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June 2018

DentaLab NewsJune 2018
from Mainstreet Systems & Software

FAQ  DentaLab News


 Available in June:  SQL Server 2017  and Annual Reviews

SQL Server is a full-featured database tool that is offered by Microsoft.  Our software uses this to store and protect all of your dental lab data.   Depending on your version of DQB, you may be running SQL Server 2008, 2012 or even earlier versions such as 2005.   These versions are still in use but no longer supported by Microsoft.  The new 2017 version has vast improvements.  In order to utilize DQB in the best environment, you should upgrade soon.  Here is what you will get:

Better Performance - You will be amazed at the improvement in loading and accessing your information.

Best-in-Class Security - The best protection against data breach.

Platform Compatibility - Full Windows support for years to come.

Regular Updates - Automatic updates in both security and performance.

This update requires expert installation and will be available to all, but those with a service agreement will receive a 50% reduction in the fee.

For the upcoming summer months, we are allocating time in our schedules for annual reviews again.   These have played a vital role in keeping systems up-to-date with vital technology, government compliance, security measures, backup protocols.   If you would like to schedule your review, please contact us soon to secure an appointment.  Again, the reviews will be available to all, but those with a service agreement will be able to use their monthly no-charge time for this or receive a 50% reduction in the fee.

Lessening your worries

We want to let you know about several technological advances designed to secure your information and lessen any worries you may have about losing your data or having it stolen or harmed in some way.

  • One of these is a higher level of security standards for internet transmission.  This has already been implemented in the DentalRx systems that provide a web portal for your customers.
  • Another involves more options and higher levels of security for your backups.   We have implemented these into the DQB Advanced Backup Protocol.  This protocol provides for backups to multiple locations, automatic schedules, higher levels of security, easy monitoring and is definitely a major step up in data security.
  • For those who prefer to have their own database but also remote capabilities, there has been a steady beat of new offerings in the marketplace.   You can choose to keep certain aspects of your business private and confidential while opening up interactive portals for your customers, vendors and other business associates.  There is no longer a need to turn over control of your data to another company and give up having a voice in your software and the possibility of customization in order to have web-based services.
  • At one time to have a VPN (virtual private network), you had to have a special contract with the telephone company and pay high fees, but now VPN's can easily be set up by your local hardware/network service provider for an affordable fee.   When you have more two or more locations that need to work with the same database on a continual basis, having a VPN provides a fast secure solution.

Looking ahead to July

For the USA Independence Day, more frequently called the Fourth of July, our offices will be closed.   This is one of the holidays that has not been moved to a Monday.  This year the 4th falls on Wednesday. If you are anywhere nearby or can receive television coverage, our city Philadelphia puts on a wonderful week-long Welcome America celebration in honor of this holiday.  

The set of updates for the upcoming July release is very robust in response to a number of requests from the labs.  Here is a sampling:

  • For those who would like a quick look at the trends in their business from month to month, we are adding a new report called Key Business Indicators
  • For convenience while reviewing a case, the tabs at the top that have activity will have their name in a bold font followed by a count whenever appropriate such as:  Case Enclosures (2), Case Communications (3).   
  • For emails to-date, DQB has provided for setting up a default template and another for welcome emails.   Because we see an increase in emailing, we have initiated a system of email templates identified by the topic you name with the message you want to send.    This will first be used for the Remake or Adjustment Review that can be emailed to specific doctors.   We will continue to add more spots within DQB where these email templates can be used.

    Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.

To answer your questions....

Q:   We would like to distinguish materials from services on our work tickets and invoices.  What is the best way to do this?

There are several ways you can distinguish materials.   Here are some of the choices:

In QuickBooks, you can select Inventory for the item type.   This also provides for tracking stock levels, reordering, etc.

In QuickBooks, you can setup one or more prefixes for item names that will distinguish materials to provide for speedy lookup in QB and DQB. 

In DQB, from the Options/Custom Fields menu you can set up a custom field for items, then set standards for how you will distinguish items.

In DQB, you can setup a Materials work center and then choose this as the default work center for material items.

In DQB, you can also setup Materials Disclosure sets that include the manufacturer, part/description, batch/lot/piece information and select/edit for each case.  In Options/Invoice Settings, you can choose to print a materials disclosure form with each invoice.   This also provides for compliance with FDA and other government regulations and a great resource whenever recalls are required.

For your DQB work tickets and invoices, you can request customization that corresponds to the choices you have made.

Q: We would like to monitor the new accounts we have acquired.  Can you give us advice on this? 

