Did you know that there are over 200,419 active dentists in the United States? In approximately 12 years, the number of dentists has grown by nearly 25,000! The dental and health field are exciting industries to be a part of, with their fast-paced growth and need.
Managing inventory is one of the lesser exciting parts of the job but no less critical. Up-to-date dental inventory management can make it or break it for offices, and you want to be in the upper hand. If you have struggled with managing your office’s inventory, we have a complete guide for you.
In our article, we will review the top seven dental inventory solutions and how you can get started today. Keep reading on for more information!
1. Identify Stock Issues
New polls suggest dental clinics are struggling like every other industry in this economy. Many offices are looking at hiring administrative staff, dental hygienists, and dental assistants. The shortage of workers is making many companies rethink their monthly budgets and tasks.
Neglecting your stock is not something that should be pushed to the backburner. Take time and identify stock issues, such as expired items, low counts, and over-stocked supplies. This will give you a good idea of where your current inventory is and the issues at hand.
2. Create New Stock Lists
Next, you will want to create a new stock list. Inventory management is incomplete if you don’t know what or how much you need for medical supplies. If you are struggling with dental management solutions, start from scratch and save yourself the headache of redoing stock inventory later on.
The FDA and other federal agencies have posted several warnings regarding medical device shortages (more on that below). Your new stock list should account for items you find difficult to receive on time. Start looking at alternative inventory items and create new orders.
3. Implement New Organization Systems
Don’t fall back into old habits. Try new bin systems, updated technology, or new staff training. Simple changes like implant tracking technology can significantly affect how your dental office functions.
Apps and subscriptions can start managing inventory, ensuring your implants won’t expire, and alerting you to low stocks. You can use implant tracking software for cover screws, healing abutments, bone grafts, and more.
4. Review Vendor Contracts and Lead Times
Since the pandemic, more businesses have been forced to review vendor contracts or look for new ones. For small businesses, nearly 45% of surveyed owners reported domestic supply chain issues.
Regularly reviewing vendor contracts and lead times on your inventory gives you a good idea of who is delivering on time and who isn’t. You can renegotiate contracts or find new suppliers for more reliable inventory delivery or lower prices. Although it is a challenging time to work with suppliers and manufacturers, regularly reviewing your contracts can give you a more competitive edge in the industry.
One option you have is switching to a marketplace. Qualified dental marketplaces offer extensive savings on everyday dental supplies. You can compare prices with multiple top brands.
Additionally, marketplaces give you access to thousands of supplies. If you have a plethora of vendors that supply your office, it can eliminate the headache of renegotiating multiple contracts.
5. Train Staff Members
Train new staff members on updating inventory management strategies. If staff haphazardly pull supplies out without using a system, you are left in the dark on where your supplies go. Only allow certain personnel to access supplies and consider implementing technology that can scan items in or out.
6. Avoid Overspending
Between 2020 and 2022, many basic medical materials increased in price by nearly 30%. Supply chain shortages have forced many medical offices to look elsewhere for their necessities. If you can, avoid overspending on your stock.
Instead, look at alternatives, other vendor contracts, or ways you can mitigate your current stock until burdens start easing. It is likely that medical supply shortages and inflation will persist through 2023. Plan ahead and budget your dental inventory accordingly.
7. Use Dental Inventory Management Systems
Dental inventory management systems are the best option to improve dental inventory. Management systems are technological services that improve your inventory tracking. Here are some more benefits of choosing a technologically-advanced dental inventory system:
- Decrease unnecessary spending
- Low stock alerts
- Manage your budget
- Remain compliant
- Scan product codes
- Track orders
- Marketplace reordering
- Document medications
- Upcoming certification renewal notifications
Ultimately, inventory systems do more than simply scan objects in or out. They help you with renewal reminders, budgets, and compliance. Compliance reminders and trackers are largely neglected in the dental industry.
Many still use traditional methods to track compliance. The benefit of using an app and software is that it can help you stay on top of:
- Safety data sheets
- Certification management
- Staff certifications
- Immunization records
- Equipment records
- Equipment servicing
- And more
Compliance management can become the difference-maker between your clinic remaining in business or not. Finding an app and provider with all-in-one services makes your job easier and saves your office money long term.
Finding Dental Management Solutions
Dental inventory management is tedious and time-consuming. But what if we told you it doesn’t have to be? First, take the time now to review your inventory.
Next, consider using a dental inventory system to help with your day-to-day tasks. You use technology daily with dental appointments, cleanings, and procedures.
So why not use technology for inventory management? At Sowingo, we specialize in dental inventory services and offer an extensive marketplace you can start using for supply orders. Check out our pricing list and book a demo today to get started!