July 28, 2023
Discover valuable insights and expert advice on optimizing inventory management in orthodontic practices with ODL. Join Tom and TJ Wright in this enlightening discussion as they delve into various strategies for minimizing waste, reducing unnecessary transportation, and streamlining workflows. Uncover the potential benefits of adopting indirect bonding methods, outsourcing lab materials, and using cutting-edge technology to enhance accuracy and productivity. Whether you’re a practice owner, orthodontist, or dentist, this episode provides valuable tips and actionable steps to help you grow your practice, increase efficiency, and maximize profits. Partner with ODL to unlock the key to seamless inventory management and take your practice to new heights.
[00:00:00] Inventory Management in Orthodontic Practices
[00:00:29] ODL Podcast Discusses Inventory Management in Orthodontics
[00:01:18] TJ Wright’s Experience with Practice Inventory Management
[00:02:20] Lean Manufacturing and Minimization of Waste
[00:04:09] Tom Wright Discusses Efficient Inventory Management and Transportation in Business Practices
[00:05:26] The Eight Wastes in Motion and Transportation
[00:06:28] Efficient Inventory Management in Dental Practices
[00:09:24] Impacts of Inventory Waste on Orthodontic Practices
[00:12:13] Discussing Staff Training, Defects and Inventory Management in Orthodontics
[00:16:39] Managing Inventory in a Dental Lab or Clinic Using Kanban
[00:23:09] The Impact of Indirect Bonding on Practice Inventory
[00:26:42] Outsourcing Lab Materials: An Effective Approach for Orthodontic Practices
[00:29:44] The Benefits of Lab Managing Software for Practice
[00:33:46] The Advantages of Purchasing Products in Kits from a Single Vendor vs. Multiple Vendors
[00:36:18] Holistic Treatment Approach: Boon for Patient Retention
[00:39:12] Benefits of Using Lab-Held Inventory for Dental Practices
[00:45:12] Effective Management of Inventory in Orthodontic Clinics
Topics: Inventory Management, Excessive Transportation, Indirect Bonding
In this brief discussion, Tom and TJ Wright explores the concept of inventory management in orthodontic practices, focusing on the impact of excessive transportation, motion, and use of indirect bonding. They emphasize the balance required in managing perishable items to avoid wastage and the potential benefits of adopting indirect bonding method.
How does excess transportation and motion lead to wastefulness in inventory management?
Excess transportation and motion in inventory management can lead to wastefulness by increasing the risk of damage, loss, or expiration of perishable items. Keeping inventory in multiple locations increases the chances of mishandling or misplacing items, resulting in unnecessary waste.
What is the impact of using indirect bonding in a practice?
Using indirect bonding in a practice can have a significant impact on inventory management. It allows for more efficient and precise placement of orthodontic brackets, reducing the chances of error and minimizing the need for extra inventory. This can lead to better inventory control, cost savings, and increased overall efficiency in the practice.
How can indirect bonding help with inventory management?
Indirect bonding can help with inventory management by reducing the number of orthodontic brackets needed in stock. Since the brackets are custom-made for each patient, only the required number of brackets is fabricated, eliminating the need for excess inventory. This allows practices to minimize waste, optimize inventory levels, and improve the overall efficiency of inventory management processes.
[00:00:00 – 00:00:24] “I think it could make a huge impact on inventory, specifically.”
– Excess transportation and motion can lead to wastefulness in inventory management. – Perishable items should not be kept at each chair to avoid expiry and waste. – Using indirect bonding can have a significant impact on inventory management. – Indirect bonding could help reduce excess inventory and wastage.
Topics: Inventory Management, Orthodontics, Lab Experience
In the third episode of the ODL podcast, Tom Wright and guest TJ Wright discuss inventory management in the world of orthodontics. They offer insights from their perspective as lab professionals managing large volumes of inventory. The conversation aims to provide an educational understanding of inventory from the lab point of view.
How does inventory management impact a dental practice?
Inventory management is crucial for a dental practice as it directly impacts the efficiency, profitability, and patient experience. Proper inventory management ensures that the necessary supplies and materials are readily available when needed, reducing downtime and delays in treatment. It also helps prevent overstocking or understocking of items, which can tie up valuable capital or lead to missed opportunities for revenue. Overall, effective inventory management improves workflow, reduces costs, and enhances the overall patient experience.
What are some common challenges in inventory management for dental practices?
Some common challenges in inventory management for dental practices include accurately forecasting demand for supplies, controlling costs while maintaining an adequate stock of items, managing expiration dates and obsolescence, and dealing with the logistical complexities of ordering, receiving, and organizing inventory. Additionally, staying organized and keeping track of inventory levels can be a challenge, especially when multiple locations or providers are involved. These challenges can lead to inefficiencies and financial losses if not properly addressed.
How can dental practices optimize their inventory management?
Dental practices can optimize their inventory management by implementing several strategies. First, it is essential to conduct a thorough analysis to determine the ideal par levels for each item based on demand patterns and lead times. This will help prevent both stockouts and overstocking. Utilizing inventory management software or systems can streamline the ordering and tracking process, enabling better visibility and control over stock levels and reordering. Regularly reviewing and updating inventory records, including expiration dates, can help minimize waste and obsolescence. Finally, leveraging partnerships with trusted dental suppliers, such as Orthodontic Design and Lab, can provide access to a broader range of products and expertise, reducing the burden on inventory management.
How can partnering with Orthodontic Design and Lab benefit dental practices in terms of inventory management?
