Episode 631: Finally a Solution To Supply Ordering

office supplies Jan 19, 2023

Spiffy Tiffy is giving advice gathered and perfected from hundreds of dental offices on how to track and control your budget and supply flow. The tips she shares in this episode will help your office implement a tracking system that is key to making supply acquisition more efficient and ultimately cheaper.

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0:00:05.6 Kiera Dent: Hey, everyone. Welcome to the Dental A Team Podcast. I'm your host, Kiera Dent, and I had this crazy idea that maybe I could combine a doctor and a Team member's perspective. Because let's face it, dentistry can be a challenging profession with those two perspectives. I've been a dental assistant, treatment coordinator, scheduler, filler, office manager, regional manager, practice owner. And I have a Team of traveling consultants, where we have travel to over 165 different offices, coaching teams. Yep, we don't just understand you, we are you. Our mission is to positively impact the world of dental, and I believe that this podcast is the greatest way I can help elevate teams, grow VIP experiences, reduce stress and create A teams. Welcome to the Dental A Team podcast. Hello, Dental A Team listeners. This is Kiera, and you guys, I'm so excited for consultant take over. Guys, that was me attempting to sing into this microphone for you, and I hope you loved it. Today, consultant take over. Grab your pens, grab your notebooks, bringing in the heat today, and as always thanks for listening and I'll catch you next time on the Dental A Team podcast.

0:01:10.3 Tiffany: Hello, Dental A Team listeners, this is Tiffany. And you're here on the Dental A Team consultant take over, where we, the traveling Dental A Team consultants, take over the mic from Kiera and we share tips and tricks from hundreds of offices nationwide. Today, you've got me Spiffy Tiffy aka @Tiffany [chuckle] as your consultant. I'm doing a solo cast today. I have spent a lot of time this year actually helping a lot of practices develop some supply budget and tracking ideas for their practices. I think one piece of overhead that we have a lot of control over is our supplies and making sure that we're running that off of our budget is super important. Coming out of COVID shut downs into 2020 and 2021, our supplies were kind of all over the place. We've been trying to figure out where are they landing, what are they going to be. Everything was a little bit high gloves and all of those personal protective.

0:02:14.2 Tiffany: Those PPEs, right? They started costing a lot of money after we came back from COVID. We needed a lot more gloves, we needed a lot more masks, all of those things, and we were just ordering them more and more and more. And then they ramped up the costs, so our supply budget changed completely. We used to say like a measly 3-5%, and we liked 5%, then it was kind of like a 5-8% for your supply budget, and I think that we're really starting to settle down. We're starting to see companies have more products. We're starting to see a lot of those costs, not necessarily dip, but maybe level out a little bit better than what they were before.

0:02:44.4 Tiffany: So finding a budget, tracking it, has become more and more important. Again, this is an easy space of overhead that we can take and we can really adjust to what we need it to be. This is a space that you have control over, and I want you to take control over it. I want you to understand what supplies you have and what supplies you need. So let's talk budget first. I have a lot of practices that I've realized don't actually know what to do or how to set a budget. They know, "Okay, well, my overhead says percentage-wise that my Back Office or supplies ordering should be about 5% of my overall overhead," but I think what's not understood, is that a really easy way to ensure that your overhead stays in that 5%, I still say like to 7% or 8% bracket to stay in there, a really easy way to do that is to look at last month's collections and take 5% of that and make that your supplies ordering budget. So whatever last, whatever you did last month, you say, "Okay, 5% of that can be dedicated to my Back Office supplies." You tell your lead Dental assistant or whomever is doing your supplies ordering, "This is your budget for this month."

0:04:03.4 Tiffany: So if we're in December, we want 5% of November's collections, and that's the amount that we have in total to order in December. Now, how do you track this? I'm gonna say it. I'm old school when it comes to tracking. Because I think simple is always better, and if it's not broke, don't fix it. You guys may have some ideas. I want to hear them. If you do, if you have a system that you love, if you've got something that's working, send it in. We wanna hear about it at [email protected] My simple, simple method is an Excel spreadsheet, guys. I'm not joking. Excel spreadsheet. I do the same thing for my personal finances. I do the same thing for my Christmas presents. Everything goes into Excel spreadsheets because I think that they're really easy to access. They do the work for us. And they are time over time, proven to be true, so I suggest creating one in a Google drive, if you guys have a shared Google Drive for your practice or just on a shared drive at the office. I would say tracking supplies can be really easy.

