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September 2013

DentaLab NewsSeptember 2013
from Mainstreet Systems & Software

FAQ  DentaLab News

 

We are pleased...

Yes, we are pleased to see that a number of you are taking advantage of our offer for personal interative sessions to learn and review.   We are allocating time aside from our software development and support activities each week to provide these educational sessions for you.  Keep in mind too the other resources we offer such as the online guide from the Help button in the DentaLab menu, the tutorials and blogs available from our website, and the white papers we have developed on specific topics.   

It is still a tough economy, we still hear grumbling, but we are also pleased to see a number of you upgrading and expanding your hardware and software systems in response to your growing businesses.   If used  wisely and well, technology can support the good old-fashioned core values that sustain and grow business such as excellent customer service, responsiveness to special needs, trust and reliability.

Early autumn specials on our most popular supplement

This supplement had been named Image Scanning when it was first introduced, but it has been greatly expanded to also handle a variety of electric images and files being sent to labs from the dental offices as the implementation of digital technology has grown.    There are now two tabs within the case entry/edit screen, one named Images for JPEG scans and the other Documents for all other electronic formats.

Two other modules have also been expanded to accommodate the electronic files stored through this supplement.  One is DentalRx, which provides for transmission of these from the dental office along with online prescriptions and the other is DQBT, which provides for access to these when tracking cases and workflow on a tablet. 

For our early autumn special,  we are offering a 20% discount, which reduces the license fee from $400 to $320.  This supplement is not available with DQB Starter, but for those who have licensed the starter version and wish to update to the standard so that they can handle electronic files, we will also give a discount of 20% on the upgrade fee, which reduces this from $200 to $160.  These offers will remain in effect through October 18, 2013. 

The best way to plan for an update

If you are contemplating a significant update for your hardware, network and/or operating system that is used for QuickBooks (QB) and DentaLab for QuickBooks (DQB), we want to review with you the smart way to plan for this and also cover what not to do.  First for the best way, here are the points to cover in your plan:

  • If your update involves moving QB or DQB, request our guide to uninstall and move.
  • If you are working with a local hardware/network organization, have them contact us to coordinate.
  • Know that an upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit system involves special techniques.
  • Determine whether the update will require others using QB or DQB to stop their work.
  • Estimate the amount of time involved needed for coordination with others.
  • If you need or would like to have tech support from Mainstreet, schedule a block of time for this.
  • Be sure to have good data backups and program installation media at hand before you begin.
  • Know what the differences will be once you have updated and whether settings must be changed.

Here is what NOT to do:

  • Jump into the update without a plan comparable to the one above.
  • Start the work without fully understanding the technical details involved or the sequence in which steps must be done.
  • Expect others to drop everything they are doing to rescue you when you get yourself into trouble.

We are finding that transition from Windows XP systems to Windows 7 or 8 or Server 2008 has already begun for a number of labs and anticipate many more will be doing this in the months ahead as Microsoft support for XP will be ending next spring.

 

    Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.

To Answer Your Questions

Q:  Is there a way to find all the cases that recently included a specific item?

A:  Yes.  In the Cases menu, the option for Special Items in Cases can be put into action to accomplish this.   This option was developed primarily to handle the fulfillment of supply items such as prescription pads, boxes, etc. but it can also be used to track any other item or group of items.   You need to specify a product group that includes the item(s), then select this and the date range to perform the search.

If your reason for searching also includes materials, you can use the materials disclosure options in the reports section to find these by manufacturer, product and/or batch/lot.

Q:  Is there a way to make the text larger in our entry screens?

A:  Yes.  The best way to do this is to go to your Windows Control Panel, then Display and adjust the resolution.   The latest versions of Windows will tell you the most optimal resolution for your display card and monitor.   For larger text, you can move the resolution down to a lower number, click Apply and then see if the size of the text suits you.  We recommend that you do not go below 1152 x 960.   Note that this is a separate setting for each monitor. 

If you have a monitor that can be adjusted by percentage such as 150%, we recommend not using this type of adjustment as it may cause screen fields to overlap on some models. 

Q:  Can you customize .......?

A:  Because we are one of the few companies in this industry that still have software developers on staff, we are asked this question every month.  Because we offer both desktop and web-based solutions and combinations of both, our response is typically yes.    The most frequent requests for customization are for reports and forms, for marketing and customer service activities, and for web-based software such as DentalRx.  Most can be accommodated in the framework of our standard systems but we have also developed very unique versions for some of our customers.   

      With the same look and feel of QuickBooks.

Technology that's good for you and your customers

When it comes to deciding whether to implement new technology, you will of course be thinking about the return on your investment, whether it will make your work easier or more efficient, if it can help save or bring in more funds.   Many times this decision also can extend new benefits to your customers and this too can add to your return.  Here are some of the possibilities:

  • Being able to store, use and quickly access electronic images and files for better coordination.   With the DQB image supplement, these are become part of the record for each case and can be retrieved in seconds by a variety of criteria, the same as the case.
  • Keeping written records of discussions, meetings, and other activities with your customers can result in making sure promises are kept, preferences are noted, special situations are handled properly, memories are accurate and many other actions that result in excellent customer service.
  • Whenever warranted, alerts at the customer or case level entered into the computer records will be shown at the appropriate times when attention to these is needed.
  • For a variety of reasons, if your customer needs detailed case and/or invoice histories, they can be accessed in seconds for viewing, printing and/or emailing.
  • Should there be a manufacturer recall or safety alert for materials used in cases, the computer records can be searched to find the very specific cases involved for notification to the doctor and patient.
  • The time you save by having the computer do the work of searching, filtering, sorting and reporting information can be directed to many beneficial activities such as gaining new knowledge, providing education, coordinating with your customers.

These are just a few examples from the many ways technology can benefit you and in turn make it very easy and inexpensive for you to provide excellent service to your customers.

 

Your backup practices

In our support calls this summer, we found that several of our longtime customers encountered hardware failures AND did not have any recent backups of their data.  With many easy inexpensive alternatives available for backing up, this should never happen.

When things are running smoothly, it becomes easy to become complacent and let good backup practices lapse.   If it has been a while since you reviewed your backup practices, we urge you to take a few minutes to do this.

If you have been backing up on a daily basis, review whether these backups are successful and also whether your staff would know how to restore from the backup if needed.

If you have not been backing up at least once daily and/or do not think you have the discipline to do this, review some of the alternatives for doing this automatically at a designated time each day.   Some points to consider are:

  1. If you elect to backup to an internet site, does it guarantee a very high level of security and reliability?   Due to the possibilities of weather-related and other damage or interruption, it is best to choose a site that offers co-locations with geographic distance and also has no interest in the contents of your data.  
  2. As an extra safety measure it is also wise to have alternating local data backup to reliable media that can be easily taken offsite such as a portable disk drive.   Some labs choose to place one of their local backups in a bank safety deposit box once a month as an extra safety measure.
  3. Whether your backup is local or online, it is best to have your data password-protected using a high-strength code.   If possible, also add encryption. 
  4. When choosing your backup methods and practices, also consider how long it would take you to bring your information back up-to-date if you experience hardware failure, a data breach, internet-generated malware, theft, destruction due to fire, wind or water.   
  5. Be sure to keep a written guide and have key members of your staff trained on how to retrieve and restore your backups.

If you need further guidance on safeguarding your data, please give us a call. 

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Customization is available for all products.

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

"I really love working with QuickBooks. Won't you consider adding lab production to this?

Ed Riccobono
NuLife/Brooklyn
New York, USA


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