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July 2013

DentaLab NewsJuly 2013
from Mainstreet Systems & Software

FAQ  DentaLab News

 

After all...it is July 

July here on the east coast of the USA means lots of hot humid days, lots of summer thunderstorms.   From our cool offices, however, we have been adding a few last-minute requests to the 1.35 release for DentaLab for QuickBooks and will be posting this on our website in a few days.   The new invoice history tracking within DQB was proposed by our internal staff, but all the other new features came from suggestions by personnel in the labs.    We thank them--Alicia, Ashley, Dawnna, Eddie, Emily, Kevin, Pat and Patty--for their bright and very useful ideas.  If you experience a summer slowdown, we hope you will use this period to take the time to update your software. 

We want you to note that this update will include a conversion from the invoice information stored in the case item records for previously invoiced cases and will also include creation of the new invoice history tables.   For those with high volumes, this update will take more time than usual.    Call when ready to download for the current authorization codes.   If you need tech support and/or have not updated in a while, call to schedule a block of time for dedicated attention. 

Let your voice be heard

Even before we issue a new release, we always have underway a list of suggestions for future releases.  If you would like your voice to be heard and have suggestions to add even more convenience, efficiences or services to your software, please call or email.  If your ideas will be useful to a number of other labs, we will add them to the 1.36 list.  

We encounter in our phone conversations the notion that software support is all about trouble-shooting.   This is actually a very small part of it, as our focus remains on providing guidance, education, and continually enhanced, intuitive and reliable software. 

Be sure also that everyone in your lab who is concerned with case management, accounting and finance gets to read these newsletters, which provide regular pertinent information on the software that supports these activities.   It is easy for us to add more email addresses to our Spreading the News list, so please send in any for those who should be receiving this information in your lab.  

The monthly newsletters are also posted on our website (www.mainstreet-systems.com) in the Support/Newsletters section.

In other parts of healthcare

In our activities we get to see other healthcare organizations and to know the focus of their directions.  Here are some of  the dierctions we see that have relevance to dental labs:

  • There is a very high emphasis on patient safety.
  • Short but relevant communications typically on smartphones or via email have become the norm, both to patients and to their families.
  • Education surrounds many procedures, plans and followups.
  • Healthcare professionals are armed with tablets to keep up-to-date and accurate logs, communications, changes in plans, interfaces with health-related technology.
  • Extreme care is taken to be HIPPA-compliant and to safeguard core information.

In our approach to web-based services and communication, we recommend following the same course of high protection against malware and unauthorized access to core records but using the internet to issue small amounts of information to provide communication whenever it can be beneficial and relevant. 

 

  Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.

To Answer Your Questions

Q:  Why do we occasionally get an error message that a case has been locked?

A:  To prevent two or more users from trying to update a record at the same time, the program locks the record until the update is finished and then unlocks the record, making it available to others.   If the program is interrupted or shut down before the release occurs, the record can remain locked.   Another scenario is that a user opens a record for updating, then leaves it hanging while performing other tasks and the record remains locked.   If you wish to unlock case records that should not be locked, there is a button near the bottom of the Options/Case Settings screen to do this.  

Q:  If we want to learn more about some of the  features we haven't been using, what is the best way to do this?

A:  One of the easiest is to request an interactive webinar where you view our training system from your computer.  You can observe, ask questions, learn.   Another way is to select the online user guide from the Help button in your DQB menu, then go to the index or use the search facilities to find and review the topic. And of course we are available to give you an overview and answer your questions. 

Keep in mind that these are also good ways to add to the training when you have new personnel. 

Q:  If a case warrants a case plan, how do we alert those editing or reviewing the case?

A:  In the Case Communications tab of Case Entry, you can enter the alert text and then check the box to have the communication also serve as a case alert.  Then it will appear in the Case Entry/Edit screen whenever someone requests the case.  You may also want to print the case plan and have it accompany the work ticket when the case moves on to the lab. 

These features can also be used for other situations that warrant an alert or special attention.  

      With the same look and feel of QuickBooks.

To determine whether it is worth doing

When it comes to business decisions on whether to implement new software features or request customizations, it is important to consider the alternatives and develop values for each.   Sometimes these values can be close to precise, other times they will be estimates.  Here is a starting list of some significant factors in this process--you may want to add others:

  • Will it reduce my labor costs or allow my personnel to perform other more productive tasks?
  • Can it reduce the cost of other resources such as shipping, delivery, supplies?
  • Will it provide support for developing more sales or retaining our existing business?
  • Will it open up more time to communicate with customers and potential customers?
  • Can we increase productivity and profits?
  • Can we achieve greater accuracy in our billings to customers, incentives to employees and other financial matters?
  • Can we be more responsive to requests from our customers?
  • Will it make compliance with government regulations easier and less costly? 

