Updated: Feb 10, 2022
For every dental practice, reducing waste is the holy grail of great stock management.
Let's admit it: team members in many dental practices hate manually entering data into a spreadsheet. It's that tedious, repetitive task draining their energy and causing productivity levels to take a nosedive.
Can you say with confidence that your dental practice is 100% efficient with manual stock management?
Everyone in a dental practice feels the burden of the old-school spreadsheet system for inventory control.
What if we told you that these issues stem from a lack of automation?
A good stock management system means the difference between blowing the budget and having control over costs - not to mention that implementing an effective stock control system automates and streamlines stock processes, eliminating the tedious task of manually entering data.
So, let’s take a more in-depth look at these issues and how a stock management system can solve them once and for all.
Table of contents:
1. Automated Stock Control For Dental Practices: What Is It & How Does It Work?
There are two ways a dental practice can track and manage stock. There’s the hard way, and there’s the easy way.
Tracking and managing stock manually (the hard way) is time-consuming, error-prone, and inefficient. In contrast, automation (the easy way) ensures that your practice runs lean and efficiently while staying on budget.
That’s why implementing a stock management system goes far beyond the bells and whistles.
Dental practices with automated stock control can streamline operations such as stock counting, order placement, stock tracking, and shipping.
Despite this, 95 % of Australian dental practices track their inventory manually! (That’s why Invedent is proud to be Australia’s only stock management system specifically designed for dental practices).
If you’re used to counting and tracking stock manually using giant Excel spreadsheets, you may ask yourself what automated stock control is all about.
Think of a jar full of candies. You have the option of meticulously counting each piece of candy and then recounting to double-check, leaving considerable room for mistakes to be made.
This is what many dental practices have to face when it comes to stock management - manual stock processes lead to inaccurate counts, which in turn can lead to frustrated staff members and reduced efficiency.
Alternatively, you can implement a stock management system to do all the work. It’s that simple.
But first, let’s see what automation actually is.
Put simply, automation is defined as the technique, method, or system of operating or controlling a process by highly automatic means, as by electronic devices, reducing human intervention to a minimum.
A great dental stock management system must provide:
Real-time stock management (e.g., one button in/out scanning of products, insights into stock levels, automatic alerts when stock is running low, the option to manage multiple locations from one system, etc.)
Significant cost-benefits (e.g., cost-benefits resulting from stock forecasting, stock budget goals, reduced accounting fees, improved inventory turnover, etc.)
Smart recommendations for stock optimisation (e.g., recommendations to save money, semi-automated stock tracking and scanning, product expiry optimisation, semi-automated stock tracking and scanning, etc.)
Without a stock management system to automate and streamline your stock processes, your dental practice will be caught between a rock and a hard place as you will be forced to either sacrifice accuracy for time or sacrifice time for accuracy.
Implementing a stock management system is not rocket science. All you need is a device with a camera to implement a system that everyone in the practice can utilise, without the need to rely on a linchpin employee.
If you would like to learn more about how a stock management system works, please book a free discovery demo and learn how and why Invedent can work miracles for your practice.
With that in mind, let’s see how implementing a stock management system can increase the value of your dental practice.
2. How Implementing A Stock Management System Increases A Dental Practice’s Value
While every dental practice is different, they all have inventory management needs in order to ensure that their stock processes flow smoothly.
That’s why every practice will benefit immensely from an automated stock management system.
Everyone in the practice is able to manage stock
A user-friendly stock management system enables everyone in the practice to manage stock and track orders without the need to rely on a key employee.
Suppose your linchpin staff member responsible for managing stock processes leaves your practice or is unable to come to work due to sickness or a personal issue. In that case, you don’t need to stress about finding someone to replace them because every team member is trained to place orders and manage stock operations.
E.g., Invedent provides training to every staff member. We will provide you with an implementation plan that runs over a four-week period to make the transition as smooth as possible and ensure everyone in the practice is able to perform stock operations without any hassle.
Clean and organised stockroom
A stock management system will turn a messy, cluttered stockroom into a neat and tidy space.
If your stock room is messy or poorly organised, you can lose track of inventory and accumulate deadstock (which is money left on the table).
On the other hand, a stock management system allows you to organise your stockroom to make items easy to find and avoid overstocking.
E.g., Invedent helps you keep your stockroom neat and organised by telling you exactly what you need to order, when you need to order, and who you need to order from.
In addition, the system comes with a stock location feature that allows you to print one sticker and scan all of the products on the shelf (meaning you will use one single sticker to scan all products on a shelf in and out to save time and space).
Visibility into the stock value in the dental practice
Stock visibility means knowing what items you have on hand and where those items are located.
Getting insights into stock levels is paramount for efficient stock management as it allows you to manage time more effectively, increase security and quality control, and make smarter decisions when it comes to replenishment.
E.g., Invedent provides you with full visibility over your stock levels. With barcodes, you can quickly find out what you have in stock and what you don't, allowing for a more efficient use of time and capital.
Improved bottom line & inventory turnover
Have you ever calculated your dental practice’s inventory turnover ratio? Your turnover ratio will tell you exactly how efficient (or inefficient) your stock control process is. The golden number for a dental inventory turnover ratio is anywhere between 5 - 8%, while average is 9 - 12%, and bad is 13% - 16%.
Here's an example to help you gain a better understanding of this concept: suppose a patient comes in for a filling that costs $500, and the materials you use for that filling cost $50. In this case, the stock cost is 10% of your practice's turnover (meaning your practice's turnover ratio is at an average level).
But what if that same patient comes in and you can reduce the cost of filling materials from $50 to $25 because you shopped around for the best prices? In this case, the stock cost would be 5% of your practice's turnover (the magic number for your inventory turnover ratio).
This is exactly what a great stock management system does: it allows you to shop around for the best prices on materials to improve your practice’s bottom line and inventory turnover and increase profit margin.
E.g., Invedent was specifically designed to provide you with smart recommendations to save money and increase profit margin. The system enables you to shop around for the best prices on materials and estimate expenditure across various suppliers to improve patient and practice profitability.
A process that supports an accurate stocktake on the settlement date to provide transparency between the buyer and seller
When a practice is sold to a new owner, a stocktaking (or stock counting) process needs to be performed - The process of checking and recording all the inventory that a dental practice currently has on hand before closing the sale.
An accurate stocktake is imperative on the settlement date as it provides transparency between the buyer and the seller (a large part of completing a successful sale lies in building a strong relationship between buyer and seller based on transparency and trust).
E.g., Invedent helps you make your settlement day as painless as possible. Even if you do not have experience with stock processes, the system allows you to perform a stocktake within a couple of hours. Buying a dental practice can be a complex and sometimes time-consuming process, so we can help you streamline the process for a mutually beneficial sale.
Conclusion: While manual stock management is a painful task that can quickly spiral out of control, an automated stock management system will make your life so much easier!
Want your dental practice to be fully equipped to navigate the tough challenges that come with managing stock items and operations? If that’s you, start your 30-day FREE trial with Invedent to quickly free up staff for more meaningful tasks around the practice and improve the bottom line (among a myriad of other benefits).