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June 2015

DentaLab NewsJune 2015
from Mainstreet Systems & Software

FAQ  DentaLab News

 

Looking at the summer months

We checked the calendar and learned that July 4th falls on a Saturday this year, but will be observed by the government and businesses on Friday, July 3, for the USA Independence Day.  We will close the offices on July 3 but will check email and voicemail for those from other countries. 

We have had a high level of customization projects that will be keeping us busy all summer.   For the July release, we will be honoring the commitments we made to develop features requested by labs in our user group but will not be launching any major new features for DentaLab for QuickBooks.

We have been and will continue to be reviewing and then testing the impact of the soon-to-be-released Windows 10.   Microsoft has announced that they will be offering a free upgrade to this version for everyone licensed for Windows 7 or 8.     Windows 10 will be introducing a universal approach to provide for using Windows-based systems on all devices including the tinyPC's, tablets,and smartphones.  

For those using the web-based features of QuickBooks such as payment processing, payroll and transaction documents, Intuit has become stern in its requirement that you keep your software relatively up-to-date.   Those with versions at 2012 and earlier have had to update to 2015 to continue to use the web-based features.  This past month we have helped a number of labs make the transition to QuickBooks 2015 and expect this will continue in the months ahead.  

The #1 happening at this time of the year

Vacations!   We have found over the years that when the staff member most responsible for the lab's computer system goes on vacation, the ones left to run it are often awkward and unsure of themselves.   If this might happen in your lab, here are some good steps to take to prepare:

  • If you have already done so, download Teamviewer or one of the other remote access software systems so that you can have us tune in and help you if needed.
  • Have your system up-to-date with the latest version (DQB 1.42 now, 1.43 in July).   The latest versions include flow charts to help guide those new to the system and those who use it only occasionally.
  • Tune in to our new website www.mainstreetsystems.net to review the features of the system, in-depth topics in the Blog, tutorials in the Products section.
  • Have our contact information readily available near the computer, as well as for others involved in your system such as your local hardware/network support. 

More ideas on getting coaching for yourself and others in your lab can be found in the article below.

Our most time-saving supplement quickly pays for itself

Renowned for saving both time and money is the DQB Image Supplement by easily storing, indexing, and accessing electronic images and documents.  This module has added a number of new features over the years.  In addition to scanning prescriptions and other case documents, it can also associate digital images sent by the dental offices to the lab case record for archival and provide easy convenient access whenever needed.   In addition to the traditional TWAIN protocol, it can handle the newer WIA (Windows Image Acquisition).   Once stored and indexed to the case,  digital files can be used in a variety of ways for case production, collaboration, history/archival, transmission.   Digital files sent via DentalRx are also automatically linked to the case and can be accessed with the Image Supplement.  With this supplement, you can also check case digital files with the DQB Tablet Workflow App. 

Although used primarily for cases, it can also be used for images and documents related to the customer.  These can be found in the Customer Center.  

For our early summer specials,  we will focus on the DQB Image Supplement, which continues to be our most popular supplement.    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 digital document management, 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 when licensed with the DQB Image Supplement.   The combined total for the update to standard plus the image supplement would be $480 (USD). 

These specials will remain in effect from now through July 30, 2015.

 

  Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.

To answer your questions...

Q:  How do we assure that each step in the case gets into the master schedule? 

AAll you need to have a step placed into the master schedule is to have the case item have a non-zero schedule factor and a non-zero quantity.   The quantity will be multiplied by the schedule factor to calculate the scheduled units.   If the scheduled units are zero, they will not be in the schedule;  otherwise, they are.

Q:  We have not been marking our case items as completed.  What is the best way to do this?

AYou have a choice of ways.  They all result in the case item being date/time stamped as completed. You can use more than one of these.  You can decide which would work best for you.

  • Barcode scanning of work ticket
  • Tablet workflow app using touch technology (can also be used on the desktop)
  • Keyboard entry from case item grid
  • Mark items complete by work center - particularly good when receiving a batch from an outsource point 
  • Invoicing - respond that case items are all completed

Know this:  Those who take a few seconds to mark case items complete are rewarded in many ways with better workflow, keeping their customers happy by completing work on time, being able to pinpoint and resolve issues quickly, making adjustments whenever needed.  

 

      With the same look and feel of QuickBooks.

Thinking about cash flow

It's often been called the king of business.  We hear from even the most successful labs that keeping a steady beat of cash flow can be a challenge. While you want to contribute to the success of your customers, you do not want to become their banker. 

Recently on one of the dental lab forums there was a lively discussion on whether to have the doctors send checks or pay by credit card.  The plus on the checks was there is no service charge but the minus is that they can be slow in coming.  Payments by credit card incur merchant charges that typically range from 2 to 3 percent of the amount.  You also need to keep track of expiration dates and other changes in the card information.  The plus is that for most, the payment date is predictable.

As a small business with excellent software in QuickBooks and DentaLab for QuickBooks, you can be very flexible in your payment policies and still achieve excellent cash flow.  For those customers who have shown a high level of responsibility sending in their checks on time,  this is the best deal for your cash flow.   Even if a customer tends to be just a little late, you can note this in their computer record and have a high degree of certainty that the funds will be coming your way.

For those customers whose payment habits are not known to you and those known to be very slow, asking for written authorization to process payment by card or some other electronic method on an automatic schedule would be the preferred method along with a credit limit.   The electronic payment processing systems also provide other features such as pre-authorizations and eChecks that may be worth your consideration.  

Having to chase money can become a very expensive and frustrating process.   You can and should use the reports available in your software to monitor the payment habits of your customers and the memo/text areas to make notes on these.   Get to know which ones always need reminders, those that are reliable, those that are honest but always a little behind, those who are sharks wanting to enhance their wealth at your expense.

We have heard from a number of the labs in our user group that they have become a lot smarter and a lot more successful about cash flow. They tell us that the information provided by their software records has been a big help in this effort.


For those who need a little coaching

Knowing that an educated customer is the best customer, we provide training, coaching and guidance in a number of ways.  Recently we add two flow charts to the standard DQB system to guide those who are new to the system and those who only occasionally use it and may need a little guidance.  We also created a new website (www.mainstreetsystems.net) that includes a wealth of information, guides and tutorials.

Long standing features have included the User Manual available from the Help button that can be searched, viewed and/or printed.  Monthly newsletters sent via email include the latest news as well as tips and techniques on various topics related to the dental lab.  We keep recent editions on our website for viewing at any time.    We also contribute educational articles to a number of the dental lab journals.  And of course, we provide a lot of coaching via the phone, emails and webinars.  

The topics in the Blog section of our website have been gathered from the journal articles and our collection of white papers.   The white papers are focused on specific topics and we often attach to these to emails in response to requests for support or more in-depth information.   Here are some of the popular topics:

  • Barcode Scanners
  • Case and Customer Emails
  • Change Location of QuickBooks Company File
  • Custom Reports Installation
  • Customization Levels
  • DentalRx - for dental office portal, online prescriptions
  • Easy Ways to Store and Access Digital Documents
  • Mailing List Guide
  • Mark Case Items Complete
  • Multiple Languages
  • Notifications
  • Price Levels
  • Remake and Quality Control Analysis
  • Transfer of Case Fields to Invoice

There are lots more in our library.   As we find a little spare time, some will be added to the Blog in our website.   As you find a little spare time, we hope you will take advantage of one or more of these possibilities.


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Customization is available for all products.

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

"I will say I am impressed with your professionalism and confidence and that in turn gives me confidence."

Doug Hook
DVM, British Columbia


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