Whether you’re opening a brand new laboratory or thinking of renovating, the question that will no doubt be on your mind is, what is it going to cost me? In the beginning, it’s almost just a rhetorical question to torture yourself about how much you’re going to have to pay out, before moving on and getting down to business.
At least, that’s most laboratory owners’ approach – as with every profession, there are always the odd few that are a bit patchier with their organisation, choosing instead to plan as they go. However, only by having a realistic and well-calculated idea of what the project will cost can you hope to achieve successful results without any unwanted surprises along the way.
Before you get started, then, you’ll need to figure out your top-end budget by pricing everything up – and that means everything, not just big-ticket items but the smaller purchases too. Anything you can think of that is going to involve putting your hand in your pocket is worth putting down on paper, because it’s all these items that if you don’t take care of in the beginning will come back to bite you (and your bank account) later on down the line.
To get the best prices, be sure to shop around. It may mean that you purchase from various places, which can confuse matters, but if you plan well enough in advance it shouldn’t make too much of a difference. Thorough research can help find the best deals, including reading reviews from existing customers and speaking to other laboratory owners about their experiences. Remember, however, that cheap and cheerful will only work in the short-term. If it’s quality and durability you’re after, you’ll need to steer clear of the lower end of the price range. Besides, it will only cost you more in the long run, as you’ll end up purchasing what you should have got in the first place. Instead, go for items that you know will last for longer, made from durable and hardy materials.
That includes apparatus such as ultrasonic baths, furnaces and compressors, as well as larger equipment like a CAD/CAM 3D printer, scanner and cabinetry. While it is crucial to stay within your budget, purchasing the latest technology and top-of-the-range equipment will help your team of technicians to work to a high standard, ensuring exceptional results and optimal productivity. Quality cabinets such as the EvoLab range from John Winter, for instance, are renowned for their longevity, practicality and enduring comfort thanks to their durable, ergonomic and functional design. As such, it is always worth weighing up your options during the initial planning stages, because the choices that you make will have lasting effects on both your technicians and the performance of your laboratory.
It is also important to consider how you’re going to tackle the project. Working with a dental company with experience in laboratory design may seem like an unnecessary cost, but with their knowledge of the sector and extensive network, a specialist team are well worth the money. Firstly, because they will be able to work closely with you to determine your overall costs and help you plan the project, allowing you to focus on other matters at hand. Secondly, because expert assistance can help to ensure all work is executed accurately, efficiently and effectively, without any major disruptions or delays. In turn, this keeps any possible downtime to a minimum, which if you’re renovating, is the key to curtailing losses. Plus, all the while you’re comparing colour swatches and shopping for equipment your clinical and administrative duties suffer.
If you’re opening a laboratory from scratch, a helping hand with the design can simultaneously alleviate some of the pressure, and streamline the process so that you can attain your goal within the ideal timeframe. The quicker you can open, the sooner you can make money!
Altogether, budgeting can be daunting when you are trying to work out what your dental laboratory will cost you. But with meticulous planning, you can achieve a better, more efficient design, and keep your spending in check so that you don’t exceed what you can feasibly afford. Your dream laboratory is within your grasp; you just have to ask yourself, what is it going to cost me?