Cliff's Notes

The Business of Dentistry

OMG! They Charge for Everything!

Yes they do and anyone that tells you different is either misleading you or is just wrong. It’s true that when you begin using an impression scanner you eliminate 90% of the costs of the materials and accessories but there are other expenses that kick in after the warranty period. Annual software support is the new “consumable” product and you need it!

Consumable Product … What exactly are consumable products? They are the things you use that need to be replaced. Prophy paste and impression materials are consumable products. Your handpiece is not, however, the replacement turbine is. When U.S. Defense contractors sell planes and tanks to the government, it’s the parts contract that yields the profits. Over a span of 10 years where have your individual patients spent the most chair time? Maybe hygiene? Hygiene is an on going consumable product. What’s happening in dentistry is that consumable clinical product is being replaced with technology. But, every action has an equal or opposite reaction.

The Reaction … Sticker shock is never fun. Unfortunately, most consumers don’t look at the whole picture when purchasing equipment or technology. They look at the sticker price and not the operational costs. Most new clinical technology requires technical support. After the warranty period there are annual contracts that provide on-line monitoring and live log-in assistance, these services are needed and have to be budgeted as on going operational expenses. The new technology and necessary software will reduce the amount of clinical materials you need to invest in, but it will not save you money (equal reaction) but it will allow you, if used correctly, to be more productive in all of your profit centers

The Profit Center … Have you recognized your profit centers? Do you understand your profit centers? Within any business there are multiple areas of revenue transfer.. Some those areas produce negative revenue but they help off-set their own operating costs by enabling other areas of positive revenue to be more productive. A marketing department is a perfect example. Although there will almost always be negative revenue, marketing can increase patient flow thus increasing production and revenue. So, how can the cost of annual software support add to your profit centers? It can’t, unless you engage the entire wheel.

The Wheel … Running a dental practice (health care business) is not easy. Every department within the organization needs to produce positive results and communicate seamlessly with the other departments. The front desk needs to have smooth communication with clinical, financial, and marketing departments. In some offices one person may be responsible for several departments making software and technical support critical in juggling everything effectively. In a large office where several team members are involved communication is even more important as is security. Consider your support as part of your insurance risk management program.

Risk Management … Protecting yourself and your business is a top priority. Take a look at the things that will shut you down and cause financial and emotional stress. These areas need to be protected and supported. What is your disaster recovery plan? Prevention should be part of it and technical support contracts are part of that.. It is all part of running a successful business in the 21st century.

June 20, 2017 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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