Understanding and Evaluating GPOs and Procurement Platforms to Streamline Your Supply Ordering Process

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As the dental industry continues to evolve, new solutions are emerging to make the ordering and management of dental supplies simpler and less costly—which frees up resources for you to further invest in patient care and grow your practices.

Two of the most powerful solutions for practices to utilize today are Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs) and Procurement Platforms. We’ll break down how you can use these tools to your advantage below.

Power in Numbers

A GPO allows multiple individual dental practices or DSOs to come together and negotiate better costs on consumable supplies, equipment and maintenance, lab costs, technology, insurance plan alternatives, and more. There are multiple dental GPOs available to join that offer various additional benefits. It’s important to consider what your practice needs from a GPO to ensure you select the one that will provide an optimal return on your partnership. For example, Dental City brings partnerships and savings when working with AbellaAR, Plan Forward, Dental Whale/Dental Fix and Impact Digital Marketing.

One factor to consider is simply the products or manufacturers that a GPO offers reduced costs on. If these don’t match up with the current supplies you use, then it will not be a good match for you. A GPO should optimize your practice’s performance without the need to compromise on the products you use, or the level of patient care you provide.

Additionally, you should also verify that the ordering process you prefer to use is compatible with the GPO. Dental City, a distributor with 30 years serving dental practices, works with multiple GPOs to offer members their reduced supply costs in the most streamlined way possible. Their expertise in the dental product supply chain, combined with reduced supply costs from your GPO partner, allow practices to maximize ordering efficiency and focus more on patient care and practice growth.

Supply Ordering Simplified

In addition to partnering with a GPO, another smart solution for dental practices to reduce the time, effort, and funds needed to order and manage dental supply inventory are procurement platforms.

Purchasing and managing dental supplies—otherwise known as procurement—will only become more complex as materials and supplies continue to evolve in the industry. Therefore, selecting a procurement solution for your Dental Service Organization (DSO), Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) or independent dental practice is a critical tool to help streamline your supply ordering process.

An effective procurement platform will provide a variety of benefits, including:

  • Identifying ordering patterns to better predict what supplies you will need and when.
  • Provide formulary management and compliance to include a complete overview and control of your practice formulary (which we’ll touch on below.)
  • Analytics that indicate areas to reduce supply costs, identify product usage patterns, identify areas of opportunity in your ordering pattern and more.

Before selecting a procurement solution, you must determine your supply formulary. This formulary is the list of dental supplies and preferred suppliers that your practice regularly uses to have what you need to treat patients and maintain optimal performance.

With your formulary in place, you can input that into a procurement solution to start using a more efficient and intelligent ordering process—where you shop the items you need in one singular place versus calling on or visiting the websites of multiple distributors. Your formulary can also be tied into your GPO, so you receive your negotiated pricing on the items in your formulary.

When you are ready to find your ideal procurement platform solution, there are several factors to consider:

1. What accounting and ordering solutions are you currently using?

    • What about these systems work well?
    • What would you change or what do you think is missing?

2. What level of integration with your accounting system will a new procurement solution need, if any?

    • Will there be custom formularies for each practice or location to integrate? Or one general formulary if you’re a DSO or GPO?
    • Will the system help with budgeting?
    • Will the system manage payments for the supplies?

3. Will the procurement solution be needed for all locations of your practice or just some or would it be based on other criteria such as region, practice size, etc.?

4. How will the procurement solution integrate with your distributor and manufacturer partners?

    • Note that a higher level of integration will provide better insights into product availability, shipment tracking information, and more.

5. Will the new solution be easy to adopt and use?

    • Who will primarily use the tool?
    • How many people will use the tool?
    • What is their comfort level with learning new technologies?
    • What training and support is available for the tool?

There are many procurement solutions available for dental professionals. Doing a thorough review of what your practice, DSO or GPO needs will ensure you select the tool best suited for you. Once in place, it will help maximize your efficiency and ensure you have what you need when you need it without overstock or wasted supplies.

While it takes some up-front work, securing a partnership with a GPO, ordering through a procurement platform—or both— using these tools will help increase your practice’s efficiency and profitability. So will working with a distributor like Dental City that is embracing the evolution of the dental supply ordering process and helping their dental customers reap the benefits of these changes. Dental City has built a powerful procurement solution, Sherpa Dental, which provides all the tools to help your dental practice meet the changing dynamics of the dental profession.

Get started on taking your practice to the next level with new supply management solutions today!

If you have questions or want to know more, Dental City can help
provide guidance in determining which GPOs, technology, and
procurement solutions would offer the best custom-tailored
solution for your office with no obligation.

Contact Jordan Lorenz at 800-353-9595 Ext. 167
or JLorenz@dentalcity.com.