Transforming spend management to improve your bottom line

October 2, 2020
Jo Donofrio
Volume 54, Issue 10

How Method’s cloud-based procurement system streamlines purchase processes.

As more dental practices face mounting financial pressure due to stagnant reimbursement rates, increased competition, and high overhead, spend management is essential to productive and profitable growth. Effective management of vendor relationships and the integration and automation of all spend-related activities can result in lower supply costs, increased productivity, and improved financial results.

The Method Procurement system is an innovative cloud-based solution to spending management. From tracking inventory against budget, comparing supply costs from multiple vendors, and automating and controlling payments, Method streamlines and manages all phases of the purchasing process, driving improved financial results to the bottom line.

“Before we started using the Method Procurement system, our process was totally manual,” says Pamela Sandstede, director of operations at Dassel Dental, a 4-office general and cosmetic dentistry practice in central Minnesota. “One person in each office used a calculator to check their inventory as a percentage of collections and place orders, all while trying to stay within budget. Because each office ordered separately, we didn’t benefit from volume price breaks.”

Method is designed to streamline all phases of the purchasing process in a platform easy enough for any team member to use, and the dashboard can be customized.

“I was a little hesitant at first to try Method as I am an Excel spreadsheet person,” says Sandstede. “Method worked with me one-on-one and, after the first day, I was sold. If I had a question, [Method] got back to me quickly and walked me through the necessary steps. With one 30-minute training [session], we were able to set up the Method system within one week.”

From a comprehensive dental supply catalog to a specialized cost analysis feature, Method provides the tools to easily request quotes from multiple suppliers and place orders in a single, straightforward process. “We used to order from a few large suppliers,” says Sandstede, “With Method, our buying options are automatically shown from multiple suppliers and we see our contract pricing live. If a larger supplier is out of stock on an item, we can order it from a smaller supplier, which can result in better pricing and quicker delivery.”

Method also makes it easier to manage inventory, reorder supplies, and update on-hand quantities. “When an order is received, you can go to the purchase order, receive the items, and keep track of current inventory,” explains Sandstede. “This feature allows us to order smaller quantities more frequently and eliminate unnecessary waste.”

Method also provides a unique approach to managing financial performance by helping track supply costs as a percentage of collections. “As you order, the system automatically shows if you are over or under budget,” says Sandstede. “When we started using the Method system in February 2020, our supplies were 5% to 6% of collections. In just a couple of months, we were able to reduce it to 4%.”

Based on a pay-as-you-go subscription fee model, Method offers several options to meet the unique requirements of any dental practice. All packages come with an onboarding plan, self-guided training resources, and email, phone, and chat support. Additional tools such as electronic invoicing, enhanced dashboards, integration with financial systems, and a tailored onboarding process are also available.

Method empowers dental practices of all sizes to increase their productivity, maximize their buying power, and improve their bottom line. “You can see every penny with this method,” says Sandstede. “If your supply costs are more than 6% of your collections, you need this system.”

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