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April 2017

DentaLab NewsApril 2017
from Mainstreet Systems & Software

FAQ  DentaLab News

 

The April release

Due to a medical emergency, the April release of DQB 1.50 has been not yet been posted on our website.   We hope to do this next week and will send another notice when it is ready for you to download.

One of the most requested new features is to develop estimates in DQB rather than having to do this in QuickBooks.  There are a number of advantages to this such as being able to use special price levels, having the advance bills automatically transfer to the invoices to assure that promises are honored, being able to customize the estimate form sent to the customer.  More details are provided in the topic below.

In Options/Case Settings more automatic date settings have been added and all the date settings have been consolidated into a separate tab called Dates.   In invoice Settings, the date settings also have been consolidated into their own frame in the Additional Options tab.  Take a look, some of these may be useful for your lab. 

Lots of time savers

One of the concerns we hear frequently from labs is time...to get cases completed and back to the doctors in time to meet their requests, time to keep good records, the time needed to respond to requests from the dental offices, time to meet government compliance reporting.   One of the goals of the DentaLab systems is to provide many ways to save time while running a smooth operation in the lab.  Here are some of them:

In Options/Case Settings, you can indicate which case entry fields you want to bypass by marking them disabled.   For those cases that are not submitted with a request date, you can setup the lab standard for the number of workdays needed.

In Options/Invoice Settings, you can specify which of the significant case fields you want transferred to QuickBooks automatically.    You can also specify if you want to have a label, quality control form or case materials disclosure printed every time you create an invoice. 

In Basic Lists for Items and Standard Procedures, you can specify the standard schedule factor and days for each case item as well as the default work center so that these do not need to be selected during case entry. 

In Basic Lists-Lab Notes, you can develop a list of the frequently used specifications and texts for easy accurate insertion into the many note-taking areas of the system such as the case memo, case plans, preferences, invoice messages, technician case notes.

From time to time, take a few minutes to browse through the Options and Basic Lists for your system.   These are two of the areas where we get a lot of requests for the convenience features that come with many of the quarterly releases.   If you have a question on any of these give us a call.

Looking ahead to May

To observe the USA Memorial Day on Monday, May 29, our offices will be closed.   For our customers in other countries, we will check for emails and voicemails. Be sure to  leave your contact information so that we can respond to your message.

 

  Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.

To answer your questions...

Q: We have been using another accounting system for years that was recommended by our accountant but really like your dental lab software.   Can we use this with QuickBooks and also keep the other accounting system?

A:  Yes, you could implement QuickBooks and DQB to handle your sales and accounts receivable functions.   These update the journals for the chart of accounts.   At whatever interval you choose, you could enter the figures in the journals for your bank account, sales and accounts receivable from QuickBooks into the comparable journal accounts in the main accounting system you have been using for years. 

Q: Is it OK to use more than one way to mark case items complete?

A:  Yes, all the methods update the same database records.  Here are some of the reasons why each of these methods are chosen:

  1. Tablet Workflow App:   This is the most precise method because it provides for pausing work and restarting.  It can be used on a tablet or on a desktop. This records the date, time, technician and tallies the amount of time it took to complete the item.
  2. Barcode Scanning of Work Ticket:   This provides for very fast, accurate and cheatproof recording of the date, time and technician of item completion.
  3. Mark Items Complete by Work Center:   This is most often used to mark a batch of cases coming in from an outsource work center.  This does not record the technician.
  4. Creation of Invoice:   There is an easy option to mark all items complete upon invoicing.  This provides one date but not timings or technician. 
  5. Case Entry/Case Items Screen:   You can click any case item in the grid to mark it complete, recording the technician, date and time.
      With the same look and feel of QuickBooks.

When  you get requests for price estimates....

Previously to handle requests for price estimates, a lab would most likely use the capabilities of QuickBooks. In our recent survey on potential enhancements for DQB, the one greeted with the most enthusiasm was to create estimates within DQB rather than having to do this in QuickBooks.  Doing this in DQB has several advantages over QuickBooks:

  1. The price levels assigned to individual customers can be used to develop the estimated costs rather than default prices in QuickBooks.
  2. Items and discounts can be added. The quantity, price and line amount can be edited.
  3. A message can be added to clarify or place limits on the estimate.  
  4. When the estimate is recorded as an advance bill, this will serve to assure that the estimated fees are used when billing the actual case in both single and batch invoicing.
  5. The Advance Bill and Show Estimate features will be available from the action menus for Case List and Case Entry. 
  6. You can request customization of the Estimate format such as adding color, logo, marketing messages.  You can also choose to print or save the estimate to a digital format such as PDF to send via email to the customer.

The tug-and-pull between digital and traditional

As software developers we have found that one of the fundamental reasons the combination of QuickBooks and its synchronized DentaLab for QuickBooks has been so well accepted and so well liked has been that it has continued to offer many choices.   These choices cover both the tried and true traditional practices as well as the new ones such as digital files, use of tablets to track workflow, the options to use the mobile devices and to submit prescriptions and lookup the status of cases via the internet.  For some the pace into new technology is swift, for others it is a very gradual process. 

Some doctors want to continue to send in the physical case, some find it more convenient to submit digital files via email or a web portal.   Some prefer to call whenever they want to know the status of their cases; others would like to look this up in a web portal or an emailed notification.   Some are OK with automatic payments on an authorized card; others firmly say this fouls up their own accounting system and want to continue to send checks via mail. 

To track the preferences of your customers on how they want to submit, communicate and pay for their lab work, the customer center or customer relationship features of your software can provide a very valuable resource. With these you can record and then honor the choices with just a little extra effort and minimal expense.

We also see that labs gain business by being willing to respond to requests involving products and services that are beyond the capabilities  of their own staff and equipment.   To provide these choices, they develop relationships with other labs that can fulfill the requests.  They can use their own case management software to monitor and track the cases outsourced to other labs and assure that quality and safety controls are met.

Very importantly, if you do not want to limit your offerings to a limited audience, having robust case management and accounting software to support a variety of business models and preferences is vital.  This can in turn help you to win more business by being able to accommodate prospective and existing customers in whatever choices they would like.

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Customization is available for all products.

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

"I have been on the hunt for a new laboratory software program probably for the past 2 years. Now that my partner has retired I can now make it happen. We have used a custom program written just for our lab since 1979. Yes, it was state of the art then, but now it feels quite inadequate to me. We started using QuickBooks in 2005 and I really like itís simple, easy to learn accounting methods, it works.


When I found an article about DentaLab for QuickBooks I quickly contacted Elaine at Mainstreet and drove to their office with my laptop in hand, our current programs inefficiencies written down, and 3 pages of my wishes, oh, and my wife as well who has no dental lab understanding.


Needless to say I was sold and my wife as well since it made clear sense and that she was even able to follow some of the steps involved in entering the work. Nathan was able to customize our work ticket right away to help me sell it to my office staff, this proving to be more of a challenge then I ever would have expected. Even though our old system had many inefficiencies, they still knew it well and were too comfortable with its use.


I purchased DentaLab for QuickBooks, had Nathan spend 2 days in lab, and had all of them sold, even my ex-partner. Nathan is a tremendous help on the telephone and very calming to the nervousness of my staff. We are using the program now and are able to easily navigate thru it and make adjustments as needed.


Thank you Elaine for designing such a great user friendly program and to Nathan for your help in person and on the phone."

Linda
Scott Klaire
Metalcraft Dental Lab, New York, USA


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