Partnering with Orthodontic Design and Lab can provide dental practices with several benefits in terms of inventory management. ODL has a wide range of products and materials readily available, reducing the need for the practice to carry excessive inventory. This not only helps free up valuable storage space but also reduces the risk of stockouts and obsolescence. ODL’s extensive experience in the dental industry allows them to provide valuable insights and recommendations on inventory management best practices. Additionally, their dedicated customer support team can assist with order management, tracking, and any inventory-related issues that may arise, ensuring a smooth and efficient process
[00:00:30 – 00:01:04] “Know, we talk to thousands of orthodontists all the time and throughout our lab and orthodontists have a very interesting perspective on inventory. But as a lab, we have to hold a lot of inventory, so we have a very interesting perspective on it too.”
– The podcast is focused on discussing inventory in the orthodontic industry. – The guest, TJ Wright, has extensive experience with inventory. – The hosts mention that orthodontists have a unique perspective on inventory due to their profession. – The hosts state that as a lab, they also have a unique perspective on inventory. – The intention of the podcast is to provide educational information about inventory, rather than sell any products or services. – The hosts want to share the questions they receive about inventory to provide useful information to listeners.
Topics: Practice Inventory Management, Medical Supply Logistics, Orthodontic Practice Operations
In a discussion between Tom and TJ Wright, TJ shares his experiences with practice inventory management at a large orthodontic practice. The practice consisted of six locations spread around Western New York, with the furthest two locations being 40 minutes apart. His primary roles included ordering supplies for the entire practice and distributing these supplies across the locations.
What is TJ Wright’s experience in practice inventory management?
TJ Wright has experience in practice inventory management from working in a large practice with six locations. He was responsible for ordering supplies for the entire practice and distributing them to the different locations.
How many locations did TJ manage in the practice?
TJ managed six locations in the practice.
Were the six locations spread out?
Yes, the six locations were spread out around western New York. The farthest apart locations were about 40 minutes away from each other, but they were relatively close together compared to the population density and patient needs.
Who is the target audience for this QnA?
The target audience for this QnA is orthodontists, dentists, and practice owners looking to grow, increase efficiency, increase profits, and potentially partner with ODL.
[00:01:25 – 00:01:47] “Before I was at ODL, I worked in a large practice with six locations, and one of my roles in those offices was to do the ordering for the whole practice, but also to disperse the supplies out to the six locations.”
– TJ’s experience in practice inventory management includes working in a large practice with six locations – Their role in the practice involved ordering supplies for the entire practice and distributing them to the different locations – The six locations were spread out around western New York, with the furthest distance between them being about 40 minutes – Despite the distances, the locations were relatively close together in relation to the population density and patient needs
Topics: Lean Manufacturing, Minimization of Waste, Defects
Tom Wright from ODL discussed the importance of minimizing waste in a lean manufacturing environment, with a special focus on defects being the main cause of waste. They also mentioned that overproduction and waiting time are other forms of waste. In the discussion, it was clear that the aim is to increase value and reduce non value-added time.
What are the eight wastes in a lean manufacturing atmosphere?
The eight wastes are defects, overproduction, waiting, unnecessary transportation, unnecessary motion, excess inventory, over-processing, and unused employee creativity.
Why are defects considered the mother of all wastes?
Defects cause extra cost, waste, and time as they often require reworking or remaking the product.
Can you give an example of overproduction waste?
Making too many hamburgers at McDonald’s or producing T-shirts without any orders are examples of overproduction waste.
What is waiting waste?
Waiting waste refers to the time spent waiting for the next step or process to occur without any productive activity.
How can waiting waste be minimized?
Waiting waste can be minimized by finding productive activities or tasks to be done during the waiting time, reducing non-value added time.
What is excess inventory waste?
Excess inventory waste occurs when there is more inventory than necessary, tying up resources and capital that could be used elsewhere.
Why is it important to minimize non-value added time?
Minimizing non-value added time helps to reduce costs and increase efficiency, ensuring that time is spent only on activities that add value to the product or service.
How can non-value added time be reduced?
Non-value added time can be reduced by analyzing processes, identifying and eliminating non-essential tasks, and finding ways to streamline operations.
Who is the target audience for this Q&A?
The target audience for this Q&A is orthodontists, dentists, practice owners who are looking to grow, increase efficiency, increase profits, and potentially partner with ODL.
[00:02:30 – 00:03:17] “Defects are the mother of all waste because they cause so much extra cost, so much waste, so much extra time. And so that inventory really goes into defects as well.”
– Waste is a concept in lean manufacturing – Inventory is one type of waste – The eight wastes in lean manufacturing are: defects, overproduction, waiting, non-utilized talent, transportation, inventory, motion, and excess processing – Defects are considered the mother of all wastes because they result in extra cost and time – Overproduction occurs when too many products are made without demand – Waiting refers to non-value added time – Utilizing non-utilized talent is important to minimize waste – Transportation is a waste that occurs when unnecessary movement of materials or products happens – Motion waste refers to unnecessary movement or actions – Excess processing occurs when more steps or activities are done than necessary.
Topics: Transportation Efficiency, Inventory Management, Just in Time Inventory
Tom Wright broaches the topic of transportation and inventory management within business practices. He emphasizes the need for efficiency in both areas, citing transportation within a workspace and the concept of Just in Time inventory as critical factors. By optimizing inventory and reducing unnecessary movement, businesses can cut down on wasted time and expenses.
