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August 2018

DentaLab NewsAugust 2018
from Mainstreet Systems & Software

FAQ  DentaLab News


Open house the first Friday in September

We typically plan Friday each week as the day for interactive personal webinars.   In September, however, Friday the 7th is the day before Lab Day East, which is being held in nearby Philadelphia this year.   Because some of you may be headed to Philadelphia, we will reserve this day to be open house for anyone who might want to visit.   We are located northeast of Philadelphia, near the Lansdale/Kulpsville exit on the northeast extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. 

Our training room is always ready for demonstrations.  We can show you some of the special offerings such as DentalRx Direct, Advanced Backup Protocol, Tablet Workflow App or give you some free guidance on the basics such as case scheduling, standard procedures, price levels, advance billing and estimates, tracking shipments or whatever else you request.   Let us know if you are interested by Monday, August 27.

Looking ahead to the first Monday in September

Monday, September 3 is Labor Day here in the USA.  This is a national holiday in honor of the workers of this country and for many, it signals the end of the summer season.  Our offices will be closed but we will check on emails from those in other countries.

Under development in August

We have been keeping a steady beat on new features in DQB 1.56, scheduled to be released in October.  There will be:

  • An option to bypass the reminders on automatic scheduling
  • More of the reports related to just one customer or one case will have the capability to be emailed directly to the customer
  • An option to condense the pickup/delivery report
  • Also under development in cooperation with two of our very dynamic labs is a web-based app for local drivers to use on smart phones and tablets for pickups and deliveries, communications with the lab and dental offices, navigation aids.
  • In addition, we are once again coordinating with the DDX development team to provide for many of the same features we have had in DentalRx for many years such as submittal of prescriptions, digital files and lookup of case status.  DDX is a web portal in the dental software systems provided by Henry Schein.

    Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.

To answer your questions....

Q: In preparation for sending email notifications, we need to determine whether each customer has an up-to-date email address in our records.  Is there an efficient way to go about doing this?

A: Here is one possibility.  Since the email address is first entered in QuickBooks, then synchronized into DQB, go to QuickBooks, then Reports and Lists.  Choose the Customer Phone List, then modify this by checking the Main Email and CC Email to display.   For each customer that does not have an email address or if you want to confirm the email information you already have, you can call the phone number to request this.   If you are given email information, you can double-click the row to display the full customer entry screen and then enter the email address(es).

Note that notifications as well as case, customer and report emails, use the main email address.

Q: We want to more closely monitor technician productivity and are trying to decide between barcode scanning and the tablet workflow app.  Can you give us the pluses and minuses for each of these?

A: Barcode scanning provides for very accurate cheatproof entry for marking case items complete.  It can also be used for quality control and shipping entry.  For this, you will need to license the DQB barcode supplement and purchase one or more sturdy barcode readers.   The barcodes related to each case and technician can be printed  by the same printer(s) you have for reports and forms.   In most labs using barcodes, the scanning is performed by a quality control or supervisory person upon acceptance of the work.

The DQBT workflow app was designed for use on a tablet with touch technology by technicians and their managers but can also be used on a desktop.   It has the advantage of providing more information about the daily workload, each customer and case, preferences, case plans, digital files and an opportunity to enter materials used and technician notes.  Timings on case items will be more precise as the technician can mark start, pause, restart and finish for each case item.   Managers can monitor workflow and request analysis on case item timings.  

Use of a tablet involves more trust than barcode scanning.  To date, we have seen tablets in greater use in small-medium size labs while the larger labs tend to choose barcodes.  It is important to know that when it comes to marking case items complete, both methods update the same records.  You can use both tablets and barcodes, as well as the options for key entry and marking items complete by work center.  If you wish to have detailed technician productivity analysis and calculate technician payments, you will also need to license the DQB technician productivity supplement. 

For cost analysis, you will need to factor in the number of technicians to be monitored with the cost of the software licenses and equipment.   You can ask us to help you with this analysis.

   With the same look and feel of QuickBooks.

Doing double duty

You may not realize that some of the DQB supplements help you in more than one way.  Here are some examples:

Images supplement

This has been the most popular of all the DQB supplements.   With it, you can scan documents associated with a case and then easily and quickly access them in all the ways you can access a case.  You can also use it to access and store digital files sent by the dental offices via the internet for the case and you can use a camera to capture and store photographs.  If you have implemented DentalRx Direct, the web portal that is now included in your service agreement, you can also tell your customers that they can directly transmit their digital files into your DQB case management program.

The standard one-time license fee for this supplement is $400.  

Website with portal for dental offices

Having your own website with your own marketing messages is one of the most cost-effective investments you can make.  It can be viewed as a very low-cost employee that works 7/24 for your business.

Now as this industry gradually marches into more and more digital technology, your website can do double duty also serving as a web portal for your customers to submit their prescriptions, send digital documents, look up the status of their cases, request pickups and let you know their preferences.  Here are the fundamental features expected for modern websites:

  • Home Page with main message and photos and navigation to other pages
  • About Us for background information on the lab
  • Our Services to list lab's offerings and capabilities with online portal to submit and lookup case information, interact with dental offices
  • Contact Information including Google map/directions, ability to send message

You can, of course, add more features such as events, blogs, photo galleries.   Call us to discuss how we can help you setup an attractive website at a very affordable cost.

Notifications supplement

This provides for establishing schedules and then assigning them to customers to send email notification reports on cases received and recently shipped.  It can do double duty by including shipment numbers and links to online tracking services as well as marketing messages.  This provides a very worthwhile service for your customers that costs very little to setup and maintain.  It can reduce the number of phone inquiries to the lab on the status of cases and shipments.   It will involve requesting email addresses from your customers if you have not already done this.

The license fee for this supplement is $400. 

Software support to enhance your workflow

Although DentaLab for QuickBooks has become renowned for excellent scheduling and accurate complete accounting, many of our recent releases have focused on supporting privacy, security and control of your information while providing the access and communication benefits of the internet.  We hear from many of the successful labs in the DQB user group that they have definitely come to realize the importance of having software support for their efforts to improve communication with their customers and create greater efficiency and cost-savings in their case workflow.  Here are some of the key components of this support:

Automatic scheduling and standard procedures for case design:  Most labs have a mix of cases that are standard and those that need special attention.   Having standard procedures setup provides management with a measure of accuracy and control for designing cases.  The flexibility to modify the standards for special requests and the tools to monitor and modify the schedule are critical to providing excellent customer service while maintaining a steady efficient workflow. 

A web portal between the dental office and lab:   This provides for easy rapid submittal of prescriptions along with digital files as well as other communications such as preferences, special requests, working out case design, convenient lookups of case status.  

Marking completions of case items:    This is a key component to keeping all tasks on schedule.   DQB provides a variety of ways to mark completions.   In addition to the traditional key entry,  batches can be marked upon return from an outsource point, technicians can mark start, pause, restart and finish on a tablet with touch technology, barcodes can be scanned to mark completions, quality control and shipments. 

Queries based on accurate up-to-date case records:  Having all the information regarding each case, including its design and schedule, case plans, digital files, case communications and alerts, technician notes, actions required by the dental office, case and invoice histories readily accessible in a variety of ways provides the basis for accurate communications with the dental office, flexibility in making changes whenever needed, keeping your workflow and commitments on track. 

DQB makes use of both local and internet capabilities in providing support for your case workflow and communications, but also values the human element in making decisions and assuring great customer service whenever it is needed. 

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"I think that it (DentaLab for QuickBooks) is an awesome application."

Angela Thalassinos
Giorgio Dental Laboratory Pty Ltd
Victoria, Australia

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