Cliff's Notes

The Business of Dentistry

“A Story of 2 Dentists” – “Why Do Manufacturers Offer Free Goods” – The Smart Bur 2″

Cliff’s Notes for February 12, 2012

Cliff Marsh, Henry Schein ……Cell: 201-321-7494……Fax: 201-262-2210…..E-mail:


The reason we do what we do, is so that we can to do what we want to do, when we want to do it!

It’s a tongue twister, but working as a team and making informed decisions, will get us there.


“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

Abraham Lincoln



This Week’s Feature on the Cliff’s Notes Channel

“The Straine Effect”

Kerry Straine was voted the National Practice Management Consultant of the Year by

“Kerry Straine & Keys to Success”


In This Week’s Issue

  • A Story of 2 Dentists!
  • Why Do Manufacturers Offer Free Goods? It’s Not What You Think!
  • Product Review – Link to the Smart Bur 2 by SS White
  • Commentary for Sunday, February 12, 2012


A story of 2 Dentists……………………………………………………….

Most of you know that I am not 100% politically correct so for the purpose of this “true” story I will refer to both dentists as men, even if the fact is that there are more women dentists entering the industry.

Dr. Jim graduated dental school in 1969. The Jets had just upset the Colts and won the Super Bowl, the Miracle Mets upset the Oriels in the World Series & Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon. It was an era of surprises and success and Jim’s dental career was no different, it started off with a bang!

After graduation, Jim was mentored by his family’s dentist and opened his own practice from scratch. The practice grew, Jim raised a family and now he and his wife agreed that it was time to travel and enjoy life. It’s time for “life after dentistry”.  Although he wanted more free time, he felt that he was too young to retire and enjoyed the income and perks his business provided so in 1982 he brought in Bill as an associate and hopefully a future partner.

Bill was young and enjoyed dentistry’s new diagnostic technologies and re-constructive techniques and the patients all liked him. After a year, Jim offered Bill an opportunity to buy into the practice so they contacted their respective attorneys to work out a deal. Well, that was the first mistake. If there is anything I have learned over my 35+ years in business, it is that “when the professionals get involved, the deal can get screwed up”.

The trap that Jim & Bill fell into is that they did not understand what the professional’s roll is. The professional’s role is to provide information so that YOU can make an informed decision. In a practice sale, the lawyer’s job is to inform you of possible liabilities and offer advice to protect your future. An accountant’s job is to crunch numbers and provide detailed financial information as well as a tax plan for the next several years.  It’s your job to see the long term ROI and pull the trigger on a deal.

So, how does a “GOOD” deal get structured? You need to consult an experienced Practice Transition Specialist. A transition specialist is a neutral party that provides information to the professionals as well as successful contractual formulas. Transition Specialist can also be “practice brokers” but a practice broker is usually not a transition specialist. The explanation of the difference between the two is a separate discussion and I would be happy to have that conversation as a side bar. I can be reached @ 201-321-7494 or

Jim & Bill were developing a very healthy relationship but the deal, although eventually consummated, soured their friendship. Jim’s pot of gold turned into a pot of silver, still not bad, and Bill’s dream was delayed by several years.

A Dentist is like a fine tuned athlete, they don’t want to walk off the field. If you are a NY Yankee fan think about the relationship between Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle, it’s no different. Dr. Jim was forced to leave the practice, by contract, after the deal expired 2002 and retired to a warmer climate. In 2009 Dr. Bill brought in a new associate, Dr. Jane, and in 2010 created a win-win 5 year transition but now plans full time retirement, at the request of his wife, at the end of 2013, two years ahead of schedule. Dr. Bill learned from his past and had an experienced transition expert work with his financial advisors to help him structure an acceptable deal with Dr. Jane and a long term plan for the next phase of his life. Dr. Bill and Dr. Jane remain friends and will for many years to come.

This is a true story. Some of you may think it is about you, but I guaranty it is not. Dr. Bill is my friend and he is currently working 6-10 days per month and is enjoying his new grandchild and his 2nd home in the Florida Keys.

You see, the story is almost always the same and the outcome only depends on whether you turn right or left at the start of your journey. You are only going to transition out of dentistry once, do it the right way.

A very successful investment banker once said to me “when both side of the deal walk away from the table a little un-happy, it’s a good deal”.

Why Do Manufacturers Offer Free Goods?………………………………….

How many times do you hear “by 6 & get 1 free”? This is a standard sales technique that was designed to get you to try a product and possibly start using it on a regular basis. However, with technology now offering detailed consumer information data the concept has changed. Now you are asked to fax or mail a copy of your invoice to the manufacturer to receive your free goods.

The question most savvy consumers have is why don’t they just lower the price? Well, this is why. Millions of dollars are spent every year on market research and the data reveals that 70% of free goods are not requested by consumers and leaves the manufacturer with a straight retail sale. In a dental office, the buyer and the supply manager must communicate with each other and coordinate the requests and monitor the receipt of merchandise. If the free merchandise requests fall through the cracks it could cost the office thousands of dollars annually and with different management issues consuming time (time is money) on a daily basis, lost inventory is a common occurrence.

Inventory management automation is the only way to economically track merchandise and control the flow of “working inventory”. Many of my clients utilize the Aruba Inventory Management System, that I provide free of charge, to control and minimize inventory expenses.

Aruba software is supported by over 90% of the dental manufacturers in the U.S. and coordinates all national promotions with your purchases. On a quarterly basis all manufacturer promotions are directly down loaded into Aruba and any qualifying purchase your team makes is automatically recorded and available with the click of a mouse. POP (proof of purchase) reports created by Aruba are accepted by all industry manufactures so there is no need to photocopy or hold invoices on the side. The POP contains all rebate and contact information including invoice number, date and cost.

There is no reason your organization can’t better control the flow of your working inventory by using inventory software. The only reason it won’t work is because your inventory manager doesn’t want to use it. Now that may raise other questions, but we’ll leave that discussion for another time.

For more information on inventory management, please feel free to contact me at any time @ 201-321-7494 or

1:37Add to

Henry Schein – Why Rely on Henry Schein – Distribution for your inventory management and flow. Next day delivery & 99.8% fill rates means less inventory on your shelf, lower carrying costs, and more time for clinical production. The ONLY way to successfully reduce overhead is to increase production.


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video lang: en

Improving Production and Controlling Overhead

Kerry Straine


Product Review – SS White Smart Bur 2…………………………..

The Smart Bur 2 will not cut dentin. The following link provides detailed information/


Commentary for Sunday February 12, 2012………………………

Today is the birthday of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. When growing up in the 1960’s part of our grade school assignment was to memorize 2 historical documents. The first was the preamble to the Constitution that started off with “We the People of the United States”. The second was one of the greatest speeches ever given. It was written on the back of an envelope on a train ride from Washington DC to a small town in Pennsylvania called Gettysburg.

On the afternoon of November 19, 1863, after several hours of standing in the cold and listening to politicians make speeches, President Lincoln approached the podium. His remarks lasted only 90 seconds but summed up the belief and strength of our founding fathers.

Regardless of your political convictions, “We The People” was Lincoln’s core value. Never before or since has an American President sacrificed so much to preserve our constitution and our Union.

The Gettysburg Address

Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that “all men are created equal.”

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who died here, that this nation might live. This we may, in all propriety do. But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate — we cannot consecrate — we cannot hallow, this ground — The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have hallowed it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here.

It is rather for us, the living, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that, from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here, gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that the government of the people by the people and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.


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The Gettysburg Address As Read By Johnny Cash

President Lincoln’s message to America rings down through the ages…

Enjoy the day, enjoy your family and teach your children well….

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February 12, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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