Q&A with Daniel Traub of Method Procurement
Method is a procurement software to help empower your team with all the right tools and knowledge to improve your dental practice. Inside Dentistry sat down with Daniel Traub, Vice President of Product for Method Procurement, to discuss the company's entrance into the dental industry.
Inside Dentistry (ID): What type of needs did you identify in the dental profession for a spend management platform?
Daniel Traub: Our team found there were several unique challenges faced in dental: a fairly small set of distributors dealing with a rather large set of common products; a smaller-is-better approach that favors simpler solutions to business problems; and the use of formularies to define preferred products. Beyond these challenges, there is a growing focus on building scalable business processes across multiple locations, so our solution needed to address this from the very beginning, with features such as a strong workflow and user roles. We also help the dental practice set a budget and maintain a spend within this budget throughout the month.
Additionally, in the turbulent times we live in, dental practices have had to seek out new and alternative sources of supply in order to keep their offices running. Our spend management approach had to embrace ways to discover these new sources as well as to display the availability of scarce products such as PPE.
ID: How does your experience in other industries provide you with confidence that this will be a beneficial platform in the dental profession?
Traub: Method's founding team has worked bringing software solutions to industries ranging from healthcare to higher education. We also have dental supply chain expertise, which allows us to understand the dynamics of the distributors and manufacturers in our space. From these broad experiences, we have found that there are a few principles of success when it comes to procurement. That is what we are bringing to the dental profession, in terms of both features as well as the training necessary to apply these principles successfully. We call it "Our Method, Your Success."
ID: What expenses does a spend management platform encompass?
Traub: Our vision is to handle any and all external supplies or services spend, providing our clients with a total end-to-end process solution. In a dental setting, this ranges from dental supplies to office supplies, janitorial, laboratory fees, maintenance/repairs, and many other categories as well.
ID: Beyond helping find the best prices, what else does this platform involve?
Traub: Method's tools support all of the steps in a well-run procurement process, from inventory management through sourcing, pre-purchase approvals, budgeting, ordering, receiving, and settling invoices for payment. We have built in the best practices you need in a dental setting, such as a catalog of more than 400,000 common dental products, almost 2,000 industry suppliers and manufacturers, barcode scanning, and easy-to-use screens that any member of a dental team can use successfully. We also provide business analytics against all the data so clients can drive ongoing improvements and drive even more financial value to the bottom line.
Now, merely providing a system like this is not enough if it will not get used. That is why we have invested heavily in a top-notch onboarding process that our US-based team delivers, tailoring each Method go-live to the unique needs of each client. We back that up with live US-based support, so our clients can be confident they will get the value they expect over time.
ID: What early feedback have you heard from dentists regarding what type of difference this makes in their practice?
Traub: We have seen several of our clients realize savings in excess of $1,000 monthly by adopting our platform and approach. That is really significant in 2020, when profit assumptions are being challenged at every turn. We like to ask dentists to consider how rapidly they can boost profits through increased production and all that goes with it. When compared with profits through production, a dollar driven to the bottom line through better procurement delivers the same profit as 3 to 4 additional production dollars.
We also have heard really positive feedback from team members at our clients who are now spending less time managing a formerly chaotic purchasing process. They are able to spend more time on the things that matter, knowing that a single system is supporting their procurement activities, no matter the supplier.
ID: What else should dental professionals know about Method?
Traub: We are moving fast thanks to our innovative clients, who are really passionate about improving this area of their operations. The deeper we get into solving their most urgent problems, the more convinced we are that there is tremendous opportunity to bring the industry together in creating procurement best practices and solutions. It is also a very opportunistic time in 2020 for the dental profession to turn its attention to better business practices, so we are excited to have some concrete ways to help.