In order to run an efficient dental practice, every office needs adequate supplies and functional equipment. Does your dental office have a protocol for ordering inventory? Is there a process to ensure necessary supplies don’t run out in the middle of a patient’s procedure? The first resource office managers and assistants turn to is your dental office manual. Set forth a protocol or procedure for ordering dental supplies. This will not only ensure that there is a standard practice in the office, but it will allow new employees to quickly gain an understanding of the procedures in place.

 

 

Follow the plan below to help you better manage your inventory process:

 

  • Create a master list. There are certain products that every dental office needs. With that, there are certain product types or brands that each dentist prefers. Create a list of the essential products you need, and the brands you prefer. The list should be assessed and edited every year. Dental products change. There may be some products that you’ve been using for the past 10 years and will continue to use, while other products change yearly with new technology. 
  • Establish a system for reordering. Ask employees to pull tags of supplies that are getting low. Designate a special document of low-supply products that all employees have access to. Take it a step further and enlist one employee to check the entire stockroom or supplies in each room once a week, based on the master list.
  • Delegate only one person to order supplies. While everyone can contribute to the list, assign just one person to do the actual supply ordering. This creates an organized environment and eliminates the mistakes that can come from having several people order (missing components, over-ordering, etc.)
  • Plan ahead. Avoid waiting until the last minute to reorder supplies. Having to pay for rush shipping and delivery fees for supplies is not a smart, cost-saving approach. Plan ahead for upcoming appointments and procedures in order to save money on unnecessary costs.

 

By having a strong system and procedure in place, your ordering process will be organized and well documented. Inventory management and control is integral to a smooth-functioning dental office. As your clinic evolves and expands, be sure to re-evaluate the processes and adjust accordingly.