Howard: It is just a huge honor for me today to be podcaster viewing Bob Payton who flew all the way in from Wichita Falls, Texas.
Bob: Thank you
Howard: Wichita Falls, Texas I grew in Wichita Kansas and when at that country-western song came out about Wichita for a brief second I thought that's our town then I realized it Wichita Falls, do you member song that was?
Bob: I'm not sure which one that was
Howard: Something about a tower but he's the president and CEO of Dental Planet which is an internet-based supplier located in Wichita Falls Texas Dental Planet started as a dental equipment refurbishment company now it's focused on affordable quality for professionals new and refurbished capital equipment plus a full line of consumable supplies over 40,000 shoppers a month go to their site dentalplanet.com it's easy to navigate and find what you're looking for supplies dental imaging chairs operatories small equipment all listings are very plainly shown whether new or refurbished bob has a love of learning and desire to grow people and a history of integrity and all those interactions he's been afforded many opportunities and his personal and professional life his experience in marketing has given him the ability to communicate effectively he adamantly subscribes to the seek first to understand then be understood concept espoused by Stephen Covey this process has given Bob the ability to help groups break through stale mates and develop win-win strategies and his personal consulting business a vast professional background includes leadership positions and communications manufacturing retail health care and transportation is a servant leader who came to lead dental planet through their next steps in growth in 2017. Personally Bob is a christian who attempts to live out his faith every day he enjoys traveling and spending time with his family his community service primarily centers around his work as a trustee on the Wichita Falls ISD school board where he has served since 2004, he met his wife of more than 35 years while attending Eastern Illinois University in charlatan Illinois's she is office manager for a busy medical practice their son is a 2019 graduate of Texas A&M where he majored in computer engineering computer science and is now a software developer. So how did you end up in dentistry how did you end up in dental planet?
Bob: I just keep moving around I love opportunities to get in and help companies take those next steps and that's where dental planet was and I was contacted by them back in 2017 but that they were looking for someone to take that kind of challenge and so talked with him for several months and we ended up coming to an agreement and I've enjoyed every minute of it.
Howard: Now is that a typical deal we see more and more every day where someone originally sells the company to private equity and then the private equity has to try to do something with it so that they can usually they like to hold about what would you say five years?
Bob: Well they're they're in no hurry to move it they've the folks who have it now are out of Midland Texas and they do have portfolio companies outside of their biggest interests or oil and gas obviously if they're Midland Texas but they do have other portfolio companies that they've held on to for several years and they're they're strong ethical people they want to see companies thrive and so they're giving us the tools to do that and help us get there.
Howard: and they're usually bolder I mean like when I noticed whenever you well I take the American Dental Association whether it be National Kidney Foundation or whatever but associations it seems like they think about things for years and years and years and years whereas private equity or owner-operators come in and once they decide they want to make a decision they just let's go let's go so now that you're I've been at the helm a dental planet for two years, what do you think of dental planet what do you think of dentistry how do you think you fit inside this market?
Bob: I love dentistry I go to my dentist every three or four months make sure to keep everything in check and dental planet is a great operation that had it struggles back several years ago the original owner and and some of the practices that were going on I know it was pretty well raked over the coals from the Townies and for good reason didn't stand behind the products I didn't deliver sold things they didn't have it was it was kind of a mess the the team that's there after the new owners took over got a lot of that turned around and so I can't take credit for that that was a good good team that was there I've just gone in and tried to build on that and enhance customer service even more so that we don't have those missteps we're human every once in a while some Latin but we stand behind we make decisions for the right reasons not some of the reasons that were done before and it's it's a great opportunity because we pass along savings we don't have sales people spread out all over the country and we've got the internet and it is a great website that is easy to find the products and so we pass those savings on to the customers.
Howard: So would you be, are you more focused on supplies equipment?
Bob: It has been capital equipment it started out as as refurb of capital equipment and we we've morphed our business now is a very good mix of both new and refurbished so we have several lines of new chairs operatories digital imaging all those things along with a very select line of refurbishing if we've done one thing while we've there we've focused in I equate a lot of what we do to buying a car and if someone goes out sets out to buy a car they probably want to buy a new car but a lot of times because the budget reigned supreme you've got to make a decision to look in the used market and we don't deal in any being used we don't just bring it in and resell it everything goes through a very thorough refurbishment process but still there are savings there of 30 to 60 percent over over new and so we have focused down to those those brands that people are really looking for it's just like when you go look for a used car you'll you'll look for a classic Corvette or a classic Beemer you won't go look for a used Kia necessarily and so we don't bring just anything in and referb but we just bring select brands in the adex the Pelton's and cranes some of those and and run them through a good refurbishment process they're very well-built pieces of equipment and we run our thorough refurbishment process and get them back up to good standard and then turn around and resell them.
Howard: and the founders of Adec passed away this year and I was amazed because I can't Austin he when he wasn't making a deck chairs he was refurbishing classic cars and when I took my four boys up there on vacation one time and he loved the fact that he found this car in a ditch and this one in a creek and they you know they like just brand-new. So I'm you're you know the tough thing about dentistry is that you know when someone else sets your price you know when the insurance companies Medicare is Medicaid's Delta Dentals, when they set your price um you don't you have to work back from that for 90% of America and and then the business is capital intensive and so as every time the earth goes around the Sun again and the inflation the staff all want to raise everything gets more expensive I mean these dentists need to spend as much time saving cost as they do increasing sales.
Bob: We are all about helping dentists get a better return on investment that ROI is its king you've got to be able to be profitable on the capital equipment purchase and so if the patient wants to be comfortable but doesn't have to lie in the lap of luxury while they're there they're more concerned with what you're doing in their mouth and how there's
Howard: and not one patient who I mean you know you can drive down the street someone can say that's a Honda that's a Ford that's a Chrysler but no one want okay dental officers and says that's an a deckchair.
