Smile & Profit

6 Steps for Dental Lab Success

Smile & Profit:

6 Steps for Dental Lab Success

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How do I grow my lab’s profit margins quickly?

It’s a question that most of us ask ourselves every day.
From business coaches to online articles, everyone will give you the same answers: implement LEAN processes, invest in expensive high-end equipment, and read through boring KPIs every morning……

You’ve heard it and read it a million times.

But your daily calendar is full and all your team members are up to their eyes busy ( as they always are 😉). And no one is giving you any real-life guidelines.

That is exactly what I will do my best to give you throughout my email.

Some down-to-earth quick fixes that you can start implementing today.

1. Price increase ⬆️ 

Yes, you read it ok…..

As direct as it may sound, if you haven’t done so already, increase your prices now by 5-10%.

As industry leaders, we understand the value of your craftsmanship, expertise, and commitment to quality.

A modest price adjustment not only reflects the true worth of your services but also strengthens your financial foundation.

Consider this a crucial step towards sustaining excellence, investing in innovation, and ensuring the highest standards of care.

Your dedication merits fair compensation.

Increase your prices, to elevate your success.

2. Extra Charge for the Impression collections 🚗 

Are your dentists still taking impressions and calling you to collect them?

I won't expand onto the discourse on bringing your dentists into the digital age or emphasise the virtues of intra-oral scanning over alginates; those discussions are well-covered in our previous editions.

Now, let's address a practical concern: your dentist has taken an impression, and they're looking for a collection.

Have you pondered the idea of introducing a collection fee for impressions? We have in the past, and the results were exceptional. 

Remember, the aim isn't to fully offset collection costs (that'd be a bit utopian 🤔). Instead, consider it an incentive for dentists to embrace digital scanning and file submissions.

This not only makes financial sense but also enhances operational efficiency and time savings for your lab. And that’s the real cost saving. 

3. Remove non-value tasks 🚫 

Picture this…. dentists ( let's be honest, it's the dental office admin staff most of the time) seamlessly place orders for crowns with you.

They willingly provide all the intricate details you need in the process.

How many times have you found yourself missing shade information from the lab ordering docket or a hastily scribbled note on a Post-it?

Believe it or not, this utopian vision is now a reality.

Enter the digital era and the evolution of Lab Management Systems equipped with a personalised Client Portal.

We didn't just try it; we built our Client Portal with your lab's needs in mind, having sifted through countless pieces of paper stapled to unsightly plastic bags filled with impressions.

How we “convinced” them to self-order is a different question….

Our strategy: It's as straightforward as it is effective. A nominal admin fee is applied to cases outside the Client Portal, nudging lab staff to digitise the information.

This isn't about introducing client retention challenges; you've already proven your commitment to quality.

Remember, high-quality labs naturally attract high-quality dentists.

4. Add valuable tasks 💝 

Congratulations on having freed up some valuable time in your admin team’s daily agenda with the introduction of the Client Portal.

Now, picture the next empowering step: unleashing the full potential of your brilliant admin staff in a realm they excel at but often lack time for – client reach-out calls. 

Whether soliciting feedback, forging new connections, or simply checking in on how your customers' day is unfolding, your admin team is poised to shine.

No more excuses for delaying these calls; after all, who better possesses the essential skills than the very team you handpicked for excellence?
From in-depth product knowledge to a keen understanding of the dental market, coupled with exceptional communication skills, they're a powerhouse.

Harnessing these attributes, your admin staff becomes the driving force in effective communication, relationship-building, and a profound comprehension of the market.

Their role becomes pivotal in not just attracting but also retaining customers, ensuring your dental lab experiences sustained business growth.

With passion and dedication, your admin staff stands ready to elevate your lab's client interactions to new heights.

The journey to success begins with the right team, and yours is already proving its prowess.

5. Automate your Tasks Assignment 🧑‍🏭 

We've chatted about upping the price game for more profits.

Now, let's keep the momentum and chat about boosting productivity without compromising quality.

Ever wonder how tasks get assigned? Does it involve a team leader's gut feeling or a statistical approach? Do we really know how long each lab task should take? Identifying your rockstar performers gives a clear roadmap for task assignments.

