Sitting down with Benco Dental managing directors Chuck and Rick Cohen

Proofs editor Kevin Henry recently had the chance to sit down with Chuck and Rick Cohen, managing directors for Benco Dental.

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I recently had the chance to sit down with Chuck (pictured, left) and Rick Cohen (pictured, right), managing directors for Benco Dental.

Kevin Henry: How has your company fared and changed in recent months?
Chuck Cohen: We are seeing good growth. We've grown geographically and we're growing in areas where we've been for a while. We've seen a lot of changes and business is good. We like our position. We feel like we have a good story to share.

Our numbers in the first quarter were up but not a lot. We’re seeing more improvement in the second quarter. Our numbers are trending along with the economy. We are anticipating a strong push to the end of the year.

Henry: Speaking of geographic growth, talk to me about Benco’s “Westward Expansion” and how it has affected your business.
Rick Cohen: When we opened the distribution center in Reno in 2011, it was the culmination of 10 to 12 years of westward expansion. On one hand, things haven't changed for our company a bit. We still have the same culture and the same values. On the other hand, we've opened up new areas and stretched our business in a very good way. We're still offering good value to our customers and vendor partners. We've made a lot of investments to ensure that.

Henry: With your company’s growth, how do you ensure your reps across the country are getting the same message?
Chuck Cohen: It's a constant challenge to push the right message to sales reps, whether you have 10 or 100. Communicating with the reps is one of the most important parts of our business. We use an Internet-based system to make sure we get the right information to the right person at the right time. It's always a challenge to make sure the reps can walk in armed and ready with the right information to have a conversation with the customer.

Henry: What challenges do you see for your company during the next year?
Rick Cohen: One of our top-of-mind challenges currently is CAD/CAM, which is an area that we haven't played in at all prior to this year. It's a new product segment we are very focused on.

Henry: I know one of the biggest things that separates Benco from other dealers is the lack of exclusive partnerships with manufacturers. Why is that?
Chuck Cohen: We firmly believe in competition, not exclusivity. We offer multiple manufacturers with multiple products. Competition built our company, and we are glad to keep that tradition going. Customers want the opportunity to buy what they want from whomever they want. We try to add value for the customer, and we believe that exclusive partnerships restrict our customers.

Henry: Finally, can you talk to me about your company’s current view of dental trade shows?
Rick Cohen: What we're seeing now are expensive trade shows with fewer and fewer dentists attending. Granted, that doesn't apply to every show, but it is getting worse overall. However, not attending trade shows is not an option for us. We just have to try to influence better outcomes to justify our expenses.

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