The dental industry faced significant challenges associated with the global COVID-19 pandemic. No matter the size or specialty, all practices were forced to adapt to new guidelines and deal with challenges related to the procurement of supplies. With immense pressure placed on sterilization protocols and obtaining the necessary PPE to operate safely, navigating supply chain challenges and demand surges was an entirely new concept. It became clear that dental procurement processes must continue to evolve digitally to stay in control of spending.
Let’s start with the basics: procurement versus purchasing. Purchasing focuses solely on how supplies are ordered, whereas procurement focuses on strategy and value. Doctors need to ensure they have the necessary supplies to treat their patients, but they must always factor in the cost. And building a formulary is a trusted way to control the budget. A formulary is an organization’s custom supply catalogue from which the practices will order supplies, allowing you to better manage and control the total procurement spend.
As the industry evolves, practices need to utilize every available tool to manage overhead while remaining competitive. Building a custom formulary lets you implement efficient, streamlined procurement processes to improve visibility, reduce wasteful purchasing, and gain total control of spending habits for each practice involved.
Dental practices run on supplies, and costs can become unmanageable without set protocols. The available data and visibility with a custom formulary offer the opportunity to make more informed decisions regarding purchasing. With the formulary entirely under your control, it also provides greater negotiating leverage with manufacturers and suppliers by making accurate forecasts based on data.
Alongside improving spend management, formularies ensure complete patient care control. The overall goal of the patient care system is to ensure patients are treated with ethical protocols and safe products. Each practice in the organization must follow the formulary guidelines and purchase only the approved products, eliminating the risk of potentially purchasing gray market items sold through an unauthorized supply chain. That said, it is still essential to evaluate an office’s supply orders to ensure compliance regularly.
With the right spend management strategy, you can minimize costs and increase profits no matter the organization’s size. Managing the overall spend on supplies helps you control the budget and ensure that money is spent where it positively impacts the bottom line.