Dental laboratories and suppliers are up against new kinds of challenges in 2021 when it comes to dental supplies shipping. As the pandemic has shown us, finding partners that not only help you survive global disruptions but also establish personal connections are extremely crucial. It has become all the more important for lab suppliers to find dental supplies shipping partners to stay ahead of the competition and get business back on track this year.
However, there are certain challenges labs and suppliers need to address before they look for a delivery partner
Challenges faced by dental lab suppliers
The new challenges for dental supplies shipping that have cropped up are mainly influenced by the pandemic. Nevertheless, businesses, including dental labs and suppliers need to adapt to the changing dynamics to make sure they’re offering the best services to dental professionals.
Business setback due to COVID-19
Dental labs and suppliers depend on dentists to send them orders such as crowns and bridges. In the last one year, fewer people have visited dentists than the years before that. While the lockdowns played their part, the psychological fear of visiting a clinic or health facility has made people reconsider their teeth health.
Fewer patients for dentists mean fewer orders for labs and equipment suppliers. Dwindling sales have impacted turnover and that’s why it’s so important to bounce back with the right kind of strategy. While the business may have been slow, the world has been moving and adapting to the new normal at a breakneck speed.
From putting extra emphasis on disinfection procedures to keeping up with all the government mandates and policy changes, suppliers have a long list of challenges to address. One way to go about it is by improving digital infrastructure and facilitating contactless transfer – from shipping companies for the dental industry to clinics.
Faster delivery and quality products
Dental professionals are slowly seeing the number of appointments increasing each month. While this is nowhere near normal yet, it’s important to provide a seamless and safe experience to everyone. Today, dentists expect flawless products delivered to them faster than ever.
Some dentists need products delivered multiple times a day and if you can’t offer that, they’ll swiftly move to your competitors. On top of that, the products themselves have to serve the end goal: patient satisfaction. From implant restoration to digital impression, you need to constantly refine your backend processes to offer high-quality products.
To make sure you don’t skip a beat, you need a dental lab shipping partner that can address the new demands of dentists and clinics.
End-to-end business partners for dentists
The laboratories that can offer more than just products will see a long-term partnership with the dental clinics. Having long-term clients is particularly important when you face global disruptions.
To strike a partnership that evolves into an end-to-end business solution, you need to offer additional value. Dentists are not looking for products anymore, they’re looking for suppliers that can offer them convenience and ease of transaction. Convenience can cover faster delivery, real-time communication, and a simpler return policy. Labs and suppliers that can offer repeatable outcomes and a strong digital dashboard for customizable orders will stand to gain in a hyper-competitive market.
Ultimately, it’s the supplier that can evolve into a business partner that will enjoy a constant flow of orders from dentists.
How to choose the perfect delivery partner
Now that you’re aware of the challenges you need to address, you have to find a dental shipping partner that aligns with your goals and business operations. Here are a few things you need to remember while searching for the perfect delivery partner.
Analyze what you want from a delivery partner
Before you go look for a partner, properly analyze what your business needs to achieve. Start with your customers – how fast do clinics expect products, how frequently do they order and how much are they willing to pay for it?
Next, check what kind of packages you’ll be sending. How travel sensitive are they? Do they need thermal cooling? What’ll be the size and weight of an average package? Now check what your competitors are doing. Are they offering faster delivery at a reduced cost? Is there a gap that you can plug? Note down the points and look to find a partner who’ll be able to address your concerns.
How is their system maintenance?
Having the right infrastructure for dental supplies shipping is only half the job done. Shipping dental equipment requires flawless cargo space. Companies need to constantly maintain their equipment and control the environment to make sure the packages hold their integrity. Equipment in poor health can stall delivery, damage the dental products and extend delivery timelines, none of which is ideal from a supplier and dentist’s point of view.
Before you zero in on a partner, check how they maintain their fleet and their equipment. Does the temperature mechanism work flawlessly? Do they follow routine check-ups that go beyond manufacturer standards? Understanding how their transportation holds up over time should give you a general idea of whether you’ll be able to strike a long-term partnership with the company.
How do they enforce policies?
Dental supplies shipping including dental may contain sensitive patient information that needs to be protected on the road. While picking your carriers, perform a thorough audit to find how they handle records and data. You should consider how long the records are kept, how secure data storage they use, and whether they have a backup system in place.
