Statistics show that there are nearly 200,000 dentist offices in the US, employing over 1,140,000 people. Plus, the market size for the dentist industry is about $172 billion and is expected to grow significantly over the next few years.
An unavoidable aspect of owning and operating a dental office is choosing dental supply providers. This is vital for maintaining the well-being of your business by ensuring that your office always has what it needs to provide the best possible services for your patients.
Unfortunately, choosing a dental supply provider is something that many people find challenging and overwhelming. That’s why it’s crucial to know what to look for and how to manage your supplies. So, in this blog, we’ll teach you everything you need to know to choose your ideal dental supply provider!
When you order dental supplies, you might forget about logistics. However, knowing where your dental products come from and where the distribution centers are is a significant factor in your choice of providers.
Most suppliers are going to have several distribution centers around the US. You will want to understand where these are located to see if one is close to your location. If the nearest distribution center is several states away, it may not be able to consistently fulfill orders accurately and on time. This could result in long wait times every time you order different supplies or mistakes that cause disruptions in your business.
In most cases, it is best to buy from a supplier that has a nearby center. This ensures that you always get your supplies quickly without having to pay extra. You can also see if they have ground shipments, which let you get your supplies within one day – no matter where the distribution center is.
Reading online reviews is an excellent way to find your ideal dental supply provider. Every provider speaks highly of its services, but reading reviews will give you real, first-hand experience from dentists who have worked with the company in the past.
Expect to find a variety of negative and positive reviews – every company is going to have some negative reviews. However, if you notice that several reviews are mentioning the same problem, that’s a red flag that the company struggles to fulfill that aspect of its service, and it may be wise to look elsewhere.
When you need to choose dental supply providers, you need to consider the company’s team. The quality and price of dental supplies are crucial, but having access to excellent customer service and support is just as important.
The provider’s customer service team should be easy to communicate with and easy to get a hold of. If you call it five times and always get put to voicemail, this could be a bad sign of an unresponsive company. If something ever goes wrong, you are unlikely to get a hold of someone in time to fix the problem.
The team should also be helpful and able to answer any questions you have. Easy communication will make doing business with this company much less stressful and frustrating.
This will come in handy later on if you have any issues with the supplies or shipping.
When choosing a dental supply provider, do a couple of test calls and see how reliably the company’s team picks up the phone. You may also want to do the same test by email or whichever method you will be using to communicate most frequently. That way, you won’t encounter any unpleasant surprises down the road!
Look at the basic details of working with this dental supply company. Do they have a simple process that allows you to get what you need promptly, or do they expect you to jump through hoops? Do you have to pay the invoice within an unrealistically short amount of time? Are different types of dental supplies harder to come by than others?
These are all things to consider when you are choosing a dental supply provider. Every minute you spend dealing with your supplier is a minute not spent helping patients or growing your business, so make sure the company has a simple system that makes it easy to work with them long-term.
If you have any questions about their process, you should ask them ahead of time. The more questions you ask, the more likely you will make the right decision when you choose a company. One great way to make getting your supplies easier is to invest in dental inventory management. Companies like Sowingo make this accessible for dental offices.
This service allows you to efficiently purchase your dental supplies and track your inventory with ease, so you never have to worry about running out of supplies or forgetting to reorder ever again!
Your dental supply budget is also going to have a big impact on your decision, as you will be buying expensive dental equipment on a fairly regular basis.
Thus, you need to be realistic about your budget for the supplies. You also must keep price rises in mind and make sure you aren’t only looking at special sales.
Compare the prices you are seeing at two other dental supply providers. Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily just want to choose the cheapest price out there – prices should be as affordable as possible but not so cheap that they indicate poor quality.
Aside from all of the other dental supply provider options, you need to consider quality.
Your dental products must be high-quality and made with the best materials. You don’t want to invest in cheap equipment that will malfunction or break when you try to use it. This is especially important for dental equipment since it must meet certain standards and safety criteria. If it is not built safely, it can be a risk to you and your patients, potentially exposing your business to legal problems in the future.
This is also where online reviews will come in handy. If you see several negative reviews about poor product quality, you should stay away from that company.
Tips on How to Choose Dental Supply Providers
If you own a dental office, you may be on the hunt for a new supply provider. When you choose dental supply providers, the several factors we listed above are the first you should consider. Do you need help tracking your dental inventory? Contact us today at Sowingo for the latest in inventory tracking software!