Publisher’s Note: A Fresh Start

By Jake Puhl

2020 was a challenging year, but it had many silver linings. One was more family time due to the quarantine. And in many ways, the industry came together. The pandemic brought creativity and innovation from group practices who found ways to stay open and serve their patients and teams.

I’ve spoken to some of the top leaders in the DSO space on what they learned from 2020 that they’ll take into 2021:

  • Sharon: “It was all about who was in the right seats. Knowing who was with you and who wasn’t. Hiring a new associate and being really picky.”
  • Dwight: “In athletics they call it altitude training. You go to a higher altitude and push and train, and then when you come back to sea level it’s easier. That’s how 2020 was for us. Now it’s getting back to a little stability. It also gave some clarity; the problems in 2019 didn’t seem so big. We’re also more glued together… a lot more unity.”
  • Cheryl: “2020 gave us a chance to really clean-up and simplify our systems. And to appreciate more.”

Several industry leaders said there were plenty of wins to celebrate:

  • Jeff: “Ended up with a pretty good year. Brought on a capital partner and closed on Dec. 30, so we made it happen before the end of the year.”
  • Ron: “Made it out of 2020 alive! Despite the pandemic, we all made it out together, and we really prevailed. It could have been a lot worse. All in all, we were able to accomplish our goals.”

One of our goals at DEO has been to find new ways to serve our community of entrepreneurial-minded dentists. Our partnership with Share Moving Media to publish Efficiency in Group Practice will be one of those avenues. Another is an e-newsletter we’ll launch at the end of Q1. We’re excited to create content and conversations that will bring the industry together through inspiring stories, looking to the future, and cultivating an abundance mindset.

This issue of Efficiency examines mergers and acquisitions, but the common theme you’ll notice in our interviews is that a successful M&A is based on partnerships. In the cover story, we talk with AJ Acierno and Steve Bilt, two incredible businessmen who used acquiring as an opportunity to form a strategic partnership. For Smile Brands and DecisionOne, growth isn’t about getting bigger. It’s about transformation. We hope you enjoy their insights, as well as the rest of the magazine’s contributors.

Thanks for reading this issue of Efficiency in Group Practice.

Jake Puhl