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August 2014

DentaLab NewsAugust 2014
from Mainstreet Systems & Software

FAQ  DentaLab News

 

Analysis for your custom fields

One of the development projects that has been underway for the upcoming Q3 release has been the custom fields analysis.   These extra fields, available for cases, customers and case items,  can be very useful for analysis, business development, marketing and customer relationship activities.   You can set up to 10 custom fields for each of these with your own unique identifiers, then build your list of standard entries of up to 50 characters each.

The analysis will tally counts and calculate percentages.  For cases and case items, you will enter a range of case received dates.   If you would like to learn more on how to setup these fields, use them, and then report on them in various ways, you can access the full topic on the dental lab software blog, available from our website in Support/Knowledge Base or from your Internet browser go to:   http://dentallabsoftware.blogspot.com

Also included in this blog is a review of how to setup custom fields in QuickBooks to transfer the significant DQB case fields for your QB invoices, purchase orders and reports.


A little more time for our summer specials

The USA Labor Day, although not the true end of summer, in many minds marks the end of the summer season.  It is approaching quickly and will also end our summer specials.  One of these is the DQB Image Supplement that has proven to have a rapid return on investment, provide for excellent digital document management and to save you lots of time and money.  

The standard license fee for this supplement is $400 (USD), but during this special,  we will offer a 20% discount to bring the fee down to $320 (USD). If you have been licensed for DQB Starter and want to implement the image scanning supplement, you will need to update to the standard version.   The standard fee for this update is $200, but we will also offer a 20% discount on this.   The combined total for the update to standard plus the image supplement would be $480 (USD). 

These specials will remain in effect through September 2, 2014.  

Looking ahead to September

Our offices will be closed on Monday, September 1, to celebrate our national Labor Day. 

Throughout this summer, we were kept busy helping many labs upgrade their computers and operating systems and have been told by others that there are plans for this to continue into the early fall.     The newest Windows operating system provides many new benefits.   We hope you will review the article below and consider updating.  

 

    Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.

To answer your questions...

Q:  We have  several items in our list that we no longer offer.  How do we delete these?

AQuickBooks (QB) has a rule that once you have used an item in a transaction, you can no longer delete it.  If you want to make it no longer available for selection, however, you can set it to Inactive.   Like many of the QB basic tenets, this has been a good rule as it preserves information for historic records.   This rule applies not only to items, but also to customers, vendors and other basic lists.

For most activities and lists, the inactive records will no longer be displayed, but wherever appropriate there will be an option to also show the inactives.  

Q:  Can you tell us why some of our case items are not being added to the master schedule?

AThis would happen if the scheduled units are zero.   The program multiplies the case item quantity by the item's schedule factor.  If either of these numbers are zero, the calculation result will be zero.   This is why we have set the default value for schedule factors to be 1.  If you change any of these to zero, you are indicating to the program that you do not want the item to be included in the schedule.

Q:  We have the opportunity to have a highly qualified technician come on board, but just on  a part-time basis.  Can we add to the master schedule limits for the days she will be working?

AYes, you can.   Go to Cases/Master Schedule and select the work center and date to begin.  Right-click in the date box to display a submenu and choose to edit the unit limits.  You can edit the number for just the one date or elect to apply it to the rest of the week or the rest of the month.

See the article below on the master schedule to learn more about its capabilities and versatility.

      With the same look and feel of QuickBooks.

Mastering the master schedule screen

We find in our support calls that some labs become very expert at working with the master schedule but others never take a look at this screen. The Master Schedule option is available in the Cases Menu.  Here are some of its capabilities:

  • To view the workload within each work center, you first choose the work center and then go to the calendar to choose a month, week or day to view the completed vs. the scheduled case units.
  • From any date, you can right-click to see which cases and items are on the schedule for that day and then, if you wish, go to a specific case record to further view and/or edit the case.
  • If you are not using one of the other methods for marking case completions (such as barcode scanning, quality control and shipping, the tablet workflow app, by work center and date), you can mark the individual items within the case from this screen.
  • The scheduler display helps you to analyze your workload by providing percentages on how busy you are by comparing scheduled units vs. limit and how much work has been completed by comparing completed units vs. scheduled.
  • If you wish to fine-tune the daily limit on scheduled units, you can right-click and then choose to change the value for the specific date, for the remainder of the calendar week or the remainder of the calendar month.
  • If there are unscheduled case items assigned to the work center, these will be displayed and you will be given the option to drag or select specific case items to schedule on the selected date.

Reasons to upgrade to Windows 8.1

We have updated our development stations to Windows 8.1 and recommend that you consider doing this too.  If you already have Windows 8, you can update to Windows 8.1 for free through the Windows Store.

  1. Go to the Start screen, and tap or click the Store tile.
  2. In the Store, tap or click the Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1 update.
  3. Tap or click Download.

Here are some of the new very worthwhile features:

1.       Boot to Desktop
This much-requested feature was available in Windows 8.1, but Update now makes it the law of the land—for laptops and desktops, at least. The OS now detects whether it's running on a traditional PC with a mouse and keyboard, and, if so, it boots to the desktop.

2.       It Takes Up Less Space

Although Windows 8.1 introduces many new features, it's actually less of a storage hog than Windows 8. Microsoft says the footprint is significantly smaller and will win you back 8-15% of the storage on your device.

3.       Supercharged Search

One of the most convenient features of Windows 8 is its ease of search: Just start typing from the Start screen and you can search for settings, content, apps or even stuff on the web. Windows 8.1 takes this to a new level with Smart Search

4.       Better Multi-Tasking

Snap -- the ability to have multiple app screens open simultaneously -- is theoretically a great idea, but it was kneecapped in Windows 8 by having only one size and limiting the ability to just two windows. Now Snap is a little more true to its name, letting you resize the smaller window to virtually any size.

5.       Improved Multi-Monitor Support

All of our development stations have two monitors, typically one with the program code and another with either the specifications or our license manager, which holds your contact histories and support logs.   We love the ease of movement from one screen to another and find having two saves us a lot of time.

6.       Faster overall with many performance upgrades

If you would like to see the full list of upgrades,  you can search for Windows 8.1 on the internet. 

7.       Start button returned to desktop

There was a great uproar when the Start button was removed from the desktop and we are pleased to see that Microsoft listened to its customers and returned it.

As Microsoft Partners, we have been told that the next version, probably called Windows 9, will have the built-in ability to switch its screen presentation automatically to adjust to the various sizes of mobile devices.   There has been a wealth of desktop applications developed over the years at great costs that are being accommodated and will continue to be available on multiple platforms with the emerging technolgies such as this and desktop-as-a-service from the internet.   

 

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Customization is available for all products.

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

"Dental Lab for QuickBooks easily synchronizes data to QuickBooks for simple and accurate statement creation and reports for my accountant. Scanning has become a big part of submitting cases for us as we scan all Rx's and custom shade diagrams for easy retrieval and also lot and batch numbers for certain items. Plus we download photos of our own or from the Dr. We have also taken advantage of the ability to add digital images to our invoices and statements. Overall, I have been happy with this software for over four years and would highly recommend it."

Kirk Randolph CDT
Randolph Dental Laboratory, Texas


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