Like many other aspects of dentistry, the dental product distribution sector is also rapidly changing its business model: the monopoly of dental deposits is scratched – but they concentrate and still maintain over 80% of sales volume – and dentists they begin to explore new purchasing channels. From catalogs to direct producers, from the telephone to the internet, to the organization of demand in buying groups.
Gross margin, Ros (Return on sales, return on sales), Roe (Return on equity, an economic index on the profitability of equity), quick ratio, turnover of stock … are indexes feared by all entrepreneurs and distribution managers for this reason they are constantly monitored in a market in which, every day, we fight “door to door” with a number of agents three times higher than the number of agents on our cousin market: France “.
Some View Points
Maurizio Quaranta, vice president of Adde (Association of dental dealers in Europe) and advisor Ancad (National Association of dental products) describes, as only those who live in the field, the transformation of the business model underway in the distribution of the used products dentists, who are determined first of all by the patient, around which everything revolves and which, first of all, is different from the past.
«It is evident that the change taking place involves the whole supply chain because first of all the patient has changed, here understood as a human being, with all his needs – says Quaranta -. The change will not affect the treatment in this case, but everything that happens before, after and around the treatment as the patient considers his body as his temple.
Someone may not like this hedonistic concept. But it is the reality that one can observe by observing that citizen-patient who still retains a spending capacity for his dental health. This change inevitably involves the dentist as a freelancer. And two other figures that revolve around the dental practice the dental technician and the dental depot ».
The primacy of deposits
Everywhere in the world the distribution system in the dental and dental technician sector has always used dental storage. Information and logistic functions towards the dental office and the dental laboratory . It often also performs the pre and post-sales technical assistance service.
Gianfranco Berrutti , president of the Italian National Dental Industries Union (Unidi) has confirmed it. “Certainly deposits are the distribution channel most used by companies. In this case, the concentrations between distribution companies have allowed us to maintain the primary role of this link in the chain”.
A Gradual Development
Over time, the advent of the catalogs first took place, followed by direct sales by some producers who preferred to take charge of contact with dental practices and dental laboratories, without the intermediation of distribution. We have therefore seen the creation of consortia rather than purchasing groups.
All this to get to the teleselling, or the very teleshopping and, last but not least, the internet with the sales via the web, which begins to peep, but that as in all the countries of the Latin area in Europe is still well far from producing interesting numbers like those of the North European countries.
All this has certainly affected the monopoly of the classic dental depot distribution, even if this channel remains firmly the primacy of dental distribution volumes and it transmits more than 80% of the sales volume.
Unidi-Andi data presented at Expodental Meeting
A detailed report of what is happening to the dental products market is contained in the sector analysis carried out by Unidi which, now in its tenth edition, is presented in these days at Expodental Meeting.
«But I like to announce an unpublished event here – Berrutti declares in this regard. For the first time in the history of dental care, buyers and operators will have the unique and reliable 360 ° patrolling available.
A cognitive tool that market offers to Europe, aligning itself with the practices.In fact, producers and consumers have never presented such timely and careful data as it will happen in Rimini “.
A sector in transformation between mergers and acquisitions
The dental sector, says Berrutti, referring to what emerged during the study day organized by Unidi in Milan last March. From the first to the last link in the chain, is evolving through merger and concentration operations. These allow companies to compete in global level.
“Mergers are a great opportunity for healthy companies and have continued to grow in recent years. Despite the crisis, acquisitions have accelerated natural selection to the detriment of smaller and less structured realities.
Another important aspect of the evolution is the strong orientation of the industry to innovation in the digital environment. Through the development of Cad-Cam technologies for dentists and dental technicians and thanks to the rapid spread of diagnostic imaging.
A datum on all is particularly interesting. The number of panoramic X-rays has grown by 15% . Among these, sales of 3D radiology have increased by 50% (source panel Key-Stone). With indisputable advantages also for patients, in terms of diagnostic safety, of optimal therapeutic results, of economic sustainability “.
The “victims” of the digital revolution
Although the latest data have confirmed that the dental market is a growing market. There are many companies that are still measuring themselves with the crisis. It is a suffering mainly determined by some factors, highlighted by Key-Stone during the Unidi Convention in late March.
In particular, the advent of new technologies, has had a very negative impact on the precious alloys market. In fact, it has gone from fusion to digital processing of prosthetics, losing the value of traditional dental technician skills.
Avant-garde dental practices that have spread throughout the world from the use of the most recent technological innovations. I think of intraoral scanners or advanced solutions image and digital photography in clinical procedures and in dental communicatio
The latest data have confirmed that the dental market is a growing market. But there are many companies that are still measuring themselves with the crisis. It is a suffering mainly determined by some factors, highlighted by Key-Stone during the Unidi Convention in late March.
In particular, the advent of new technologies, has had a very negative impact on the precious alloys market. In fact, it has gone from fusion to digital processing of prosthetics, losing the value of traditional dental technician skills. “But I’m sure – says Berrutti – that these skills will find a new impetus by using new technologies.
Today, and it is crucial, the patients perceive avant-garde as positive and dental practices. They have spread throughout the world from the use of the most recent technological innovations. I think of intraoral scanners or advanced solutions image and digital photography in clinical procedures and in dental communication “.