A: Yes.   First of all, it is a good idea to establish your standard as to how long a period you want to track new customers.   In DQB, the First Active date in the customer is set to the date the customer is entered into the system.   You can check this date for a specific customer in Basic Lists-Customers and in the Customer Center.   With the July release, this date will also be shown in the doctor frame to the right of the first case entry screen.

Next, go to Basic Lists-Customer Groups to establish a group for new customers.   This screen provides an easy way to select all doctors who were first active since a selected date.   You can also add and delete customers as you wish.   In Reports/Production Analysis and Sales Analysis, you can select the new customer group to generate reports.  

You can also enter an alert for each new customer that will appear whenever the customer is accessed.   The expiration date for the alert can be set to the end of the time period the customer will be considered new.

Q: We are just starting to use the material disclosure features.  Do we need to set up for every batch/lot? 

A: No, the sets you establish in Basic Lists-Material Disclosure should be considered a starting point so that you do not have to repeat entry of the three levels--manufacturer, part/description, batch/lot every time.   You can assign a default MD to each item that involves materials so that the MD fields will be automatically populated each time the item is included in a case.   You can then edit for each specific case to record the actual batch/lot used.  If appropriate, each of the levels can also be edited for a specific case.    The MD recorded during case entry become part of the case record. In Reports-Material Disclosure,  you can track specific materials at the 3 levels and pinpoint cases where a specific material was used should a recall become required.

      With the same look and feel of QuickBooks.

Scheduling vs. Calendaring

In DQB, there are two levels of scheduling.   Near the top of the case entry screen are five critical dates for case entered, started, ended, planned ship and doctor's request.   These can also be called calendaring, which essentially means selecting from a calendar.   We find that labs who previously had dental lab software that only provided for calendaring tend to continue to choose this over automatic scheduling and some others do not take the time to learn and setup the criteria to automatically schedule cases.  Calendaring is recommended only if a case is simply outsourced to another lab or if the lab has a very low volume of cases. 

DQB has been cited a number of times for having the most suitable, most effective method of scheduling cases.   This is because the program factors in daily limits, existing workloads, schedule factors, holidays and weekends to schedule the items in each case.   Then this schedule is tested against the number of days needed to ship and the request date.  The net effect of this effort is that most cases will be scheduled correctly and will be on time without incurring overtime costs.  For those cases needing special attention or schedule adjustments, these can easily be accomplished. 

Because there are many possible pauses in the work, such as a need to call the doctor or consult within the lab or wait on materials or equipment, scheduling is done by the day, not the minute.  There is a great deal of flexibility within this framework:

  • You can choose to simply assign tasks to work centers or to specific technicians.
  • You can tighten up the schedule by editing one item and then rolling down the schedule for the rest.
  • You can stop scheduling after a task to send the case to the doctor for try-in or other adjustments.
  • You can easily have the case items marked as completed in a variety of ways to update the master schedule to a precise status.
  • While scheduling, you can review what has already been scheduled and completed for each work center for each day. 
  • Quality control, technician notes and actions required at the dental office can be recorded as the case progresses.

If you would like to become more efficient, there are several resources you can use to learn how to set up your system for automatic scheduling:

  • On our website in the Blog tab you can review the Case Scheduling topic.
  • Also from the website, you can go to YouTube to view the tutorials related to scheduling.
  • In the DQB user manual, available from Help in the menu, you can search/review/print the sections on scheduling.
  • You can request a webinar to review scheduling or have our tech support take a look to confirm your setups are on track.

Our library of white papers

Although our software has become very intuitive, experience has definitely taught us the value of having both documentation and education.  In our field there are many topics, many details to master.  Whenever we see the need or when we do the research and respond to a question on how to handle a certain situation, we take the time to document the details and make this part of our library of white papers.  We can email a copy of any of these so that you can have it at your side as a guide whenever you are tackling a new issue.  Here are some of the most requested topics:

For QuickBooks: 

  • Customer Invoice Terms
  • Maximum File Limits 
  • Report by Rep on Payments Received
  • Sales Taxation 
  • Shipping Manager
  • Using Excel to transfer information to another file 

For DentaLab for QuickBooks:

  • Barcoding
  • Case and Customer Emails  
  • Case Labels
  • Case Scheduling  
  • Critical Dates
  • Discounting
  • Group Dental Practices 
  • Marking Case Item Completions 
  • Multiple Languages 
  • Price Levels
  • Sheltering from the Dark Side of the Cloud 

There are many more....give us a call whenever you need some extra guidance.  We can both help you on the phone and send a white paper for you to have by your side.

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Doug Hook
DVM, British Columbia

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