Q.Do you have any advice on doing price comparisons for your stock ordering? And does anyone have a dress code policy that they are willing to share with me?
A.In regards to stock comparison I simply called up each supplier, Henry Schein, Dental Directory, Red Apple & Try-care (as these were suppliers who we could do our weekly bulk stock order with) and asked what discount they were willing to give us based on an average spend of X and went from there. We use Try-care at present as they are most reliable and can source 90% of the products we use, the remainder comes from optident and QED.
A.I always rather hesitant to do this as I thought it would be time consuming task. However, I have successfully done this myself, and believe others have tried it too.
The best way is to forward the invoices of items that you order regularly to the companies that offered you to review or match the your existing costs so you end up conveniently ordering your regular items from one place rather that bits and pieces through many different ones.
I understand it can be time consuming to get this all sorted but it is well worth it in the end (it certainly worked well for us)
We successfully transferred majority of stock to Precision Dental (based in Borehamwood from Budget Dental). You would think nobody can offer better prices than Budget Dental or Dental Directory but it turns out that it is all possible. You won’t know until you try and I certainly would encourage you to find some time one day and go for it.
I understand, that you will never be able to just use one company due to the variety of products and individual dentist's/practice's preferences but it would to make things easier with your everyday items/ disposables and it works quite well. Its time saving for you and reduced expenses for the practice.
A.The stock comparison question is a good one and I wish that there was an easy answer! We have on occasion emailed our whole stock list off to a large supplier to try and reduce the burden of time we spend on ordering. In reality they have never been able to match the ‘specials’ price that many organisations offer and we have never found one company that covers even 75% of our stock needs so it wasn’t worthwhile. I guess the corporates will do companywide ordering which may well be easier for them?
Re: Dress code.
Our nurses and clinical staff all wear a tunic (Simon Jersey & Co) – we order and pay for these for them. If they are full time they have 3-4 and if they are part-time they have 2. We fund them to buy their own black trousers (fit has always been an issue with ‘work wear’ companies) up to £35 per item. Generally the staff buy from the high street at shops that are sized appropriately for them – usually this is M&S, Next or Top Shop/Man. They all wear croc style closed toe shoes, which again we buy.
Reception staff get a one off allowance of £100 to buy smart shirts and trousers/skirts. We do not have a dress code other than ‘smart’ for reception and admin staff, although we have name badges and a ‘meet the team’ board so that everyone knows who we are.
Finally, we brought a washing machine and tumble dryer a couple of years ago and so staff take it in turns to put a load on – this means that we need less uniform; we cover compliance issues over the temperature that clothes are washed at and moving dirty clothes to and from work.