What are some areas of waste in dental practices?
Some areas of waste in dental practices include excessive transportation between practices or within the practice itself, inefficient inventory management resulting in overordering or ordering items too early, and excessive production or overbooking of appointments.
How does transportation contribute to waste in dental practices?
Transportation can contribute to waste in dental practices by consuming valuable time and resources. Excessive travel between practices or within the practice itself adds up over time and can be a significant waste of time. It is important to optimize routes within the practice and ensure that necessary inventory and materials are easily accessible.
What is the impact of inefficient inventory management on dental practices?
Inefficient inventory management, such as overordering or ordering items too early, can have a negative impact on dental practices. Ordering too much inventory ties up funds that could be used elsewhere, and it may also lead to unnecessary storage space requirements. On the other hand, ordering items too early can result in items sitting unused for extended periods, potentially leading to expiration or obsolescence.
What is Just in Time inventory management?
Just in Time inventory management is a strategy where inventory is ordered and received only when it is needed, minimizing excess inventory and reducing waste. This approach ensures that inventory is available at the right time, in the right quantity, and helps optimize cash flow by avoiding tying up funds in excess inventory.
Why is Just in Time inventory management important for dental practices?
Just in Time inventory management is important for dental practices because it helps optimize resources and reduce waste. By ordering inventory just when it is needed, practices can avoid tying up funds in excess inventory and reduce the risk of items expiring or becoming obsolete. It also allows for better space utilization and minimizes the time spent on inventory management tasks.
[00:04:54 – 00:05:16] “We want to look at something with inventory called Just in Time. Making sure that you’re ordering it when you need it and maybe have a small amount on hand, but not something that, just because you got a great price, you ordered all this stuff.”
– Transportation between practices and the impact on time and efficiency – Finding better routes within the practice to minimize travel – The cumulative effect of time wasted on transportation over a year – Inventory management and the dangers of ordering too much – The misconception of ordering in bulk for better prices – Exploring the concept of Just in Time inventory management
Topics: Eight Wastes, Motion, Overprocessing
In this discussion, Tom Wright, of ODL, offers an insight into the concept of motion in the context of transportation, and the importance of efficient workspace arrangement to minimize unnecessary movement. He mentions the problem of over-processing, which can lead to the creation of extra, unneeded processes that don’t add value.
What is motion in the context of transportation?
Motion refers to the act of physically moving one’s body from one place to another in the context of transportation.
How can motion be reduced in transportation?
Motion can be reduced by organizing the space in a way that allows for easy access to the items or tools needed, minimizing the need for excessive reaching or searching.
What is meant by over processing in relation to transportation?
Over processing refers to the tendency to create multiple processes or steps that are unnecessary and can result in additional work or higher quality requirements than what the customer actually needs.
What are the eight wastes that need to be addressed in transportation?
The eight wastes that need to be addressed in transportation are defects, overproduction, waiting, non-utilized talent, transportation, inventory, motion, and extra processing.
Who can benefit from understanding and addressing the eight wastes in transportation?
Orthodontists, dentists, practice owners, and anyone in the healthcare industry looking to improve efficiency, reduce waste, and increase profits can benefit from understanding and addressing the eight wastes in transportation.
[00:05:27 – 00:05:58] “Motion is like, how am I actually moving in this space? So am I reaching for this thing 15 times to get my mirror? Am I getting my tool, my pliers, whatever it may be? How can I reduce motion? Everything should be like this in a little cell. So I can just grab all the things that I need really easily.”
-Transportation waste is the unnecessary movement of goods or information -Inventory waste is having more inventory than is necessary to meet demand -Motion waste is unnecessary movement or motion within a process -Over-processing waste is doing more work or producing higher quality than is required by the customer.
Topics: Inventory Management, Waste Minimisation, Labelling Systems
TJ Wright discusses the importance of efficient inventory management within dental practices to minimise wastage and optimise productivity. This involves storing commonly used supplies in easily accessible locations to minimise excess transportation or motion, while items liable to expire are kept in central locations. Proper labelling systems or ‘crumb trails’ can also be employed to foster effective inventory management.
How does excess transportation and motion lead to wastefulness in inventory management?
Excess transportation and motion in inventory management can lead to wastefulness by increasing the time and effort spent on locating and retrieving supplies. This wastes valuable resources, such as staff time and energy, that could be more efficiently utilized in treating patients.
How can practices optimize their inventory management?
Practices can optimize their inventory management by keeping commonly used supplies readily available at each chair, reducing the need for excessive transportation. They can also maintain a central location for less frequently used and perishable items to minimize waste. Implementing labeling systems, such as crumb trails, can help staff quickly locate and access supplies, further improving efficiency.
What are some examples of supplies that can be kept at each chair?
Examples of supplies that can be kept at each chair include sterilized mirrors, extra gloves, masks, or disposable dental tools. These items are frequently used during procedures and having them easily accessible at each chair eliminates the need for staff to leave the room or go to a central location to retrieve them, saving time and reducing motion waste.
How can labeling systems, like crumb trails, improve inventory management?
Labeling systems, such as crumb trails, can improve inventory management by providing clear information about the location of specific supplies. By using labels or tags that indicate the storage location, staff can quickly identify where to find the items they need, minimizing time spent searching and reducing motion waste.
Why is it important to have a balance in inventory management?
