The State of Dental Procurement in 2020 – A Global Survey of DSOs

Group Dentistry Now is the official media partner for Open Room Events’ DentalForum USA’s annual meeting. This event is Open Room’s largest event in the world and is unlike any other event in the DSO space. DSOs and emerging dental groups are matched with vendors and are given 15 minutes to discuss synergies and opportunities before the next 15 minute meeting takes place. The event is fast-paced, highly productive and gives both DSO and vendors multiple networking opportunities. This year the DentalForum USA event will take place in Austin, TX on December 9th and 10th. The DentalForum USA event will now be virtual. Details coming soon.

Last year, Group Dentistry Now and Open Room surveyed DSO DentalForum attendees and DSO and emerging dental group subscribers of Group Dentistry Now for our first ever DSO Procurement Survey. This survey, ‘The State of Dental Procurement in 2019,’ was presented during the opening session by Bill Neumann. Review the 2019 survey – HERE.

This year, we reached out to DSOs and emerging dental groups in three different geographies to get a global perspective on dental procurement. We sent the same survey to North American DSOs, European DSOs, and to DSOs (Corporates) in the United Kingdom.

  • The survey was made up of 10 questions
  • 65 DSOs and dental group practices responded. 38 from North America, 21 from Europe and 6 located in the United Kingdom
  • At least 7,100 dental practices were represented in this survey – 5,325 in North America, 445 in the United Kingdom and 1,330 in Europe
  • The average time to complete the survey was 3 minutes and 55 seconds 

The survey is very similar to questions from our 2019 survey, with some additional questions regarding PPE and additional product needs given the COVID-19 pandemic.

The findings of the DSO procurement survey can be found below. We break out the data and answers to each question by geography: North America, United Kingdom and Europe.


Upcoming DentalForum events include:


1.) How many dental practice locations does your DSO / dental group currently have? 

North America (37 responses)

Europe (21 responses)

United Kingdom (6 responses)

 

 


2.) Who makes the decisions for what products become “preferred” or become part of your formulary? [Check all that apply]

North America (38 responses)

Comments from survey participants: 

Compliance Director is involved at our DSO. [26 – 50 locations]

We have mobile clinics and receive feedback from clinicians and other team members.  [51- 150 locations]

Europe (21 responses)

Comment from survey participants: 

COO and Clinical Board [11 – 25 locations]

United Kingdom (6 responses)


3.) How many people at your dental group are involved in the purchasing / procurement process?

North America (38 responses)

Comments from survey participants:

Include Clinical Council members, Business Owners and Senior Leadership (depending on dollar value) [301 + locations]

While we have a small procurement team (4-5 members), we have a number of staff that support the purchasing process (managing trials, evaluating product, researching/advising, etc.) [301 + locations]

The Dental Cooperative does not purchase inventor and distribute. We forge partnerships with vendors and co-op members are flagged in each vendor’s database for negotiated discounts and benefits. [301 + locations]

Europe (21 responses)

United Kingdom (6 responses)


4.) Average length of time for a product to become “preferred” or part of your formulary

North America (37 responses)

Comments from survey participants:

We base it on order history for existing product as it based on demand. If it is a new product that we like and want to support for clinical or financial improvement, we may add it to the preferred formulary from the start.  [301 + locations]

It depends on the product. The closer the product is to the patient’s mouth, the more clinical review/validation is required. Trials lengthen the process. [301 + locations]

Europe (21 responses)

United Kingdom (6 responses)


5.) When purchasing a product or service, rank the following by importance [1 being very important – 6 being least important] 

North America (38 responses)

Note: The higher the score in the table the more important the choice is. 

Europe (21 responses)

Note: The higher the score in the table the more important the choice is. 

United Kingdom (6 responses)

Note: The higher the score in the table the more important the choice is. 


6.) Do you offer clinicians multiple product offerings within a category? ie – 2 or more types of composite, etc. 

