Communicate clear processes for inventory management

Any workplace expectation is not likely to be adopted to your standards if it’s simply assumed to be known or is casually communicated. When it comes to inventory management, in addition to assigning accountable individuals to specific roles, be sure that documented expectations are included in your onboarding and training processes.

As you organize your inventory system, consider the following efficiencies:

  • Track all aspects of inventory control in a single place. Whether in a desktop binder or on a shared computer drive, create separate logs for your small-equipment inventory, handpiece inventory and handpiece repairs, as well as a file for supply invoices.
  • Create a “master supply list” and review it at least once a year. This list can be helpful in educating new staff on the practice’s preferred products and vendors. And it can be used as a guide when comparing prices or considering making changes. Be on the lookout for ordering multiple brands of the same product. It’s generally more economically efficient to select a favorite and use it throughout the office.
  • Use tdsc.com features to streamline the purchasing process. The site was designed to leverage group purchasing power to save CDA members money on dental supplies, but it also has great features to save time.
    • Saved Lists allow shoppers to quickly order frequently used items. And multiple custom lists can be saved for specific purposes (disposables, pharma, seasonal supply needs, etc.)
    • Compare similar products’ prices and features side by side to find new favorites and ways to save.
    • Order History is easy to navigate and shows clear product details and pricing to make reordering or reconciling the budget easy.

Whatever your practice size and structure, establish a process that works for the culture of your team. Remember that consistent practices support your success, and be sure to recognize and celebrate dental supply savings along the way.

This article is part 2 of a two-part series. Read part 1, “Choose the right people for inventory management,” published earlier this month.

To learn more about how TDSC can help streamline purchasing and help your practice save, visit tdsc.com.

Related Items

Many practices rely on a single point person for inventory control, and the role tends to default to a dental assistant. However, inventory is not a task but rather a system — one that needs the right point person for some processes and the whole team for others. As with most processes, practice leadership must establish, document and assign specific roles and responsibilities. Here are four inventory management roles and guidance for filling them.

Searching for better prices can seem like a daunting process, even with the convenience of 24/7 shopping sites in place of brick-and-mortar stores or paper catalogs. How can you efficiently evaluate your ordering and find ways to save? Ask an expert to do it for you. CDA’s newest subsidiary, TDSC, an online source for dental supplies, has a team that will research and compare prices for members through a no-cost, no-obligation service.