I was meeting with a fellow dentist over a month ago to help her with her high dental supply costs. The numbers just looked off. Looking further, her supplies were more than 7% of her net production. This was a huge number I must say.
As we went through the products that she frequently ordered a few of them stood out for pretty high rates. Yes, the others were high too and needed trimming. One of them, however ‘fluoride varnish’ was in fact off the market price rates with up to 5% in additional costs.
And while we got talking, I remember saying to her, “Dr. Molly, your overall supply costs look pretty high. What have you been doing to control it?”
She stuttered a little and responded, “You know my supply rep handles the inventory plus all my supply purchases for me. It takes away some pressure off my plate.”
That was the banger!
What Wrong with Using a Sales Rep?
Let’s hit it off with a simple question that explains it all. Take an example of two fluoride varnish packs from the same brand; same packaging, same sizing, and same everything but with different price tags – one costing more and the other less. Which one would you go for; the one that costs more or the one that costs less?
Most people will go for the latter – and that’s right. So, why should the same product from the same manufacturer cost more when you order? It all boils down to one thing, using a sales representative like my fellow Molly was doing.
Why do I say so?
Sales reps are simply salesmen. At the end of the day; they are looking for fat commissions to take home and a fat paycheck. So, what will they do?
Sell you stuff.
Sell you more stuff
Set the price as high as possible
Get the biggest commissions they can from you.
How Much Do Sales Reps Really Cost
I was telling Dr. Molly that the difference between the actual price of the fluoride varnish she was ordering and the real price she was paying was the cost of the sales rep. And when we looked at it we found out it was huge!
These guys at the end of the day want to keep their job. They want to be seen to be working. They want to get as much money as they can from you. And believe it or not, that’s the way it goes.
And it’s not Dr. Molly alone. Most dentists and hygienists often brush off the hassle of going through supply under the thought that they are saving time. As a dentist I understand how tight your schedule can be; but my, if you need to trim the loose ends, you must put some work on it.
6 Ways to Pick the Right Fluoride Varnish Supplier
So why be bossed around when you can find a great fluoride varnish supplier on your own? Like I was telling Dr. Molly after we went through her supplies; there are some cool tricks that you can use to get the supply bar right / getting the right supplier.
Do a Background Research
This is the rule of thumb. Before buying any dental product from any supplier, make sure that you do a thorough background check. Look through the registry to find out if the supplying company is duly registered under the law. Is it accredited, licensed, and above all that approved by the right bodies to supply dental care products?
Some of the most vital information that you should pay attention to when doing a background check on any supplier/ company include:
Parent Name of the Company
Date of Inception
Location of the Company
Ask for Free Samples
Most free samples don’t usually have to be paid for. And because you are going to buy in bulk, I suggest asking for a free fluoride varnish samples from the supplier. The free samples that you have asked for can also be issued for free trials in case a patient is willing to go that direction.
With these two combinations, you will be able to tell if the fluoride version that you intend to order really works. Ask yourself the following:
Does it provide the results that it promised?
How long does it take to see any changes?
How long does it take to get the results you yearn for?
Focus on Quality
Whether dealing with any other dental product or focusing more on fluoride varnish, you must always determine the quality of the product before you can actually order for it in bulk. Your supplier should give you the chance and every information that you require to determine if the product is of quality or not. To mention but a few, you can always pay attention to the following:
Date of Release
Allergen Free (No gluten, peanut allergies, and dyes)
Sweetened for Kids Use – Is it tasty?
Can You Buy Online?
If you didn’t know, ordering your fluoride varnish through an online supplier has its advantages. One of the best advantages is you can always save a lot of money that would have otherwise gone to middlemen.
Your varnish will come straight from your supplier to your dental facility at affordable cost and all you have to add on top is the shipping fee where applicable. This cuts costs and leaves you with one of the most affordable purchases.
This will also allow you to maximize the profit while at the same time giving your patients some of the most affordable products.
Look at Reviews/ Recommendations
90% of the people who buy some form of products often do so after getting hits from their loved ones. As a dentist, going through your fellow professionals, asking from your professional associations, or looking through online reviews by previous dentists who ordered the same product from your company of choice will be of help.
If you choose this method to round up the best fluoride varnish supplier, I suggest focusing more on the following:
Reviews found on top-rated e-commerce websites
Reviews that look much more objective
Following your gut all the way through
Going with registered dentists
Finding professional associations for recommendations
Ask for References
Talk to your fellows to find out the experience they had with the suppliers. This will give you a great pointer on what to expect when you order. It will save you money that would have otherwise gone to waste and a lot of time that would have been wasted on excuses on delayed supplies.
References are a great option if you are ordering for the very first time. You can then contact the references that you have been given through phone, emails, or visiting them physically if they have agreed to a one on one meeting.
The good thing is I was able to help Dr. Molly straight up. Right now, she has lowered her supply costs with a huge margin. But unlike Dr. Molly, you might not be here with me. That’s why I have singled out this product and given you a smart choice on how to cut on dental supplies costs.
You can replicate the same to other products that you are ordering and end up with timely and cost-effective supplies for your dental facility. You will find a reliable supplier with a larger market presence and one who will definitely meet your expectations.