Bob: No no not at all so we've got great brands but the adex the Pelton's and cranes in refurbished mode and they operate just like they did the first eight out of factory we do a very good process on those but we've got many others that are very very good and they're very affordable flight Beaver State TPC some of those are very good brands that have a great five-year warranty on them and they are a fantastic unit either a chair or full operatory and then you've got the same thing on digital imaging we do a lot especially there's been a lot of dentists you know how dental offices are a lot of times very very small the Owandy wall mount is this wonderful small footprint digital imaging machine and it...
Howard: What's it called?
Howard: Owandy and that's a digital x-ray machine?
Bob: Yes OWandy digital I believe they were OWA ndy believed they were just purchased by Acteon as we're recording this in October 2019 but they have an amazing machine that has a very very small footprint it's a wall mount and so that's one of the new the race scan machines have just unbelievable picture image and so those are a couple of the brands that we carry that are new that are great price points for digital imaging but if you want to look at the refurbished we've got a lot of different things there from Carestream we've got a Kodak 9000 we get a lot of those 3d comb beam and pano less than $30,000 when you're talking about a refurbished machine sword X crane XD panF referb about $26,000 so once again you don't have to be out a ton of money to get into some of those get into the digital imaging and bring your practice up to date.
Howard: We filmed several the a couple of these shows some live from France where Owandy radiology is from Paris France and there's a whole world out there of amazing dental companies outside of people's countries and like a 1d I wonder what percent of Americans aren't even familiar with Owandy.
Bob: It's growing like I said just bought by Acteon which i think is more us-based I believe I'm not a hundred percent sure.
Howard: So when did when did Acteon buy it?
Bob: Earlier this year.
Bob: Not exactly sure when but I think I believe the Owandy the plan is for the Owandy brand to continue and yes it is very strong in Europe and just being introduced here in the States but we've sold many of those units and everyone very very pleased with with the Machine so it's a great up-and-comer.
Howard: Nice and who usually is your target market I mean who is I mean I mean we all know that when you buy a new car and you drive it off the law you gonna lose you know ten percent of its value just at home who is your most likely customer in these days who's...?
Bob: Our most likely customer is a couple one or two or three dentists together that are doing a million to three million dollars in annual revenue something like that they're not just absolutely killing it but they're doing okay and and they're finding needs to upgrade or they're looking to expand and have a second or a third location because there's so much corporate dentistry moving into every market obviously that some of those local doctors want to try and and retain that that hold on it and so they're finding waves to open additional offices and that's where we come in a lot of times we help with the entire office design and and do everything for them the whole office or sometimes we're just a couple of pieces of it to help them save money interestingly enough a lot of times our referrals come from bankers the people who are having to put the loan package together and the dentist talks about the remodel of the facility and everything they need and all of a sudden they're so high up on on their loan amount that bankers going okay you haven't bought any equipment yet we got to figure out a cheaper way to do this and so we see savings of fifty sixty seventy thousand dollars on quotes for exactly the same type of equipment that other other people are going in and trying to pitch to them and they're going yeah okay that makes a lot of sense.
Howard: To me the most sense for a dentist is when you stand in there whenever I walk into a dental office and I walked into a gazillion of them in 32 years whenever you walk into a dental office the dentist's more than half the time is sitting in their private office and when I go back there you know I'm thinking to myself okay you know the average dental office has 65% overhead and the dentists get said they're 35 so one-third of my cost is sitting in that chair and every time I walk in there I say why are you why are you sitting in the chair I mean this was you man like this and you're saying sure and it's always the same thing well I'm waiting for Suzy Q to dismiss that patient then she's got to clean up the room and she's got to set up the room and she got a seat the next patient and all this stuff like that and I'm like why don't you have an extra room I mean when I look at the fact that you know if the average overhead 65% the dentist's cost 35 staff costs you know 20 to 28 is the range lab bill 10 supplies 6 and everyone's waiting on a room and then I go up front they're calling the office and they're going yeah I broke out my tooth and they're like oh can you come in tomorrow at 10:00 or Thursday it's like why is the constraint and operatory I mean you know when you go to a restaurant obviously if I say uh you know it's it's gonna be an hour before we can see you obviously you leave right nobody just stands there says oh I have nothing to do but stand here for an hour and restaurants all know that and I just cannot believe I mean I almost you almost never ever see a dental office that doesn't have enough operatories so when the dentist gets paid thirty five percent the staffs 28 percent lab ten supplies 6 why are these guys what wait why do they not have an extra operatory?
Bob: I don't know but we do help fill in a lot of those it's interesting they will start and and build out their practice and have a couple of unfurnished rooms and make sure they're going to get enough patients you know or whatever and so that empty room that empty area all of a sudden okay I'm ready and so we'll go in and and help build out two or three operatories for them because they're realizing the exact same thing that you're talking about removing the constraint have you read the goal?
Bob: Yeah exactly we will do a whole study on that with our staff not long after I got what are our constraints how do we remove them and and what do we do and you're exactly right if you don't have the room what's another if you're looking at hours you know what's another less than ten thousand dollars you can you can make that up no time by putting a full operatory in there and so instead of pushing people to next week..
