Improve purchasing decisions by evaluating invoices

Have you taken the time to scrutinize your practice’s dental supply purchasing processes? While it’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of appointments and office activity, it’s important to make time to evaluate your ordering choices and opportunities. For many general dentists, supplies now equate to 6 to 6.5 percent of collections or more. So, a practice with $800,000 in billings that is purchasing at the average rate could save more than $10,000 per year just by reducing supply costs by 20 percent.

Your purchasing decisions make a significant impact on both your bottom line and how your office team allocates its time. In fact, the details revealed in just a single order can help you understand true costs, control overhead and streamline operations.

The TDSC Marketplace is a new source for dental supply savings for CDA members. Below, an actual order from a current Marketplace shopper is broken down to highlight strengths and opportunities for further efficiencies.

In one transaction, the practice purchased 31 dental items across 10 SKUs for a total of $359.28. Among the items ordered were masks, crowns, alginate, a sharps container, cement and sterilization supplies.

Smart shopping:

  • The products were from three different authorized vendors. By ordering from multiple vendors in a single transaction through a single site, the practice saved time.
  • Shopping six different supply categories in a single transaction also increased efficiency.
  • The practice paid no shipping fees, with free shipping saving an average of $10 per order. Better yet, nine out of 10 products were delivered within two business days.
  • With access to the Marketplace’s group purchasing discounts, the practice saved $118.03 compared to the MSRP. That’s a total savings of 24.7 percent.
  • The practice realized 23-plus percent savings on half of the items ordered.
  • The item ordered in the largest quantity, 10 units of 200-count non-woven sponges, reflected 45 percent savings compared to the MSRP.

Order opportunities:

  • For items commonly in the practice inventory, creating one or multiple saved shopping lists could fast-track future orders.
  • For disposable or infection control items that are ordered in large quantities over the course of the year, total cost can be a significant percentage of the supply budget. Using the Marketplace’s quick compare feature to evaluate similar products’ features, pricing and packaging could help the practice discover the best value.
  • As the site carries supplies and equipment across 32 categories, the practice could likely find even more opportunities for savings on essential inventory.

While every dental practice has unique supply needs, the drive to control overhead and improve efficiency is universal. Scrutinize your invoices, compare prices and encourage your office team to join you in seeking ways to make purchasing processes more cost-effective.

Visit the Marketplace today at tdsc.com. If you’d like additional assistance getting your practice set up to start saving, contact TDSC Sales Representative Ashley Reich at 916.554.5378 or by email.

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One year after clicking the “place order” button to purchase dental supplies online through The Dentists Service Company’s Marketplace, James Stephens, DDS, added up his 12-month savings — $13,000 total. After a successful testing phase, the TDSC Marketplace was launched last June as a free benefit to all CDA members in response to members’ desire to have more control over their practices, including the ability to compete with large group practices that negotiate supplies at lower prices than solo practice owners.

Through the TDSC Marketplace, a benefit of CDA membership, shoppers are seeing an average savings of more than 20 percent compared to manufacturers’ suggested retail prices. While the savings have attracted many CDA members, some still have questions about changing their supply sources. The TDSC Marketplace team took a thorough look at a practice based in Rocklin, Calif., to see how product selection and real-world savings stacked up.