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a blog by Chris Barrow

As the supply side struggles - it's time for the smaller independents to form Producer Groups

It's tough on the supply side of dentistry right now - and it's going to get tougher.

At the moment, there are multiple issues:

  • Dentists have stopped buying;

  • Dentists don't know what to buy next and

  • Dentists don't know when to buy it


  • Suppliers don't know what to buy, or in what quantity and sometimes where to buy from.

Going forward, the situation will be exacerbated when somebody, somewhere gives an "all clear" signal for dentists to open their doors again and, predictably, there will be a panic to purchase appropriate PPE and infection control equipment. Goodness knows what that might do to the supply/demand equations.

The debate this week is "what kit and when?"

The debate very soon will be "where from, how many and for how much?"

I was fascinated to come across a letter to his customers from Mike McKenna, Managing Director of "Just Gloves" who, in response to the "spin doctors and myth weavers" was obliged to write to his customers.

With his permission I reproduce his letter below and I urge you to take a moment and read it - a sign of the times.

Where does the smaller independent practitioner sit in this supply-side problem?

No prizes for guessing at the back of the queue.

This week, at my suggestion, my 75+ clients in The Extreme Business Regeneration Programme have decided to collaborate and create a buying group. They have asked me and Team CB to help coordinate that.

I see this as part of the coaching and support service they are paying me for - Regeneration means getting back to work.

Tomorrow, The Extreme Business Regeneration Programme is one month old and we have enjoyed wonderful feedback from those involved, grateful for the lockdown team tutorials, patient newsletter templates, Facebook Workplace (where we are exchanging ideas), weekly reporting, support for managers and thrice-weekly Zoom calls.

We are agile - pivoting and adapting in real time as the landscape changes.

As a new and additional benefit for clients in this lockdown and return to work coaching programme, this morning, The Extreme Business Buying Group is forming and I'm in conversation with my clients and the supply side on how we can join forces to compete with the micro-corporates and corporates in securing well-researched supplies in a timely fashion and at competitive prices.

The smaller independents must look to Producer Groups in order to compete in the new marketplace. Small is dangerous.

I intend to use my resources and contacts in helping them to do that.

You can still join us - if you are interested in getting ready for the return to work with a group of like-minded independents, you can still join us for May and June.

Or, if you would like to know more about The Extreme Business Buying Group - simply email me -

For now - enjoy Mike's letter.

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