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An Inventory Solution That Gives Staff More Time For Patient Care

Issue: Summer 2012
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How do you manage dental supplies for your practice? Despite recent innovations in patient care, many dental practices still use a manual, inefficient, costly, and time-consuming approach when it comes to managing thousands of dollars in inventory.

But what if your supplies were stored in a secure, easy-to-access cabinet in a central location where they could be managed and automatically reordered via a simple computer placed right on the face of the cabinet? Cubex allows a dental practice to do just that. CEO Anton Visser and his team developed Cubex solutions so that any size dental practice could manage inventory as Fortune 500 companies do—on a “just in time” basis. Visser brings a passion for reducing costs and managing efficiency to his clients. “What we do is bring that level of sophistication to the dental practice,” says Visser, “and they get to track supplies with a touch of a button.” Many Henry Schein Dental customers already have Cubex installed in their practices and they have quickly become dedicated fans of the product. We recently interviewed three of those customers, Dr. Bruce Lachot, Dr. Trey Harris, and Michael Schwartz, CEO, Corner Dental, to allow them to tell their stories.

Henry Schein Dental: Let’s talk about life before Cubex. Describe your inventory management scenario.
Dentist: Prior to installing Cubex, we had several people ordering supplies for each location. As a result, there was a
lack of control and consistency in the process. There would be post-it notes for things to order all over the sterilization room, so the orders were done very haphazardly. It was usually an assistant doing the ordering, which took them away from time with patients.

The immediate savings was the drastic change in our on-hand inventory through the consolidation of supplies and elimination of excess and expired products.

Henry Schein Dental: What problems were you specifically trying to address?
Dentist: Assistants would order certain brands of products for their specific doctors so we would end up with 2 or 3 different types of the same item. We wanted to create consistency in our ordering process and create a master formulary. Hoarding was another problem we needed to solve. Due to sporadic ordering, assistants would hide things to ensure they wouldn’t run out by the time they needed it. Basically, we wanted to keep the things that were being used easily accessible and reduce or eliminate those things that weren’t being used, as well as reducing the time staff was spending on inventory management.

Managing inventory is a constant challenge affecting all areas of your dental practice. The Cubex system maximizes efficiency of supply management through proven technology designed to control supply costs while providing automated inventory tracking and replenishment.

Henry Schein Dental: What led you to look for a solution?
Dentist: Our two biggest expenditures in the practice are personnel and inventory. We wanted to try to avoid having to cut back on personnel by tackling the inventory. That’s when we realized that we had no idea how much inventory we had; where it all was; how much it was actually worth; and what actual inventory usage was occurring. We knew we needed to consolidate and put some control into the process. We began the process by researching online for possible solutions. Most companies I found were software based and wouldn’t provide the centralization or control I wanted. Then we came across Cubex, which had both the cabinet and Web-based software that would enable us to have control and also put a process in place for order consistency.

Henry Schein Dental: Talk about the transition—moving forward from your former inventory system to the Cubex system. How did that process go?
Dentist: Basically, it met all the expectations I had—and exceeded them in how well it worked. The cabinet implementation itself was easy. The Cubex team made the transition easy for us. What we didn’t realize was how much time we wasted looking in multiple places to get things.

Henry Schein Dental: Were there any surprises along the way during the install?

Dentist: The most surprising aspect was how much excess inventory we discovered during the process. This system has the effect of making you more efficient in the ordering and utilization of supplies and actually saves an enormous amount of time that can then be dedicated to patient care.

Henry Schein Dental: What financial advantages have you experienced as a result of implementing Cubex?
Dentist: The immediate savings was the drastic change in our on-hand inventory through the consolidation of supplies and elimination of excess and expired products. With Cubex, we were able to reduce our on-hand inventory by 25%. Cubex has helped us reduce our staff’s time on inventory management, and it has also allowed us to reduce our overall supply expense by more than 15%.

Henry Schein Dental: Does the knowledge that you don’t have to worry about running out of supplies or searching your office for them make running the business part of your practice less stressful?
Dentist: Absolutely! The subjectivity has been taken out of the ordering process. It’s not just one step along the way; it’s a combination of solving so many different problems at once. Having Cubex ensures that my team is spending more time with patients and that is our top priority. That alone pays for the system.

Henry Schein Dental: Would you recommend Cubex to others?
Dentist: I tell people about Cubex all the time. I tell them that they standardize payroll, accounts receivable, and accounts payable and, they should standardize their inventory as well. Cubex gives us the power to make educated decisions about our inventory. It was foolish of us to attempt to manage our inventory without Cubex!