Howard: The only two people that get it and by the way what I love the most about the book the goal by Goldratt is that his name I mean so yeah Eli yeah Brad that's right I remember a goal and Goldratt but what I loved about it is um you know when you really know your subject you can explain it to anyone and the problem with operational logistics is every instructor thinks that's the best time to show off that they know calculus and derivatives and you know love Sir Isaac Newton and and they they they lose it and so he took one of the hardest subjects to ever teach and wrote a book it was a love story and he said I'm gonna I'm gonna try to explain this to you with no math in a love story and he did it he did it and he sold ten million copies and I just and I wish every instructor would see especially with math I mean you you go in there in middle school and in these kids in high school and they already decided they hate math and then they start telling you they're not good at it when everybody has the same brain and you and then we asked about the problem you realize that they're trying to solve this problem but they don't even they don't even know what they don't know what is right so this is like they're so busy teach you numbers and formulas and all this stuff that this kid thinks he's no good and he doesn't know what he's doing and I thought Goldratt was the genius is saying put away your your silly math equations and first let's just try to get this first to understand what a constraint is you can and in a dental office it's a chair and it's and it's a schedule like you know if you did some rules like when someone when you said well one would like to come in you know you know one easy way to just solve all your constraints it just put away the schedule book and just say well hey Bob when would things come in Bob I'd like to come down right now well then come down right now man and you're not looking at your schedule and you and then you start thinking oh my God I'm already busy I'm not a busy you're gonna have cancellations you're gonna have no-shows you're gonna have people that won't get numb and when you have extra chairs when I say come down now you can sit there and say well you know we're busy and you didn't have an appointment but come down right now and we'll try to work you in and but I look at your office and you say well you can't come right now because I don't have an opening so let's come tomorrow so the minute you hang up the phone they just call the next dental office.
Howad: and then tomorrow you have a cancellation or no-show and you're like well why do they not show up you they just made the appointment yes oh yeah but you made the appointment come in meta you never asked them when would you like to come down it's a great point you just said you want to come tomorrow at 10:00 or Thursday Tuesday thought worst case scenario let me lock up this tomorrow appointment and then I'm gonna hang up the phone and start calling other people and and and and sometimes I'm you know when you're getting done with a patient that's not the best time to clean up the room and sterilizer I think sometimes you just need to go to the next room but I love going from room to room to room and the only two people that get it are endodontists and oral surgeons because and endodontist most of these specialists they might have 20 general dentists refer to them as specialist but five of them refer 80% of all their work and then maybe you know another 20 you know so if you're my paying my bills there's five of you guys and your send me a molar endo every day and all this and like that I don't want I can't ever tell you know I can't see your patient because I'm afraid you're gonna start working with my competitor and then he'll say so so endodontist and oral surgeons are so paranoid of losing their massive referral base they actually figure out the deal and they will keep adding emergency rooms until every other day a room was not used and I mean my gosh I I have eight rooms when I'm working there by myself now I don't obviously I don't use all your rooms because if I did use all 8 rooms I'd have ten exactly you know III would I would never after you pay yourself your labor your lab your supplies I don't understand a dental office who has a lock box over the thermostat I mean if you even care what your electric bill is you don't even understand your cost.
Bob: You're going along the same principle of going to a meeting or an event in a room everybody likes a full room but if you're going somewhere and let's say Church if you're going to church and it's always over 80% full you're gonna feel like it's too in here and that's the time you've got to look at building a new sanctuary a dentist that's the time if you're 80% using those chairs and and you don't have the time to slip somebody in now's the time to add that but you can relate it to a number of things in life once you get over that 80% you feel you feel like you're you're scrunched in somewhere and you've got the same thing with those operatories.
Howard: Yeah and a lot of weird behaviors at notice too like someone will come in and though all the leaders are cleaning and you know they schedule an hour in this room FMX exam probing everything all you need is a cleaning and then the first thought everyone has is well let's go up and try to find a time when the high just clean the tea that's like dude there's still 20 minutes on the clock you could do the cleaning right now I mean you've done everything there in the chair it just never dawns on them, the same thing with same-day treatment they're like well you know okay so you you just have one filling and they're like well we can't do it now I mean we have our next patient at 20 minutes well it's it all comes back to your chair I mean same-day treatment, new patient exam doesn't have any cavities they're all good to go all I need is the cleaning I mean all the dentists has to do is the scaling you've already the assistants are you done the x-rays they've already you've done the exam you just got to do the scaling most most states the dentist can do the polishing the fluoride treatment dismiss the patient but you you look you look at the what's going on it's a psychological process that nobody in the office just wants to score touchdown right now same day and you know your your hygiene you have a cavity do you want to do it now and and even the hygiene room is I think the hygiene room is actually the most bizarre because you go into the hygiene room and they have one cavity and you know Bob you're a busy guy you're a CEO of a company I'm would you rather do that feeling now and then I just let you say no III can't I got another patient here in 10 minutes like Bob's busy why don't you go to the other room or get extra rooms why don't you do your next patient in room 8 and they're humans and they're like well this is room how do you mean it's your room I mean could you imagine the Southwest Airlines was owned by a hygienist and every hygienist pilot had their own plane and you got on the plane to go to San Antonio and then the pilot gets on says I'm sorry this is not my plane my plane is the exact same 737 Boeing right next to the next gate so which are getting customer-centric I can prove to you that you don't have enough rooms get rid of your schedule and just start asking people when do they want to come down and whatever they say let them come down and then work back from that and then when you do a hygiene exam and they have a cavity say when would you like to have it done and they tell you well at least half the time you're gonna say well can you do it now and then you got to work back from that and once you start backing working back from what the customer wanted next thing you do is you have a million dollar practice but the reason you don't have a million dollar practice but there is a million dollar practice across the street in the same town the same bat station the same bat-channel is because you have all these bizarre constraints that none of them are are necessary but I love what you're doing you're you're doing used well what else what else has got you excited?
Bob: Well the digital imaging is just really taking off like crazy both new and refurbished the people that are stepping up and buying new if they've already been in digital they've got something that they want to trade in we bring it in we do a factory certified check on it and make sure that everything is working get it up to snuff and then and then take it back out we do the install we do the training all of that we've got we've got a big multi location practice in a major city right now that they had one digital imaging machine they wanted to be able to have all of their people be able to move from one office to another so we found three others they have four offices that their equipment and we found three other machines of the same era of the exact same model so that they could have the exact same feel whatever office they go into and those are the kind of things we love to do is give us a challenge like that let us go find that equipment.
Howard: So I noticed you also have lasers as those mostly used lasers?
