Dental Service Organizations (DSOs) are networks of dentists and practices that operate together. They have become increasingly popular due to the advantages they offer, including cost savings, increased purchasing capabilities, and access to cutting-edge technology and techniques.
Partnering with DSOs offers dental lab owners a dependable source of business. As DSOs oversee multiple practices, they generate a significant number of cases requiring dental restorations. This presents a valuable opportunity and distinct advantage for dental lab owners to secure a consistent flow of business and foster long-term relationships with DSOs.
In this episode of the Evident Lab to Lab Education Series we are joined by Jay Collins, CEO of The Dental Lab, formerly known as Cornerstone Dental Lab. Here, he shares some insights and best practices on how to land a whale and get DSO Business.
Journey Into Dentistry
Like many professionals in the dental industry, Jay was introduced to the world of dentistry early in his life as his family owned a dental lab since 1969. He spent his early summers working at his uncle’s lab, pouring models and performing tasks to help with the day-to-day demand.
However, his professional journey started in sales, which allowed him to learn firsthand about the business end of the industry and the importance of establishing connections. When he eventually bought his uncle’s lab in 2012 (after overseeing management since 2009), he was able to take his years of experience and translate it into success for the business.
Today, The Dental Lab has a team of 70 making approximately a million dollars a month– and much of this business is because of the relationship the lab has built with Dental Service Organizations.
Understand DSO Needs and Requirements
Before approaching a DSO, Jay recommends first understanding their needs and requirements. Each DSO is unique, and they are looking for partners that can help them differentiate themselves from their competitors.
Building a strong foundation is vital from when you first establish a point of contact, so it is advisable to first gain an idea of what they are looking for in a partner.
DSOs also have specific requirements that dental labs need to meet. These requirements can include specific materials, turnaround times, and pricing. When engaging with a DSO, it is important to understand that they are seeking partnerships that can help them scale their business and improve their bottom line.
DSOs appreciate partners who offer high-quality products at reasonable rates. To meet their expectations, it’s important to:
Focus on Quality
On a related note, Jay highlights the significant role of quality in the dental industry. When dental labs produce high-quality products, it not only fosters trust between the lab and the DSO but also instills confidence in the patients who will use these products.
This implies that dental labs should prioritize both the quality of their materials and equipment and the competence of their trained staff. When seeking partnerships with DSOs, dental labs must have skilled technicians capable of producing accurate and precise products. Additionally, the lab team should consist of staff members who contribute to delivering quality service at every interaction point.
As Jay puts it: “True customer service includes getting deliverables done on time, having the pricing right, and getting the bill right, but also making yourself available at the time they need you.”
Establishing a good track record reinforces the partnership you have with a DSO in the long run, allowing you to keep business with them over time.
Jay’s background in sales instilled in him the importance of valuing relationships, and ultimately this is the key to landing DSO business. “DSOs are looking for partners, not vendors,” he explains. You need to show them that you understand their needs and are committed to delivering quality work to practices under their umbrella. That includes being balanced with transparency and honesty when managing their expectations for output.
This means building a healthy rapport with key decision makers in the DSO, as well as the dentists and practices in the organization that you will inevitably be working with. Networking with a collaborative direction and well-facilitated communication is the core of building trust, and it is that trust that fundamentally gains and retains business– especially when working with Dental Service Organizations.
Getting a DSO Business
While working with DSOs is challenging when it comes to meeting the demands of production, businesses. Jay Collins’ The Dental Lab has proven that it is ultimately a productive endeavor. Lasting business means lasting value, and consistent work from DSOs also means a steady stream of income for dental labs.
This allows them to scale the business and establish its long-term success. The ecosystem of digital dentistry, while increasingly competitive, becomes more rewarding as you find the right partners that allow you to reach your goals.
The Dental Lab, Dental Lab, Dental, Dentist, DSO
Angel Chang is a Drexel University graduate with a background in Marketing. She has experience with digital analytics, SEO, social media management, content creation, copywriting, and web development.