Here's a nifty move: dive into the world of Automated Task Management for your production.

It's the secret sauce for efficiency, accuracy, and overall productivity. You're probably nodding, knowing the drill, so I won't dive into the whys. I'm just dropping a link here because the solution is waiting for your lab.

5.  Specialize in Niche Services 🛠️ 

Specialising in niche services is a strategic approach that dental labs can take to differentiate themselves, attract a specific customer base, and potentially increase profitability. 

What are the benefits?

 Can I give you some things to consider? 

Expertise and Differentiation:

  • Specialising allows dental labs to develop targeted expertise, stand out in the market, and differentiate themselves from competitors.

Reduced Competition and Premium Pricing:

  • Focusing on a niche reduces competition, creating an exclusive market position. Labs can command premium pricing for their specialised, high-quality services.

Efficiency and Reputation Building:

  • Specialisation enables efficient resource allocation, targeted marketing, and the building of a strong reputation within the chosen niche, contributing to long-term success.

Adaptability and Diversification:

  • Being in a niche allows dental labs to adapt to emerging trends, collaborate with specialists, and diversify offerings within the specialised field, catering to a broader range of client needs.

Now, identifying what a niche product/service is in your area, that’s totally up to you to decide. I can help you with some key points on how to: 

Market Research and Analysis:

  • Conduct thorough market analysis to identify gaps and opportunities for specialised services, including assessing customer needs, competitor offerings, and industry trends.

Networking and Collaboration:

  • Engage with local dental professionals, specialists, and industry experts through networking and collaboration to gain insights and understand the specific needs and preferences of the local market.

Evaluate Lab Capabilities and Profitability:

  • Assess your dental lab's capabilities and strengths, considering regulatory requirements. Evaluate the potential profitability of each identified niche, aligning with your lab's resources and goals, and conduct pilot programs to test market response.

6. Automate your delivery system 🚗 

Have you ever wondered what the advantages of an automated delivery system in a dental lab offer?

Efficiency and Cost Savings:

  • Automated delivery systems enhance efficiency through optimized routes, reducing delivery times, and minimizing costs associated with fuel and labor, making it a cost-effective solution.

Real-Time Tracking and Transparency:

  • Automated systems offer real-time tracking, providing transparency in the delivery process. This feature allows for better communication, order monitoring, and enhanced customer expectations management.

Scalability and Adaptability:

  • Automated delivery systems are easily scalable to accommodate fluctuating order volumes without the need for extensive hiring or layoffs. They also adapt well to technological advancements, ensuring ongoing efficiency improvements.

Reduced Human Errors and 24/7 Operations:

  • Automation minimizes the risk of human errors in delivery scheduling, contributing to increased reliability. Additionally, automated systems can operate 24/7, offering flexibility in delivery times to meet varying production schedules.

Integration with Lab Management Systems and Customer Satisfaction:

  • Automated delivery systems seamlessly integrate with lab management systems, streamlining workflows. The speed, accuracy, and reliability of these systems contribute to overall customer satisfaction, enhancing the client experience with the dental lab.

While a driver and van department may offer a personal touch, automated delivery systems provide a technologically advanced, cost-effective, and scalable solution that aligns well with the evolving needs of dental labs and their clients.

So, have you ever considered the efficiency gains and cost savings that come with integrating an automated delivery system for your dental lab? 

This technology optimises routes, reduces delivery times, and enhances overall reliability. 

It's not about letting go of your valuable drivers; rather, it's an opportunity to streamline your operations, improve accuracy, and ensure a more scalable and adaptable delivery process for the future.

Remember, it's often a combination of these strategies that leads to sustained improvement in profitability.

Careful planning and execution will be crucial for success.

Here you have it.

6 Simple Profit-boosting tactics that you can apply tomorrow and see immediate results. We have done it, why won’t you give it a go?

We would love to tell you more about all the strategies that we’ve tried and didn’t work either. Just reply to this email with any questions and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Extra Resources Roundup

  • Lab software to manage and grow (LMS)

  • Clear Aligners Digital Workflow (OMS)

  • What’s better about Niche Products? (Shiprocket)

  • Effectively increase your prices (Ibbaka)

  • Dentist are increasing their fees (Dental Economics)

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