Julian English takes a look at the options for those considering outsourcing their laboratory work, whilst reducing the risk.
The past year has been difficult. It’s important to focus on the positive take-aways from the whole experience where possible.
As a profession, dentistry has changed drastically. Technologies and processes have been developed substantially. They have accelerated the natural evolution of the profession bringing more businesses to the cutting-edge of what is possible.
This may have been necessary at the time, but it does now present exciting opportunities for the future.
There are many factors affecting the strength of a business and its ability to remain stable through the next few months and years.
For dental laboratories, a loyal client base is a must. You need practices to continue working with you in the long-term if you are to maintain revenue and secure the future of your lab.
To achieve this, you need a skilled team of dental technicians who have access to constant training and development.
It is also vital to utilise equipment that facilitates efficient workflows and the production of high-quality products that will keep your clients coming back.
This is an area of particular interest given the massive uptake of digital solutions throughout the dental profession in the last year alone.
Investment in technology is crucial for any dental lab business to grow.
However, this doesn’t have to mean spending a significant amount of money on capital equipment. Especially if you are a small-to-medium sized laboratory that’s still finding its feet during this pandemic.
In these situations, outsourcing certain services can afford many benefits. It can enable your lab to continue meeting high standards and client expectations.
Let’s say you have decided to streamline your offerings to focus on what you do best and create a more specialised service.
How do you manage any requests for the type of work that you previously covered?
One option is to refuse the work, but that is unlikely to win you any friends.
Another option would be to collaborate with another organisation. You can outsource the work that you will no longer be performing in-house.
The result is a happy client that receives the products or appliances that they need. You also need not invest in the technology, tools and training required to provide products that are either in low demand or are not financially viable for your lab to deliver.
You and your team are able to concentrate on more specialist and/or profitable areas, helping to strengthen the business.
It can be just as valuable to outsource services when you are looking to expand your offerings.
If you are interested in establishing the ability or growing your capacity to provide 3D printed solutions, for instance, this way of working can support a smooth transition.
Outsourcing is an opportunity to test the waters. It avoids the need for a substantial investment before you know how popular such services might be.
You can supplement your existing capacity with an external provider. This ensures that you meet client demand even as you develop the service.
The right partner
Of course, in any situation, you need to be able to trust the organisation you work with to deliver the quality that your clients have come to expect from you.
How do you select the right partner for you?
There are several aspects to consider, from the provider’s reputation within the industry to the way they work.
You need to collaborate with a third party that shares your passion and ethos for exceptional standards, and maintains them with stringent quality control measures.
You also need a partner that is flexible so as to adapt to fluctuating demands, particularly when you first start.
The Straumann Group can help with this through its direct-to-lab milling service with Createch Medical.
Supporting laboratories of all shapes and sizes, this service offers an external provider of a wide range of frameworks for screw-retained restorations.
A skilled and highly-experienced team are on hand to provide any technical information or advice you may need. There is therefore always someone always at the end of a phone call or email for peace of mind.
With Createch Additive, you can even benefit from SLM (selected laser melting) technology. It delivers outstanding 3D printed solutions to all your clients.
In addition, the Createch Warranty affords total confidence with full traceability of the manufacturing process. All of this makes Createch Medical and the Straumann Group a perfect partner for any dental laboratory looking to outsource services in the coming months and years.
Strengthen your business
This is a time for strengthening your business in any way that you can.
We don’t yet know what the future holds, but preparation for any eventuality and protecting your lab is a priority.
In utilising options like outsourcing certain services, you may also find the competitive edge that you need to really thrive.
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