Bob: We are just starting with lasers yes the the lasers typically are demos that they have been used very lightly by a doctor just trying them out seeing if they're right for them and and then we're turning around and being able to sell those because obviously they it's like that the car got driven off a lot and so it can't be sold new so we're doing some things with with lightly used and then they bring them back in and make sure they are all factory certified they still keep the factory warranty going on at those complete.
Howard: I am always surprised that I'm practice management software yes was on the list that one surprised me.
Bob: So though we do that and that is that is strong doctors that don't have something to make sure that they can incorporate the images and the records and everything else we've got that answer for them as well like I said we'll do the entire office from the design we've got a guy's been doing dental office design for 25 plus years and he does an awesome job making sure that we get everything that they need we've got all of the back office equipment back office equipment is one of those things that we don't trust refurb that is something that fit goes down your whole office goes down it's not just one chair going down it's gonna take the whole office down so we only do new on the back office equipment the compressor and those kind of things let's make sure that you're...
Howard: So compressor anything else on that list?
Bob: Anything that is obviously anything that the customer wants sometimes our operatories are hybrids so it's a great reverb chair but the delivery unit was not that great we've got a brand new delivery unit on there and so we will put that on there so it all depends on what the customer wants we'll do any piece of it all new just a portion new refurb but the compressor those kind of things we make sure that that's always new we don't sell anything and reverb there.
Howard: and is this your Wichita Falls that's near Dallas?
Bob: Yes, yes
Howard: How far away?
Bob: It's a couple hours away from Dallas it's up near the Oklahoma border.
Howard: Yeah so I'm is this a coast-to-coast play?
Bob: Oh definitely yes we're all over the place we've got our own drivers and vehicles that are that are out and then we've got an incredible digital install guy that just flies all over the country following the truck and doing the digital install or doing the whole office install we do the cabinets we've got two different makers of cabinets which gives us three lines we've got some great cabinets think IKEA for dental so if the doctor is somewhat of a handy person they could do it themselves but obviously we can come in and do the install but you can you can get an upper and lower for any room for less than $1500 and so you can do an entire dental suite for like $5,000 with our essential line of cabinets it's a great line and it is all done or dental specs we've got two other lines one is more if you need a custom fit and we can change the sizes on them and all and the other is more standard standard widths we can adjust the length we need to because it's kind of a modular but will come in do all that install we're talking solid state kick plates we're talking nice choices of laminates of the of the colors and the countertops and and those are very very nice.
Howard: So you never heard of that song Wichita Lineman?
Bob: Wichita Lineman yes okay yes yes yes you bet and my pastors in radio so I've played that more than once.
Howard: We're in the song about this horrible city named Wichita Falls Texas and it indeed was not my town of Wichita Kansas yeah so it's going back to your site here dental cabinets you know sometimes you know people on Dentaltown I'm talking about you know they go look at these dental cabinets for the money they want but some dentists are lucky with maybe their brother or their uncle makes cabinets and they're like dude you could make these cabinets cheaper than the prefab I mean shouldn't the prefab cabinets be a lot cheaper than a custom cabinet or I mean how...?
Bob: Yes and that's exactly what we've got with that essential line if that's what if that's what you've got pulled up there it's a it's an amazing line it's already it's already fitted out for the for the glovebox all those kind of things that that you expect in a dental dental office it is made for but yeah you can like said you can do an upper and lower with a sink in at $1500 and boom it's delivered there to your front door if we need to come do the install we will but it's very affordable.
Howard: So you have teams out of Wichita Falls that travel the whole u.s. or...
Bob: Yeah it's people we have a national service provider network of about 200 independent service providers that we do kind of like Amazon does the five-star rating we do our own internal 5-star rating on all of these texts when they go out and do something for us and we make sure that customers happy and all that and so you know if we're gonna use them again we make sure that they've got a good rating there in our internal system but we know if they can do digital or if they can just do opatories what what their experience is and so we're always managing that Network but that is about 200 strong around the nation and some of those guys travel for us some of us some of them just were really...
Howard: So their all people that used to work for Schine Patterson Benko?
Bob: Most likely mostly I'm they have yes but they wanted to go out on their own and then we've got yes we've got about six on our team that are gone all the time they're in all different parts of the country.
Howard: I bet their wives are so happy enough
Bob: Yeah that's enough quality time this week Thank You .
Howard: Handpieces I you know I always look for I always try to look for as a media company I've had a immediate I've had a magazine since 1994 is where does something not add up and when it comes to hand pieces to me it's very bizarre that Europe went with the more of the electric handpiece and America went with the air turbine and so just that fact alone means something's wrong we're D where do you see electric versus air driven as far as maintenance longevity price wise?
Bob: We see...
Howard: They can't both be right somebody's gotta be more right than the other...
Bob: and I really I can't give you a good answer on that because we sell everything we've got customers coming to us for you name it in different parts of the country is just like whether they want at 12 o'clock delivery or if they want over the patient delivery units different parts of the country I think it's what schools they come out of so what they're used to working with in the school is is what you'll see that so see that they want and so the demand is there for a little bit everything and we try and carry everything and get our customers taken care of with what they want.
Howard: I'm going to tell you the worst joke in the world that's completely inappropriate but I think it's funny do you know why there are left-handed dentist?
Howard: because it's illegal to kill them there's nothing more stressful in office when one dentist is right-handed one's left-handed the assistant I mean it is really and they've tried so many ways is that a problem that you see currently?
Bob: We see more of the operatories that deliver on both sides they they move around underneath the the patient chair everybody's got different names for them depending on the brand but we see more of those because of exactly what you're saying they're gonna go into an office and they don't know what their new associates going to be or maybe they're going into a corporate office that has a different dentist in there every day and so they want to be as flexible as they can I think it's a great move that the company the chair companies have come up with and and built that because we've got a lot of great refurb operatories that deliver on both sides and are completely flexible have the assistant package with it and that can move around on either side so that is definitely what we're seeing more of now now that that's out there and much stronger.