0:05:12.4 Tiffany: I was gonna say is easy, easy, but we can make it difficult if we want it to be difficult. It can be really easy. What I would do at the beginning of each month, if I were the ordering assistant, is I would say, "Okay, what was 5% of last month?" Then meet with the office manager. I'd say, "Okay, what's my budget? Great, thank you." I'd plug it into my Excel spreadsheet, and for the orders that month, I would have an Excel spreadsheet that I plug everything into and I'd watch how much money I'm spending. So I'd say, "Okay, I need to order X amount from Henry Schein. These are the things that I need. If I subtract that from my budget, what do I have left?" It's that, literally that simple, guys. You can track it on the Excel spreadsheet. I would have Henry Schein order date amount, and then maybe even a hyperlink to an ordering sheet so that I could double-check later and make sure, "Okay, I have got everything I was supposed to. It's this amount. This is what we were charged. This is how much of my budget I have left." I would put on there Darby. I would put on there anything that I've ordered from.

0:06:08.5 Tiffany: I know that there are some companies out there that you guys are ordering maybe Botox from, or your implants, parts and pieces, all of those things are gonna go on that Excel spreadsheet for me, and I'm gonna deduct every time I order from that supply budget and then it's gonna continue to tell me, there at the bottom of the excel spreadsheet, how much money I've spent and or how much I have left, whichever way is better for you guys, is how it's going to go.


0:06:35.6 KD: Hello, dental A Team listeners. This is Kiera. And you guys, how was your 2022? I want you to look back and tell me, was it the year of years, or was it a really hard year. Did you crush it, or did it crush you? This is the time, guys, for end of year Dental A Team Platinum is welcoming you, where we will physically fly to your practice. We will come and we will elevate your dreams and make them into a reality, and guys, space is limited and prices are going up. This is not a sales pitch. This is not something where I'm trying to scare you into it. I'm just facing the reality of inflation is here, flights are expensive, and I want to see as many people as we possibly can and serve as many as we can, so if you wanna be part of our elite group of people, there are limited spaces, 'cause our consultants can only see as many. We are taking on 10 new Platinum offices by the end of the year, and that's it. That's all we have space for. So if you wanna be one of the elite 10, Come join us. Be a part of our top notch elite doctor community, be a part of our office manager and hygiene and front office communities, get your operations manual done and live the life that you've only been dreaming of today.

0:07:49.3 KD: Email me, [email protected] and make 2023 truly a year that's unforgettable. We are a complete tax right off. And like I said, we are only taking 10 offices, so don't get left behind. Be one of those 10, and I cannot wait to give you the biggest warmest Welcome to completely and utterly changing your life for good. Welcome to the Dental A Team. I can't wait for you to join us, [email protected], cheers to 2023 and making you your best self yet.


0:08:23.3 Tiffany: So, you guys, get to create that, but I want you to understand again that that supply budget is coming from last month's collections. 5% of your collections should be dedicated to your supplies ordering. Easy Excel spreadsheet is the way to track it, in my opinion, again, because it's easy, and if you guys know me at all, you know that I really, really, really like easy. So I like to make things easy for you, and that means finding an easy way to figure out your budget, last month's collections, and finding an easy way to track how you're ordering. A lot of practices struggle with tracking what you need to order, and there are a million ways to do that, you guys. You just have to figure out what works for you. Hey, there Excel spreadsheet trackers. I love Excel spreadsheet trackers for this because I like to be able to track not only for the ordering assistant, but for the doctor as well, to see how much do we keep on hand of all of the items, right? So it could say Gluma, two. It could say gloves, boxes of gloves eight. And so then when I go in as the ordering assistant and I look at my sheet and I say, "Okay, I should have eight glove boxes on hand," and I look and I see three, "Okay, great, I need to order five. I need two Glumas on hand, and I only have one in the fridge, which means one's in use, I need one more," or one's gone, "I need one more so I have two in the fridge."

0:09:52.7 Tiffany: So how many of each product do you wanna have on backstock, so that that's what they're refilling. Practices shouldn't be refilling what you need, because if you have to order what you need and you're in use of it and it's out, what are you gonna do? You should be ordering what's in backstock. You should be replenishing the backstock so that you're never in that dire need. Other practices will have the tag system. I think the tag system is great. You put the tag on the last product, the last piece of the product or whatever, when you need to order it. So if you needed eight glove boxes and at five glove boxes, you wanted to make sure that you ordered enough to supply eight, you would put that tag on that number five glove box. So when somebody takes that number five glove box, they put the tag in the ordering envelope, and then the ordering assistant takes the envelope, dumps out all the tags orders what's needed, and then when the orders come in, take the tags and place them on the products, super simple.

