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February 2015

DentaLab NewsFebruary 2015
from Mainstreet Systems & Software

FAQ  DentaLab News

 

A very active new year!

For the second month in a row, we have been amazed at the high level of activity that has occurred since the start of 2015.    It has been a combination of our present customers adding more users and more functionality to their systems and new additions to our user group, as well as requests for customizations.

Here are some of reasons told to us as to why Mainstreet and DentaLab for QuickBooks have been chosen:

  • True synchronization of case management with financial management
  • Having many choices built in to the system
  • Not being forced into only internet access, having a choice between desktop and web-based
  • Keeping pace with the latest technologies while honoring the continuation of traditional methods
  • Excellent support not only for our software but also the components surrounding it
  • Offering the possibility of customization
  • Customer service features
  • Giving our users a significant voice in the development of the software
  • Having a strong user group program with participation by many labs

It has been very heartening to see such a positive outlook. 

Harp...harp....harp!

Despite all the reminders from us, we recently received support calls from several labs that ran into equipment issues and had no recent backups of their data.   There are a number of alternatives for making backups.  You can choose which would suit you best, but it is critical that you take care of this fundamental task.  Here are some of the choices:

Automatic scheduled backups can be accomplished locally through software specifically for this purpose or via services that backup to secured servers via the internet.  The service provided by Intuit for QuickBooks can also be configured to backup DQB.

DQB backups provide an easy way to backup the DQB database.  The backup can be transferred to media such as a portable disk drive or flash drive for storage offsite.  Each backup name includes the data and can easily be restored. 

The above choices are very low in cost and easy to setup.  Having both local and online storage of your backups covers a wide range of possibilities to prevent loss of your vital business information.

A redundant server can be configured to automatically make a copy of each addition or edit to your data  This is a more expensive option but very appropriate for those with a high volume of cases and electronic image.

 

No signs of spring just yet

But the calendar tells us it is not far off.   Here in Pennsylvania, we have had to work from our home computers on a number of days when the roads were icy, but so far this winter we have had heat and electrical power throughout.   Hopefully this will be our last reminder to be sure to leave complete voice and/or email messages with your contact information and your reason for calling.   If we are working from home, we take turns checking on voicemails and emails throughout the day.

Our work schedules have been very full, but we have also made good progress on some of the updates coming your way in the April release. These are listed below.


 

    Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.

To answer your questions...

Q:  We deleted a case invoice in QuickBooks.   How can we have this show on the case record in DQB?

AWhen entering transactions that will affect both DQB and QuickBooks, in the future perform the action from DQB.  Keep in mind that while DQB can create and access information in QuickBooks, the opposite is not true.  Since you already deleted the invoice in QuickBooks, in DQB ask for the invoice history for the case.  The program will detect that the invoice is no longer available in QuickBooks and ask if you want to also delete it from the DQB case record.

Q:  Are there plans to put the full functionality of DQB on a tablet?

AThe tablet workflow app adheres to the definition of an app in limiting its functionality to recording and tracking workflow.   We are open to further suggestions for this as more labs introduce tablets into their operation.   Some aspects of DQB  such as heads down entry for a volume of cases, batch invoicing, quality control and shipping are best in terms of speed and accuracy performed on a desktop rather than a mobile device. 

Mobile devices are very useful for short entries, lookups and queries, so it is more likely that features along this line will be added.

Q:  For some of our cases we use the traditional methods as well as the newer CAD/CAM methods.  There is a signficant difference in the timings and schedules for each method.   How should we handle this for scheduling?

AIf there are significant differences, we would recommend that you set up a standard procedure for each method for each service, clearly identifying which is which when you name the procedure.   Then you can provide more accurate steps for the process and the time each step requires for automatic scheduling.

      With the same look and feel of QuickBooks.

More and more tablets in the labs

As promised, we have continued to add more functionality to the DQB Tablet Workflow App and have also tested it on the three major tablet platforms:  the Apple IPad, the Google Android, and the Microsoft Windows 8.  We are seeing more and more labs buying tablets and putting them to use throughout the lab.   Using information in the DQB database, here is how the tablet app works.

Lab technicians with access to a tablet

  • Typically each technician will be assigned a login in DQB by the administrator.  When each one logs in to the tablet app, they can see their assigned case items as well as the unassigned items for each work center.
  • They can elect to search by date range or for a specific case by doctor, patient, pan and then view the case details plus its available records for case enclosures, doctor preferences, case plans, case communications, images and documents.
  • With a simple touch, the technician can signal that she/he is starting work on an item.  If work is paused, restarted or completed, again all it takes is a simple touch to indicate this.  Each of these actions is recorded with a date and time. 
  • Whenever appropriate, the technician can easily add in technical notes and review the related case records.

Manager with a tablet in hand or at a DQB station

  • The manager can view cases and  case items by work center, master schedule, and weekly schedule.
  • Working from the case lists or the schedules, the manager can review the items scheduled for each date, whether they have been started, their progress and completions and which technician is doing the work.
  • The manager can request to see the records for one specific technician or all technicians. 
  • Whenever needed, the manager can adjust the case, its critical dates, its status, the work time, whether it has been completed or not.
  • From all of the above entries, a case item analysis can be generated to provide quantities, total and average timings by item and date range.
  • If the lab is using technician productivity, this provides an alternate way to enter these records.

For those who need to search for cases

  • The tablet can be used to search for cases by customer, patient, pan and entry date.  
  • This can provide for very rapid response to inquiries on the status of cases.

Technical recommendations and requirements

If you would like more information on the tablet workflow app including technical recommendations and requirements, give us a call.

Enhancements under development

Here are some of the updates to DentaLab for QuickBooks that are under development for the next release, which will be DQB 1.42 in April:

Store Images/Documents for Customer

For those with the standard system and the images supplement, we have added image and document storage for customers in the Customer Center.  These features will follow the same patterns used for cases and will also be included in the backup/restore procedures.

Case Item Custom Field to DQB Invoice

In Options/Invoice Settings, the user can specify up to two of the custom item fields to be available for the Other1 and Other2 fields in the QB template.  If you are printing your invoices in DQB, these settings will also guide the printing of one or both of these custom fields on the standard DQB invoice template.

Flow Chart for Daily Case Management

A new flow chart comprised of buttons, arrows and guides has been designed to guide the major steps in daily case management.   There will be five frames:

  • QuickBooks
  • New Cases
  • Case Completions
  • Existing Cases
  • Daily Case Reports

Case List to Excel

Our case list has been very versatile with a wide variety of criteria to let you choose which cases will be listed, the ability to click column headers to sort the list, and the ability to customize which columns will be shown.   Now you can right-click from your selected list to export it to Excel, where you can further customize it or use it in any way you wish.

Options/Settings Screens

Because the number of options has increased, we have also increased the size of the screens in the Options/Settings menu.   We have also added and changed text to explain the functionality of each option.

Customer Assignments from the Price Level Screen

In each of the Basic Lists/Price Levels screens, you will now be able to add and remove customer assignments to each price level, as well as view which have already been assigned.

Button to Load MSSI Connector

We have added a button to load the MSSI connector in the Options/QB Synchronization screen.  The new Flow Chart will also include a convenient button for this.  The connector must be loaded whenever synchronization between QuickBooks and DQB is needed.

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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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