Howard: Yeah it's tough because you know a dentist is rare and what is eleven percent of humans are left-handed
Bob: and I'm one of them only ones in our right mind.
Howard: Yeah so it's a you know you don't want to lose a hygienist or a dentist or an associate because they're left-handed but it really is a operation logistics, back to the high speed though a handpiece.
Howard: It's kind of bizarre because a lot of dentists say oh I'll use air-driven and you say really during endo they're like no you're right in endo I use electric so it's getting like they'll use air driven on their high-speed but they're using electric on their slow on their slow speed or their their endo it's really it's really confusing there there's no rhyme or reason.
Bob: I was just helping get some slow speed for for some folks this morning before I left the office and got on the plane to come out here so we do a lot of and we've got a lot of the parts to help keep them working as well because a lot of people just don't want to give up what they've had what they're comfortable with and even though it's time to trade that land probably that they want to keep it working so it's interesting to the parts we've got a great parts guy that knows every part of everything I'll never have as much knowledge as he does if I'm there 20 years and he helps people if we get a difficult situation on the phone he gets on with him and walks it through and he can usually figure out exactly what part it is they need it's funny what some people want to hold on to.
Howard: So you have lab equipment is that is mostly that dentist buying lab equipment for their office or is that usually kind of bridge laboratories buying stuff for their own.
Bob: A lot of times that is bigger offices wanting to have their own lab equipment we do have some lab customers but typically we're filling in with it with a few pieces so it's it's an office that is there's one have some lab equipment there.
Howard: and the nitrous oxide I am I'm always surprised by people I meet that are so intelligent so smart like like an amazing endodontist yet they don't have nitrous oxide and I'm just thinking man you do root canals for a living and is is nitrous oxide do you see it stable is that decreasing popularity is an increasing popularity?
Bob: With all of the new office designs it's still being requested to be included in the design so I would say.
Howard: Where it's plumbed in or more portable?
Bob: Typically we're designing it plumbed in we do sell a lot of portable units so that that could be and I would I would use the handheld x-ray as an analogy of that too we're seeing more and more doctors going to the hand-held x-ray and having that one gun if you will you know take care of four or five or operatories instead of worrying about a periapical they can conserve just two or something like that so the same thing with the nitrous oxide we do sell a lot of the little portable units and so they can just wheel that right into any operatory don't have to replumb the office and take care of the customer that way.
Howard: and I'm and I'm completely blown away that I'm they don't have nitrous at every emergency room I mean I mean we I had four boys so I've been to many emergency rooms many times for the crazy stuff youve ever seen. I'll never forget him there was some kid in the next room over in the next bed over and they were he'd ran into a cactus and so they're sitting there pulling these you know things out of this poor little kid and he's basically just having the worst time in the world and I said it I said don't you have nitrous and say come on you guys can amputate feet do heart surgeons remove brain tumors and they the only thing they could do to this kid is either put him to sleep or suck it up buttercup and just make him cry all night but I'm always surprised that I'm x-rays it are you refurbishing CBCT's?
Bob: Yes yes we've got we've got a team there that brings them in stands it up and goes through it meticulously they've had factory training for a lot of the brands that we get in once again we're looking for very select machines and so they go through it and we upgrade the software whatever it is that that needs to be done and so we let the customer know this is exactly what it is on this machine and yeah refurb on those is through the roof it's amazing how many of those are available and our people are seeing?
Howard: So what is someone usually save on a refurbished CPCT over buying a brand new one?
Bob: Let's see here's here's one I threw out there earlier and now these prices okay I we're recording this in October 20 19 okay so so I know a podcast can have a long shelf life so I don't want somebody calling us three years from now asking for this price but a kodak 9000 3d cone beam and pan 27, 898 what would that be brand-new I hesitate to guess but I'm guessing that you can save at least $20,000.
Howard: Yeah or more yes or more that is amazing and that is that is so amazing a lot of things you're you're really deciding on whether or not you should buy a CBC and and the dentists are they're always looking at the payment everything well that lease payment is $1,500 a month and well I do this many x-rays well first of all once you challenge that lease payment I mean 1,500 a month and you're saying well you don't have 20,000 cash we'll talk to your banker do you do you finance?
Bob: We do we do finance we've got some great partners that we've got the application right there online and these guys work with us every single day we're on the horn with them working multiple deals.
Howard: Is it mostly one company?
Bob: Mostly one company we've got three or four different reasons no no it's a it's a capital company out of New York and and they fund with with different they're probably a broker but they can get it placed with with different folks but they are awesome they get folks some folks have some challenged credit that we've got to work through but they're very good at doing that some people need deferred payments for a couple of months until they can get it going whatever the unique circumstance is we deal directly with these guys and so once that app is filled out we're on the horn with them saying look here's the deal with this guy he's he's just stepping away from a corporate practice and going on his own so no he doesn't have the history but or whatever it is and let's get let's get this gentleman or this lady taken care of and they do it they come through and the funding is just that quick so.
Howard: and what percent of your business is dental?
Bob: Dental is probably 95%
Hpward: and what percent do the dentist pay cash versus finance?
Bob: Finance we probably work finance on I would say any given month 30% of the deals.
Howard: One one-third?
Howard: and what is the dollar amount get up to you before a third of the dentist one of finances?
Bob: It depends like I said if you got some folks that are that are struggling and just trying to build it could be once you're up over ten fifteen thousand dollars for the most part it's once they're up over about forty or fifty thousand dollars that they're that they're looking at that but you know if it's if it's too much to put on the credit card that's that's when they start looking for some finance options.
Howard: and are you what percent of your business is refurbished equipment versus dental supplies?