There are a number of ways the combination of QuickBooks and DentaLab for QuickBooks have provided a definite and rapid return on investment to labs.  Some of the most outstanding examples have been in easy rapid access to electronic images while reducing labor costs for searching and filing, rapid inexpensive response to customer requests, being able to give the dental offices their requested work on time and in accordance with their preferences, achieving accuracy and timeliness in financial forms and reporting with little effort, keeping notes and case histories to support future discussions, easily complying with government regulations...the list goes on and on.

The world-wide tough economies and other challenges sometimes cause labs to think only about low cost rather than value and potential return on investment.  This is known as being pennywise, but pound foolish.    There are now many business aspects that depend on having high-quality software and support along with the potential for flexibility and customization when needed to meet customer requests and to remain competitive.  

Here is what's new in DQB 1.35

New Invoice History Tracking in DQB

Originally in DQB, the QuickBooks invoice was created from the DQB case information but the subsequent actions were all located in QuickBooks.  Gradually more and more options related to invoicing were added to DQB at the requests of users to provide for the special requirements of dental labs. In this release each invoice transaction transferred to QuickBooks will also be recorded in the DQB database to provide:

  1. Convenient invoice history lookup when invoicing multi-stage cases
  2. A comparison to the corresponding invoice in QuickBooks to determine if the total amount has been changed in QuickBooks or if multiple invoices already exist
  3. More specific sales reporting in DQB for multi-stage cases
  4. Availability of invoice history in DQB when reviewing a case 

New Report:  Special Items in Cases - Designed for Fulfillment of Supplies

This new report was designed to support the fulfillment of supply items such as case boxes, prescriptions pads,  etc. but may be used to count any case items.  You will first create a product group for the items to be included.  Note that if the fulfillment items are not to be included in the invoice, they should be marked in Basic Lists/Items as not billable.  

A new option in Cases menu for Special Items in Cases that will generate a list by entry date range showing the cases for which the items in the specified product group will be needed by their completion date and a total count for each item.  Within each item, the cases will be in descending order by entered date, then case number.

New and Prebooked Case Entry: Option to Change Status

For new and prebooked cases, while entering the case you will be able to change the status to one of these three options:  Open/In Lab, Prebooked, On Hold. This selection box will be in the General tab, right side of screen.   If you elect to place the case On Hold, you will not be able to schedule the case items.

New Report: Quality Control Analysis by Issue, Case

For QC Analysis, the prior set of reports have been based on quality control at the case item level.  This new report will be based on the entries made in QC and Ship at the case level for the actual ship date range.  The fields included are:    Case #, Customer Name, Patient Name, QC By, Actual Ship Date, QC Passed, QC Description

A total Case Count will be provided for each issue.

New Report:  All Customer Profiles

This is a report patterned after the customer profile for a single customer, but this includes a profile for every customer.  A new page will be started for each customer.  This will be available from the Actions menu for Customer List and from Reports/Customer Profiles.

New Report: Sales for Specific Item

In Reports/Sales Analysis, there are several categories that generate a sales report for all items for a specific rep, customer group, etc.  We have added  selection for one specific item to provide reporting on all the customers who have  had sales of the item in the date range selected. 

Mailing List based on Customer Activity

In Reports/Customer Activity, there is a new option to generate a mailing list based on selecting customers that have or have not sent in a case in the specified date range.  The field used to determine this is the case entered/received date.  First the report will be displayed to the screen.  You will have the option to print or to save to a variety of formats.   For malling labels, it is recommended that the save be to Microsoft Excel or Word due to their built-in facilities for creating mailing labels.

The customer fields available in the mailing list will be: Customer Name, Billing Address, Rep/Sales Person/ Last Active Date.

We have also developed a separate guide to create the mailing labels that will be available upon request. 

If you wish to be removed, reply to this email with the subject "unsubscribe".

     

Customization is available for all products.

Contact us at 1-800-257-4535 or www.mainstreet-systems.com.

"We love the alerts!"

Kathy Lovett
Lovett Dental Laboratory, Ohio


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