0:11:05.8 Tiffany: Another way to do it is, gosh, a whiteboard. The easy-peasy whiteboard in the sterile, right? So when that last thing is taken, somebody writes it on there. Now, the only caveat to the whiteboard system, is if you're trying to backstock things, you're trying to order the backstock, you have to have an easy rule of thumb. So if all products at the second to last box need to go up, totally fine, but if not all products at the second to last box need to go up on the ordering board, and maybe one needs to be the very last or one needs to be the fourth from last, that's where it gets confusing and you're gonna end up being short on products depending on where different things are at and where they need to be ordered. Okay. But it could work. I do think implementing some sort of tracking system like the tag system or an Excel spreadsheet that your ordering assistant can easily go through is key to make it faster, easier, more efficient, and spending less money per order. Okay, so efficiency is always best. Having a system in place, meaning each product, when do you need to order more of that product to order for your backstock. If you have a steadfast role of second to last, it's not always going to work.

0:12:29.0 Tiffany: Okay, your composite isn't gonna be the same ordering necessity as your gloves. It just doesn't work that way. Your Gluma probably isn't the same as your composite. All of those things are gonna be needed at different times, your anaesthetic, your gloves. All of those things might be needed on a different frequency. So you need to know how many of each item you need to have in backstock, so that they can replenish the backstock. So save money by replenishing the backstock, so you're not ordering out of need. You can watch for sales, save money by having a simple system that tracks what you need and where you're at with different products so that again, you're not spending money on last minute orders, and then also save money by utilizing a budget, 5% of last month's collections should be this month's ordering budget.

0:13:29.2 Tiffany: Another really key way to saving money is to not order all the time. I have seen practices that order once a week, that order, when the ordering assistant can, that order when they need something, and there's a lot of things that can be missed in there. I think there's a lot of mis-orders. There are things that are ordered that maybe aren't needed, there are things that are needed that don't get ordered. There are things that are ordered out of price bracket because we need it, and it's not on a sale right now, and also duplicates, right? How many times have we ordered something and then been like, "Shoot! I don't think I did order it," and we order it again, and we end up with double. And shipping costs, if you're paying shipping costs for any company, do it once a month, okay?

0:14:04.4 Tiffany: I really, really, really prefer a once a month, bulk order, and then a smaller secondary order if it's necessary. So beginning probably mid-month, maybe second week of the month after collections has closed for last month, second week of the month, make your bulk order last week of the month, just double check and see, "Okay, what's my budget that's left? Do I have anything else that I need to order this month before we roll into next month?" Those are my tips and tricks, you guys. Supply budget based off of last month's collections. Find a system that works for you. Time-true is the tag system. We've been using it for, I don't know, 30 years or something like that, because it works. Excel spreadsheet tracker for your budget and for your supplies, how many should you have in stock, how many should we have on backstock and when should you order. And then ordering once, maybe twice per month, will cut down on a lot of your costs and a lot of your missteps in your ordering. Alright, who's ready to take control of your supplies and your budget? Go budget, go track, go implement, talk with your ordering assistant, come up with a plan and implement it right away, test it out.

0:15:18.8 Tiffany: Next month might be ugly, next month might be like, "Oh, my gosh! This sucks. This is so insane. And it's topsy-turvy and everything's upside down," but guess what? The next month is gonna be like, "Okay, I'm kind of getting the hang of this. It's still a little topsy-turvy, but I think I like it," and the month after that it is gonna be really fantastic, and you're gonna see that you're overhead, you're able to control that part a little bit better. So supply budget and tracking, go get on it. That wraps up the dental A Team Podcast take over. Let us know what you think, you guys. I told you, we love hearing from you. We really really do. We wanna know what you think. We wanna know what you wanna hear. We wanna know all the things, so drop us a five-star review or email us over at [email protected] Thanks so much for listening and we'll catch you next time on The Dental A Team Podcast.


0:16:10.8 KD: And that wraps it up for another episode of The Dental A Team Podcast. Thank you so much for listening, and we'll talk to you next time.



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