Bob: The supplies just came online in 2019 we did the development of it and 2018 brought it online in 2019 and it has blown us away it is on track to be about let's see about one seventh one one sixth one seventh of our of our business and we'd loved excuse me to grow it even more it's just phenomenal the supplies the network that we're building there with the buyers that we have and getting that stuff into us and then getting it out to to the dentist across the nation and they just love the pricing you don't have to join some group you don't have the hidden prices everything is right there on our website you can see exactly what the price is.
Howard: Yeah transparency in pricing is something that healthcare doesn't even know about I mean I I think it's bizarre that you can go into a very small town in Kansas and we both get a knee replacement and I pay sixty seven thousand and you pay seventeen thousand and we're you know I mean it's...
Bob: It's crazy
Howard: Yeah and when you hear these people bragging that they live in a socialist country with no copay it's like you're bragging about something you don't even understand exactly the reason so many people love like socialized medicine for healthcare is because only 1% one of a hundred people spend I know hotel did you spend out night no hotel this year?
Howard: A night in a hospital this year?
Howard: Did you Kyle no I mean so nobody spends a night in a hospital so of course 99% of people are gonna think it's great cuz they didn't stay in a hospital a night exactly so so but it's just standard economics to look at price and pricing is always a game like like it blows people's mind on dental town like you know they've been buying supplies for Schine for all for a decade and now they find out that if you join this plan with Schine you you'll get a savings like so so being here ten years I'm that that's now I got to join some and given and and if you if you shop if you just search on dentaltown dental supplies I mean there's all kinds of um there's a ton of amount yeah so what is what is the difference between your dental supplies and all these clubs?
Bob: Don't know what all the clubs entail what benefits that you get but once again you don't have to join a club to get our everyday low pricing it is out there on our website you're gonna see exactly what you can get what quantities obviously we're just like anybody else you buy in bigger quantities you're gonna save even more but it's we are not the big guys we don't need the margins to pay for the CEOs beach house.
Howard: or the reps
Bob: or the reps exactly.
Howard: So these these reps are and again I don't think there's I mean I don't believe there's one market for anything I mean you know you look at cars there's gonna be used cars there's gonna be seven East Chrysler's old Cadillacs there's gonna be all the way to rolls-royce or own learjet I mean you know there's just market segments I think dental I think it company like Patterson and Ben Co there's always gonna be a market segment for a great relationship if somebody comes by their office and does all that stuff form but as Amazon has been at the grid in New York meeting three years in a row I mean they're there they're there there is gonna be a segment who wants to buy him online that's not having a rep come by the office and I also think it's very interesting for Millennials, Millennials they they would prefer an ATM machine than talking to a banker right um we saw that when we put our scheduling online where we switched to open dental and now patients are scheduling appointments at 10:30 at night by themselves not talking anybody and so a lot of people don't need or even want or find dealing with other humans annoying but does your model it's one six year business does the fact that Amazon's could be coming into this market does that bother you scare you?
Bob: No we have been a partner with Amazon for a number of years and we have a lot of products on Amazon we get a lot of sales off of Amazon we are an online marketer we understand online and so Amazon does not scare us we embrace that and have a lot of products available on Amazon as well.
Howard: So talk about that so what does it mean you're an Amazon retailer?
Bob: That means that we work with them and have our products on Amazon and they sell and and we fulfill or
Howard: Okay so you're so you're fulfilling some product shopping from Amazon so I could go in Amazon buy a product that Amazon would electronically send the order to you and you fulfill it?
Howard: and why would Amazon not be fulfilling that in there?
Bob: Well we do that as well with some of our higher volume material is still is sold by us I believe you will see that it is sold by dental planet with everything I've always bought on Amazon I see who the actual company is I'm buying from and so it's the same with the dental products I believe you'll see that it's sold by dental planet but there are products that are our products are sitting in their warehouse and so it does get out a whole lot quicker and so they get an order for it they drop it down into their warehouse whichever one is closest to that customer and they fulfill it right there and they just send us a ping once it needs restocking hey you're keeping 500 these in stock and we're down to one hundred we need another 400 shipped in here.
Howard: So how is your experience with Amazon?
Bob: We enjoy the relationship we have with Amazon we've been working with them for like I said a number of years for parts and small equipment and they're there the 900-pound gorilla you got to do it their way it's it'd be very easy to get entangled up with Amazon and and not be profitable if you're not watching what you're doing because Amazon is out to find the lowest price and so they're gonna continue to ping all the suppliers of whatever product a is to say okay you're not the lowest price anymore are you sure you don't want to be and we've just got a look at that and say sometimes we want to be the low price sometimes we don't want to be the low price.
Howard: and you know I love Jeff I mean he takes big bold moves and sometimes he's wrong I don't think it's Alexa turned out like he wanted to he I think he thought you'd be making spaghetti when you use the last jar of ragu you refill the replacement but it turns out that's not really how does it happen though and I I never got it just because I just think it's creepy to have a microphone in your kitchen on it all and even though they're probably turning on the cellphone I still I don't know I'm creeped out enough I'm like you'll like how after work I'll go to my boys house and we'll watch maybe what I'm in there busy we'll hear some movie for 10 minutes and then when you get home you put your iPhone and you open up YouTube and what's the first there's there's that movie.
Bob: Someone's listening to you all the time
Howard: Something creepy is going on I'm upholstery kit I'm that to me a lot so many dentists to say well these chairs are old old old old it's like gosh man just get him reupholster why would you get a new chain new chair?
Bob: That's all you got to do we have some fantastic ladies in our upholstery department that just do a quality job we'll do a standard or a up line a very nice ultra leather that either one big choice of colors and for the most popular models we have the core sets there already so we can go ahead and if you've got that Adec 511 we can go ahead and cover a new course that in the color you want send it out to you you just pop the old set off and send it back to us and so you're never down.
