At CureMint, we’re committed to driving down costs as we help your dental organization reshape its supply procurement strategy. In this blog series, we’ll guide you through nine easy steps to drive down your dental supply expenses so you can better manage your finances and become more profitable in the dental industry.
Clinical trials have concluded. Your CETs have approved products, and the trial results have been analyzed. You’ve solved any possible pricing irregularities and determined the best compromises between product quality and price. Now, it’s time to separate the wheat from the chaff.
In this part of our nine-step process, we’ll combine the results of trials, price comparisons, and negotiations to finalize your choices for the best supplies at the best price for your dental organization. There may be some bumps in the road as we enter the home stretch of our nine-part process. However, if you have taken ample time for clinical trials, smartly selected the best products, and given your staff plenty of notice, you’ll smooth out any issues your team may experience and start saving money.
STEP SEVEN: FINALIZE SUPPLY CONSOLIDATION
After completing Step 6, you’ll have a list of the highest-scoring supplies from clinical trials. You’ll want to isolate these winners and keep them on your Primary Formulary. Spending off your Primary Formulary will form the majority of your dental organization’s budget, so reserve spots on this formulary for the most-essential supplies which everyone uses. Vendors you’ve consolidated to will likely also be on the Primary Formulary.
Any other products your organization will keep ordering will now be placed on a Secondary Formulary, set up in the same format as your primary. Once you’ve finalized consolidation, you will remove all other products in each category from the Primary Formulary and place them on the Secondary Formulary, leaving each trial-approved product on the Primary Formulary. The Secondary Formulary will be for any particular supplies that certain staff members just can’t live without or specialty supplies your office rarely orders.
Tell your clinical staff of upcoming changes to your office supply lists immediately after you’ve reached final choices for the Primary Formulary. It’s best to notify doctors, dental assistants, hygienists, and any other relevant staff members as soon as possible so they can prepare for changes. In fact, a good standard to live by at this stage is over-communication.
We’re going to take a second to underscore over-communication during this step. Ensuring everyone on staff is crystal-clear on supply changes will ensure closer compliance with the new formularies, so you should have a strong communication strategy in place. One hard-and-fast rule we like to apply in this stage is, “Third time’s a charm” — in other words, notify your offices on three separate occasions before completely overhauling the formulary. The first notification should proclaim the winners of the CET trials, scores, product information, where to order the products, and which products will be moved to the Secondary Formulary. Secondly, drop a friendly reminder that the change is imminent; a week before is a good benchmark. Finally, the day before implementation, remind your staff once more of the changes in the formulary. If you only drop one or even just two notices of supply changes, you run a high chance of confusion — if not outright animosity — over the changes. And the last thing you need is a team of furious dentists on your case. However, you shouldn’t have much trouble if you’ve been open and upfront about the formulary changes and given plenty of notice for the final consolidation.
With this step complete, you might think you can coast to victory. Well, sorry to break it to you, but your work has just begun. In our next installment, we’ll be going over how to track and manage your formulary saving so all your hard work will not be in vain!
Keep a lookout for Part Eight: Tracking Spending & Managing Formulary Compliance