It is important to have a balance in inventory management to avoid unnecessary waste and expense. Having excessive amounts of certain items can lead to expiration or spoilage, resulting in wasted resources. On the other hand, insufficient inventory can cause delays in patient treatment and increase the risk of running out of essential supplies. Striking a balance ensures that inventory levels are optimized, leading to greater efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
[00:06:44 – 00:07:38] “One thing that we did and we had going on in our practices is at each chair we had some commonly used supplies available in the cabinets so we didn’t have to walk to a central location for everything. We also did keep a central location with all of our inventory and some of the items that were less frequently used and also items that would expire.”
– Keeping commonly used supplies at each chair to avoid excessive walking to a central location – Maintaining a central location for less frequently used items and perishable items to avoid waste – Using crumb trails and labeling to create efficient inventory management and reduce time wasted searching for items
Topics: Inventory Waste, Orthodontic Practices, Bulk Purchasing
Tom and TJ discuss the negative impacts of inventory waste on the operation of orthodontic practices. They share their experience of finding large amounts of unused and outdated supplies, which increases overhead costs. They argue that the perceived savings from bulk purchases are often offset by reduced cash flow and product obsolescence.
What are the impacts of inventory waste on overall running in an orthodontic practice?
Inventory waste can increase overhead costs and create inefficiencies in the practice.
How does ordering large amounts of supplies contribute to waste?
Ordering large amounts of supplies can lead to excess inventory that may never be used.
What are the consequences of storing unused supplies?
Storing unused supplies takes up valuable space and can cause clutter and disorganization in the practice.
How does outdated inventory contribute to waste?
Unused and expired supplies are a form of waste as they can no longer be used and may need to be disposed of.
Are there financial implications of inventory waste?
Yes, inventory waste can tie up cash flow and prevent practice owners from investing in other areas of their business.
[00:09:35 – 00:09:57] “One of the greatest ways to create waste in a practice is to fall into the trap that you can get a deal on an item and order what you think is a year’s worth of that product, but then you got to store it.”
– Inventory waste can lead to increased overhead costs in orthodontic practices. – Ordering large amounts of supplies and storing them can result in wasted space and unused items. – The introduction of new products or technology can make previously purchased items obsolete, further contributing to waste. – Examples of waste include expired items, supplies no longer used due to technological advancements, and excess inventory that is not being utilized. – Ordering a year’s supply of supplies to save money may not be cost-effective in the long run. – Following lean principles, such as regularly assessing and getting rid of unused or unnecessary items, can help minimize waste and improve cash flow.
Topics: Staff training, Defects in orthodontic procedures, Inventory waste
Tom Wright and TJ Wright talk about the impact of training and staff turnover on the level of defects in orthodontic procedures. They identify improper isolation and bonding prep as a common defect that leads to bond failures, causing considerable cost for the practice. The effect of such defects further extends to inventory waste. They also touch upon the underutilization of employee genius and the need for external vendor-provided training programs.
How do defects contribute to inventory waste?
Defects can result in the loss of products or materials, such as brackets, which need to be thrown away if they are not usable. This adds to the inventory waste as new items need to be purchased to replace the defective ones.
Can you provide an example of defects causing inventory waste in a dental practice?
One example is when there is a defect in the bonding process for orthodontic brackets. If the tooth is not properly etched or isolated, and the bonding primer is not applied correctly, it can lead to bond failures. This means that the brackets may fall off, and new ones would be needed to replace them, resulting in inventory waste.
How does underutilized employee genius contribute to inventory waste?
Underutilized employee genius refers to not fully harnessing the knowledge, skills, and expertise of staff members. If employees are not properly trained or given opportunities to contribute their expertise, it can lead to mistakes, errors, and inefficiencies in the inventory management process, resulting in unnecessary waste.
Can you provide an example of how underutilized employee genius contributes to inventory waste?
In the context of a dental practice, if orthodontic assistants are not adequately trained in proper procedures, such as bracket placement or handling materials, it can lead to mistakes and errors. This can result in the need to discard or replace items, leading to inventory waste.
How can training programs from vendors help alleviate the issue of underutilized employee genius?
Training programs from vendors can provide additional support and resources for staff training. They can offer specialized training in areas such as clinical procedures, bonding protocols, and proper isolation techniques. By partnering with vendors who have developed effective training systems, dental practices can ensure that new employees are well-trained and experienced staff members can focus on their core responsibilities.
How do defects and underutilized employee genius relate to added inventory?
Defects and underutilized employee genius can directly contribute to added inventory. Defects lead to the need for replacing or discarding defective items, which increases the inventory. Underutilized employee genius, where staff members are not fully trained or utilized, can result in mistakes and errors that may require additional inventory to correct. By addressing defects and maximizing employee expertise, dental practices can reduce inventory waste.
[00:13:09 – 00:13:35] “A bond failure based on improper isolation and bonding prep is avoidable with training. But that defect in itself causing bond failures is a huge money loss for practices. Because if you don’t catch it and it goes out and the patient leaves and that bracket falls off an hour later, the parent’s usually really upset.”
– Defects in clinical procedures, such as improper isolation and bonding prep, can lead to costly bond failures for orthodontic practices. – Bond failures result in financial losses as well as potential patient frustration and inconvenience. – Underutilized employee genius is a contributing factor to defects, as proper training and support can help prevent errors and improve quality. – High staff turnover in the industry makes it challenging to dedicate sufficient time and resources to training new employees. – There is an opportunity for vendor training programs to assist practices in training new employees and improving clinical outcomes. – Inventory waste can also be attributed to defects, as mistakes may lead to the need for additional materials or expending resources on unnecessary replacements. – By addressing training and improving quality, practices can reduce defects, lower inventory waste, and enhance overall efficiency.
