5. To Help with Peak Demand:
Having owned a laboratory for many years, I can sympathize with the difficulty of managing work through peak demand periods. Significantly increased production needs are both good and bad. On the good side, one may be experiencing growth. On the bad side, pushing too much work through a production facility can lead to a drop in quality, late case delivery, and staff frustration. In today’s very competitive lab market it is not realistic to maintain staff levels to facilitate peak production periods. In addition, it seemed to never fail, when work is flowing in record rates we had staff on vacation or out sick. The solution, outsource the overload to a partner milling center. This will help you keep up with increased demand, temporarily replace staff that is out and enable you to ship quality work on time with little-added pressure.
4. To Introduce New Products
Equipping a laboratory today is far more costly than ever before. For many new products labs are making significant investments in capital equipment. This investment for new product development can make or break a lab’s future. There is a clear path to new product launches that reduces risk to almost zero. For example, you want to provide an implant supported milled bar for both overdentures and screw retained restorations. The cost of capital equipment is significant. If you partner with a competent milling center that provides good milled bar solution you reduce risk. Build the business by outsourcing production. Also, compile an ROI on the purchase of needed solutions to bring this operation in house. While outsourcing, the team is learning how to manage the treatment plan and manufacture prosthetics over the bar. Once you get to a level of sales that shows a positive ROI you have the option to move this production into your lab. Outsourcing can reduce risk, can add to your portfolio and will add to the knowledge of your team.
3. To Evaluate New Product Viability
The easiest path to growth is through new product introductions. However, training staff, buying all the needed materials and equipment, obtaining sales and marketing a new product is time consuming, costly and has some risk. By selecting a product of choice and outsourcing fabrication you can quickly understand the demand levels and potential sales opportunities. If the sales look to be less than anticipated it may be worth keeping the product and continue to outsource. If sales go as planned you can then make the investment in training, staff, materials, and equipment.
2. Tap Into a Knowledge Base
Let’s face it, none of us know it all. By partnering with a milling center we have immediate access to a new knowledge base. Most milling centers produce a lot of work incredibly efficiently, while many labs are far less efficient. In addition, milling centers will likely have increased knowledge of the materials and processes around producing what you need. It is not uncommon for some labs to struggle with automation and digital production. Outsourcing enables you to do what you are best at while working with a company that specializes in what is not your core competency.
1. Freeing Up Internal Resources and Space
Many lab owners love keeping things small and under control. The average lab in the US has only a staff of about three. Bringing in new CAD CAM requires space, time to learn, and the resources to bring in more staff. For those lab owners that want to stay small outsourcing is a great path to offering so many automated restorative products. It’s certainly not everyone’s first choice to think big or be big and your business should be what you want it to be. Outsourcing can help.