Case Study: Summit Dental Care

Finding the Perfect Associate to then Become a Partner

Dr. Bryce Barfuss was introduced to Bob Spiel just two years after becoming the owner of Summit Dental Care in Twin Falls, Idaho. Within 3 years of working together, Dr. Barfuss’s practice had nearly doubled in size. It became obvious that they needed to begin looking for an associate, with the caveat of bringing this doctor in as a partner if all went well, and to do so by the end of the following year.

They began the process of looking for an associate by starting with Bob’s three-step process: vetting, setting and netting. First, he conducted a thorough analysis of the practice to ensure the growth and capacity pattern showed it was ready for another doctor to be brought in. Second, Bob worked with Dr. Barfuss and his team to create the profile of their ideal candidate, visualizing what this new doctor could add to the practice. In order for the associateship to be successful, it was crucial to determine if the team had already mentally decided if this new doctor would succeed or fail, and whether or not they would accommodate to the new changes. And third, Bob began recruiting and carrying out in-depth personality test to help predict each applicant’s ability to successfully work with the practice in the future.

After vetting a variety of extremely eligible candidates, Dr. Barfuss and his team welcomed in Dr. Erik Permann as the new associate. If he performed past expectations and continued to work well with the team, Dr. Barfuss intended to offer him a partnership position within 12-18 months. The practice continued growing at such a rate, and the transition had gone so smoothly, that they began the process of Dr. Permann buying into the practice just nine months in.

Through this process, Bob worked with the team and the doctors individually to ensure a successful partnership. He got the doctors involved while working through the paperwork and legal agreements, teaching them to work together through conflicts from the very beginning. It was crucial they understood the terms of their agreements. He made sure the team would continue doing the things they had practiced, staying united, focused, and interested in growing their business while setting the new associate up for success.

Within a year of Dr. Permann buying in Summit Dental Care had doubled their operatories. They were able to keep momentum and maintain the culture within the practice. They had surpassed all their goals and continue to grow financially. They have remained their towns leading practice, and continue to work with Bob, who makes sure their partnership is on track and their bottom line keeps growing.