Topics: Inventory Management, Kanban System, Orthodontic Labs
Tom and TJ from ODL discuss the concept of Kanban system for inventory management in their orthodontic labs. They explain that a kanban system, physically represented by a kanban card, acts as a visual signal and ordering tool for inventory items. It helps streamline the reordering process, ensure appropriate amount of safety stock, and prevent over-ordering or urgent ordering of items. They mention incorporating a ‘water spider’ role for collection and processing of kanban cards.
What is a Kanban system?
A Kanban system is an inventory management system that helps track the inventory levels of different items in a practice. It uses Kanban cards to indicate when it’s time to reorder a specific item.
How does a Kanban system work?
To implement a Kanban system, you would have a Kanban card for each item in your inventory. The card includes details like the part number, vendor, and Kanban level (the threshold at which you need to reorder). When the inventory reaches the Kanban level, the card is taken out and submitted for ordering. The history of orders can also be recorded on the card.
Can a Kanban system be used in orthodontic practices?
Yes, a Kanban system can be very useful in orthodontic practices, especially for managing the inventory of small items. It helps ensure that you never run out of essential supplies and streamlines the ordering process.
How can a Kanban system be implemented in a practice?
To implement a Kanban system, you would need to create Kanban cards for each item in your inventory. These cards can be kept near the inventory and submitted to the person in charge of ordering when it’s time to reorder. It’s also helpful to have a designated spot for collecting the cards for efficient ordering.
Are there digital options for implementing a Kanban system?
Yes, there are digital apps available for implementing a Kanban system. These apps can help streamline the process and provide additional features, like automated reordering based on inventory levels. However, a physical Kanban card system can also be effective and convenient, especially when working with physical products.
What are the benefits of using a Kanban system?
Some benefits of using a Kanban system include improved inventory management, reduced overordering or double ordering, better timing of orders, and increased efficiency in the ordering process. It also helps involve the entire team in the ordering process and provides a clear visual indicator when it’s time to reorder.
[00:17:13 – 00:18:20] “So the kanban system, I’ve got an example of a kanban card here, which is a little ordering card that you can keep in your clinic near your inventory. So there’s a couple of things on here that you designate. You put the part number on there, you put the vendor, and then you put a kanban level, which is basically the level it’s the threshold of how many you have that you need to order more so that you have more in before you finish that last little bit of that threshold.”
– A kanban system is useful for inventory management in orthodontic practices. – A kanban card includes the part number, vendor, and kanban level (threshold for reordering). – The kanban card is kept near the inventory and is submitted to the person responsible for ordering when the threshold is reached. – The kanban system helps track when to order and which vendor to use. – Kanban cards can be used with a physical paper version or in digital format using apps. – Having a designated spot for kanban cards and a water spider to collect them can streamline the ordering process. – Implementing a kanban system can help with timing orders and prevent double ordering. – The kanban system allows for maintaining a safety stock and reduces extra ordering. – Gemba Docs is a website that offers training and provides printable kanban cards for inventory management.
Topics: Indirect bonding, Inventory management, Practice overhead cost
In the conversation, Tom and TJ discuss the potential of indirect bonding as a cost-saving solution for orthodontic practices. They explore how employing such systems could lead to a significant reduction in the amount of inventory that needs to be kept in stock, thereby managing cash flow better.
What is indirect bonding in orthodontics?
Indirect bonding is a technique in orthodontics where brackets are first positioned on a model or template, and then transferred to the patient’s teeth in one step using a bonding tray. This method improves accuracy and efficiency in bracket placement.
How can indirect bonding reduce inventory in a practice?
Indirect bonding can significantly reduce inventory in a practice, especially when using new technologies and 3D printed brackets. These brackets often come with indirect bonding trays, which means practices don’t have to keep a large stock of brackets on hand. While some spare brackets are still needed, it is much less than ordering a bulk supply and storing them until needed.
Is indirect bonding more expensive than traditional bracket placement?
Yes, indirect bonding may initially be more expensive than traditional bracket placement because of the higher cost of 3D printed brackets and the required training. However, in the long run, it can save money by reducing inventory costs and minimizing wastage of brackets.
What are the advantages of using indirect bonding?
The advantages of indirect bonding include improved accuracy and efficiency in bracket placement, reduced inventory requirements, and potential cost savings in the long run. It also simplifies the training process for placing brackets, making it easier for orthodontic staff to master the procedure.
How can indirect bonding trays help minimize bracket waste?
Indirect bonding trays help minimize bracket waste by securely holding the brackets in place during transfer from the tray to the patient’s teeth. This reduces the chances of brackets getting damaged or wasted, such as when a kit with individual brackets falls and they become unusable.
[00:24:21 – 00:24:44] “I think it could make a huge impact on inventory. Specifically, I talk to offices that are using some of the new technologies and 3D printed brackets, and they come with the indirect bonding trays. I think that in itself significantly reduces your stock of brackets that you need to keep.”
– Indirect bonding can have a significant impact on inventory in a dental practice. – The use of 3D printed brackets and indirect bonding trays can reduce the stock of brackets that need to be kept. – Ordering a bulk supply of brackets and keeping them until needed can result in wasted brackets and a loss of money. – Indirect bonding may be more expensive upfront, but it can help avoid wasting materials and reduce overall costs in the long run. – Training on how to bond brackets is still necessary, but it is easier and more efficient with an indirect bonding system. – Indirect bonding is not just a fad and can provide real benefits for dental practices.
