DSOPro Exclusive

Consulting DSOs, Manufacturers, and SaaS Tech Companies on Procurement, Communications, and Strategies

With almost 30 years in the industry directing operations, sales, procurement, and SaaS companies, Joe Cavaretta founded the Cavaretta Consulting Group to help industry players connect and communicate.

DSOPro: Tell us how you became involved with the dental industry.

I had to do an internship in college in order to graduate so my father offered to help by contacting his friend, Jim Harris. Jim ran the pediatric dental clinic at Children’s Hospital of Buffalo at the University of Buffalo’s School of Dental Medicine. After completing my internship, I was offered a full-time job and that’s how my dental journey began.

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DSOPro: Tell us about your career.

Patterson Dental was our distributor during my time at Children’s Hospital so when I decided to move to Denver from Buffalo in the mid-90’s it was a natural fit. I’m passionate about sales, leadership, and organizational structure, so when I interviewed for the job, my priority was to learn more about operations. It was at Patterson that I learned the inner workings of a distributor and how to lead both the operations and service technician teams. It’s ironic, really, because I don’t know how to fix anything! My goal at the time was to acquire a deep understanding of a distributor’s core operations model and then apply it to a sales leadership role. I moved into an equipment sales role about 18 months later.

In 2001, I moved from Patterson to Henry Schein and relocated to be the Regional Manager of the Arizona and Las Vegas centers and then later moved again to manage the Long Island Region in 2004. During my time in Arizona and Las Vegas is where I was introduced to the DSO space for the first time.

In 2006, I moved to Wisconsin to become Director of Sales for Henry Schein. I worked my way up the corporate ladder (VP of the West, VP of the East) and eventually became the Vice President of Sales for the U.S. Dental Business in 2018.

DSOPro: Tell us about how Henry Schein’s MidMarket and GPO came to fruition.

During my tenure as VP of the Western U.S., we were noticing a groundswell of 3-, 5-, and 10-practice groups. DSO start-ups were multiplying in number, and we needed to create a product offering that made sense for their owner operators. I helped lead a very talented and knowledgeable team build the foundational structure of what Hal Muller coined the “Mid-Market” space within Schein. The team worked tirelessly for the better part of a year curating a DSO strategy to take to market.

In 2015, the Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) market segment also began to find success in the dental industry. Once again, we created a group to create a market offering and stand up the support structure needed to serve this growing customer segment.

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DSOPro: Tell us about your move to Dental Whale.

I joined Dental Whale as President in 2019, and later became CEO, driven by my desire to innovate in an evolving market. I needed to leave my comfort zone to broaden my executive experience and take a risk in my career. We developed one of the industry’s first procurement platforms and other tech solutions with the aim of modernizing the industry. Besides supplies, the platform offered repair services, education, and introduced operational efficiencies through SaaS offerings. I was there four and a half years and acquired a deep understanding of what it takes to build technology and lead an entrepreneurial company.

DSOPro: Describe the process of starting your company.

I decided in March 2023, after talking with several industry friends, that there was a huge need to connect the Dentaverse™!

When you spend almost 30 years in an industry, you build a community and make a lot of friends. I love this industry and am grateful for the incredible journey I’m on. The people in it are dedicated, the customers deserving, and it feels like home to me. I’ve known most of the people running today’s dental companies since we were all sales reps or just starting our careers. Relationships matter and I’ve found that if you do the right thing, you’re honest, trustworthy, ethical, and treat people the right way, others will treat you the same.

The funny thing is, I didn’t intend to become a consultant, but after talking with dozens of companies, I thought I could help people. So, I started CCG, Cavaretta Consulting Group.

DSOPro: Describe the benefits of the different services you offer and what they help a DSO achieve.

We do three things. One is procurement for DSOs. The second is consulting with distributors and manufacturers who ask us for help in understanding the DSO space and the third is working with SaaS companies that know technology but need help with their dental network and marketplace strategy.

The DSOs we’ve met with ask for help optimizing their procurement and focusing their resources on value creation. Where they first hire our team to drive down their supply spend, we’ve found they retain us to help lead the implementation, integration, and execution of processes and new initiatives. We are also filling leadership gaps that may exist and complimenting executives who can simply execute quicker with our help.

