Due to my advanced age and my semi-retired state, I am not that up to date on what’s happening lately in dentistry and/or dental distribution; however, I do believe,  I am well versed on the history of both.   And with that thought in mind, I ask you young and eager readers – – – what do you think is the most important thing that has happened to dental distribution (that’s the business we are all in) in the past 50 years???  It can be a product, an event, a service or whatever you would like to guess has done the most to alter the face of dental distribution.

Think about it for a second and write down your best guess.  OK, have you figured it out?

Now, if the answer was anything other than the advent of UPS (United Parcel Service of America, Inc.), then I am sorry, but you guessed wrong.  UPS changed everything!!!  Before UPS, all dental distributors used to ship via the U.S. Postal Service – – – the exact name of the service was Parcel Post.  And in the days when Parcel Post was the only game in town, it took the post office 5 days to deliver a package 60 miles (like from Wilkes-Barre, Pa. to Williamsport, Pa.) and then the package often got lost or damaged and customers were forever making claims of non-receipt of their goods.

In the early 1960s, UPS came on the scene. They delivered the package within 150 miles the next day, got a signed delivery receipt to boot,  and they did it all for less than the cost of shipping Parcel Post.  The advent of UPS was the beginning of the end for small local distributors who used to exist in every metropolitan area.

Best wishes for a healthy, happy and peaceful holiday season.  And, if any of you guessed the correct answer, shoot me an email at lcohen@benco.com and let me know.