Rising Prices and Limited Supply of PPE

August 10, 2020

Benco Dental is committed to fighting inflated PPE pricing while maintaining inventory levels and ensuring the integrity of our supply chain. To better understand what that entails within the context of our current market, we want to make clear exactly what we are doing as well as what is outside the scope of our control. As always, please reach out to your friendly Benco Rep should you need further assistance.

Q: Does Benco Dental have PPE available to order and other related items?

A: Yes. We have consistently supplied most PPE and other urgently needed products. The global supply chain continues to experience challenges meeting demand for Level 1, 2 and 3 Masks, N95 masks, disposable clothing, disinfectant wipes and gloves. We are focused on securing high quality products at the fairest market pricing possible. We will continue to carefully manage our inventory levels and end-to-end supply chain to ensure we are able to provide necessary products to as many of our customers as possible in the months ahead.

Q. Has Benco Dental increased profit margins on PPE since Covid-19?

A: No. We have either held the line on our pricing structure, or reduced margins significantly, in response to Covid-19 in order to do our part to make PPE as accessible as possible. While we have no choice but to pass on price increases from reputable manufacturers that we deem reasonable, we have absolutely not inflated our own margins. Benco Dental has not, and will never, engage in price gouging.

Q. Why have prices for PPE risen—sometimes dramatically?

A: Supply and demand. The market is seeing a historic and unprecedented rise in demand for PPE. While supply chains are working nonstop to catch up, in the short term, the cost of PPE has risen just as it would with any products for which there is extreme competition and demand.

Q. Specifically, what’s causing prices to rise so sharply?

A: In some cases, competition for raw materials. In others, limited manufacturing capabilities. Most manufacturers source raw materials they use to make the finished product from other manufacturers. They have no choice but to buy from suppliers down the line, whose own sourcing and production capabilities may be stretched thin. Even when manufacturers can obtain raw materials, it remains challenging to increase production because that involves installing new machinery, hiring more workers, and securing effective transportation for product, among other time-consuming challenges.

Q. Why does Benco Dental continue selling products even after the prices rise significantly?

A: For the same reasons gas stations continue supplying their customers with fuel, even when it rises from $2 a gallon to $5. We will not support manufacturers who we suspect of price gouging, but otherwise, PPE is vital and indispensable. Our biggest challenge in many cases is securing a supply of products, regardless of price. Until prices stabilize, our first priority is supplying the products you need to stay safe at reasonable prices for the current market.

Q. What if Benco Dental suspects a supplier is engaging in price gouging?

A: We will not do business with them, and if warranted, we have and will continue to report them to the proper authorities for investigation.