Cliff's Notes

The Business of Dentistry

Dental Consumable Analytics Control Your Overhead in Real Time!


The American Dental Association has been tracking dental office operating expenses for years. Every area of organized operational data was collected from responding ADA members by a series of Q&A’s. With this data available you can evaluate your overhead investment and possibly plug up some of those holes in the ship that you didn’t know were there. Your category spend information can be found on your P&L statement and if the data was entered correctly the calculations are very simple. A certain percentage of the practice’s gross revenue is assigned to each business category (i.e. rent, salaries, supplies, lab, etc.) and now you have the information to formulate a practical budget.

A Practical Budget … It is hard for a “fluid” busy dental practice to budget consumable products and anticipate growth. But, there is a method and formula that works. Larger business always have operational budgets for both consumable and revenue generating investments. Note the word “investment” and not “expense”. Everything a business does should be looked at as an investment with a predictable return. A dental office’s quarterly investment on consumable supplies is one of the smaller line items on a financial P&L but one of the most fluid and requires time and effort. Time is money and the investment in supply ordering time should be considered as part of your “supply spend” budget.

Supply Spend … Most dental practices are small business. A small business in the U.S. is a company with gross revenues under $50M and most private dental practices fall in the lower end of that number. The process of supply procurement is usually given to a team member with instructions to “get the best deal”. That is a consumer mentality and not practical for an on going business. The ADA, through member research, reported that the average dental practice invests 6.5% of their gross production on clinical supplies. Inventory management is controlling that number (not line item cost) and getting it as low as possible while investing the least amount of time on this “non-revenue generating operational task”. A predictable working budget is based on accurate and detailed analytics.

Detailed Analytics … In today’s fast paced economy, everything is based on data. Is there any one supplier that can provide analytical reports on everything you use? Probably not because your spending time shopping for the cheapest price and not the overall value. Value is reducing that 6.5% to 5% or less and shifting “shopping time” to productive time and increasing revenue. What is value? It is competitive pricing, fast delivery, 6 or better inventory turns per year, minimal back-orders, and detailed analytics on product usage with experienced consultation free of charge. Detailed analysis will breakdown products by categories, quantity, spend, and manufactures. With this information you now have “buying power”. But, how do you get there and how do you start?

How do you get there? … Data entry is the key factor and maybe the hardest part. But, I can take most of that burden off your shoulders. I have the analytical formula and the software programs to organize the supply data and give you all the information that is needed to establish a formulary that will achieve multiple inventory turns, reduced lost inventory, create a predictable budget, and get your supply spend below 5%. It’s time to reduce the inventory footprint on overhead. Please feel free to contact me at any time with any questions or concerns.


July 29, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment