Dental Insider Blog

Observation and Commentary On the Dental Industry

The “Dentsply Effect” – 1 Year Later

Posted by dentalinsider on November 7, 2007

In August we asked our readers how Dentsply’s Stategic Partnership Agreement had affected them over the last year. We had a fair amount of respondents that lost the line, but we also had a couple of dealers that kept the line respond as well. Here is what we found…

Of those that lost the line, some placed additional orders with Dentsply through the cutoff date, while others either stopped placing orders with Dentsply all together or sourced the product from other places. (Gray Market)

Many of the discontinued dealers found that they were able to convert Dentsply sales into competing products and there were only a couple of products that they had trouble switching customers off of (Viscogel and Aquasil Ultra).

“Our sales overall are up over 40% from last year, losing Dentsply did not affect us one bit. Our customers and hopefully everyone else’s in the country we very disappointed, not so much on the operatory but on the lab side they swore off Dentsply completely in their labs. I would say about 50-65% of people were open to switching to competing products.”

“We have had great success in switching our customers to competing products. Many of the other manufacturers offered specials, samples, conversion charts and some even offered delayed billing. Many of our customers thought that Dentsply treated us un-fairly and flat out refused to use their products.”

“We achieved a conversion rate of about 75% on all of the Dentsply products.”

I have not personally had good response to switching people to other teeth yet, as they say Dentsply is what the Dr’s request and the labs just seem to give the Dr’s what they ask for and don’t want to rock the boat. If we could reach the Dr’s, it might help to switch them. I have been able to switch people from Dentsply/Ney/Ceramco consumables. That is not an issue, just teeth.

The two dealers that did keep the Dentsply line both reported that they were surprised at how loyal customers were to their independent suppliers and were unwilling to make a change based on the fact that the independent supply house didn’t have the Dentsply line. They also stated that the weekly”Zip Code Data Reports” were very time consuming and a nuisance. One dealer eve had this to say…

“The discontinued dealers have a big advantage over us existing dealers, they can buy the product on the gray market, they don’t have to buy in quantities to get the best price and they don’t have to do these stupid reports. I am not sure who got the better end of the deal.”

So what do we come away with in all of this? It appears that the discontinued dealers have been able to hold on to a good percentage of their sales either by converting to other products or buying Dentsply products on the “gray market.”

We know that Dentsply’s sales over the last year have grown in many of the direct sale divisions (Endo, Ortho, Implant, Lab) but have been lackluster in the divisions sold via the “Strategic Partnership Agreement Dealers”. Morale within the Dentsply sales force is at an all time low and many of the salespeople are looking to jump ship or retire.

Based on the data above, it is my opinion that Dentsply will eventually use the direct sale model for all divisions including the ones currently sold under the Strategic Partnership Agreement. It seems to be working for Dentsply around the world, so why not here in the United States. Here is a quote from a Dentsply Australia brochure…

“DENTSPLY is the world’s leading manufacturer of professional dental products and we in DENTSPLY Australia are committed to passing on to you the benefits of dealing DIRECT with the manufacturer.”

What are your thoughts on this? Post a comment or send us an email to dentalinsider[at]gmail{.}com



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18 Responses to “The “Dentsply Effect” – 1 Year Later”

  1. This was nice to read: “they were surprised at how loyal customers were to their independent suppliers.” And the whole grey market issue rears its head again.

  2. TJ said

    It seems that since the dealers that lost the line were able to convert most of their customers to competing products, strictly selling direct would be like pulling the trigger to a gun that is already pointed at thier (Dentsply’s) head. If any of the big boys (Schein, Patterson, etc..) lost the Dentsply line, what makes anyone think that those companies wouldn’t be just as succesful at switching customers over to new/existing competitive products?

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens…that’s for sure.

  3. Thomas said

    This reminds me of a story that an old timer told me about once…there was this big conglomerate and they were being sought after by a big private equity firm. The news of the acquisition was announced and and everyone was happy (stock went up). Then a few months later, the private equity firm backs out of the sale and according to the contract, must pay the conglomerate $250 million dollars. The conglomerate didn’t go after the $250 million because they would then have to disclosed how the books were cooked. What is the point of this…

    Things don’t always appears as they seem.


  4. The Pink Panther said

    The lack of comments on this subject is very interesting to me. Im the 4th comment on a rather big subject. HUMMMMMMM what can this mean?????

  5. Wayne said

    I had a Dentsply rep show up in some of our customers office, he was pushing his product direct and running it thru the local vendor of favor, when our customers told them we were the supplier he informed them we were not Legal suppliers of thier product and we are an “unethical company” and laid the whole company line about how if they continue to buy from us and other grey market suppliers that the whole world will come to an end as we know it and it would all be traced back to them and thier support with doin business with us. Im an equipment guy and dont have a idea about merchandise, however his tatics are pretty damn low and most of our accounts told him to pound sand, however a couple did take his advice and stopped buying from us altogether..Most posters here know who I am, I get emails from them,I dont post to hide my company or my own name,weather thats the repairguy or wayne,and I dont usually post on subjects about merchindise…but since this is here I thought I would throw this out and let the locals here in California know what kind of sales force Dentsply is using, I have put a call into this salespersons boss,to ask him to clean up his language about our company, Ive never bad mouth any group,we are all here for the same reason to make a couple bucks and get the kids thru school, I asked one of the doctors who said he would no longer deal with us to ask the dentsply rep how is it we get thier product? pretty sure we dont heist the shipment….wayne

  6. iselldental said

    I had a Dentsply rep show up in some of our customers office, he was pushing his product direct and running it thru the local vendor of favor, when our customers told them we were the supplier he informed them we were not Legal suppliers of thier product and we are an “unethical company” and laid the whole company line about how if they continue to buy from us and other grey market suppliers that the whole world will come to an end as we know it and it would all be traced back to them and thier support with doin business with us.”

    That’s right out of the Schein Sales Training Manual! 🙂

  7. Rick Lindquist said

    Hey Wayne,
    Wow that sucks!!! My opinion on gray is well known. What this guy is doing is just plain sleazy. No surprise tho, I’m seeing more and more of this kind of crap. The dumb ass kids these corporate conglomerates hire need a map to tell their ass from a hole in the ground. And it is their corporate masters who supply that map. To quote Jack Nicholson.
    The truth? You can’t handle the truth! So tell us, was he running the business thru
    A. Scheinaher
    B. Patterona

  8. Dental Guy said

    Oh please, those are the friendly ones! Don’t leave Benco out!!!

  9. AssociateQ said

    My rant that goes from here, to there and everywhere.

    I just want to know at what point and who the person was that pushed the lever to start this industry on its trip down the toilet? I swear, every day I say “I’ve seen it all”, and then some idiot calls with some stupid remark.

    Now I have not been around since 1950, and I can’t say I remember every “this” or “that”. But I have been around long enough to watch this industry go from one of a friendly and “work hard and you get rewarded” type of business. Now it is nothing more than where can I get it cheaper, with free shipping and ride them out 90 days on their Net 30 account.

    And by the way Net 30 means 30 DAYS FROM THE DATE OF THE INVOICE!!! Not 30 days once you get your statement. I have to pay my carriers 15 days from the date of invoice, not whenever I want. Who started this stupid theory that everything works off of statements? What other industry can you point me to where you get 30 days form the date of the statement? I mean even those idiots at Benco think they should get some “Net 20th of the Month” terms. What the hell is that? I swear these people just pull this crap out of their ass.

    This could all be remedied if people would crack down, but NOOOOOOOOOO, these dentists and labs have it figured out and they work all of us. And we are all too freakin greedy to pass on a sale or tell a customer they need to pay up before they get the product. So they work us. They buy from ABC Company December, they buy from XYZ Company in January and they buy from LMN Company in February. Then they get it on a cycle. They pay ABC in February and order form them in March, XYZ in March and so on and so the SICK FREAKIN CYCLE GOES ON! We all need to put our foot down and make these people pay up. We don’t even offer open accounts any longer, Credit Card or no product. Go ride out American Express or Citibank for 6 months and PAY YOUR FINANCE CHARGES!

    And let me just say that Schein and Patterson are both evil, cut-throat companies. If I did not know any better I would ask every manufacturer that sells through them why they do it. I mean in the end they will screw you. They will threaten you until you either A – give them a private label at discount or B – just give them a discount. If you choose option B then they will go somewhere else and get a private label to sell against your product. Schein/Zahn is doing this more and more.

    I mean how does anyone call these places dealers? Dealer, HA! A dealer is someone who sells your products, not someone who puts it in a catalog (maybe) and then takes an order if someone calls. But this really is nothing new, think car dealers. How many car dealers do you see that just sell Chevy, or for that matter GM. They sell Chevy, Ford, Toyota, Honda, Lexus, Nissan, Jaguar and everything else under the sun.

    All manufacturers, both large and small, heed this warning – These dealers are going to drive your margins lower and lower until they have you by the short ones. Once they do they will screw you over. So those manufacturers who are cutting out the smaller dealers, you are cutting your own throats. These dealers, especially Schein and Patterson, have the means to squash you. Plus, there are people at these places that are all jockying for a promotion. So they will use you as a stepping stone. They will smile at your face and when they are hugging you they will stab you in the back. But in the end these scumbags will get theirs. Because once the company uses them up they will throw them out. And the funny thing is that they will turn around and get a job with one of the manufacturers they screwed over!

    I applaud those manufacturers who are both supporting the smaller dealers and who have the balls to sell direct. Nobody is going to sell your products but yourself. Every dealer, and I mean every dealer, is looking out for themselves. I can’t blame them. So they will take an order for whatever the customer wants, so long as they sell it.

