Do you own or manage a dental practice? Are you wondering how to make an office supply inventory list?
Getting and remaining well-stocked is an important part of the impression you give to new and returning patients. It will make your office appear organized and ready for business. By contrast, a poorly stocked office shows prospective customers that you aren’t in tune with the details of your practice.
Here’s what you need to know about creating a dental office chemical inventory list.
1. Appoint Someone to Manage Your Supplies
A dental office is a busy place. If you’re a dentist or hygienist, the daily needs of your patients come first, and you may find there simply isn’t time in the day to attend to your inventory.
Maybe you have an office manager or assistant who can be trusted to organize and track your inventory. They have regular inventory checks, such as every other day or one day a week. It will be their job to check your supply stock and make a note of anything you could be running low on.
2. Keep Your Supplies Organized
Cabinets for organizing the supplies in your dental office are fairly easy to find. You’ll have drawers and shelves for disposable items such as paper cups and Personal Protective Equipment.
Make sure you place items that get used frequently on shelves that are easy to access. You can also label the shelves and baskets that carry each item so they’re easy for physicians to find.
You’ll want to group as many like items as possible together. For example, you may want to put goodie bag items such as new toothbrushes, floss, toothpaste, and plastic bags in an area together.
Tools used for examining and cleaning such as sickle probes and mouth mirrors should all be kept in the same area. Adhesives, resin, and putty should also be clearly marked.
Color-coding is another excellent way to make your supplies more organized and easily accessible. You can keep your paste in a blue container and your polishing equipment in a red one. This way, dentists and hygienists will have minimal searching to do when it’s time to get to work.
3. Create a Spreadsheet
Spreadsheets create an easy way to keep track of what you’ve got and what you need. If needed, draw up a pen-and-paper list before transferring it to your computer.
This will give you ample time to explore the physical supplies you’ve got and write down details. These may include brand names, colors, or numbers.
A simple spreadsheet can supply you with easy columns in which to record details, such as the number of items you have, as well as their color or brand.
While it’s important to have a column where you can record the supplies you have, you may also wish to include a column for the minimum number of that supply you want to keep in stock.
This lets the inventory-taker know when it’s time to re-order. It can also keep you from running out of stock at the wrong time. You won’t want to be stuck paying expensive overnight delivery fees when you’ve got a patient coming the next day and don’t have the supplies to treat them!
4. Check Supplies With the List in Hand
Your office staff should know how often to check inventory, whether it’s on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. It’s important that they keep the spreadsheet to make sure that all details are recorded as they’re observed.
The old-fashioned way to do this is to print out the spreadsheet and place it on a clipboard, with your supply checker using a pen to record details. However, with today’s technology, they may find it easier to simply pull up the spreadsheet on a hand-held electronic device.
Your inventory-taker may have a special code for marking the columns where supplies need to be re-ordered, such as a colored highlight.
5. Keep Your Supply Re-Ordering Consistent
Many dental practices find it easiest to re-order supplies on the same day each month. This can help you save money on shipping since you won’t be placing orders on different days. The process of re-ordering can also be somewhat time-consuming for your staff.
You’ll want to choose a supplier who comes highly recommended from other dental practices in your area. You’ll likely have a budget, especially if your practice is new.
Some companies, such as 3M oral care, will allow you to compare different brands side-by-side so you can be certain you’re getting a good price as well as a quality product.
You may also get discounts or rewards for shopping with the same company each time you re-order. Finding one you’re happy with could be key to an easy experience.
6. Consider Inventory Management Software
Traditional inventory-taking works great in smaller practices. If, however, you’ve got a large office with a huge stock of supplies, it may be worth it to invest in management software.
These programs are equipped to record your stock totals anytime someone uses a supply. Some also enable you to scan supplies in order to record your levels of stock.
Office Supply Inventory List
If you’re running a dental office, you’ll need to keep track of your inventory in order to make sure your practice runs smoothly. You’ll have to create an office supply inventory list and assign a reliable staff member the task of keeping track of what you’ve got. With a well-organized inventory, you’ll be ready to treat your patients with care and ease.
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