Topics: Orthodontic Practices, Outsourcing Lab Materials, Invisible Retainers
Tom and TJ Wright discuss the potential benefits of outsourcing lab materials in an orthodontic practice, focusing on invisible retainers. They explain that this reduces the need for raw materials inventory and eliminates issues related to equipment downtime. They also shed light on the speed and reliability of labs in relation to providing next-day services.
How does outsourcing lab materials like invisible retainers reduce the inventory of the raw materials in an orthodontic practice?
Outsourcing lab materials like invisible retainers reduces the inventory of raw materials in an orthodontic practice because the orthodontist doesn’t have to hold as much inventory of retainers and related materials. This eliminates the need to store and manage multiple batches of raw materials, reducing costs and freeing up space in the practice.
Does outsourcing lab materials save time and increase efficiency?
Yes, outsourcing lab materials can save time and increase efficiency in an orthodontic practice. When materials like invisible retainers are outsourced to a lab, the orthodontist and staff don’t have to spend extra time producing them in-house. This allows them to focus on patient care and other important tasks, leading to improved efficiency in the practice.
Are there any additional costs or challenges associated with in-house production of lab materials?
Yes, there are additional costs and challenges associated with in-house production of lab materials. Managing in-office labs requires additional staff and equipment, which means increased overhead costs. There’s also a risk of equipment failure, leading to delays in production and potential rush orders from external labs. Managing inventory and ensuring consistency in quality can also be challenging when producing materials in-house.
What happens if there’s a technical issue with the equipment used for in-house production?
If there’s a technical issue with the equipment used for in-house production, such as a 3D printer malfunctioning, it can cause delays and disruptions in the production process. This may require finding a quick solution, repairing the equipment, or seeking assistance from external labs to fulfill patient orders. The downtime resulting from equipment failure can negatively impact patient satisfaction and practice productivity.
Is it worth outsourcing lab materials like invisible retainers?
Yes, it is worth outsourcing lab materials like invisible retainers for many orthodontic practices. Outsourcing reduces the need for large inventory storage, frees up staff resources, and allows practitioners to focus on patient care. By partnering with a reliable lab, orthodontists can ensure timely delivery of high-quality materials, reduce costs, and increase overall practice efficiency and profitability.
[00:28:57 – 00:29:35] “So what’s going to happen if you have one 3D printer and that 3D printer goes down? Now with 3D printing, it’s even more because you have to hold inventory for resin and that becomes more of a nightmare.”
– Outsourcing lab materials like invisible retainers can reduce the inventory of raw materials in an orthodontic practice. – Managing in-house production requires additional staff and equipment, adding to the overall costs and complexity. – If equipment like a 3D printer breaks down, it can cause delays in producing retainers and disrupt patient care. – Outsourced labs often have faster turnaround times, with the ability to provide retainers within one to two days. – Holding inventory for resin used in 3D printing can become costly and requires careful management.
Topics: Lab Managing Software, 3D Printing, In-house Vs Lab
Tom Wright and TJ Wright discuss the benefits of using lab managing software or inventory for a medical practice versus managing it internally. They highlight that the advantages include consistency in work, use of high-end technology like 3D printing improving the accuracy of appliances, comparable costs when labor and repair expenses are considered, a decrease in staff burdens and better work processes. Tom Wright further shares about practices transitioning from maintaining full labs to using lab managing software due to personnel challenges. The doctors regardless don’t know the difference.
What are the benefits of using a lab managing software or inventory for a practice?
One of the biggest benefits is the ability to achieve consistency in work. With lab managing software, you can ensure that appliances are made with high-quality 3D printing, resulting in accurate and predictable outcomes. This is especially important when it comes to clear retainers, as 3D printing and laser trimming provide better results compared to traditional methods. Additionally, outsourcing the lab work can be cost-effective. When you consider the labor, equipment expenses, and repair costs associated with managing the lab in-house, outsourcing the work can be comparable in cost but with significantly less headache. Moreover, simplifying processes and eliminating burdensome tasks can increase staff satisfaction and retention, leading to better overall practice efficiency. Patients won’t notice the difference between in-house lab work and laboratory outsourcing, so the focus should be on streamlining operations and delivering high-quality results.
How do you put a value on the quality of work and processes in your office?
It can be challenging to quantify the value of streamlined and efficient processes, but it has a significant impact on the practice’s success. Simplified processes lead to better staff training, increased staff satisfaction, and improved patient outcomes. By eliminating burdensome and error-prone tasks associated with in-house lab work, you can create a smoother workflow and reduce the potential for equipment malfunctions. Furthermore, by focusing on efficient processes, you can free up staff time to focus on patient care and practice growth. The value lies in the improved overall experience for staff, patients, and ultimately, the financial success of the practice.
How can partnering with a lab like ODL benefit a practice?
Partnering with a lab like ODL offers several advantages for a practice. First and foremost, it allows the practice to leverage the expertise and resources of a specialized orthodontic lab. ODL has trained technicians who can handle complex orthodontic appliances and ensure high-quality work. Additionally, partnering with ODL eliminates the need for the practice to manage lab inventory, which can be a time-consuming and costly process. ODL takes care of owning and managing the inventory, allowing the practice to focus on patient care and practice growth. Furthermore, ODL can provide training and support for lab technicians, ensuring they have the necessary skills to produce excellent work. This can be especially valuable when practices experience turnover or need to train new lab staff quickly. In summary, partnering
[00:30:07 – 00:31:04] “You get the consistency, you know, what you’re expecting and the cost. If you factor in the labor in the office, the equipment expenses and repair expenses, it’s really comparable to outsourcing, but it’s also a lot less headache.”
