Where does MSRP factor in your supply costs?

The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is the price at which the product’s producer recommends it be sold to consumers. Depending on wholesale cost, competition and other factors, suppliers often sell products for less than MSRP; however, dental practices too often pay in excess of this suggested price.

Now, supply pricing is getting more attention, as illustrated by the 2018 Morgan Stanley Research presentation “Trends + 5 Five Key Forces Reshaping the U.S. Dental Market.” When considering a purchase, dentists rated “quality” as the most important attribute of dental suppliers. In fact, this attribute was rated the leading factor by 64 percent of dentists in 2017. By 2018, quality was still at 53 percent, but price had grown from 19 percent to 22 percent. Outside of quality, price was rated to be more important than all other factors combined and “relationship with sales representative” was a leading factor for only 1 percent of respondents.

The good news is that practices don’t have to sacrifice the supplies they love or the brands they trust to control costs. Increased awareness about MSRP and transparency around current pricing allows you to make more informed purchasing decisions.

The Dentists Supply Company’s online shopping site, tdsc.com, is dedicated to providing dental association members with competitive supply pricing. While building product-by-product price comparisons for its shoppers, the TDSC team observed two alarming trends: Many practices were paying more than MSRP with their current suppliers, and the price spread for the exact same supplies was wide from practice to practice.

Here’s how those price discrepancies broke down:

  • Product profile: CaviWipes Disinfecting Towelettes

The MSRP for a 160-count canister of these disinfectant wipes is $11.99. A major supplier is charging one practice $12.95 per canister and another practice $8.95. At tdsc.com, the same product is $9.58 (20 percent savings compared to MSRP).

  • Product profile: Microbrush Tube Series

The MSRP for a 400-pack of these applicator brushes is $34.99. Another major supplier is charging one practice $48.99 and another $36.00. At tdsc.com, the same product is $28.01 (20% savings compared to MSRP).

  • Product profile: Septocaine 4% with Epinephrine

The MSRP for a 50-pack of anesthetic cartridges is $48.49. Yet another major supplier is charging higher than MSRP: $52.95 for one practice and $55.85 for another. At tdsc.com, the same cartridges are priced at $43.42 (10 percent savings).

Avoid being overcharged for essential inventory. Start by aligning overhead ratios with increased awareness about the true cost of supplies and how your practice stacks up against standards.

Shop online for dental supplies and see clear prices compared to MSRP. Explore The Dentists Supply Company’s catalog or request a price comparison at tdsc.com.

This article is the second in a two-part series. Read part 1, “Five questions to ask about your supply send.”

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In most areas of practice, dentists want their offices to exceed expectations. The friendliest staff. The best treatment outcomes. The happiest patients. However, your practice should endeavor to conform to the norm in at least one area: overhead expense ratios. Managing variable expenses, like dental supplies, means that your practice can keep more of what it earns.

Have you heard the story about the woodcutter who was so busy chopping down trees that he didn’t take time to sharpen his ax? Perhaps you’ve even become a woodcutter in your own practice. It can be challenging to exit the whirlwind of activity to take the steps that make your practice more effective and efficient. The good news is that there are opportunities to sharpen your ax every day — especially when it comes to cost reduction and inventory control.