Online shopping with a difference
Dentistry.co.uk talks to Michael Allison, who explains how Kent Express makes life easier for dental professionals
What is your role?
I am a senior account manager and I’ve worked at Kent Express for over 11 years. It’s my responsibility to look after a group of customers; understanding their business needs and offering them the best service.
I’m also the team’s small equipment expert, which means I have a higher level of knowledge and experience with those products. I provide extra help for customers and colleagues with our more technical items.
Why should dental practices shop with Kent Express?
We provide a fantastic service and very competitive value. With over 35 years’ experience within the industry, we also have individuals in our team with great experience. For example, several colleagues have previously worked in practices as dental nurses.
We offer a great service and our fulfilment and delivery stats are some of the best in the business. We really care about getting things right and if there’s a problem, we do everything we can to fix it.
Summarise a typical day
A typical day would start with me reviewing customer orders from the previous day to ensure correct dispatch and arrival. I’d follow up on telephone conversations, emails and run through scheduled calls.
From then it’s hard to say – one call might be a straightforward weekly consumables order, and the next a full quote on a complex piece of small equipment. I have constant contact with our suppliers too; sourcing information for customers and sometimes negotiating a special deal on behalf of the customer!
What is the best part about working for Kent Express?
The people! There’s a real emphasis on working as part of a team to achieve a greater goal; when people join the company, they tend to stay for a long time (unusual for a sales team). It’s also a fun place to work and we regularly have team events and incentives.
What product should all dental practices have?
I think everyone should have a washable keyboard and mouse in their surgery. Computer equipment can get missed when it comes to infection control. Both the keyboard and mouse are waterproof: you can pop them in the washer disinfector to clean them and then plug into your computer via a USB port as normal.
What sets Kent Express apart from other distributors?
Our account managers are highly trained and knowledgeable.We meet our suppliers regularly to learn about the features and benefits of new products, and our whole team undertakes BDIA training to give us a solid grounding in how dental practices operate.
Some dental suppliers just shift boxes, but we’re able to provide a valuable experience by learning about the customer’s business, understanding their priorities, and sharing our knowledge. I think it’s the personal touch that makes the difference. It’s easy to order from us because we have a great range of own brand consumables to save our customers money, and over 99% fulfilment rate.
What are your thoughts about online buying?
Digital is the future and it’s easier to shop online than ever before. Many of us already buy personal supplies online, and there’s no reason why dental supplies should be any different. Our website is straightforward and easy to use, and if you place a regular order, the site can remember your ‘shopping list’, saving a lot of time. And we’re always here on the end of the phone if you have any questions!
How do you think the consumables market is changing?
Customers are in the driving seat these days, and that’s how it should be. Everyone likes to shop around for the best deal and there are several players in the market. That’s why we always try to offer the best value and service.
For more information, visit www.kentexpress.co.uk or call 0800 028 1181