– One benefit of using a lab managing software or inventory for a practice is consistency in work. The appliances made with 3D printing are more accurate than those made with traditional methods. – It can be cost-effective compared to doing everything in-house, taking into account labor, equipment expenses, and repair expenses. – Outsourcing lab work can simplify processes and eliminate burdensome tasks for staff members, resulting in increased efficiency and staff satisfaction. – Patients typically do not know the difference between appliances made in-house or ordered from a lab, so the quality of the work is not compromised. – Finding trained lab technicians can be challenging, especially with lab school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic. – Managing an in-house lab can be a hassle, with the need to oversee inventory and deal with staffing changes. – Letting the lab own the inventory can save money and reduce the burden on the practice. – If a lab technician is no longer needed for lab work, they can be retrained as an orthodontic assistant, providing added value to the practice.
Topics: Product purchasing, Vendor consolidation, Volume discounts
Tom and TJ Wright discuss potential benefits of purchasing products in kits from a single vendor rather than obtaining items individually from several vendors. They noted that consolidating purchases with a single vendor can significantly reduce waste, increase convenience, and provide volume discounts that might not be available when dealing with multiple vendors.
What are the advantages of buying products in kits from a single vendor?
Buying products in kits from a single vendor can significantly reduce waste and streamline the workflow. It eliminates the need to go to multiple vendors to get all the necessary products for a patient, saving time and effort. Additionally, some vendors offer volume discounts, so consolidating purchases with a single vendor can help qualify for these discounts and reduce overall expenses.
[00:35:24 – 00:36:13] “The kits are huge to consolidate.”
– Purchasing products in kits can be advantageous for orthodontic practices. – Buying kits from a single vendor can help reduce waste and streamline the ordering process. – Kits often include all the necessary components for a specific treatment, eliminating the need to purchase items individually from multiple vendors. – Vendors may offer volume discounts for kit purchases, resulting in potential cost savings. – Consolidating purchases with a single vendor through kit purchases can help practices reach volume discount thresholds more easily.
Topics: Holistic Treatment, Patient Retention, Lab-to-Practice Transaction
The speaker, Tom Wright, and TJ Wright discuss the potential benefits of adopting a holistic treatment approach. This approach can significantly improve patient retention between different treatment phases. Currently, the lab-to-practice world functions in a transactional manner, but there’s scope to alter this pattern. The concept of a holistic approach involves offering a package of treatment stages, including all the necessary appliances, with the potential to maintain a fixed price.
What do you think about holistic treatment? Do you think this is going to become more popular where people almost buy treatment?
Holistic treatment, where patients can purchase a comprehensive treatment package, is likely to become more popular in the future. Currently, the orthodontic industry operates in a transactional manner, where patients buy appliances or services individually. However, the vision is to offer a holistic approach that covers everything from phase one to RPE, retainers, braces or aligners, and holding retainers.
How could a holistic treatment approach assist with inventory management and dealing with one vendor?
Although a holistic treatment approach may not directly impact inventory management, it can improve patient retention between treatment phases. By offering a package that includes all necessary appliances and retainers, practices can provide continuity of care and retain patients throughout their entire treatment journey. This would prevent patients from shifting to other offices for subsequent phases. Additionally, a fixed price package can be offered, providing cost savings compared to ordering appliances individually, which the practice can pass on to the patients.
Can a holistic treatment approach benefit patient retention between phases?
Yes, a holistic treatment approach can significantly improve patient retention between treatment phases. By offering patients a comprehensive treatment package that covers all necessary appliances and retainers, practices can encourage patients to stay on for the complete treatment journey. This reduces the likelihood of patients seeking care from other practices for subsequent phases, improving patient satisfaction and overall treatment outcomes.
How can a holistic treatment approach contribute to practice profitability?
A holistic treatment approach can contribute to practice profitability in several ways. Firstly, by offering a comprehensive treatment package at a fixed price, practices can attract patients by providing cost savings compared to individually purchased appliances. Secondly, retaining patients throughout the entire treatment journey improves patient continuity and reduces the risk of losing patients to other practices. This enhances practice revenue and promotes sustained growth and profitability.
How can partnering with a lab like ODL support the implementation of a holistic treatment approach?
Partnering with a lab like ODL can be instrumental in implementing a holistic treatment approach. ODL can provide all the necessary appliances and retainers required for different treatment phases, allowing practices to offer comprehensive treatment packages. By consolidating their vendor relationships and sourcing all appliances from ODL, practices can streamline their inventory management processes and simplify logistical operations. Additionally, ODL’s expertise and support can help practices optimize treatment plans and improve
[00:37:30 – 00:38:19] “If you’re looking at a holistic approach where you don’t order all of the appliances, but you order a package where you would get the RPE and the retainer and the phase two retainer or any appliances needed in phase two at a fixed price.”
