Do You Have A Plan?
Individuals and businesses wishing to achieve a goal must have a business plan. Where a company puts its’ focus and resources is very telling and can have a huge impact on goal achievement. External forces and unforeseen distractors are a reality in business but when you have a business plan, your decisions (adjustments and corrections) are made with the plan in mind, thus keeping you on track.
The following are just a few examples and questions that a strong business plan may include.
- What is it that you do?
- Who do you serve/sell/manage?
- How do you rank your activity and performance against the competition?
- Who are your competitors? What is their marketing strategy?
- Does your marketing strategy support your brand and provides distinctive benefits to
your target customer?
- Benchmarks and revenue forecasts
- Investor Deck and Pitch Deck to attract investment and talent
The development of a business plan allows you to examine your business with great clarity. It provides you with a deep dive about your industry and your place in it. It keeps you organized, honest and committed to your long term strategy. A good business plan is a work of art. It is a comprehensive tool that requires an incredible amount of research, introspection and analysis. It is developed with a goal in mind. It creates a road map that allows us to monitor progress, measure performance, capture team engagement and to an extent, control our fate.
The Upside of Dental Distribution (the collaborative dealer representative) Changing the role of the dental distributor representative Distributor sales representatives are arguably the best “free” part time employee a dental practice has. They can do so many things for the dentist and they generally do them as a courtesy. They make their contacts and resources available to doctor and the dental team. They expose the doctor to unique opportunities and when the relationship is collaborative, they’ll hold the doctor accountable, just like a partner would. Today, the dealer has a broad offering of business services and many of them are through strategic partnerships with (best in class) vendors.
The top 10% of dental dealer representatives are very resourceful. They fold neighboring practices into their better clients practice(s), they introduce buyers and sellers and have relevant connections with traditional and private equity financers. In addition, many have recruitment prowess because of their reputation and relationships with hospital residency programs and dental schools. Besides the; grow, sell and acquire attributes of the best dealer reps, some are certified in CPR, OSHA, HIPPA or have operational and insurance coding expertise. But just like every other industry, distribution is changing. It is estimated that over 82% of all the commerce driven by dental facilities is done with a distributor. A significant portion of the business is e-commerce and the web business will continue to grow. This change along with a massive consolidation in dental facility ownership, will result in less manufacturer and dealer representatives over time. The better sales professionals know this and are trying to figure out how to remain relevant to their clients, employer and the communities they serve. Distribution is a dentist’s best resource and vendor partner. Distribution partners, like Henry Schein Dental, provide a broad range of products and services that the dentist can rely on. Where there is a strong doctor/dealer relationship, we see revenue producing collaboration as the norm. No other vendor partner is as familiar with the clinical and operational workings of the dental facility. The truth is, no vendor partner cares as much about your success as your dental dealer rep. His or her success is dependent on their clients prospering. Why not create a competitive advantage through greater efficiency and better customer care? Work with your dealer representative to make this a reality.
Here are seven critical areas for the dealer rep and dentist to focus on in 2017
*Product procurement (reduce sundry expenditures by focusing on net cost, inventory control and product selection). Every client should receive a detailed purchase report showing all the items they have purchased with frequency and their annual spend from their dealer representative. An examination of the clients data will identify unique spends (one time purchases), duplications in inventory, opportunities to buy in bulk or on deal. A review of all the supply invoices (office, cleaning and dental supplies) should be conducted to evaluate product options and cost containment. Once the supply management piece is managed, a discussion regarding electronic order placement, E-catalogs, buying formularies, inventory control, loyalty programs and strategies for improving cash flow should take place.
*Equipment/Technology utilization and management (survey existing technology for integration, utilization and need). The dealer representative should audit the clients existing equipment and he/she should schedule a preventive maintenance appointment for the client. This will document the condition and operational integrity of the offices existing equipment. The preventive maintenance service call is proactive and much like winterizing your car. The tech will only do maintenance and preventive service during this service call. The hope is to reduce emergency downtime and maintain your equipment investments. When discussing equipment, it’s important that the doctor and representative make an honest appraisal of the staffs utilization and competence on the equipment. Sometimes a little training can have a significant impact on usage and revenue. During this process, the representative should identify technology that is considered standard of care or new technology that may enhance the facilities offering and revenue stream.
*Assess the engine [PMS] – It’s a good idea for all dealer reps to evaluate their clients practice management system and its utilization. It is recommended that all hardware and software components be checked annually to see if they meet the demands of the organization and are operating at peak performance.
Most healthcare facilities are moving toward a paper-less environment if they are not paper free already. The doctor and dealer representative should discuss a timeline for going paperless (chartless). The dealer representative should take this opportunity to familiarize their client with the benefits of cloud computing. As we continue to see more offices with multiple locations, and more cyber-attacks, cloud computing will become more desirable. On the topic of PMS the dealer representative should introduce other software products that will aid in the practices growth or operational efficiency. This is the perfect time for the dealer representative to schedule a demonstration of Dental Practice Pro with the clients data loaded into the program. The DPP business platform will convert the doctor’s transactional patient data into useful production and financial data. The client will be amazed at their own statistics in a colorful and user friendly interface.
