While the dental profession has made great strides in streamlining its business operations in recent years, particularly coupled with the increasingly dominant corporate groups, there are few centralised online shopping databases specific to the practice of dentistry. Dr Dave Houston, the general manager of John Street Dental in Redcliffe, Queensland, didn’t intentionally set out to change that, but after a fortuitous meeting with a web developer Shade Guide was born.
The website allows dentists and practice managers to compare products via price and first-hand testimonials, and then place an order instantly. While Shade Guide as a business doesn’t hold stock in the same way as a traditional retailer, each of the seven suppliers currently linked to the site receive an email notification when an order is generated and fulfil the order (and supply the invoice) directly to the practice. The website has the advantage, too, of allowing suppliers to upload and update items personally, such as when new items become available, or items are on sale or sold out.
“I work in operations and found that the ordering process was something we couldn’t solve internally,” says Dr Houston. “It required an open platform for dentists to use as a comparison and order tool. And my practice team members love it, it really makes ordering easy and fast.” While Shade Guide is still in its beta phase, Dr Houston has plans to expand its offering and functionality in 2016. Click through to trial it now.