North America (38 responses)

Comments from survey participants:

Maximum 2 products per category [301+ locations]

Depends, PPE materials wherever we can get them. In more regular times, one per category. [301+ locations]

Europe (6 responses)

Comments from survey participants:

We prefer not to [26 – 50 locations]

It depends on procedures, but we try to stick to one type. [51 – 150 locations]

United Kingdom (6 responses)


7.) Rank the list of ways you prefer a vendor to introduce their products and / or services to your DSO? [ 1 being the best way to contact you, 6 being the worst ] 

North America (38 responses)

Note: The higher the score in the table the more important the choice is. 

Europe (21 responses)

Note: The higher the score in the table the more important the choice is. 

United Kingdom (6 responses)


Note: The higher the score in the table the more important the choice is. 


8.) If you have preferred products or a formulary, approximately what is the percentage of clinicians that adhere to the formulary? 

North America (38 responses)

Comments from survey participants:

Every benefit offered to member dentists is by choice. The Co-Op does not own dental offices or employ dentists. As a result, when 50-70% of our members participate…or actively purchase from one of our preferred vendors, it’s a sign of success

Europe (21 responses)

United Kingdom (6 responses)


9.) How difficult has it been to acquire personal protective equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 pandemic?

North America (38 responses)

Comments from survey participants:

Fortunately, we acquired additional stocks of PPE starting in Jan 2020 [ 1-10 locations ]

The large majority is misrepresented, over-priced product from companies dabbling in PPE sales to off set their normal business. Counterfeit, fraud short shipper and cancelled orders are frequent. [ 301 + locations ]

Very difficult but we have been successful at acquiring what is needed to keep our practices doing dentistry. [ 301 + locations ]

Getting better as time goes on. [ 301 + locations ]

Sadly, had more success obtaining from non Dental and non Medical supply vendors. [ 11 – 25 locations ]

Europe (21 responses)

United Kingdom (6 responses)

Comments from survey participants:

Some things easier than others [ 1 – 10 locations ]


10.) Are you evaluating any new products or services as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic?

North America (38 responses)

Comments from survey participants:

Telehealth, text bot check in, central pharmacy. [ 11 – 25 locations ]

Protect equipment [ 11 – 25 locations ]

KN95s/N95s and fit test [ 151 – 300 locations ]

HVAC Filtration and disinfection products [ 1 – 10 locations ]

External evacuation systems, air purifiers [ 26 – 50 locations ]

Reusable gowns [ 51 – 150 locations ]

Aerosol mitigation products [ 51 – 150 locations ]

PPE and air systems [ 301 + locations ]

UV lights, air purification units, visors, plexiglass, wall separations [ 301 + locations ]

Decontamination products [ 151 – 300 locations ]

Face Shields, Respirators, Infrared Thermometers, Fit Testing, PPE Sanitizing Services [301 + locations ]

Face shields, masks, disinfectants [ 51 – 150 locations ]

Teledentistry and additional vendor partners with access to PPE [ 301 + locations ]

Masks, foggers, gowns [ 26 – 50 locations ]

Teledentistry [ 301 + locations ]

Face masks, shields, disposable medical robes and sterilizing/cleaning products [ 51 – 150 locations ]

Europe (21 responses)

Comments from survey participants:

Solutions to increase clinical productivity [ 11 – 25 locations ]

Aerosol reduction systems; high-suction evacuator [ 151 – 300 locations ]

Air cleaners [ 51 – 150 locations ]

Cassette autoclaves, protective glasses and face shields [ 11 – 25 locations ]

PPE [ 1 – 10 locations ]

United Kingdom (6 responses)

Comments from survey participants:

Oral scanners, virtual consultations [ 26 – 50 locations ]

Mask, gloves, visors, air filtration units [ 301 + locations ]

Change supplier [ 11 – 25 locations ]


See the 2019 State of Dental Procurement Survey RESULTS


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