Record policies and SOPs are very important in case of emergencies. The documented processes help you understand how experienced the carrier is and how much effort they’re putting in to make sure the operation flows smoothly regardless of the situation.
How fast do they deliver?
According to a Digital Commerce 360 report, fast delivery is the key deciding factor behind an order for 68% of customers. This is true for B2B shipments as well, including dental supplies shipping. As the pandemic has shown us, finding partners that not only help you survive global disruptions but also establish personal connections are extremely crucial. It has become all the more important for lab suppliers to find dental supplies shipping partners to stay ahead of the competition and get business back on track this year. Dentists often work with a hyper-demanding and volatile procurement model so shipping dental equipment quickly is extremely crucial.
While searching for your carrier, find one that delivers fast and on time. Delivery to local clinics can be expedited with route planning and by strategizing timelines.
How far do they deliver?
This is another factor in dental supplies shipping that vastly depends on your customer base. If the clinics you’re delivering to are spread across a vast region, you should look for shipping partners that have the capacity to address long-distance delivery.
However, if you normally deliver to local dentists, then major shipping partners with a wide delivery range may not be the ideal choice. When it comes to local delivery, smaller, region-specific courier partners fare better. They have the knowledge, the expertise, and the agility that comes with small-scale operations.
How technologically advanced are they?
In the post-pandemic world, technology has become the deciding factor in the shipping industry. The industry has traditionally responded slowly when it comes to implementing frontend technology that makes the lives of the customers easier. But 2021 hasn’t left any room for complacency.
The courier partner of your choice must have up-to-date technology to streamline the delivery process. From real-time tracking to frequent order status notifications and cold chain of custody, companies that put the extra effort to infuse technology for dental lab shipping should be on your preferred list.
How is their customer service?
A lot of labs and suppliers don’t pay enough attention to the customer service offered by delivery companies. Having an always-on customer executive to talk to in case of an issue or special order is something that should be on your radar.
Directly get in touch with all partners and ask questions about their policies, how they address sudden issues and how they escalate queries to top executives. The transparency and ease of communication should be two factors you should focus on and pick the one that offers the most professional and helpful experience.
Dental supply chain solutions: regional service is the answer
More often than not, dental laboratories and suppliers work with local groups of dentists and clinics where same-day delivery becomes very important.
If you’re supplying to local clinics, then you should find a partner that has a robust local delivery network. The singularity of focus often makes them a better option than nationwide delivery partners. Local delivery partners know the areas inside out, they know when the traffic is the worst, the turns and corners and just make sure that the products reach safely to the dentist. When they have a shorter distance to cover, the timelines also become shorter, making it less likely that your dental products will be damaged.
On top of getting a highly personalized experience, local delivery partners also offer you cheaper rates than others. Since their fleet is well optimized for the region, there’s less friction as well.
IntelliQuick Delivery: the dental lab and supply courier service you need
When it comes to southwestern U.S., IntelliQuick Delivery is the most professional delivery partner for dental supplies. We’re fully HIPAA, DOT, and OSHA compliant and take comprehensive care of medical packages.
IntelliQuick Delivery is headquartered in Phoenix and has regional centers in Denver, Las Vegas, and Tucson. We have 100,000 square feet of warehouse space located across Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas and Albuquerque to dispatch products quickly in these regions. Our robust infrastructure in the southwest is not the only reason that makes us the best. Here are three major reasons why you should supply dental products with us.
Be it documents or pharmaceutical products, medical logistics is not everyone’s cup of tea. From security protocols to thermal care, you need a fleet that’s trained and up to the challenge. IntelliQuick drivers have been trained extensively to handle dental products with utmost care and precision.
Technology forms a big part of IntelliQuick’s infrastructure. We use leading GPS software, ASN, state-of-the-art Enterprise Digital Assistant and an automated workflow to streamline the delivery process. Our technology is built to add transparency to the last mile problem.
When it comes to medical delivery, we understand how important it is to get the right product at the right time. IntelliQuick Delivery has a special Have It Today or H.I.T program that can deliver products in as fast as 1 hour. Our Routed and Routed Plus options allow you to send products twice or thrice a day and dentists can receive them at a specific time set by them.
If you want to save money further, our Routine option is perfect for affordable, direct medical delivery.
IntelliQuick Delivery boasts specialized customer service to help you quickly address issues that may arise. We’re also looking forward to answering any questions you may have. To see how we can help you deliver dental products faster, get in touch with us today!