“We think that online retail is not everyone’s cup of tea, but for those who prefer it, there is no other way,” Erdem Salih avers. That more or less sums up the business model that the Managing Director of Orien Dental Supplies has been pushing, with much success.
The company he founded in 2008 has rapidly expanded from a modest seller of latex gloves to a full fledged dental consumables retailer with a growing warehouse that serves the entire Australian market. What started out purely as a bricks and mortar outfit, relying ondoor-to-door sales calls, has now incorporated a sophisticated e-commerce facility as part of its growing online retail component. Its incredible success, Erdem believes, has as much to do with competitive pricing as his eschewing of outdated corporate paradigms.
“We operate on high volumes, and low margins, and by being able to keep our business overheads to an absolute minimum, we are able to pass on the best possible price to our customers.
“Being a small to medium-sized family owned business, the agility with which we make quick decisions is another big advantage. We treat each customer as individuals, and make every effort to satisfy each of their specific requirements. The old “one size fits all” approach certainly isn’t part of our mantra.”
One size does NOT fit all
Operating on the belief that the product range should always reflect customer wants, Orien Dental Supplies constantly sources and develops products based on customer feedback, even when the products are not yet commercially available.
“We have in many cases found that if one surgery is asking for a special size or variety, you can expect many more that have the same need but simply have not asked for it in the past.”
Craig and Annette Moulton, Practice Owners of My Body Dental Croydon, were beneficiaries of Orien’s customer-centric mindset, which they claim helped in the initial set up of their clinic.
“Orien has been an excellent partner in helping us set-up and establish our first practice. Their sales team provided great assistance in stocking our startup business.
“Their website, with prices and availability, quick order turnaround and low prices makes them our first choice for dental consumables and supplies. Orien regularly develops new products to meet the specific needs of our practice.”
Taking customer feedback seriously
It helps that Mr Salih has served on both sides of the dental supply fence, having been running a family clinic since 2003 thus being extremely familiar with the ongoing supply demands of a practice.
Erdem’s hands-on knowledge and penchant for incorporating customer feedback has been pivotal in his ranging choices, some of which have been stellar performers. Among Orien’s best-sellers are Reflectys, a Nano Hybrid Light cured composite for posterior and anterior restorations. Other attractive lines include the Paro range of Swiss made specialist tooth brushes, interdental brushes and flosses; and the French-made Micro Mega range of dental surgical instruments.
The nimble attribute of Orien being quick to respond to customer demands not only benefits stocking decisions but was instrumental in developing its online business.
“Our initial start-up was sales by phone only. We quickly realised that many of our customers were busy during the day, and wanted a way of ordering after hours from home or the office without the distractions of a normal day. We invested considerable capital into an e commerce website several years ago, and this has been a huge success for us.”
So successful has been the e-commerce platform that plans are already underway to launch a new look website later this year.
Always in stock
Besides providing 24/7 convenience and 24-hour response times to online orders, the company eradicates a common frustration amongst dentists regarding ordering supplies online or over the phone – having to deal with “out of stock” situations.
“We recognize the absolute frustration and wasted resources to surgeries, when orders are consistently carried across into backorders. Trying to keep track of what you have ordered and when the back order is to be supplied, can most times be a real unnecessary burden.
“We operate on the principle that if we advertise a product, then we have an obligation to supply it, on time when it is ordered. We assume a responsibility to maintain sufficient stock levels of our dental supplies products except in very rare circumstances.”
Once again, Erdem has kept his ears close to the ground and made good on Orien’s promises to deliver when it matters most to a customer.