Other areas to discuss at this juncture are voice over IP phone system and their inherent benefits. Lastly, the dealer rep must work with his client to maximize the usage of their patient communication program. Programs like Demand Force, offer a great deal more than patient confirmation and reactivation benefits. They have great marketing tools to help the office attract new patients and inspire 5 star web reviews.
*Restorative Dentistry – In this era of digital dentistry and the new digital workflow, the dealer representative should ask his/her client if their definition of restorative dentistry has changed. The dealer rep should know if their client is a member in a local study club or if they have attended post graduate curriculum like PankeyTM, DawsonTM or LVITM. This information will allow the dealer representative to better understand the doctor’s clinical perspective. During this conversation about restorative dentistry, it is important for the dealer representative to know a little bit about the office’s participation or lack thereof regarding PPO insurance. The client’s insurance engagement is a major factor that can affect the doctor’s decision making and technology acquisition pattern.
For the restorative dentist, digital scanning, CadCam and 3D imaging are on the horizon. The dealer rep must discuss the benefits of same day dentistry with their clients. SDD (Same Day dentistry) is when procedures are recommended and done that same day. When a hygienist identifies a cavity and the dentist performs the restoration that day, the client is already doing same day dentistry! The next step is doing same day crowns!
When discussing trends and movements, it’s important for the dealer representative and dentist to follow the money trail. Have you noticed that the key manufacturers and distributors are immersed in digital dentistry? They are building a world class infrastructure to sell and service these technologies by hiring technical professionals with 2D/3D imaging, CadCam and 3D printing experience. Another way to confirm the speed at which these technologies are becoming main stream is to look at the dental schools. YES – most dental schools and residency programs have joined the revolution and are embracing CadCam and 3D imaging. I believe the dealer representative has a responsibility to support his dental community and to inspire his/her clients to remain relevant by incorporating technology that attracts associates and future practice buyers.
*Business Solutions – What do you need from us? This is the number one question a dealer representative should ask his client. HSD has built an entire division dedicated to the education of progressive dentists interested in improving their management skills. The curriculum is geared towards entrepreneurial dentists who want to grow their skill set, build a corporate structure, improve operational systems and/or attract investment. During this meeting about business solutions, the dealer representative must ask the doctor if they’ve considered outsourcing certain processes. Remember, not that long ago, dentists did a fair amount of lab work and most did their own payroll. Today, many dentists do little, if any, lab work and the majority of dentists use a third party like ADPTM or PayChexTM to do their offices payroll and benefits.
A strong dealer representative will ask his better clients if they’ve considered hiring a consultant to streamline office processes, to establish revenue producing systems and to help them build a powerful brand. The better consultants average over a 30% growth in collected revenue within the first 18 months! Visit the HSD Business Solution Website to see all the services available to you from a company you’ve learned to rely on https://www.henryschein.com/us-en/sites/wedothat/coding.html Any dentist looking to scale should attend DBI (Dental Business Institute).
*Financial Services – Among the best tools a dealer representative has in their arsenal are their financial services. Every dentist needs “Make and Save” services. HSFS (Henry Schein Financial Services) offers equipment and project financing, corporate credit cards, third party patient financing, demographic reports, credit card processing, debt recovery, credit score enhancement services, school loan financing and other financial solutions to manage your business needs. Visit https://www.henryschein.com/us-en/Dental/Services/Financial/fsbsc.aspx for more information.
*Technical Services – As we continue to see our industry digitize, the dealer rep must be focused on technology and connectivity. The integration and compatibility of the technology in the dental office is a significant concern. Who is responsible for the design, integration and management of your clients IT department? Is the client happy with the connectivity, ease of use and performance of their equipment? Is their data backed up on the cloud and can their service provider access their system remotely? Have they received comprehensive training of their PMS and the technology in their office? These are the questions a progressive dealer rep must ask. It is the dealer reps responsibility to make sure his clients are not operating on 6 cylinders when they have 8 cylinders under the hood.
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Dental Practice Pro (DPP) is the industry’s leading cloud based dental business management software. It turbo charges your current practice management software with Automated, Actionable and Accountable reporting. DPP offers a Free Business Analysis by connecting to the offices existing practice management software and providing the practice with a comprehensive overview of dashboard reports. These automated reports such as production versus collections, patient statistics, and a comprehensive financial analysis save their clients precious time versus manual monthly reporting. Many facility owners and managers are interested in growing their EBITA. DPP allows you to manage your business and focus on key production and performance indicators which improves your statistics. Schedule your Free Business Analysis now! http://www.dentalpracticepro.com/