by Bryan Murphy – November 2021

Bryan Murphy is currently the North America Sales Manager at Whip Mix Corporation and has been working with the distribution channel for over 40 years. He is the distributor’s liaison focusing on the needs of the customer in building channel specific programs to help their business goals.

Today’s dental industry is rapidly changing. With these changes happening so quickly, it is essential to assess your business on an ongoing basis and really consider the direction you are going. Whether you are using traditional analog, CAD/CAM, or 3D printing products, having a good, reliable dental distributor as a partner to assist you in meeting your business goals is extremely important. The right partner may be able to offer advantages which would help your future growth.

Questions to consider:

  • Product Mix Offering: Am I looking for a dental supplier that offers a full line of dental equipment and merchandise products? Does a “one-stop” supplier/partner suit your requirements and help reduce the number of different orders and invoices. With the changes occurring in the industry, you may be planning to grow your business in a different direction – or perhaps expand it. Consider those specialist suppliers that are open to new technology products that may provide immediate or future product needs for your business.
  • Delivery Options: What are my delivery requirements? Are most of your product orders sent with standard delivery times or do you find yourself requiring frequent emergency shipments? Ask the supplier about options for routine and urgent shipments. Do you know what your most frequently ordered products are? You may want to keep your location and the supplier location in mind.
  • Sales & Service: What are my Sales and Service needs? Your profession and office set-up demands will depend on the sales and service you are looking for. Quality customer service should play an important role in your decision-making. If your business is more equipment aligned, service will generally be a more important priority and potentially require in-house service. Your business may require a supplier sales relationship with guidance for growth or changes based on your needs. This sales relationship may include routine office visits or routine contact through phone or email.
  • Quality & Price: How do your quality standards align with pricing expectations? Looking for quality products combined with acceptable pricing is essential for your operations. For those products supplied by the distributor, inquire about the manufacturer’s certifications, how many years in business, the product’s reliability, and government-required regulations.

Choosing a supplier – or multiple suppliers – is important to the successful daily operations of your organization. Seeking information and asking questions that apply to your needs will assist you in making the right choice for your business.