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Support :: Newsletters

October 2018

DentaLab NewsOctober 2018
from Mainstreet Systems & Software

FAQ  DentaLab News

 

The October release is ready

We have posted DQB 1.56 on our website in the Support section.  Most of the new features are based on requests and suggestions from labs and are outlined in the topic below.   Those who have an up-to-date service agreement can call for the current authorization codes when ready to download.

Looking ahead to November

You can mark on your calendars that we will be closed for the USA Thanksgiving holiday November 22-23.  

We will be hoping that the hurricane season will be over and the snow and ice season not begun, but should extreme weather conditions cause us to not open the office, we will be using Verizon's Digital Voice to receive Mainstreet telephone calls on our smart phones.   As long as we have power, we will be able to receive emails and to tune into our network at the office.

Remember to begin updating your 2019 holidays and non-workdays in DQB so that you will be ready to schedule cases into the new year.   If you are planning to update in any way at the start of the new year, it is best to begin in November and not wait until the end-of-year and holiday period.  

On working with local IT consultants

We are very much in favor of our customers also having local IT consultants.   We can do a lot over the phone and with remote access, but there are times that the hands-on service of local consultants is needed.   There are also times when having a technically knowledgeable person at your lab working with us is the best way to implement more intricate applications.  

There are some aspects, however, that need monitoring and precaution.   We have seen instances where a local consultant will set up measures and passwords, but not provide this information to the lab.   Then when this information is needed, they are nowhere to be found.   We urge you to be sure to have the technical details of your computer and information systems provided to you in writing.   If you wish, we can also store this information in your profile record here should it be needed for future support.

For the components of your system that need to be monitored from time to time, such as whether backups are working, whether resources remain sufficient, when updates are needed, you should also make certain that you are adequately trained to take care of these and that the details are in writing and accessible.

 

    Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.

To answer your questions...

Q: Why does Intuit require us to update our QuickBooks every three years?

A: This requirement is in effect only if you use one of the web-based features that involve use of Intuit's servers.  Some of these features are payment processing, document storage, shipping systems, automatic backups.     Although QuickBooks is updated for new features on a regular basis, the primary updates have been for the  pressing need for more security measures due to the vast amount of malware happening on the internet.   Security is always playing catch up as clever minds think of new ways to hack into internet transmissions and information systems.   Programming is very expensive and time-consuming, so the major companies limit how far back they apply these security measures.   They also want their customers and their information to be as secure as possible. 

Q: We have been thinking about another application to synchronize with our QuickBooks records.   Can you tell us what is possible?

A: Through the DentaLab applications and custom projects we have performed, we have developed a connector program that can transfer information from and to QuickBooks, both for the desktop and online versions.   With DentaLab, we are working primarily with the sales and receivable functions in QuickBooks but it is possible to also work with payables, payroll, purchase orders and budgets.   Some of the examples are 1) a complex financial tracking system for large government, academic and commercial contracts with budgets, overheads, project milestones, schedules and resources 2) a product design and costing system for large scale frames for art galleries and museums  3) an international plant extract distribution, pricing and billing system.

With more input from you, we could work out possibilities to combine your special application with the excellent accounting and financial management of QuickBooks.   More ideas and examples can be found on our alternate website:  www.customquickbooks.net

Q: Sometimes the work we do over the internet is at a good speed.  Other days and times, it really slows down.  Is there anything we can do about this?

A: Not specifically.   There are times when the traffic is at a high volume or there is a disruption that causes a slowdown.  Even having the highest transfer speeds possible, we see slowdowns here at times, then the speed returns to normal.   There is no one to call that would have the answer.    You can look for patterns, you can check with your provider as to whether higher speeds are available on your plan, you can shift some procedures such as automatic web-based backups, transfers and notifications to times outside the normal business hours.

      With the same look and feel of QuickBooks.

Are you waiting for an emergency?

Although we have developed a business model that provides the essential components for long-range software success with responsiveness to requests, education and guidance, keeping up with security and technology for the lab and for computers, and financial stability, we find that some view our support program as valuable only when they run into an emergency.

