It is and always has been a focus of Heartland Dental to identify opportunities that will benefit supported dentists and teams. If they don’t have the resources to succeed, Heartland Dental cannot succeed as a company. With that focus in mind, the company underwent an extensive evaluation of product distributors to see which could offer the best support.
After evaluating what companies would be an ideal match, Heartland Dental selected Patterson Dental as its primary distribution partner effective January 1, 2017.
Who is Patterson Dental?
Like Heartland Dental, Patterson Dental strives to be a leader in dentistry. The company supplies technology, marketing, support and logistics to maximize customer success throughout North America. They partner with oral health professionals in all specialties to create an improved patient experience and practice lifestyle.
Patterson Dental is part of Patterson Companies, Inc., a value-added distributor serving the dental and animal health markets. Currently, Patterson Dental has more than 80 dental branch offices from which they provide support, more than 1,300 sales representatives and equipment specialists in the United States and Canada, and 7,000 team members employed by Patterson Companies in North America and the U.K. Their logistics team processes 1,900 orders and 29,000 packages each day with a 99.95% accuracy rate for dental businesses.
"It's all about how we can together, accelerate Heartland Dental's growth and support dentists. When we do that, there will be a great amount of benefits for both sides."
Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Patterson Companies, Inc.
An Interview with Patterson Dental CEO, Scott Anderson
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and your path to becoming a part of Patterson Dental?
I’ve been at Patterson for most of my professional career. I started as a salesperson on the dental side in San Francisco, then moved to some marketing roles at our corporate office. From there, I took on leadership roles – managing our branch office in San Francisco then our branch office in Minnesota. New leadership roles would follow, I became the VP of Marketing, VP of Sales, President of Dental Business. About seven years ago, I became the CEO of the whole company.
What is the overall mission of Patterson Dental?
At the end of the day, we’re the company that connects expertise to inspired ideas, products and services. We’re the connection point in between innovation at the manufacturing level, then helping dentists leverage those innovations.
How was this new relationship with Heartland Dental first started? Why did you feel establishing a relationship with Heartland Dental was the right fit for Patterson Dental?
We both had an affinity and business connection with Effingham, Illinois. We acquired Eaglesoft there over 15 years ago, and grew from 20 employees to 450. At the same time, we watched Heartland Dental grow in Effingham. We’ve always had an admiration for Dr. Workman’s vision. Over time, it became a priority here at Patterson to see how we could position ourselves to become a trusted, long-term partner of Heartland Dental. That led to developing this relationship over the past few years.
The relationship has been continually developed over the past few months, can you describe what that process has been like?
From our perspective, our employees are excited to be working with a dental leader such as Heartland Dental. I’m excited to see how similar our cultures are. Both are based on putting the customer first and driving innovation. It’s tough to describe culture, but one thing I noticed while attending the Heartland Dental Winter Conference this past December, was seeing the passion of the supported dentists and team members in attendance. That was pretty inspiring.
With Patterson Dental’s support and value opportunities, what value does that create for Heartland Dental supported dentists? What advantages does it give them?
This relationship is an opportunity to create a world-class, efficient supply chain and provide supported dentists information so they can make the best decisions on their products. We’re very proud of the support infrastructure we’ve built, in terms of our service technicians and support functions from our technology center in Effingham. If we can help dental practices become more successful, it’s a win for everyone involved. We’re putting the whole Patterson organization behind helping Heartland Dental supported dentists become as successful as possible.
"Our partnership makes the most of Patterson Dental's expertise in logistics, technical service, ecommerce and technology, which enables our commitment to mutual growth."
Rick Workman, DMD
Founder and Active Executive Chairman at Heartland Dental
Why is having access to world-class products and technology so important for dentists, especially in today’s industry?
It’s an incredibly exciting time in dentistry. We’re seeing innovation move at an incredibly fast pace. With that, how do dentists and companies make the right decisions on the technology path they’re going down? Do they have a partner that can support them after the fact? We’re excited that Heartland Dental is in a position to not only choose products and technology, but also influence the industry. Our relationship can help accelerate that change in terms of helping supported dentists succeed.
The official rollout starts at the beginning of 2017, then later in the year, a new state-of-the-art online storefront will be unveiled. What excites you most about this partnership in the upcoming year and beyond?
