Strategic shopping for high-dollar supplies

When balancing your practice’s dental supply budget, it can seem like there’s never a good time to allocate dollars to upgrade, enhance or add to your equipment. Relatively small equipment can come with a significant price tag. So how do you discern when to purchase higher-dollar items and how to get the most value?

Start by considering the performance level of your current tools and small equipment. Where are you experiencing pain points? Perform an efficiency inventory by asking yourself and your team:

  • How much time have we lost due to lack of or ineffective tools?
  • Do any of our current tools compromise our patients’ comfort?
  • Have we missed potential revenue streams by not investing in new technology?
  • Where would digital equipment streamline processes and save money over time?

To evaluate your return on investment in new supplies and equipment, it takes the full view of what your practice needs to achieve peak production.

Securing durable equipment from authorized vendors means that it will likely have a longer lifetime. Trusted products that are well-designed can have a lower cost per use — all while increasing confidence and decreasing stress.

When it’s time to buy, know that there are resources to help members of organized dentistry secure the best deals. The TDSC Marketplace, an online dental supply source just for CDA members, offers sizable group purchasing discounts on 25,000 products from authorized vendors.

Through tdsc.com, members can see hundreds or thousands of dollars in savings in a single purchase. One of the site’s best-selling items is an enzymatic ultrasonic cleaner priced at 23 percent off the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. For one cleaner that retails for $2,343, that’s a savings of more than $540. And for another model that retails for $2,892, that’s a savings of more than $660.

By shopping the site and realizing savings of $500 on a curing light or $600 savings on a handpiece maintenance system, you may have the cash flow to make new purchases sooner.

However, the product’s price isn’t the only opportunity for savings. Shipping is free on every tdsc.com order. That means paying no shipping fees on that ultrasonic cleaner, while another site’s shipping fees for the exact same item are more than $40. The combination of group purchasing discounts and free shipping adds up to $700 for just one item.

Be thoughtful about your small equipment purchases, but don’t delay in purchasing items that can improve your practice’s total productivity — especially when you can do so at significant savings.

Explore the Marketplace, compare products and see savings at tdsc.com. For assistance getting your practice set up to shop, contact TDSC sales representative Ashley Reich at 916.554.5378 or by email.

This article is part 2 of a two-part series. Read part 1, “Focus on finding savings for your most-used supplies.”

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Also known as “the law of the vital few,” the Pareto principle is often expressed as 80 percent of effects coming from 20 percent of causes. You’ve likely observed this phenomenon in your own practice — whether it’s a large percentage of revenue coming from a relatively small number of procedures or a high percentage of new patients coming in from one of your many marketing efforts. However, one of the areas in which the Pareto principle is most evident is in your dental supply budget.

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. Here, an actual order from a current Marketplace shopper is broken down to highlight strengths and opportunities for further efficiencies.

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.