4 Easy Ways You Can Improve Ordering & Vendor Relationships

06/11/2019 | Vendor Issues

office administrator

By Terry Kolb

It’s no secret that administrators are busy bees around the office, every single day. One of the most significant roles or jobs we take on to help our practice run smoothly and efficiently is handling the day to day ordering of supplies while also maintaining beneficial, positive relationships with our vendors who help keep our offices stocked.

Like we just said, we know how busy you are, so we’re going to keep this blog short and sweet with a few juicy nuggets of helpful tips you can implement into your office management routine. Let’s dive right in!

Tip #1 – Do your product pricing research to obtain the best prices possible.

You don’t always have to pull a product from a specific vendor if they happen to be cheaper than someone else. Allow your loyal vendor to match or even go lower on a price, rather than just pulling the product. And remember, it is always a good idea to keep an eye on the many shipping fees you may incur using more than one vendor. They can add up.

Tip #2 – With some companies, the sales representatives can give you a better deal than direct ordering.

It never hurts to work directly with a rep. If you haven’t already asked or tried before, go ahead and see if they’re willing to give you some sort of discount on your order. (Free shipping, anyone?) Many times, reps are in a position to work with you to make an order more enticing, especially when you are purchasing bone grafting or dental implant materials.

Tip #3 – Look for big-ticket items during major, national meetings.

In the market for a big purchase such as an upgraded CT scanner/X-ray machine or CBCT? It’s always a good idea to do some in-depth research and homework, so you know exactly what you’re getting into in terms of pricing and performance. The trick is to be on the lookout for these items and companies at trade shows or large meetings such as AAOMS. Big items like these are often on sale or have more flexible pricing at these events, and you might be able to snag a sweet deal. Remember to try and avoid taking a company’s financing offer at face value. Always research your own options before agreeing to any financing. And when in doubt, join the SOMSA Forum to ask what others administrators have seen when it comes to pros and cons of big ticket items.

Tip #4 – Always have a good rapport with your vendors (no matter what).

The more your vendors love you, the more opportunity you have to build a long term relationship. Keep them paid and consider setting up a system where every invoice is on the vendor’s own thirty-day payout. This helps to even out your money flow, and vendors are happy because they’re always getting paid on time. Over time vendors get to know you and your reputation for ethical business habits. Paying your invoices and creating an atmosphere of trust and excellent communication is always key.

We hope you’ve learned a little trick or two from these tips. Keep checking our blog to learn more helpful ways you can improve your office and all of the work you do. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us.