We provide a level of increased communication and process clarification, which expedites alignment within the DSO. This is also why the leadership component of what we do is important. Once pricing is finalized, choosing and integrating a procurement platform becomes extremely important. The consultants at CCG are communicating directly with the executive team, clinical committee, and the entire support organization. Communicating with all three cohorts is extremely important to ensure everyone is aligned. We’re passionate about clarity and support.

Finally, we assess outcomes by examining key performance indicators (KPIs), such as reductions in spend per office or as a percentage of overhead. Our recommendations focus on lowering supply expenses and the number of inventoried SKUS to meet or surpass client goals. When all offices align and progress together, the entire organization reaps the benefits. Even small, consistent efforts contribute to value creation across the board.

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DSOPro: Are you working with the DSO’s procurement and operations people, or do they not have them?

What we’ve found is that everyone’s timing, priorities, needs, and resources are unique. In some cases, groups hire us to be their fractional procurement department and others need more help standing it up with fractional support and SOPs. We offer three levels of procurement service: outsourced procurement, supported or fractional, and project based. CCG’s team of consultants work together with clients to define the scope of work for each of the three levels and then implement and execute the desired deliverables.

Some groups have an established procurement leader but need help renegotiating contract terms or issuing an RFP. Both of these can tax a DSO’s resources so outsourcing these projects is appealing. Several groups need support finalizing negotiations with suppliers whereas others have asked for help transitioning their ordering process to an e-procurement platform and want help ushering in this change at the practice level. Often, they hire us specifically for supply savings and then find they could execute more quickly with other initiatives if they enlist our services.

DSOPro: Explain how dynamics are shifting as the DSO industry grows.

There is a very delicate balance happening right now in the DSO space. We’re seeing that manufacturers are trying to better understand how they can get closer to the customer in alignment with distribution because with consolidation, things are changing rapidly. With the way DSOs are structured, with corporate offices and executive teams, manufacturers are saying “Hey, we should have a relationship with the customer, too” because now that you have one management team responsible for hundreds of offices, it makes sense.

Some DSO management teams are also saying, “We value the distributors, we value the manufacturers, but we also want to ensure we’re getting the best price and value in the marketplace. How do we balance all of this? Who can help us navigate these relationships?” That’s why what CCG does is helpful. Every stakeholder adds value to this balance, and we help work through customer challenges and shine light upon meaningful opportunities. Our goal is to allow people to feel good about the deals they make and to expedite agreements that deliver clarity to the distributors and manufacturers who earn the business and immediate cost savings for DSOs because they are able to make decisions faster.

DSOPro: Is this unique to dental? Or did this approach come from another industry?

The total offering is unique to dental as we have a disciplined process that has taken time to create with the benefit of years of hindsight. As a team we have spent almost a year building and refining CCG’s strategy and offering. We quickly added experts to the team with the addition of Stephanie Schoenrock, Amy Bridger, Phil Cruz, Marcy Roy, Keith Gauzza, and Karla-Marie Santiago all in less than a year. We have a plug-and-play team. We understand equipment, repair, lab, and SaaS solutions extremely well, it’s not just supplies.

Building the right company culture is critical and every team member above has the same selfless mentality and core value system. Our team has performed every function of the procurement process. What makes us unique is our commitment and focus on implementation, integration, and execution.


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DSOPro: Is there anything you would like to add about what you see in the future for this type of relationship?

It’s remarkable to me to see figures like Bill Neumann from Group Dentistry Now and Brian Colao from Dykema having significant influence in the DSO space. They serve as independent sources of truth that DSOs, manufacturers, and distributors rely on for accurate insights. The growth of events like the Dykema meeting, from a few hundred attendees to several thousand, reflects the changing landscape and increasing influence of key individuals in the industry over the past decade.

As consolidation continues and new solutions take prominence, there is ongoing opportunity out there for value creation. People hire us to optimize procurement but quickly realize how we help with implementation and value creation. We fill gaps for DSOs at a fraction of the cost and with years of industry experience. I continue to see this as having a long runway.

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About Joe Cavaretta


Joe Cavaretta is a dental industry leader and the CEO and Founder of Cavaretta Consulting Group.


CCG is a specialized dental consulting collective that assists DSOs in optimizing procurement, implementing strategies, and fostering collaboration among stakeholders. Our goal is operational efficiency and value creation.


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