To share some true examples, a lab owner who licensed DQB over ten years ago called in a panic. He had decided to rename his server and did not make note of the prior name. This resulted in not having access to his data since the internal pointers were no longer valid.    He had never participated in our support program, never gave us any of the technical details of his system, was still using an operating system that was four generations behind and no longer supported, did not remember what he did with the archival CD we sent, did not have internet service that would have made remote support possible. A classic case of pennywise but pound foolish! 

Another lab manager began to notice that some invoice transactions were missing from customer statements.  We were able to guide him to the QuickBooks deleted transactions register and he found that the invoices were deliberately deleted.  In DQB, the invoices were also no longer in the invoice history records.  To next track who was responsible, we guided him to check the Events Log.   He did not have this option in his menu, as the lab had not updated their software for a number of years even though they had a service agreement and were entitled to the updates.  When we next guided him to Options/User Roles to limit who could delete invoices from invoice history, again this feature was not there.   We were able to quickly get them updated so they could take precautions to prevent this issue in the future.  

Security, both for internet and in-house transactions, has become one of the most imperative reasons for keeping your system up-to-date.  Compatibility with surrounding technology is another essential reason.   Always developing are new expectations from your customers and many of these require software support.    We always endeavor to keep your support program affordable, responsive to your needs and easy to use.   We hope you will be wise and endeavor to keep your knowledge and information systems up-to-date.

Enhancements in DQB Release 1.56

Our user group never runs out of good ideas for their information systems.   Here are the ones accomplished in this release:

Case List:   Prescribing Doctor Column and Search

The Prescribing Doctor field was added to Case Entry in DQB 1.55.  This update adds this field to the Customize Columns action and the search criteria in Case List. 

Case List:  Invoice Time – Record and Display

The time will automatically be shown with the invoice date for future invoices.  This will not need a setting.

Case List:  Show Case Memo Date Separately

In the action menu for Customize Columns is an option to show the latest Case Memo Date separately from the Invoiced Date.  The actual time is being recorded and will be shown for future credit memos.  

Case Entry:  Action List to Match Case List Actions

The action menu in Case Entry was expanded to have the same options available in Case List for the selected case.

Case Entry:   Option to Use Only Critical Dates

For the best scheduling, we recommend that automatic scheduling be used because it takes into account existing work loads, time needed for standard procedures, holidays and other non-workdays, assures proper dates and has the flexibility to be adjusted whenever needed.  Using only the critical dates at the top of the screen could, however, be appropriate if sending to outsource locations.

Now in Case Entry, you can set an indicator to not display an alert if the case items are not scheduled.  Once this indicator is set ON, it will remain On through  subsequent cases until the user turns it OFF.

Cases Not Returned – Query with Option to Mark Finished

This new option in the Cases menu will allow you to search for cases that have been on hold or out for try-in a specified number of days.  From the resulting grid, you can select all cases or checkmark specific cases to mark them as Finished so that they no longer appear in reports for these case statuses.

In addition, each of the selected cases is marked CASE NOT RETURNED in the short memo field. 

Basic Lists – Print Customer Preference Lists

The option to print the Customer Preference list is available in Basic Lists-Print Lists.  We have added an indicator to exclude customers that do not have preferences recorded. The options now provide for generating this list for one customer, all customers, all who have preferences.

For all preference lists and the customer profile, we have added general preferences at the top.

Reports:  Condensed Version of Pickup/Delivery Report.

To provide for a more condensed report, there is now an option to exclude customer address.

In addition, the Office Closed field has been moved up adjacent to the customer name and telephone.

Reports:  Sales Analysis by Sales Category- Added Report  Totals

This  report includes sales totals by customer for items assigned to a sales category.  We have added report totals for count and dollar columns.

Reports – More Email Capabilities

This expands the number of reports available for direct emailing to the customer, using the selected email template in Options/Email Settings.  Note that the template on the first screen will be used for case and customer emails.  The tab that says Report Templates will be used for emailing these reports. 

  • Preferences for one customer
  • Invoice Register for one customer
  • Invoice for customer printed in DQB
  • All reports in Customer Center, now adding Invoice Register for one customer.

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Customization is available for all products.

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

"Thank you for your help. so I'm all caught up on updates too. Awesome"

Becky
Mesa Dental Arts
Louisiana


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