– Holistic treatment is becoming more popular in the lab to practice world – Currently, treatment is transactional, with patients buying one piece at a time – Holistic treatment would involve providing all necessary appliances from phase one to retainer in one package – This approach could help with patient retention between phases of treatment – A fixed price package could include expansion appliances, retainers, and phase two appliances – Upcharging the patient for this option could be an option – Offering a better price for holistic treatment could incentivize patients to stay with the practice – The lab can assist the doctor in providing holistic treatment – Holistic treatment may not have a direct impact on inventory management
Topics: Inventory Management, Shift Power Bar Appliances, Cost efficiency
Tom and TJ Wright discuss how using a lab to hold and manage the inventory for shift power bar appliances offers benefits to dental practices. They explain that the lab can measure appliance sizes, saving practices from needing to hold a large inventory of parts. This process allows for precision, cost-efficiency, and streamlines the ordering process.
What are the benefits of having the lab hold all the inventory for orthodontic appliances?
By having the lab hold the inventory, the practice doesn’t have to store a large amount of inventory, which saves space and reduces costs. The lab can measure the appliances based on the scan and provide the correct sizes needed, eliminating the need for the practice to keep multiple sizes in stock. Additionally, consolidating inventory under one vendor can lead to better pricing and lower overall costs per patient.
How does the practice ensure the correct fit of the appliance if the lab is holding the inventory?
The practice can still ensure the correct fit of the appliance by using a dual measuring approach. The digital measurement can be used to determine the size needed, and then the practice can test out the actual appliance on the patient. If adjustments need to be made, the lab can provide the right size based on the fit test.
What are the potential time and cost savings of having the lab hold the inventory?
By eliminating the need for the practice to store and manage inventory, there are time and cost savings. The practice doesn’t have to spend time keeping track of inventory, ordering from multiple vendors, or dealing with waste. It also reduces the risk of mismatched sizes or running out of stock for specific appliances. The practice can focus on patient care while the lab takes care of inventory management.
[00:40:37 – 00:41:15] “[00:40:37] TJ Wright: So by having the lab measure off the scan, you’re not as easily able to do a same day start bonding that on, but you could still consider a same day start. [00:40:50] TJ Wright: If you do the scan in the order at the day of the consult, you get the patient commitment and down payment to start treatment. [00:41:00] TJ Wright: So just by measuring, you can measure it yourself, get the arm length that you need and send it to the lab, or the lab can measure it for you and then you don’t have to store all that inventory.”
– By having the lab hold the inventory for class II corrector bars, practices can save time and storage space. – Having the lab measure the appliance based on the digital scan can ensure a better fit on the patient’s teeth. – The practice can still do a same-day start by measuring the bar themselves and sending the measurements to the lab. – By consolidating orders with one vendor, the practice can potentially get better pricing and reduce overall costs per patient. – The shift kit also allows for easy integration with aligners, eliminating the need to order from multiple vendors and saving time and inventory storage.
Topics: Inventory management, Orthodontic clinics, Teamwork
Tom and TJ Wright discuss strategies for inventory management in orthodontic offices based on their experience working with six locations. The discussion includes assigning a team leader for inventory control and involving the entire team in supporting the process. Assuring adequate stock of essential supplies, such as Assure items, was a key subject.
What is the importance of inventory management in a dental or orthodontic practice?
Proper inventory management is important for a dental or orthodontic practice as it helps in optimizing efficiency, reducing costs, avoiding stockouts, and ensuring that the required supplies are always available for patient care.
What strategies can be used to effectively manage inventory in a dental or orthodontic practice?
Some strategies for effective inventory management in a dental or orthodontic practice include implementing a Kanban system, setting par levels for each item, conducting regular inventory audits, using software systems for tracking and reordering, and involving the entire team in the ordering and inventory management process.
What is a Kanban system and how can it be beneficial for inventory management?
A Kanban system is a visual inventory management system that uses cards or signals to trigger the replenishment of supplies. It helps in maintaining optimal inventory levels and avoids overstocking or stockouts. By visually representing the flow of supplies and setting limits, it streamlines the ordering and restocking process.
How can setting par levels for each item help in inventory management?
Setting par levels helps in determining the minimum quantity of each item that should be kept in stock at all times. This ensures that supplies are ordered when they reach the par level, preventing stockouts and unnecessary overstocking.
What are the benefits of conducting regular inventory audits?
Regular inventory audits help in identifying discrepancies, expired or damaged items, and inefficiencies in the inventory management process. It allows for adjustments to be made, eliminates waste, and ensures accurate inventory levels.
How can software systems aid in tracking and reordering inventory?
Software systems provide real-time visibility into inventory levels, automate the reordering process, generate reports, and allow for efficient tracking and management of inventory. This saves time, reduces human errors, and provides valuable insights for decision-making.
What is the importance of involving the entire team in the ordering and inventory management process?
Involving the entire team in the ordering and inventory management process creates a sense of ownership and responsibility. It helps in identifying low inventory levels, streamlining communication, and ensures that the process is not solely dependent on one person.
Do you have any additional insights or recommendations for effective inventory management?
One additional recommendation is to designate a team leader to handle the ordering process. This leader should champion the task and work collabor
[00:46:19 – 00:46:25] “You need a leader and you need the team to work with them.”
– Having a team leader responsible for ordering inventory is beneficial – The team should be involved in the process of ordering and indicate when inventory is low – Ownership and accountability are essential for successful inventory management – Kanban cards and other tools can be used to streamline the inventory process – Simplifying the process and following a set procedure can help prevent overstocking or running out of inventory – OrthoFi is available to provide help and support with inventory management
July 28, 2023
July 28, 2023
July 28, 2023