It’s not about your system- It’s about your people.
Let’s get real. Your business is about providing dental services, and your employees aren’t dental procurement professionals, nor do they care to be. Inventory control, standard procurement practices, negotiating prices, and issuing PO’s for a dental practice can all seem like more of a headache than they’re worth. And in the end, who’s going to do it right when really, nobody cares, and why should they?
In truth, you have patients to take care of, which will always come first, as they should. Your employees just want the supplies they need when they need them so they can do their jobs.
And at Method, we know that’s precisely the point.
How To Communicate Change to Your Employees
Method’s driving principle is to provide employee-driven solutions that make for a better workday while supporting your dental business’s longevity and growth through increased efficiencies, streamlined workflows, and improved profitability. And this means keeping it real.
Tasks must bring value while being real-world adaptable and scalable. Would it be nice to know what you have on hand for supplies at any given moment? Sure it would. Is it worth your time, and more importantly, your employees? Maybe not.
Implementation of new systems and processes often fails due to the lack of employee buy-in, and the setting of unreal expectations by management or third parties who lack the experience to understand the realities of day to day life in a dental practice. Tech geniuses and management with the best intentions design and implement overly cumbersome systems that make life more difficult for employees rather than help. Ongoing and accurate live dental inventory numbers are a great goal. However, even the most seasoned companies still have issues maintaining the stringent compliance this requires.
Set your employees up to fail, and they will do just that. Now, more than ever, your employees likely don’t have the time or, quite frankly, the patience. Be realistic in your goals, understand and educate your employees on the payoffs, and keep it real when setting your objectives and strategy.
And at all costs, avoid seeming like an out of touch employer who doesn’t understand the pressures they are under and is just dumping more tasks on their already overburdened shoulders. Listen to their concerns, get your buy-in, and you’ll adopt a new way of doing things that makes life easier on your people while improving your dental organization’s profitability. It’s the type of win/win that makes for long term viability for your practice or DSO.
Streamlining Your Dental Office Procedures
Today, most dental practices’ purchasing process is highly inefficient, stuck in a pattern of poor procurement and inventory practices. Passive procurement (or transactional purchasing) leaves employees in a reactive mode, ordering supplies upon shortages, reliant on online portals, emails, phone calls, and worse yet, standard pricing with little if any price shopping or negotiating.
As we explained in The Big Small Costs of Poor Procurement, the mishandling of purchases can be extremely costly to your dental business. However, it also makes for a chaotic office, affects operating efficiencies, wastes employee time, and raises headaches and frustrations. In today’s challenging environment, those who want to remain viable must learn to do things better. In the end, the efforts put into a systematic streamlined process allow employees to focus on their core competencies and take care of the patients you work hard to earn.
The purchasing of supplies may seem like a simple task. But within your organization, you have hundreds of products, likely a myriad of services, and a seemingly unending list of suppliers that greatly complicate the seemingly simple. Shifting from transactional purchasing to strategic procurement with the efficient and effective management of product listings, quotes, purchases, receipt of goods, and invoices can be all but impossible without a single, central system designed to optimize time and spend.
Yes, there will be new tasks like issuing PO’s that perhaps may garner you an eye roll or some pushback. But an organized, efficient dental procurement process pays itself back in spades, creating a systematic process that provides you the information you need to procure smartly, save money, and secures your continuity of business while improving efficiencies. It is the calm in the storm, and in learning to run a tight ship, you will make for happy sailors and sturdier travels.
In looking for better ways, many dental organizations implement inventory practices to the extreme, designing overly cumbersome processes that fail to be adopted long term. Much like Pareto’s 80/20 principle, the trick is finding the sweet spot, where time investment is minimized, frustrations are solved with user-friendly solutions, and the maximum value is extracted. It’s a win for all when you start with the right mindset, maintain a clear focus on the problems most worth solving and find the simplest solutions.
People-first processes drive compliance, and with the right systems and workflows, a little work goes a long way.
Contact Method Procurement to Ease the Burden on Your Dental Employees
Bring Method to the madness, and we’ll help you:
- Find the supplies you need when you need them.
- Hold just the right amount of inventory and free up cash flow.
- Ease your price shopping with real-time pricing for every product, from every seller, at your fingertips.
- Create, and manage Request for Quotes (RFQs) and compare responses.
- Maintain all vendor information and your full product listing in one central system.
- Make insights-driven procurement decisions fueled by accurate purchasing data.
- Gain the visibility you need to leverage your purchasing power for better costs.
- Improve your spend forecasting for more accurate budgets.
- Put an end to rogue spending and stay within budget with an electronic approval process.