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November 2012

DentaLab NewsNovember 2012
from Mainstreet Systems & Software

FAQ  DentaLab News


After the Storms

As most of you already know, the combination of Hurricane Sandy and a nor'easter devastated a very wide area here in the mid-Atlantic to northeast part of the USA and we were left without electricity, heat, water and phones for about a week. We were, however, able to continue to service and support our customers throughout. We have been asked to share some of the pointers with you should you ever face such an emergency.

These security measures were learned during projects we have performed and from close connection with a company specializing in business continuity. First and foremost, be prepared in these ways:

  • Have alternate sources of energy available for power and heat.
  • Have stores of clean water and non-perishable food. 
  • Line up resources and backup alternatives in both local and distant locations.
  • Keep your battery-powered communication devices charged and your lists up to date. 
  • Establish priorities and specifically train your staff on what to do.
  • Also let your customers know in advance what they should do to communicate with you.
  • Know that there is a certain security in obscurity. Do not use resources that are widely advertised or ostentatious.

And if you ever do experience a disaster, learn from it and be prepared to do even better the next time!  Special thanks to all of you who sent messages of caring and concern for us.  It is great just to be warm again. 

November Plans:  Thanksgiving, workflow app, open period for updates, one more 2012 special

For the USA Thanksgiving holiday, we will be closed on Thursday and Friday, November 22 and 23.   We will be checking our voicemail and email and ask that you leave a complete message covering the specifics and how to respond to you.  

We have continued to add more features to the workflow tablet app that tracks the progress and timings for DQB case items.  These include viewing doctor preferences by item and by work center, case plans and communications, as well as entry and viewing of technician notes.   The beta-test phase will remain open until the end of November.  If you would like a free copy of this app in exchange for feedback on its use in your lab, just give us a call.  

For those who provide dental laboratory products subject to the USA medical device tax that will go into effect on January 1, 2013, we have added features to DentaLab for QuickBooks to indicate which items are subject to the tax and to provide an audit report on the invoiced amounts and the calculated tax.   If you have not already done so, we recommend that you update to DQB 1.32 as soon as possible and begin your preparations for this tax. 

Our 2012 open period for those who have not been keeping their system up to date will be November 19 to December 20.  For those who have a support agreement, there is no charge for the update.   Those who do not have a support agreement can elect to update during the open period for a fee based on their level of licensing and their last update.

In addition to the free web app for tracking workflow, we are offering one more 2012 special.   This is a break on adding an additional user for those with the standard version of DQB.  Until December 20 of this year you can have this for a fee of $200 (USD), a 1/3 discount from the standard fee of $300.

In this month of giving thanks....

We want to extend our heartiest thank you to all of you who have helped  DentaLab become the top selling software for dental lab case management and who recognize that doing this takes a team effort on the part of many labs as well as our in-house staff.    We thank you for your ideas and suggestions that have added to the depth and strength of the DentaLab software, as well as your many recommendations and wonderful comments to others in the industry.   

While on the topic of appreciation, we want you to know that an organization that deserves a big thank you is the National Association of Dental Laboratories.  This group headed by Bennett Napier, Executive Director, has worked diligently to reduce the scope of dental lab products that will be subject to the upcoming medical device tax.  Their efforts have been successful and at this point are awaiting final approval from the Internal Revenue Service.   Keep in touch with them ( for the latest news and show your support by becoming or continuing to be a member.   Just as the collective small fees for our support program have made possible very high quality software at affordable rates, so too are the collective small fees that serve to fund the efforts of the NADL on your behalf. 


  Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: For scheduling our cases, our prior dental lab software only provided for us to enter the date we wanted to ship the case.   Can you help us setup for more automatic scheduling that considers workloads and other factors?

A: This is one of the areas we have found that calls for extra coaching for those who have not had software designed for factoring in the schedule factors, capacities, holidays and existing workloads needed for true scheduling.   For the first steps, we recommend viewing the audio tutorials on our website, the user guide available from the Help button and then reading the blog on case scheduling that can be accessed from our website under Support/Knowledge Base.   We can also provide a personal webinar on this topic or have you come to one of our group training sessions.  Once you have setup your work centers,  items, schedules, and standard procedures, we can (if you  give us authorization) take a look at your system to see that you are on the right track. 

Q: What is the best way to track cases sent to outsource locations?

A: First of all, setup a work center to correspond to each outsource point.  If you prefer to work with  just the critical dates near the top of the case entry screen, set the start date to the date you are sending out the case, the end date to the expected return.  Then work with the reports by date and status.   If you prefer to work with automatic scheduling by case item, create an item to correspond to sending to the outsource point.   You can then use the keyboard or barcode scanning to mark when this step has been completed.  Then add one or more items to correspond to the nature of the case and mark these when the case has been returned. For these, the reports by scheduled dates would be appropriate.

You can also use purchase orders to provide a document with pricing.  These include fields for purchase order date and then expected return date. Also available are special outsourcing work tickets with complete case information on the left for in-house use and then less information on the right to send to the outsource point.   In addition, there are case labels with text and barcodes that can be affixed to case slips for use in tracking.

We anticipate that the new web app for workflow may also be put to use in situations where internet access is preferred.  

      With the same look and feel of QuickBooks.

Internet Information Services

With the tremendous promotion of cloud-based services, we have found that many of our existing and prospective customers do not realize that built into the latest versions of Windows are services that allow anyone to easily become a web host.   These are called IIS or Internet Information Services.   These services are not automatically turned on, but it is not difficult to do this.    The latest versions (we have been working with IIS 7 up through Windows 7 and will be working with IIS 8 for Windows 8) have built in enhanced security and performance.  

We have been using IIS successfully for DentalRx, which provides for online prescription entry, transfer of electronic images, pickup requests, and a portal for the dental offices to view the status of their cases.  For most of the labs choosing to do this, we have also helped them to set this up through their web site, so that the dental offices can also view their offerings and promotions.   We are currently working with a corporate group to also include surveys to provide communication and feedback on their services. 

We are also using IIS for the new series of web apps we are developing that also include the much-improved touch technology now available on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.   The first of these is called workflow and includes case assignments by individual technician or by work center, with the ability to track the workflow, status and timings of case items.  Supporting features to help technicians and managers get the work done accurately and efficiently include doctor preferences by item and by work center, case enclosures, case plans and communications and the opportunity to enter technician notes.  Also available are the master schedules by day, week and month to show scheduled and completed units and if licensed for image scanning, electronic images.    

By becoming your own web host, you can maintain control of the privacy and security of your core business information while providing many benefits of the internet to your customers and associates in ways that are appropriate and authorized by you.  

The QuickBooks Lead Center

In the legacy DentaLab systems, we provided features for tracking prospects and then easily converting them into customers.  Since becoming Intuit developers, we had hoped for and asked for such a feature within QuickBooks as well.  The Lead Center within the recent versions of QuickBooks now provides this. 

For each prospect, you can record their demographic information plus multiple contacts, locations and notes.  This is not a full blown marketing system with campaigns, response analysis, etc., but it does cover the basics for many businesses and is worth taking a look.     Let us know your thoughts on this and whether you would like any further tie-ins with DQB.  

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Kathy Lovett
Lovett Dental Laboratory, Ohio

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