    This industry is always lagging behind in every aspect. You have labs buying $100k milling systems and they don’t even have a fax machine. You have dentists buying complex systems and nobody knows how to run them. There are so few tech savvy people around this industry it makes me sick.

    And why do people think just anyone can run these milling machines and other new equipment. I mean people go to school for years and get degrees to be able to run CNC machines and SLA machines. They are usually called ENGINEERS. Now all of a sudden every tech and doc thinks they are a freakin engineer. People complain about these machines and complain that this or that is wrong with it. But I was in an office one time and the doctor had a Cerec 3 and had an in house lab with a Cerec InLab. Both machines were “broken” and had not worked for weeks. I asked what was wrong and they said the machine would not accept the scans and would not mill. They showed me the e-mail form the technical people at Patterona. I asked why that had not fixed it because the e-mail told them precisely how to get it working. They said they were waiting for the Patterona Tech Rep to come in because they did not understand the e-mail. You know what they had to do? You know how simple of a fix it was? Put the CD in and update the driver for the com port. Yea, update a driver that was it. I mean my 80 year old grandma might not know how to update a driver, but if I gave her the directions she could figure it out. And I don’t have a problem if you don’t know how to do simple Windows tasks. But do you really need a $100k milling machine if you can’t complete a simple driver update??????

    I could go on and on, but my fingers are tired. And I need to call my Patterona Rep to come out and install a mouse on my computer.

    Wait one more prediction: I see record breaking crowds in Chicago this year. The attendance will be more than ever. (Even though everything else points to business being slow.)


  10. Associate J said

    Dentsply has been doing well the last year alone.
    There are still approx. 1/3 of the dental labs still using the Dentsply line of Teeth and their popular acrylics as well as their FRS machine. Yes, even though the “petite” manufacturers have been becoming “mini” players…Dentsply still sells well over a majority in the industry. For example, even though I do believe Zahn and Patterson are “dumb” Goliaths, i can bet you that their #1 line of teeth is still Dentsply…. so, to all the other 26 dealers that have made it out there selling Dentsply…congrats for being able to keep them and making your profits. Why would the labs change teeth when doctors are asking for the teeth that they are used to and why THEY consider them the best? Think about it….



  11. Associate J said

    And by the way….

    I am one of the proud 28 dealers that are left carrying the Dentsply line


  12. J…

    I wouldnt be so cocky about that…according to my source close to the “evil empire”…Dentsply may be trimming off 7 more dealers in Q1 2008…and then there will be 20.


  13. AssociateQ said

    Yea what DI said. Plus, go get your own name. Associate J does not even make sense.


  14. AssociateQ said

    Associate J said: “There are still approx. 1/3 of the dental labs still using the Dentsply line of Teeth and their popular acrylics as well as their FRS machine.”

    OK does anyone else want to tee off on this one? Did you pull this directly from a XRAY release? FRS machine?? Come one you have to be kidding me. What about the Eclipse?

    And you say 1/3 of th elabs use Dentsply teeth. That is 33% right? If that is true, then Dentsply has lost a tremendous, and I mean a tremendous amount of market share. In our state I know what the market share was and it was closing on 95% at one point. From the national numbers I heard it was at one point well over 80%. So you are telling me that they have lost almost over 50% of their market share?

    Letter J. You are either an XRAY plant, or more likely a Zahn plant. Why did you find it necessary to point out that Zahn and PDCO are “Dumb Goliaths”? Not a Schein and PDCO, you said Zahn and PDCO.

    Letter J it is not always what you say, but how you say it and also what you don’t say.

    Be sure to inform us of the next XRAY press release!


  15. Associate J said

    Dental Insider…

    Thanks to my sources I have, I likewise have heard that as well…thankfully, i have survived that cut as well according to my sources… Our numbers have profited since just because of the cut.


  16. Associate J said


    XRAY press release? I dont even deal with XRAY’s…

    Listen, I do understand that competition is healthy for people all around, which I fully support atticking the giants of Zahn and Patterson into making my own company a competitibe industry…which is always a good thing. Even though my Company is one of the few select Dentsply Dealers left, we are fortunate to carry their lines of trubyte, austinal, ceramco, etc. when many of the labs these days have their line still in their lab.

    If the words that i have said in my previous responces have thrown everyone off…i appologize…but i will defend my company in saying that our FRS, Lucitone, and Trubyte Teeth have flourished ever since we have the agreement. It also has provided other dealers that we deal with to help promote their product with us as well.

    By the Way… hope everyone has a good holiday if i dont get back on until then…


  17. AssociateQ said

    You msut be kidding. FRS? Are you sure you are talkign about the correct product? FRS. Lucitone FRS? Flexible Dental Resin. The one used with the Success System?

  18. Associate J said

    Yes…The Success System as well as the Enterra Q…

    I do have alot of users using that product. FRS is a very popular selection within our supply. But we also do sell alot of other resins from other manufacturers like Valplast, etc.

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