size, Type and Expiration Dates.
- Stock levels: Access available stock levels at any time with a customizable implant table.
- Low Level & Expiration Alerts: Stay informed about products running low or close to expiry.
- Reservation: Planning made simple by reserving implant parts for patients.
- Consignment: Distinguish paid implant parts vs. consignments.
- Order Forms: Easily create purchase orders and email directly to an implant rep with a click of a button.
- Order History: Centralized access to all previous orders.
- Order Management: Receive and timestamp orders, also manage backorders all in one place.
- Real-Time Reporting: Instant access to placement data, including the number of implants placed, case types, surgeon and referring doctors with monthly/yearly production analysis.
- Patient & Lot # Search: Retrieve data with an intuitive search tool.
- Referring Doctor Data: Stay informed with referring doctor trends.
- Spending Report: Real-time access to spending data by category and supplier.