Dental Inventory Management

Managing dental inventory can be an exhausting task.  From specialist materials, like veneers and dental crowns, to utility equipment, including dental compressors and amalgam separators, dental inventory management requires a lot of patience and a thorough step-by-step process. Even the most competent organizers can get overwhelmed seeing a dental supply cabinet.  Products that are expired or lacking can spell a recipe for disaster. Imagine finding out you ran out of porcelain jacket on the day someone has a scheduled procedure. That’s a big oops right there!

The good news is that there are many things you can do to make dental inventory management a seamless and smooth-sailing process. In fact, that’s what this post is all about: Helping dental practitioners streamline their inventory system.  Let’s get started!

tools on table dental inventory management

1. Identify the Items You Want to Control

Determining the items that require control is one of the first dental inventory management strategies you should apply. Pay attention to items with a short shelf life, as well as your premium and expensive products. You might also want to list down all the items that take up a lot of shelf space, even if they’re inexpensive items like paper towels or patient bibs.  Also, make a list of items that are accessible to anyone in the dental office who’s authorized to take them out of inventory.  

2. Create a Product Log

Once you’ve identified all the items that need control, your next step is to make a log. It will serve as your initial monitoring and accountability tool for any dental items that enter and leave your stockroom.  The log should include all the important details, such as the name of the item, the date and time taken, the quantity, and the name of the staff taking the product. That way, you can keep track of everything while building a culture of accountability at the same time.  

3. Establish a Simple Ordering Process

Another effective dental inventory management technique is to simplify your ordering process.  Create a manual that shows the following information:  

  • All your items
  • Where you ordered them
  • Order budget
  • Order schedules
  • Payment schedules
  • Location of the products
  • Contact details of the suppliers
  • How to carry out any special requests

4. Stick to Your Budget

It’s always a good idea to set up a budget that you’ll commit to.  Remember, your goal here is to avoid overspending at all costs. You don’t want to put your dental practice in jeopardy because of this.  That’s why you need to keep an eye on any changes in the prices of your items. Perform a month-to-month comparison of the prices of your supplies, after which you compare your expenses from the previous year. Be sure to include the anticipated growth to determine the increase in supply costs. As much as possible, focus on spending 5% to 7% of your gross profit on your monthly dental stocks.  

5. Assign Someone to Take Charge of Dental Inventory Management

Since taking care of patients is your top priority, you can have somebody else managing the movement of your dental inventory and ordering supplies. This person can be the lifesaver you’ve been looking for all this time. For instance, they’ll ensure that no double orders shall take place, giving you  an extra peace of mind. They can also provide you accurate information regarding the dental supplies and timely purchases. They’ll know where to find a certain item right away, and they can determine if anything’s almost low on supply or missing from the shelf. Plus, having someone in charge of dental inventory means forming a trusting relationship with your suppliers. Suppliers will only talk to one person whenever it’s time to place new orders. Once you have these suppliers genuinely supporting your dental practice, you can expect faster deliveries without having to worry about possible unfair charges and rates.  

6. Minimize Orders If You Can

For a streamlined ordering process, you’ll need to keep your orders as few as possible.  Reducing the instances of making large orders will do you wonders. Not only will it save you money and resources, but it will also allow you to stay on top of your dental inventory. An overflow of supplies will no longer be an issue you’ll face, reducing your storage costs in the long run.  

dental office with two chairs

7. Invest in a Dental Inventory Management Software

Nowadays, more and more dental offices have become reliant on technology to make life easier, and we definitely can’t blame them! You may not be somebody who likes to follow trends, but this one could be an exception: Invest in a reliable inventory software. You’ll thank yourself for it. Here are five of the best options to choose from:

Sowingo

A mobile and web-based dental inventory management platform, Sowingo prides itself as one of the country’s leading dental inventory systems. The software package is hard to beat, thanks to its affordable pricing and easy-to-use features that go beyond just inventory control. Since it’s a cloud-based service model, you can instantly access purchasing analytics and usage reports wherever you are.

Key features:

  • Purchase orders
  • Medications
  • Implants
  • Sterilization and compliance record keeping
  • Marketplace
  • Spend and usage reports
  • Certifications
  • Cloud-based system

To make your life even more convenient, it offers a a free demo, online and phone training, and webinars.  

ZenSupplies

With ZenSupplies, managing your dental inventory will be as easy as 1-2-3.  From allowing you to reduce costs and oversee inventory impeccably to giving you access to real-time product reviews to keep you updated on the latest products, it has everything you’re looking for in a dental inventory management software.

Key features:  

  • Ability to build internal processes around your inventory control system
  • Access to major dental distributors
  • Real-time inventory tracking from anywhere
  • Invoice management  
  • Track orders and deliveries
  • See and interact with analytics
  • Set alerts, promotions, and reminders
  • Cloud-based system  

Aside from a free demo to walk you through, ZenSupplies also features a video demonstration of the product, as well as tutorials, on their website.  

SurgiCare Software

If your dental office has high volumes of inventory control needs, you just found yourself the perfect solution.  While it is designed for both medical and dental practices alike, SurgiCare Software comes with plenty of powerful features that can come in handy for your clinic. You’ll know what they are below.

Key features:

  • Preference card tracking and maintenance of dental products
  • First-in, first-out inventory control
  • Fully customized reporting platform for dental offices
  • Track expiration dates and set alerts for shortages based on scheduled procedures
  • Track vendors and serial numbers
  • Integrate purchase orders for more control and tracking
  • Automate day-to-day tasks like ordering, checking backorders, taking physical inventory, and checking stock levels
  • Cloud-based system

Free demo? Of course! Free training? Absolutely! You can even book an additional training!

Grasshopper Mouse

Grasshopper Mouse isn’t just another top software for dental inventory management - it’s actually the first one developed specifically for dental practices by dental professionals! What’s great about Grasshopper Mouse is that it features a full suite of products needed to run a dental practice efficiently, and inventory control is just one of them. Dentists with this software can gain access to consulting services from the parent company to help them streamline processes in their offices.

Key features:

  • Automatic alerts for low stock, product and warranty expiring, free goods due, scheduled maintenance due, and more
  • Tracking of promised free goods, backorders, and returns
  • Sorting of supplies by location
  • Warranties on all scanning equipment
  • Serial number tracking and pricing comparison
  • Cloud-based system

Free demo is just a call or email away, though you can simply request one on their website. You can get initial training upon adoption, whereas ongoing training is available upon request.  

Dentsoftware

Want to know what makes Dentsoftware stand out from the rest?  Apparently, it’s one of the only “complete” dental inventory management and organization management software packages available on the market. Software packages only focus on one area, but Dentsoftware had to go the extra mile by including both in one package!  

Key features:

  • All-in-one inventory and clinic management system
  • Control inventory, reception, communication, and appointments
  • Add-on or removable modules
  • Customizable master data
  • Dental reception management
  • Dental billing and insurance
  • Dental charting
  • Suitable for small and large dental offices

You can either schedule a free demo or watch the demo video on the website. Training is available through the demo or upon adoption.  

dentist sitting in chair

You’re All Set!

Applying these dental inventory management strategies will certainly keep your inventory game on point.  While we’re no experts in managing dental inventory, we at Digital Resource can help grow your dental practice.  

Whether it’s to boost your social media presence or optimize your dental website, our team of digital marketing specialists will gladly work with you to get you ahead of your competitors.  Get in touch with us today. You’ll be glad you did.