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“We are very excited about the future of dentistry”

Stanley M. Bergman is CEO and chairman of the board at Henry Schein. (Image: DTI)

COLOGNE, Germany: Global distributor Henry Schein is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, and the company is advancing its offering to dental professionals through a new strategic plan that emphasises customer centricity. Dental Tribune International spoke with Stanley M. Bergman, chairman of the board and CEO at Henry Schein, about the plan and about what the company is doing to increase its offering to clinicians.

Mr Bergman, how would you describe the current market climate for dentistry?
We are very excited about the future of dentistry and where the industry is headed. Dental practices of all sizes are still navigating post-COVID economic challenges and struggling with patient retention and workforce shortages, specifically those of dental assistants and dental hygienists.

Given our view of the current trends, we expect the dental markets we serve to recover from post-pandemic issues. As dental care becomes increasingly accessible and as patients understand the association of oral health with overall health, we expect demand for dental services to continue to grow. To help our customers address that demand, Henry Schein is continually innovating and investing in solutions to enhance practice management and help dental teams deliver the highest quality patient experience. It is incumbent on all of us to be open to innovation and change if we are to achieve the shared goal of advancing oral health as primary care.

“As dental care becomes increasingly accessible and as patients understand the association of oral health with overall health, we expect demand for dental services to continue to grow.”

What is Henry Schein doing to shore up its offering to dental professionals?
Over the course of nine decades, we have reinvented our company to meet customer needs, introducing new technologies and tapping into new markets. For example, we recently announced a definitive agreement to acquire a majority ownership stake of Biotech Dental, a rapidly growing provider of innovative clinical software and oral surgery and orthodontic products based in Salon-de-Provence in France. Biotech Dental has several important solutions, including Nemotec, a comprehensive, integrated suite of planning and diagnostic software using open architecture that connects disparate devices to create a digital view of the patient’s oral health condition, offering greater diagnostic accuracy and an improved patient experience. Biotech Dental is also one of the fastest-growing implant and custom abutment brands in France as well as the manufacturer of the Smilers brand of clear aligners. In addition, Biotech Dental has launched LaGalaxy, a comprehensive, open and secure software platform where both clinical and administrative tasks can be performed.

At Henry Schein’s IDS 2023 press conference, from left to right: Prof. Irena Sailer, Stanley M. Bergman, Dr René Willi, Andrea Albertini. (Image: DTI)

Additionally, we recognise that, as a responsible corporate citizen, we need to support the environmental sustainability efforts of our customers. This year, we launched Practice Green by Henry Schein, an international initiative designed to encourage practitioners, practice teams and dental laboratories to become more eco-friendly by offering solutions to help implement practical ways to become more sustainable.

This effort is part of Henry Schein’s broader 2022–2024 strategic plan, called BOLD+1. In short, this is our strategy:

  • B” means we are building solutions businesses—software, specialty and services—across our company to help our customers be more successful.
  • “O” means optimising our “One Distribution” effort for an exceptional customer experience, increased efficiency and growth. “One Distribution” is designed to more tightly integrate the management of Henry Schein’s distribution businesses globally while more fully leveraging the functions, talent, processes and systems of our distribution businesses to enhance the customer experience and maximise efficiency and performance.
  • “L” means leveraging our “One Schein” approach to broaden and deepen relationships with customers by deploying our unique portfolio in a unified, integrated manner.
  • “D” means driving digital transformation for our customers and for Henry Schein to accelerate growth, create an exceptional customer experience and increase efficiency.

This strategic plan emphasises customer centricity—where our customers recognise that we provide the best experience in the industry, so they can focus on building their business caring for patients.

What are you most excited about at IDS 2023?
One of the highlights in attending IDS is the opportunity to tour the exhibit hall, preview the vast array of new technologies and products being showcased and meet with many of our Team Schein members representing our businesses across the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. Attending IDS also provides an opportunity to meet with our supplier partners and to speak with our customers—dentists and other dental professionals—and together discover the latest innovations and advancements in the field.

Many of these products and technologies are designed to make dental procedures easier and more efficient, leading to better patient care and satisfaction. This includes easy-to-use clinical digital workflow solutions fostering open architecture and product interoperability, advancements in 3D printing and resources to enhance workflow management, systems and product integration. That’s why it is so motivating to experience first-hand the reaction of dental practitioners to our company’s rich line-up of activities promoting technology advances in dentistry, a wide range of value-added services and educational insights from industry and professional thought leaders.

 Henry Schein serves both medical doctors and dentists. Do you see any opportunities to make them greater collaborators in an overall healthcare approach?
Absolutely. At Henry Schein, we have both dental and medical distribution capabilities, and we believe we are the only company able to offer differentiated solutions that address all their needs.

We believe our global distribution capabilities represent a competitive advantage for Henry Schein. This approach also helps to improve the exchange of best practices and to better anticipate major trends in healthcare in order to improve the customer experience and increase efficiency with an integrated offering of products, solutions and services.

Henry Schein just celebrated its 90th anniversary. How would you describe the company’s vision for the coming years?
We are in our 90th year in business, and the momentum of our team continues to be extraordinary. We’re excited to advance the execution of our BOLD+1 strategy, which will further enhance the delivery of exceptional customer experiences to dental practitioners. This is the heart of our strategy: customers will rely on us for an exceptional experience, delivering differentiated solutions that make their practices more successful and improve patient outcomes. Together, we make the world healthier.

We continue to advocate for oral health issues and expand access to oral healthcare through Henry Schein Cares and the Henry Schein Cares Foundation. We remain steadfast in our commitment to engaging in innovative public–private partnerships and expanding our work with key stakeholders to make the world healthier and to help ensure at-risk and vulnerable populations have equitable access to quality healthcare.

And above all, the one advantage that sustains our future is Team Schein. We have proved again and again that we can weather any storm and continue exceeding expectations. It is for this reason that I believe our best years are yet to come.

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