From bins and racks to boxes and cabinets, there are many ways to organize supplies in a dental practice. Tip-out bins fill an essential niche, allowing you to store various small- and medium-sized supplies in an easy-to-access, visible location. They're a valuable tool in the hunt for neat and organized dental office storage, allowing you to avoid the costly effects of inventory problems, like lost products and wasted time spent searching for supplies.Let's take a closer look at this useful storage option and how to set it up in your dental practice effectively.
Tip-out bins are an excellent choice for dental supplies, which are often small and need to be contained, not left loose on a shelf. They also have expiration dates, which raises the stakes for staying organized.Commercial tip-out bins are usually made of tough, easy-to-clean plastic bins inside a sturdy frame that attaches to the wall. Rather than sitting on a track like pull-out bins, these simply lean at an angle until the opening is accessible. Employees can access them one-handed and see through the clear sides for inventory visibility — no more wondering if the raspberry fluoride was in the second bin or the third. Plus, they stack up, allowing you to maximize precious floor space.Using these bins as part of a well-organized storage system can help you reap a variety of benefits, including:
So, how do you set up your tip-out bins to get these advantages?
Here's a step-by-step guide to buying and installing tip-out bins for a dental office.
Installing any new organizational system requires commitment. Don't try to switch over a long period. Instead, set aside some time and grab a few helpers to set up your new organization scheme. This could be an excellent time to set everything up if you're closed over the weekend.Be ruthless with your cleaning needs. If you have products you aren't using — throw them away. If you have too hard to find products, now is the best time to invest in the organizational materials you need to make them accessible and deliver value to the business.
Since you're here, you probably already have a decent idea of what you need, but it's time to hammer out the details. A good rule of thumb is to get one section of bins for every treatment room and separate them by the kind of product stored. You may have one section for hygiene, one for ortho and one for other specialties in the office.Other elements to consider when mapping out your dental storage requirements include:
You'll also want to talk to your staff to see what they want from this storage system outside of these technical demands. Ask them what problems they run into and what they'd like to see in the new system. These team members will be using the bins the most and probably have a good idea of what they need to work more efficiently.
After ordering and receiving your bins, you're ready to set them up. The process is usually pretty straightforward, but you'll likely need someone who's handy with tools. Grab someone who knows what they're doing or hire a professional. Remember, these bins can be pretty heavy, so you need to ensure that they won't fall over or damage your walls.The best way to do this is to find studs. Use a studfinder to locate these boards in the walls and use long screws to reach them. If you don't have studs in the walls, use screw anchors. When you place an anchor into the hole before the screw, the anchor expands into the drywall, providing more grip. Check the instructions on your tip-out bins for more information on secure installation and whether anchors are sufficient.If you're installing your bins in new construction, discuss the plan with your contractor. They may be able to install them for you or ensure that wood is in place behind the drywall for more security.
Now comes the fun part — with your bins in place, start moving your items in. Here's where your staff's input especially comes in handy. They can tell you how the items are used and help you select the best placements.Consider organizing your items by which ones are used most often. These are best placed toward the middle of the section, where staff doesn't need to bend down or strain to reach products. Place items that frequently go together in the same area. For instance, if you send each patient home with a toothbrush, mini toothpaste and floss, place these in bins right next to each other for easy access.This is also the time when you'll want to label your bins. Whether you're using stickers, a label maker or barcodes, you'll want to make sure it's easy to identify which items go where. You can even use these as part of a coding system. Use blue labels for ortho tools and green ones for general dentistry, or add a fun sticker to pediatric supplies to separate them from the rest of the items.Your creativity and knowledge of the office will be your best resource for organizing your bins. And remember, this system can be tweaked as you go along. Don't be afraid to reevaluate later on if you think items should be added or moved.
Putting your products in the right place is just the start of neat dental supply room organization. Use this opportunity to start fresh and establish an up-to-date stock list and inventory management system. By determining appropriate stock levels, you have better oversight of your inventory and know when to reorder. You get to avoid running out of items and ensure you're always prepared.With a comprehensive dental inventory system like Method, you can optimize your stock levels by tracking typical use and automatically reordering items when your inventory drops below your defined threshold. We'll talk more about the capabilities of inventory software later, but know that it can be an excellent tool for identifying stock requirements and adding visibility. Reorganization is a great opportunity to add an inventory management platform.
Organizing your tip-out bins for a dental office isn't a one-time event. You'll need to stay on top of the items by scheduling regular cleaning, restocking and counting. If you don't already have a specific point of contact, appoint someone to oversee inventory demands. This person takes responsibility for the job and should understand your system.This person will help carry out regularly scheduled needs, including:
You may choose to restock bins weekly, evaluate inventory movement quarterly, and clean and perform physical inventory yearly. Setting up automatic reordering can eliminate another step, leaving you with a more hands-off inventory system. You can significantly simplify your stock assessments with inventory insights, too, leaving those out of the schedule altogether.
Dental offices have various concerns for effectively managing inventory. You need to keep things profitable, ensure visibility and maintain cleanliness. Here are a few tips to help you meet those needs while you're organizing dental office supplies:
Reorganizing your dental office is the perfect time to implement inventory management software. While tip-out bins can help you physically organize your supplies, software can help you take control of more complex inventory demands and optimize your entire process. Manual inventory management is time-consuming and prone to errors. The right software solution speeds up the process, reduces mistakes and helps you collect valuable insights.Method Procurement is a platform chock full of features to help you optimize your inventory and save time and money. Some of the things you get with Method include:
With Method, you can use your tip-out bins as part of a more capable inventory system to improve the efficiency and profitability of your office.
Using tip-out bins is a must-have for dental offices, helping you keep items front-and-center, where staff members can find what they need and reduce the prevalence of lost or expired products. To boost the effectiveness of your organizational strategy, consider adding Method to it. This inventory management platform was built specifically for dental practices. It can reign in your dental office storage solution to help you save time, money and frustration.To learn more about Method, explore its features online or reach out to us to request a demo!
Method Procurement Technologies gives independent dental practices and DSOs the inventory management and procurement capabilities they need to succeed. With our full, end-to-end solution, ordering dental supplies is straightforward and hassle-free.
Learn how Method Procurement's spend management solutions can improve your bottom line. Get in touch with our team today or request a demo to see it for yourself.