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November 2013

DentaLab NewsNovember 2013
from Mainstreet Systems & Software

FAQ  DentaLab News


November News

We had an extraordinarily colorful autumn this year here in Pennsylvania but all too soon we are starting to see snowflakes.   Thanks to some great technology, we do not have to incur risk to life and limb to make it to the office when snow and ice make it very dangerous.  As long as we have electricity, we can check for email and phone messages from our homes and log in to our computers (or yours if needed).   If you send a message, be sure to include who you are, why you have been in touch, and how to reach you.

We have just received news that Intuit has made a major turnaround on the outlook for desktop versions of QuickBooks.   For a while, it seemed they were trying to get everyone to switch to online editions.   But the voices of millions of customers, Pro-Advisers, and developers said no, they did not want to entrust all their private information to the internet but rather limit online transactions to small amounts of information at a time with as much security as possible.

We are pleased that Intuit has upheld their long-standing reputation of listening to their customers.   They will be continuing to offer equal choices, support and enhancements for both online and desktop.  The desktop versions, which are still considered the best choice for those who produce or create information, will continue to add online features that make good use of the internet for those who use the data.

For the USA Thanksgiving holiday, our offices will be closed on Thursday November 28 and Friday November 29.  For those in other countries, we will check voicemail and email to see if there are any urgent messages.   

Looking ahead to the Christmas holidays, we will be closed December 24-25 and 31, then January 1 for New Year's Day.  

New:  Case searches on the tablet app

The tablet app is primarily focused on tracking and measuring workflow through the lab.   But having a handy tablet to simply check on cases from wherever you are in the lab makes a lot of sense too, so we have added the ability to search for cases by the criteria most frequently used:

  • Case Number
  • Full/Partial Customer Name
  • Full/Partial Patient Name
  • Pan Code

Best liked new features this past  year

As we look back at the enhancements to DentaLab for QuickBooks this past year, here are the top 3 that generated the most appreciative comments:

  1. Online shipment tracking conveniently located on the case entry/edit screen.  This began with UPS, next we added Fedex, USPS, Australian Post and Express.
  2. Next shipment tracking links were also added to the email notificatons for the lab's customers so that they too could easily check on their cases.
  3. Expansion of invoice histories within DQB with easy lookup at convenient spots--this has been particularly helpful for multi-stage cases and for rapid response to dental office inquiries.  

  Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.

To Answer Your Questions

Q:  How many selections for case labels are available in DQB?

A:  At last count, there were 16 selections in the standard system.   We have also created custom versions upon request.   The standard formats use either Avery or Brother sizes and include a variety of fields such as case number, patient, pan, customer, mailing address, barcodes.   From the Case List you can request sheets of 20 or 30 labels or single continuous feed labels designed for label printers.   For automatic printing with an invoice, you willl need to select one of the single continuous feed labels.   We have in our library a document describing the standard case label selections that you can request.  

Q:  What is the best way to track the work done by our technicians?

A:  DQB provides for three ways to track technician productivity.   All update the same records.   Here are the factors involved in each:

1. In both the standard and starter versions of DQB, in Case Entry/Edit you can select a technician for each case item.   This provides for tracking assigniments and for marking completions of the work.  It also meets FDA requirements and quality control measures for recording which technician performed the work.  It does not measure how many units were completed by the technician in a specified date range. There are no extra licenses or purchases with this method.  

2. With the Barcoded Technician Productivity supplement available with the standard version of DQB, barcode scanners can quickly and accurately record which technician completed each labor-related item on the case work ticket.   There is an additional license fee for this supplement and you will need to purchase at least one scanner.  The scanning can be done by the technicians but typically is performed by a quality control/supervisory person upon approval of the work.   This method is speedy and virtually cheatproof and the most widely used by those who want to generate reports that measure and analyze techncian productivity.

3. Our newest offering for tracking which technician performed the work is the DQBT Tablet Workflow App.    This makes use of touch technology available on handy tablets to record the start of each task, when it is paused, and when it is finished.   It also provides an alternate way of letting technicians know their assignments.   The timings with this method are more accurate since they do not depend on the work being approved by another person.  Managers can then analyze the typical minutes to complete each type of work.   There is a license fee for each user of DQBT plus the cost of each tablet.   The tablet, however, can also be used for other purposes in the lab.  

Keep in mind that you can use any combination of these methods in your lab.   For example, you may want to do occasional timings with a tablet when developing cost figures for your services but use the barcoded method most of the time.  If you are a small lab with a single station system in shipping/receiving, you may want to add the tablet as an inexpensive second computer out in the lab to record and track the flow of your work.  

      With the same look and feel of QuickBooks.

Capturing the conversations

Among the hallmarks of successful customer relationships are listening, remembering and responding.   The remembering step becomes much easier and typically more accurate if you take a few moments to record the important aspects of your conversations with your customers.  There are many appropriate spots within DQB for you to make these notes and retrieve them at the appropriate times.  

  • If you have been discussing a specific case, go to the case communications tab in case entry to enter your notes.   If a pop-up alert for anyone viewing the case is appropriate, check the case alert indicator.
  • The case memo field typically is used for notes sent by the doctor on the prescription, but this can also be used for any additional notes you want to add.  Notes are also available for specific case items.   If you have extensive notes, consider using the case plan feature as there is an option to print these to accompany the work ticket and case.
  • If the dental office has given you standing instructions on how to handle their cases, which materials to use, preferred techniques, enter these in Basic Lists-Customers or in the Customer Center as doctor preferences, either by work center or by item.   The preferences will also be available during case entry and will be shown on work tickets to guide the work.
  • If you want to track more general discussions, you can enter your notes in the customer's activity log.   Here you can also add a topic such as Marketing, Billing, Graphics and include a date for the next contact. 
  • You can add an invoice message to send notes back to the dental office.  If using email notifications, you can also add an action request for the dental office. 
  • The pickup/delivery feature provides space to enter appropriate notes.

These are the most commonly used spots for entering notes, but there are others throughout the system  All are optional and you can decide which ones work best for you.

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Twin Rivers Crown & Bridge, Inc.
North Carolina, USA

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