During tougher economic times I often see dental offices and dentists trying to reduce overheads.
One of the ways that they attempt to lower their overheads is to change to a less expensive alternative product, to reduce dollars spent.
A better way to reduce overhead is to look at reducing wastage within the dental office.
Look at what you throw out or don’t use during the course of a day, a week, or a month, and decide whether there is room for improvement there.
Manufacturers are of no help in this process.
I once read, or heard, a story that bottle sales of a particular brand of eye drops went up significantly when that company increased the size of the hole in the bottle. This sales increase was despite the fact that no customer ever got to the end of the bottle [before the expiry date], either before or after the change in size of the hole in the bottle!!
Look at the size of the holes or apertures in the bottles of products that you buy. Can these products be dispensed more economically?
Some tubes of composite resin come with apertures so large they are wider than an MOD cavity on an upper molar! Obviously, with care, there is room for significant savings by reducing wastage when dispensing this product, just by being careful.
Similarly when using capsules, analyse what volume of product is being discarded.
Look at whether you really need automix tips on your temporary cement? I’ll bet there’s more cement being discarded in the tip than actually being used intra-orally!
Look at better ways of delivering your adhesives and bonds. Similarly, significant amounts of these products end up as unused wastage!
Several years ago some colleagues of mine calculated the price dentists pay for adhesive at being in excess of $21000.00 per litre!
Think about it….small volume bottle, high price tag? Do the math!
If you were to purchase one litre of that product in a three year period, imagine the savings to your office bottom line if you could reduce the wastage! Think about how much product is left behind in those dispensing wells…
And the significant savings in dentistry are not just for one product. Savings in wastage can be significant right across the dental clinic spectrum!
I saw in one office where Dental Assistants were using gauze squares to wipe instruments and bowls. This is far more costly to the bottom line than using paper towel or facial tissues.
Look at whether a suitable less costly alternative is close at hand and is more appropriate at achieving the same results…
So, if you’re going to make savings on outgoings, look at your wastage, rather than your costs.
Your customers and clients will certainly notice the quality of goods you use on them, so don’t buy thin bibs, small bibs, or scratchy rough tissues. Always maintain your qualities, especially your visible qualities.
Investment in quality will always return healthy dividends to your office.
Be sensible with quality investment in visible product. Don’t be mean here.
But do be sensible with wastage on consumables. Dental supply houses are in the business of selling more product, so be alert about unnecessary wastage.
Trim the waste!!
The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple easy to implement system I developed that allowed me to build an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.
Email me: david@theUPE.com
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