Agilio’s Andy Sloan shares his ambitions for the future | Agilio Software

Article featured in Dentistry.co.uk

With over a decade in dentistry, Andy Sloan has been appointed as the managing director of Agilio’s dental division. Read his ambitions for the future of Agilio.

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With a career spanning over a decade in dentistry, most recently as the Business Development Director of Portman Dental Group, Andy Sloan has been appointed as the Managing Director of Agilio Software’s dental division. We caught up with him to chat about his ambitions for the of the business, as well as discussing the current state of dentistry and what the future may look like

Andy Sloan, Managing Director, Dental

1. Why did you join the Agilio Group and what initially drew you to the organisation?

When I initially started in dentistry more than a decade ago, I was part of a business delivering training, compliance, and engineering services to dental practices, and so when I was first presented with the opportunity at Agilio, there was a sense of familiarity combined with excitement from having the opportunity to lead the business into the future, building on the phenomenal success they’ve had so far. 

On top of that, the idea of bringing together businesses like CODE and ISOPHARM who I’ve always respected and creating a seamless back office offering supporting customers to run better dental practices, was a huge attraction to me. It very much aligns with my ambitions and goals of helping the industry deliver excellent patient care, so when Neil (Laycock, CEO of Agilio Software) shared with me the core values and ambitions for the business, I couldn’t say no.

2. What previous experience do you feel will be the most beneficial for your new role at Agilio?

Throughout my career in dentistry, I have gained a very diverse range of experience working in roles that covered dental compliance, training, supply chain, engineering, and most recently business development for a large dental group.

I believe that my rounded set of skills combined with the unique insight that I have acquired has positioned me really well to support dental organisations, big or small, in improving their back-office efficiencies, so they can have more time to focus on patient care.

3. Had you followed Agilio’s journey before your appointment, and if so, what are your thoughts on their strategy so far?

I’ve been really impressed by the acquisition strategy led by Neil and the team, bringing diverse product offerings under the Agilio brand, and now I believe it is time to focus on translating this into the daily routine of practice managers and really spotlighting the benefits that our offering can bring.

I believe the focal point for the foreseeable future will be the interoperability of all Agilio Dental products, and I am very keen to continue the journey that the Agilio team have been on.  

The overall vision is for practice managers to access our platform and to get visibility of all support elements in one place to maximise efficiencies and allow them to focus on patients. Further streamlining all back-office functionalities will be hugely beneficial to both independent and large group customers, as from my experience they share many of the same key challenges.

4. As a market leader in compliance and back-office technology in the dental industry, Agilio is in a strong market position. What do you think will be the biggest challenges in your new role?

There are many factors like COVID-19, Brexit, and the ageing population of dentists that is resulting in rapid changes in the way that dental industry operates. Right now, the industry is facing a huge patient demand challenge coupled with a recruitment crisis, but I do believe that Agilio is well-placed to address a number of the current issues and support practices in combating them.

There is a twofold solution that Agilio can provide to support dental organisations in minimising the impact of the current crisis. First, are efficiencies achieved through our solutions freeing up staff time to focus on where they are most needed, and second, increasing staff retention by providing them with better work-life balance through our pre-planned rotas, and giving them career development opportunities with good quality training like our iLearn platform.

5. As a Managing director, you have a unique opportunity to shape the future of Agilio’s dental division. Could you share more about your vision and ambitions for the business?

My biggest ambition is to create a one-stop-shop that will fulfil all the back office needs of a dental practice and will support dental organisations in running their practices better, allowing their staff to focus on what is important – patient care.

Agilio’s vision and values are at the heart of the business and really resonate with me: putting customers first, an instinct for action, trust and empowerment along with continuously improving and making a positive impact in our communities are all aspirational and it is my role to make sure we live and breathe them.

6. Which Agilio product would you recommend to a small dental business owner if you could only recommend one, and why?

Fundamentally, the most time in any practice is spent on compliance and so it would have to be iComply NextGen. It really is a game changer and the support wrapped around from our regulatory team really can’t be matched by any other compliance product.

I first encountered iComply about 10 years ago, and when I was shown the product recently, I was blown away by how much the product has evolved since and how intuitive and customisable it has become.

7. Similarly, which Agilio product would you recommend to a large dental organisation if you could only recommend one, and why?

From a group point of view, as well as using iComply which many now do to ensure they stay abreast of the compliance position on a group wide basis, I would say that staff training is equally as important and challenging as compliance and I can see our iLearn platform adding real value to the larger organisations in that area.

 I don’t just mean mandatory training which is, of course, necessary, but I believe there is more that larger organisations can do in supporting their staff with continuous professional development. We know that career progression and development is one of the leading tools for staff retention, and iLearn is perfectly placed to support the groups to deliver on that.

8. Agilio has recently launched new or upgraded products including iManage, iService, and iLearn. Can you give us an idea of what’s next in your product development plan?

The recent product launches and upgrades have proved a huge success. From seamlessly migrating iLearn onto a new platform, enhancing its customisable features, and creating an opportunity for dental organisations to tailor the platform to their needs, to iManage which allows smaller dental practices to outsource their compliance to one of our dedicated experts in its entirety.

The uptake of iManage has been exceptional so far, which is an indication of the high demand for a fully outsourced compliance solution. We are already in the process of recruiting more qualified compliance experts, and we are committed to investing further over the next 12 months to satisfy this demand. I am also very excited about the latest product that Agilio is launching called iService, as I can already see the huge benefits it can bring to independent practices as well as larger dental organisations.

In my previous role, I dealt with the acquisitions of smaller practices by a larger group, I have experienced how many dental practices and groups ineffectively record and track their assets and the knock-on effect it can have on managing their finances when things break down or are not effectively tested / validated which of course is a regulatory requirement of many of the assets within a Dental practice.

iService will be a game changer in this arena and a very valuable planning tool, allowing small practices to access an overview of all their assets and information like age, manufacturer, any maintenance requirements, serial numbers, etc. whilst also acting as a forecasting tool for groups and providing them with instant access to an overview of their estate with all the information about the condition and maintenance status of their equipment. 

9. The Dental industry is facing several challenges including a recruitment crisis, and a backlog of appointments dating back to the peak of the Covid pandemic. What are your thoughts on the best way for the industry to tackle these issues?

It’s a very tricky question and I believe there is no quick-fix solution right now. There are a combination of challenges including the NHS treatments offered becoming unviable with the current inflation levels not being matched by reimbursement from the Government which is a huge dilemma for clinicians who want to offer excellent clinical standards but know that in some cases could be at a financial loss for their businesses

This might over time lead to alternative solutions, with some of the basic dental services being delivered on high street locations rather than in a traditional practice setting which is similar to the model the optical industry has adopted, and then more complicated cases or cosmetic treatments becoming delivered solely through private provision.

In the short term, I can see promising improvements through technological innovations that can introduce efficiencies on both the clinical and administrative side, freeing up staff time that can then be allocated where it is most needed.   

10. As one of the key industry leaders, what do you think dentistry will look like in 10 years?

I think we might see more of what we’re seeing across some European countries where they have almost two different types of dentistry– therapeutical where the clinician prescribes the treatment but won’t necessarily deliver it, and more advanced dentistry which will require clinical expertise.

Overall, I hope that businesses like us will continue investing in innovative solutions and we will see more streamlining of non-clinical workload so practices can run without unnecessary headaches. 

How we can help

Here at Agilio we can help you streamline your compliance and improve your HR admin with our dental back office software.

If you would like to find out more visit agiliosoftware.com.

Article featured in Dentistry, December 2022

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