I think this relationship is a game changer in the industry, combining an innovator and leader in distribution with an innovator and leader in the DSO industry. It’s all about how we can together, accelerate Heartland Dental’s growth and support dentists. When we do that, there will be a great amount of benefits for both sides.
All about Creating Value
For Heartland Dental, creating value for supported dentists is the top priority – both through offering non-clinical support and continuing education opportunities. Offering access to state-of-the-art supplies and technology at discounted prices is another major part of that value creation.
Heartland Dental’s new relationship with Patterson Dental builds upon that value for supported dentists in many ways. Supported dentists will be offered an advanced level of support and customer service, including savings on products, access to efficient supply closets and front-end ordering solutions, support from TechEdge expert service technicians, effective warranty tracking and high-quality repair and service.
“What really impressed everyone at Heartland Dental about Patterson Dental is their ability to provide creative solutions and strategic ideas for helping us grow and deliver the very best products, services and support to all supported dentists and team members – which is our top priority,” said Patrick Bauer, President and Chief Executive Officer at Heartland Dental. “It’s all about what’s best for supported dentists – the right pricing, the right products and the right support to help all of them provide the highest level of care possible.”
In addition to the immediate value created, Patterson Dental and Heartland Dental are partnering to create a convenient, state-of-the-art online storefront for 2017. This will give supported dentists and team members a level of ease and convenience when ordering products like never before. Once the site is up and running, they’ll be able to order all their needed supplies with just a few clicks of the mouse – providing more time for patient care.
“Innovation is at the center of who we are as an organization and what sets us apart in the DSO space. Likewise, Patterson Dental is creating innovation and solutions in the product and technology space,” added Rick Workman, DMD, Founder and Active Executive Chairman of Heartland Dental. “We selected Patterson Dental because of their history of market-leading service, which coincides with our experience in the evolving DSO industry. Our partnership makes the most of Patterson Dental’s expertise in logistics, technical service, ecommerce and technology, which enables our commitment to mutual growth.”
All in all, this relationship is an opportunity to advance Heartland Dental’s value creation for supported dentists even further. It’s the company’s mission to support dentists and team members as they provide world-class care to the communities they serve. With the savings, support and benefits Patterson Dental brings, this relationship is directly aligned with that mission.
"What really impressed everyone at Heartland Dental about Patterson Dental is their ability to provide creative solutions and strategic ideas for helping us grow and deliver the best products, services and support to all supported dentists and team members - which is our top priority."
President and Chief Executive Officer at Heartland Dental
A Necessity in Today’s Industry
Modern dental supplies and technology aren’t what they used to be. Nowadays, they are much more advanced. Dentists have access to a wealth of materials, equipment and technological advancements all designed to help them meet the oral health needs of patients like never before.
With so many options and choices, what are the best supplies to use? What technology is most effective and worth the cost? Heartland Dental aims to help supported dentists answer these questions and assist them in determining what’s best for their office needs. Now with Patterson Dental’s assistance, this adds a whole new layer to Heartland Dental’s supply and procurement support, making it even more effective moving forward into 2017 and beyond.
“Like with any modern business, you can’t succeed as a dentist in today’s industry if you’re not keeping up on the latest products and technology available. Today’s dental patients expect the most effective services delivered in the quickest, most convenient way,” added Dr. Workman. “Having a support system in place that the combination of Heartland Dental and Patterson Dental can offer is truly invaluable to the modern dentist.”
This trend won’t end anytime soon. Materials, products and technology will continue to evolve, giving dentists more opportunities to help patients achieve ideal oral health, but also giving them more decisions to make and increasing their need for support. Heartland Dental and Patterson Dental are primed to help dentists meet these ongoing challenges as the industry continues to advance.
A Common Background with Common Values
Both Heartland Dental and Patterson Dental have Midwest roots. Originally founded in 1877 in Milwaukee, Patterson Dental would make the headquarters in Minneapolis, and go on to open the Patterson Technology Center in Effingham, Illinois in 2011. Similarly, Heartland Dental was started in the Midwest and has remained based there. The company was founded in Effingham, Illinois in 1997 and is still headquartered there today.
Beyond the companies’ Midwest roots, both are focused on being open-minded, flexible and positive, with best interests of dentists and their teams always in mind.
“With both of our companies truly aligned under the same mission, I can’t wait to see the positive impact that results for both of us in 2017 and beyond,” added Patrick Bauer.