Howard: Wow you know Ken Austin his engineering Idol was Henry Ford and what he loved the most about what Ford did is um you could find any Ford car and that part that same part would fit and in all the parks and Ken really wanted that that's why people love Ford that's why they everybody could work on them and he only had to change the fundamental design of his Adec chair one time and you know what that design chain was?
Howard: Because as Americans got bigger and heavier and heavier and heavier and header you lean him back and they would fall good so he had to change out the base and I remember him telling my boys that he was so proud that that some young dentists would buy a practice and his something broke on his Adec chair and he could go to his grandfather who was a dentist who had an old chair that's no longer used and take out that part and the part so he really loved that interchangeability all that but again I even did that with my Lexus you know when I had a when it hit I think a hundred and fifty thousand miles a couple kids would say well Dad you need to get a new car just because I mean that that tear in that seat is is crazy and after about the third time someone said that to me I just wouldn't got the whole seats reupholstered you and then people were getting in you could tell because it looked like it was a new car but but I I'm so proud of the fact that I bought my car at 2004 and it's coming up on 200,000 miles and
Bob: That's great
Howard: and the only people that buy a that would get a new car they they don't have $100,000 for Lexus so it's really easy to lease so when you have no money it's so easy to buy an office on 20-year payments and student loan payments and all they're doing is they just gotta say hey do you want another payment once you sit there and pay all that stuff off and now when you go into Lexus and they say you know for an oil change you say well if you gave us your car and a hundred thousand cash well once you have a hundred thousand cash you're gonna give it to somebody for a slightly newer Lexus know the only people that do that don't have any money. I've always wanted to see what is it what is the percentage of people that buy their Mercedes and BMWs in cash versus Leasing are all that and my friends at work in those dealerships say that less than 10% buy those cars in cash so that shows that 90% are faking it til they make in it and and you don't need it for your own ego my god you're a doctor you don't need a Lexus to justify your all that and a bag of chips and for dental chairs it's absurd because obviously the highest quality made in America unbelievable chair is Adec but nobody's ever gonna walk off the in off the street and say yeah you got an Adeck.
Howard: Your high quality you're my last dentist I mean they just don't know the brand.
Bob: Well and you spoke earlier of Millennials and the younger generation of doctors that are coming into the field now like recycling and we agree wholeheartedly that's what refurbishment is as you mentioned and Adec is a strong brand they are well built it needs some updating it needs a little tweaking it needs a little tender loving care that's what we do with those with those use that they might come out of a dental school that is doing a whole wholesale change because man yet you know all those students going through there every every year and they're kind of hard on it no telling where that we get more in on group deals than we do individuals and everyone so unfortunately Dr. retiring or has to leave the business or whatever so what we'll get those but usually the the bigger bigger groups of chairs come in and that's a lot of our supply and so we rebuild them replace all the biologicals and and then redo any of the electrical and any other system that needs redoing and make it good as new again and it does it's got 10-15 years left in it there is absolutely no reason to go buy that new one I think it's gonna last every bit as long.
Howard: Yeah so if you're thinking about if you even think you need extra opera by the way a lot of dentists say man if I had room I would add another operatory and I can I always can find another operatory and the first thing they go is there a private office and I remind him that even Superman worked out of a phone booth you don't need someplace to go in there and sit down you know your patient called you up they were eating breakfast they broke off their tooth and they can't come see you because you don't have a chair but you have a private office a break room you know so many things but just them just work back from your constraint start asking the patients when do you want to come down make a rule when if they said well I want to come down right now you have to say yes work back from that five minutes later that patients gonna show up the one scheduled isn't gonna show up and you always ask me well what do you want to you about cancellations and no-shows well it's okay to double booked and then when you talk about double booked you always talk about you always think about everything you're wrong you say well well what do they both show up well what if you start to work on someone and they're not numb and you got to give them a booster I mean what is the con you know it's it's kind of like the whole when you go into these offices that never get over the 650 to 700 it's every employee in there has the same bizarre mindset where everybody can find a reason why we can't do today well you know their blood pressure was it was 110 over 98 maybe maybe we should reschedule and try it again tomorrow maybe you should just do it go ahead and do it you know well you know
Bob: The blood pressures up cuz I'm scared to death to be there.
Howard: I mean some offices I mean it's like everybody gets paid to come up with the best excuse of why we just can't do it right now I'm you got to come back for the cleaning oh my god they were in there for an hour, he's got a FMX exam hygiene everything was done but but they just didn't want to do the cleaning the last 20 minutes a just some so certain things so be customer-centric the patient doesn't want to come back the patient doesn't want to leave work pick up a kid from school I mean my god if you had to go to the doctor how many times would you want to go to that doctor for that procedure you just want to go in there whatever you got to do just get it done and the offices that do that I think they have much happier customers they have a much higher treatment plan acceptance rate because if I diagnose a cavity on you right now and my deal is when do you want to do it you say today well obviously that's a much higher percentage than my faith in you to go up front and to schedule an appointment and come two weeks later I mean I mean same-day treatment is the highest way to get your treatment plan acceptance rate up high and I think a fireman should want to put out all the fires a policeman should want to catch all the bad guys and a dentist should want to fix all the cavities before they turn into root canals and what-have-you.
Bob: Exactly exactly we can we can outfit that that extra room that you've got full operatory new so let's see we talked about the the reefer a full operatory for old $7,500 new we've got some that are sixty four hundred dollars once again these are 2019 prices eight nine thousand dollars for brand new operatories and so you don't have to spend a whole lot of money to outfit that room like you said we've got the cabinets that you can go in there and do for $1,500 I get to your upper and your lower your set.
Howard: and by the way I want to give you another big trace sometimes people say to me I'm gonna meet you out there lecturing would say well I didn't know if I wouldn't do business with that deal I didn't know if they were big or small or you know blah blah you a great way to find out the size of a company you just go to LinkedIn like when you go to LinkedIn dental Planet has 38 employees that that is not there's 30 employees on LinkedIn probably a lot of their employees don't even have a profile on LinkedIn but the point I'm trying to make is that is not a small operation by any means.
