Automated Ordering for Dental Practices: Luxury or Necessity?
Is it time to order new dental supplies?
Purchasing supplies for your dental practice isn’t quite as simple as doing your grocery shopping online.
Not only does your practice need a variety of instruments, materials, and supplies, but also needs them in the right amount, at the right time, and at the right price.
While automated dental ordering has progressed tremendously over the last few years, many practices are still stuck using manual processes dependent on spreadsheets, whiteboards, and even the age-old pen-and-paper method.
Why is it so?
Is it because ordering automation is a luxury that lots of practices cannot afford?
Current trends in the dental industry in Australia may help to answer this question and reveal why the automation of the ordering processes can be seen as a key factor in your dental practice's growth.
What Can Automated Ordering Do for Your Dental Practice?
There is a widely believed misconception that automation is more of a luxury than a necessity in the dental industry.
But nothing could be further from the truth.
There is a handful of reasons why automation has now become a necessity.
For instance, how do you know what you need to order if you don’t know how much inventory you carry?
Sure, manually counting each item you have on hand may help you get an idea of your optimal order quantity (provided that no counting errors occur).
However, that doesn’t solve other problems that your practice may face when ordering supplies, such as shopping around between suppliers or having supplier details scattered across multiple files.
Not to mention the large Excel spreadsheets with purchase data, sometimes incorrectly entered, or the paper invoices that pile up on your desk - wouldn't it be amazing if there was a solution to this?
If you really think that dental automated ordering is a luxury above standard, here’s the real truth.
Not only does automated ordering bring your practice into the 21st century, but it’s also much more affordable than you think.
Believe it or not, manual ordering is what actually holds your practice back from achieving greater profits. Here’s how:
Lack of order visibility - Most practices have a hard time accurately tracking orders and spending across multiple suppliers
Shopping around between suppliers - Manual ordering means browsing each supplier’s website, placing multiple orders, then juggling order fulfilment and backorders from multiple suppliers
Human error - Manual ordering leads to expensive mistakes, such as wrong product orders and incorrect quantities
Overspending - Not having your supplies in the same place to compare prices means you’re likely to overpay for supplies
While it’s easy to get stuck doing what you’ve always done, you should know that manual ordering can be far more expensive than automated ordering.
Now, let’s have a brief look at the essential components of a good dental ordering system and the benefits for your practice:
Bring all of your supplies to one place - With an automated system in place, you can place an order across all suppliers without the need to order over the phone, in-person and online from different suppliers
Shop anywhere, anytime - A dental ordering system makes supply ordering fast and easy, allowing you to place an order at any given moment
Automated invoice processing - With automation, you can quickly process your invoice data without spending hours for manual data entry or matching price and purchase orders
Price comparison - Having all of your supplies in one place makes it easier for you to compare prices so you can save money on your dental practice supply ordering
Visibility into stock levels - A high-quality ordering system will reference your in-stock quantities so you always know what you need to order and in what quantity
Quick access to supplier information - Automating your ordering processes means you can instantly connect all of your suppliers and access information such as account numbers, shipping, and billing details
Make ordering accessible to everyone - Automated ordering means that everyone in the practice can place an order with no experience or extensive training
However, a word to the wise: make sure you get a free trial of your ordering system so you can realise the value before you buy it and get everyone in the practice feeling the benefits.
In addition, the software supplier should ensure you’re set up properly from the start and check in regularly to make sure you and your team are benefiting from the system.