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  • Writer's pictureWarren Bobinski

Will cheaper cotton rolls change dentistry forever?

"Competition whose motive is merely to compete, to drive some other fellow out, never carries very far. The competitor to be feared is one who never bothers about you at all, but goes on making his own business better all the time."

~Henry Ford

My old boy Harley admiring the morning sunrise.

Integrity is worth something.

Someone at a regulatory level has put a "suggested value/fee guide" on the services you offer. Saying the widget called an "MOD" that you make is worth $300. If a consumer went shopping for a "MOD"in your area, the price would be suggested at $300 no matter where you went....

This isn't always the case.

There are a dozen opinions on how to make the "MOD". The materials to construct it can vary. The results can vary. The technique can vary. Some talented people can create a "MOD" in half the time of others using materials that deliver longer lasting and more reliable results. Less warranty work! TIMEfactors!

Others are not as talented and try to make "MOD" too fast using compromised materials. The people they hire aren't well trained on making "MOD". Many of the people who bought the "MOD" just don't come back and get the "MOD" after the first experience failed. They definitely didn't tell their friends to go get that MOD over there!

They all charge a suggested $300ish. Maybe the "less talented" tried to "compete" by charging $275 for their "MOD" or offers a "get something free" in order to attract people to come buy their "MOD". They start on a business death spiral. Without the technique, speed and results of the first example - they continue to cut costs, labour, talented workers and materials in order to create profit. They start to dictate to staph (not a mis-spell) that they need to make more "MOD" than ever before in order to meet quotas.

It's a race to the bottom.

There is a view that big, new competition in dentistry is going to lead to the end of the business. It's not a view I like or respect. It's not my opinion of the industry either!

I don't think so.

I say "bring it!" - but let's be transparent about what could happen. Let's take some responsibility about where this business could go.

We are in health care. Costs can not continue to rise on a commodity that every human being needs to live healthy and long. Competition with integrity is good.

It's my belief that competition will bring new techniques and materials. We will find the TIMEfactors. The EFFICIENT and PREDICTABLE ways to perform procedures with less labour and better results.

Only if we start believing in the glass is half full. Start appreciating the people we work with that have the same values as we do. That this is a business, yes, but its a PEOPLE business. People that take care of People. With sincere intentions and respect for each other.

With the same goal of advancing health care. Understanding that we are all driven to succeed, work hard, and continue to improve as long as we enjoy the rewards.

On the subject of competition, so many people "think" the competition is doing something compromised. Cutting corners. Compromising integrity. I am sure you can find examples....but....I take the view that any business that has a long term goal of staying in business is definitely not going to risk their entire empire on going down a road that has a bad ending. My view is that the good will survive long term, continue to improve and leave the bad in the dust....

Do you have a "staff" infection, or a team?

Lisa Philp of Transitions Group says half joking that many offices have "Staff" otherwise known as "staph". The infectious types, and not in a bubbly funny laughing kind of way.

The culture you create is really about how we value each other. "Staph" can be, as your accountant sees it, an "expense". For me, staff is also called team. An investment.

With a common goal of providing superior care for our patient we can all succeed.

The good team member realizes the value of hard work. Continual improvement. Providing the superior experience. The good team member is recognized for this value. The patient returns. The procedures are successful.

The catch 22 happens. The better the team gets, the more wins. The more patients want to come and refer. The higher the chances of attracting even more talented team members. Everyone wants to play on the winning team! Everyone wants to watch the winning team, and can't wait to see what they will do next.

We can go there. I see it with the good businesses. The companies and business that INVEST in team. In culture. In continual improvement. The glass is half full for those people and the future is bright.

The value of everyone.

Fresh Dental Team in Saskatoon

The successful businessman will recruit and reward talent. They will build a team. They recognize that we are a people business. We don't really just build economical "MOD" widgets. We use talent to provide health care with predictable results.

We are educated. Trusted. Valued.

The same way you would be valued as a business owner, it's critical to look at your team as extensions of yourself. If you don't share with them, trust them, educate with them and work together - it is very difficult to have an amazing result!

Cheap Dental Supplies

As a business owner, the shrinking margins of ownership seem to force you to go after all your expenses. It seems like the most logical way to help make more money. It's easy because you can make people jump by simply saying you are going to take away something.

If you have an attitude that everyone can be replaced (except you) it will be hard to build a team. The Dental Assistant that watched the operation and offered some advice on how to become more efficient (maybe an idea for another sterilizer or instrument washer) is trying to help YOU be better. The hygienist that asked for new instruments because the dull instruments they use are not efficiently providing a superior service to the patient. The reception that asked if you would consider a recall system.

They are ALL TRYING to help you succeed! If you recognize the talent when you hired them, then you will appreciate that you have someone to pass that ball too that is going to run for a touchdown!

That includes many other people and investments in your practice.

In a race to be better, be more efficient and beat the team across the street to the finish line - it's good to consider your investments. The people on your team that you maybe have to pay indirectly.

In 35 years, I have been able to successfully help coach/guide/supply hundreds of teams. I get paid to sell cheap cotton rolls.

The people that are GOOD at "selling dental supplies" do SO MUCH MORE than just provide cheap cotton rolls. Most of our industry recognizes this. They are more than donut delivery people. As a matter of fact the BEST of the BEST are NOT SALES PEOPLE! They are consultants with a goal to be the MVP on your team for LIFE!

The motivation isn't to be cheaper than the other's to be better. A small part of what they do is find you cheap cotton rolls - but when you are constantly pushed, many of these people move on. There will ALWAYS be a cheaper cotton roll...but is that really going to help you achieve your ultimate goal of providing a better service and having the best team?

Consider your investments wisely, and you will have achieve a lifetime of success....

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