Bob: No no it's it's a it's a sizeable operation we had we've got a very big campus run an old which tell Falls there's a lot of oil around there and it was a old oilfield manufacturing place that has got a lot of history on it back to the 20s and 30s but but that's that's where we are and then we have another we have a showroom at Dental Studies Institute up in Fairfield New Jersey we went in and redid their dental suite and and also their exam rooms and put in some new and refurbished chairs and operatories in there so that people from that part of the country we've always had a fly-in program if you want to come in and see our process see feel touch what what our refurbs look like you can fly in and come see us and if you're depending on the size of the deal we'll build that into it we realize Wichita Falls is not the easiest place in the world to get to so we've got a showroom up there at Dental Studies Institute where you can come in and see our centers.
Bob: In New Jersey is straight across from midtown Manhattan
Howard: and where's that at?
Bob: Fairfield New Jersey it's that Dental Studies Institute it's a continuing education business up there doctors hygienists assistants.
Howard: Dental Studies Institute
Howard: Was that by is that by the a dental implant company?
Bob: No no it's a it's a family-owned business they've been there gosh I think about thirty years.
Howard: What's the website?
Bob: I think it's DSI-NJ
Howard: Dental studies Institute in New Jersey
Bob: Yes let's see what that is so you see how long you've had a showroom?
Howard: So we've had that now about a year and a half probably something like that in 2019 we put it in probably the first of 2018 and we've got a dental suite in there that's fully operational they do hands-on learning in there they've got six or seven large classrooms they'll have a hundred docs in their learning on something they're doing a lot of CE catch-up right now because in New Jersey this is the year to get recertified get your license renewed so a lot of them that have been falling behind on their CES there they're in there a lot I'll be there this weekend as a matter of fact.
Howard: Is that right?
Bob: Yes they've got a Sunday seminar on cancer and so we're going to be there because they're gonna have about 80 dentist there in the building but they have a lot of other programs that they do but they've got three exam rooms where we have refurbished chairs then there is a fully operational dental suite like I said they do hands-on training in there and that has two brand-new operatories and in the room there and then one refurbished and it's funny we bring people in and say okay tell us which one's new and which ones refurbished and they can't tell.
Howard: and that's in Fairfield New Jersey
Bob: Fairfield New Jersey yes about about 30 40 minutes north of the Newark Airport
Bob: and then like I said it is do exactly due west if you're going to the Greater New York show you know what is the name of the Convention Center there where the New York show is the Jacob Javits Center I mean it's it's about a 40-minute uber ride over from there.
Howard: Well I think I'm I didn't think the United States is adorable if you think of it as a piece of cheese with mold on it I mean because where the Europeans landed on Plymouth Rock two out of three Americans live within 500 miles that dot three out of four Americans live east of the Mississippi River and when you leave Manhattan and you fly home to Phoenix where I live the first hour you still see lights out the window I mean it's all just Metro for hour but then and when you start to cross that Mississippi I mean you you cross St. Louis it's an hour of nothing nothing until you hit and I'm a Dallas and then another hour of nothing and you hit Albuquerque and then your last hour of nothing and you come into Phoenix and there's really just no people.
Bob: There's so much open space yeah it's just absolutely amazing we're on the cusp of West Texas and that's really where it starts where there's just absolutely like you say outside of Phoenix there just absolutely nothing out there.
Howard: Yeah and I did not know about this Dental studios Institute...
Bob: Studies Institute
Howard: Dental Studies Institute and who's the owner of that?
Bob: That is Louis would be Louis will kill me for not being able to come up with her last name but Louis is awesome she has believed she was a hygienist but she has two or three dental related businesses headquartered in there they do some staffing for dentist in that region but the Institute itself is a great building like I said multiple classrooms they've got several different things going on a lot of video features and the big monitors to see what's going on and it really is phenomenal what all they do there and so they've got this dental suite back in the back that needed upgrading it was very very old and we joined with them and it just looks phenomenal and it's fully operational and Dr. Ethan Glickman is the guy who gets the different lecturers in there he is a dentist really active in one of the Association with the state associations up there real well-known had eye cancer and needed to step away from the chair and he does this now it just does a phenomenal job just the nicest guy in the world and Louis Hammer is her name finally came up with it and she she owns it and Dr. Glickman is the one who it's these continuing education courses in there and they're just a phenomenal team to work with really enjoy it.
Howard: and Louis is a hygienist?
Bob: I believe she was don't hold me to it.
Howard: Their is a hygienist in Phoenix who now owns ten offices she did not care for working for dentists she's had so now she owns ten dental offices. Well I'm I really appreciate you coming down here I'm always trying to find anybody that can help my dentist practice faster easier higher quality lower cost in a smaller more succinct way I think that's everything you're doing and I love Texas I'm four out of five of my grandchildren live in Beeville Texas so Beeville is ground zero for grandpa but thank you so much for and thank you so much for sharing how my homies can save money doing their dentistry and just get an extra operatory till at least two out of every three days you did not use that operatory and when you tell me you have enough operatories and every single day you're using all the operatories you don't even know how many times someone called the front desk and they say no you can't come down I don't have a chair and then your next patient's a cancelation it's a no-show then you you're back there whining your afternoon fell apart dude it's just logistics if you're red the goal by the Goldratt there's your you can't read one love story with no man and not get it so thank you so much.
Bob: Remove the constraint, thank you for being what I consider a shipwright in this industry that's the guy that builds the boats because I seems to me from everything I've seen you're one that believes the rising tide brings all ships and so it seems to me you're always trying to build a bigger boat for more dentist in the Townies we love talking with them and we want to do everything we can to help them get that return on their investment so appreciate you having us out.
Howard: Aright well it was an honor.