Are you managing a dental practice? Do you sometimes find yourself lacking in certain dental supplies? Then you may need to revisit your current inventory strategies.
On top of the many challenges hounding the oral health system in the United States, dental practices still need to worry about their own backyard. They need to deal with challenges concerning inventory management. Otherwise, they will struggle to provide top-notch dental care to patients.
Continue reading below for 11 of the most effective dental inventory management techniques you need to start doing today.
1. Determine the Items that Need Control
One of the first inventory management techniques you need to apply in your dental practice is identifying the items that you want to control. For starters, focus on items that have a short shelf life. Do the same thing with premium and expensive items.
Also, take note of items that take up a lot of shelf space. Make a list of all these items, especially the ones that are accessible to anyone in the office. This will serve as the backbone for your product log.
2. Create a Log
Your next goal is to create a product log. This will become your initial monitoring and accountability tool for anything that comes in and goes out of the stock room.
Anyone who comes in and gets an item should write on the log. Make sure everyone writes all the important details. These include the name of the item, the date, the quantity, and the name of the person getting items from the inventory.
By having everyone write their names in the log, you are building a culture of accountability.
3. A Person to Oversee Things
Speaking of persons, you need to assign someone who will manage the movement of the inventory. This person should also be in charge of ordering supplies.
Assigning this task to one person will do you wonders. For starters, you can be sure that there will be no double orders for any of your items. Moreover, you reduce the chances of leaving any item on the ordering list.
You also gain access to accurate information concerning the supplies. Since the person in charge will have one task, he will have a better grasp of the flow of the inventory. He will know where to find a specific item and quickly determine if anything is missing or low on supply.
Additionally, having one person oversee the inventory translates to a better relationship with suppliers. The latter will only need to talk to a single person when it is time to place new orders.
4. Simplify Your Ordering Process
The idea of keeping things simple also applies in inventory management. Thus, establish a simple ordering process for your dental practice. Create a manual showing all your items and where you order them.
Make sure to include the dates for ordering and the location of the products. You also want to include the contact details of the suppliers, the payment schedules, and the order budget.
5. Mind Your Budget
When it comes to your budget, come up with one that you will stick to, no matter what. The goal for setting up a budget is to avoid overspending. Falling into this deep hole can spell doom for your dental practice.
Thus, you want to keep track of the changes in the prices of your supplies. Perform a month-to-month comparison of the prices. Thereafter, compare your spending from last year’s.
Factor-in the anticipated growth to determine the increase in supply costs. Ideally, you want to spend 5% to 7% of your gross profit on your monthly dental supplies.
6. Minimize Orders If Possible
When it comes to ordering, you want to keep your orders as few as possible. Pulling this off lies heavily in how efficient your ordering process is.
Your goal is to reduce the instances of making large orders. Doing so will save you more money and resources. It will also keep the integrity of your cash flow.
Also, limiting your orders allows you to stay on top of your inventory. You will also reduce your storage costs by avoiding an overflow of supplies.
7. Routine Checks are a Must
One of the keys to effective inventory management is the reconciliation of supplies. You can do so by conducting routine inventory checks.
Assign the person in charge of the inventory to perform routine checks at least once a month. You want him to take note of the stock levels. Thereafter, update the inventory and compare the levels from the previous month.
This will give you an overview of how your dental office consumes your supplies. It also allows you to create a forecast of the demand for the upcoming months.
8. Revisit Your Usage
You also need to keep a record of all the items that you used throughout the year. This can be a daunting task but this will do wonders for your inventory management.
Keeping a record of your usage gives you a solid reference for your future orders. You can keep track of certain items that your practice may no longer need. Moreover, you can keep tabs on supplies that may no longer be available in the market.
9. Invest in a Good Inventory Software
Since technology is your friend, invest in good inventory software. You want to get one that will help you automate your processes.
Also, reliable inventory software can help you manage your budget. It can also send alerts if you’re running low on stocks.
10. Establish Supplier Partnerships
Choosing the best suppliers for your dental supplies is good. However, building strong relationships with suppliers is better. Your goal is to find suppliers who will genuinely support your dental practice.
From there, you can ensure that the supplies arrive on time. You can expect fast deliveries without worrying about any unfair rates and charges.
11. Organize Your Stockroom
Last but not least, you need to organize your stockroom. Even if you have the most reliable management software, it is not enough if you don’t organize your space where you keep your supplies.
Organize your physical stock to avoid piling up items that do not belong in the same category. This will help you find items faster. It will also keep confusion at bay during inspections.
Maximize Your Inventory Management Techniques
By applying these inventory management techniques, you stay on top of your supplies all the time. However, you can only maximize these techniques by using reliable management software.
Connect with us today and tell us more about your inventory management requirements. Request a free demo and learn more about our cloud-based management solution.