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August 2020

DentaLab NewsAugust 2020
from Mainstreet Systems & Software

FAQ  DentaLab News

 

August heat continues and hurricanes begin

We have been keeping a steady beat of helping labs get back into action after the lockdowns and business slowdowns caused by the pandemic as well as our software development projects.  

Because of the snow and ice we experience during the winter months here in Pennsylvania, we have been set up for quite a while to work from home or other locations as long as we have power.  One of our locations is equipped with a generator to maintain a limited level of power at all times so that we can continue responding to our customers throughout the world.  

Although it was a long dark day with rain that resembled buckets of water being overturned, we did not experience any loss of power or other mishaps due to Hurricane Isaias.    The forecast is that this will be a strong hurricane season.    Remember always that if you cannot immediately reach us to leave a message by phone or email or both as to the purpose of your call and how you would like to be reached. 

Our generic summer special ends soon 

To encourage our customers to enhance their capabilities with software support, we are offering a special summer discount of 15% for any add-ons, effective through August 14, 2020. 

This can include adding more DQB users, updating from DQB starter to standard, implementing another supplement such as Images, Barcoded Case Tracking, Email Notifications, Technician Productivity, Tablet Workflow App, DentalRx and DentalRx Direct.  

Making the complicated simple

It has been said that anyone can make the simple complicated but it takes true talent to make the complicated simple.   This concept has been at the heart of QuickBooks enormous success throughout the world.   Their systems have been designed so that those without training in accounting can do most of the work of their financial management and can be easily corrected if they make a mistake.  We are always mindful of this concept and work to provide case management that is easy to learn and understand.  

Part of this has been to provide plenty of choices so that each lab can implement the system at a level that is comfortable for them.  

For example, even though the DentaLab automatic scheduling has won rave reviews over the years, there are some labs that are content with just the critical dates at the top of case entry and that is OK.  

When we added a quick simplified case entry for those who are primarily outsourcing, we had other labs who liked this approach for their in-house entry and scheduling. 

Although the DQB Starter menu is a bit old-fashioned, this simple approach has been very well-liked and very popular with smaller labs and those just starting with case management. 

We recognize by responding to the requests from our dynamic user group, the number of choices for the Cases and Reports menus in the standard DQB has grown to the point where there is no space remaining in the left frame.  We are in the process of redesigning these menus that will provide for easier navigation and hope these will be ready for the October release.   If you have any suggestions or thoughts on this topic, please send them our way. 


The major challenges of technology

With technology of all kinds there have been two major challenges that require extra effort and funding.   These are coordination with other related technology and the ever increasing requirements for security measures when the internet is involved. 

We have definitely encountered these in our software development and find these take more time than what is known as application development to provide capabilities and conveniences for our users.   When it comes to coordination with other software providers, there has sometimes been a scarcity of complete accurate information and technical proficiency from the other direction.   

For security on the internet, the big guns in the computer industry such as Microsoft and Intuit have increased the requirements to comply with their security policies to protect information being transmitted via the internet.  In addition to multiple levels of authorization to gain access, they are requiring that periodic updates to the authorization code be performed on schedule. 

It is for this reason that we now must require an ongoing subscription for synchronization with the QuickBooks Online Editions  (QBOE) while we do not have to do this for the QB desktop versions such as Pro, Premier and Enterprise. 

It is also the reason that we have included the DentalRx service in our support agreements as this must continually stay in compliance with HIPAA and other industry security standards. 

 

    Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.

To answer your questions...

Q: When we issue a credit, is it better to create the credit memo in DQB or in QuickBooks?

A: If you are issuing a credit to a specific invoice, you can create the credit memo in either DQB or in QuickBooks.   If doing this in QB be sure to specify that it is to be applied to the specific invoice.  If doing this in DQB, you first select the case, then choose Credit Memo from the actions menu.  The DQB program will apply it to the selected case invoice, add the CM suffix if you have specified this in Invoice Settings, use a Price Level if assigned to the customer, provide for entering special and/or standard Credit Memo messages and transmit this information when it creates the credit memo in QuickBooks. 

If issuing a credit that covers a number of invoices, it is best to create this in QuickBooks and specify which open/unpaid invoices are to have a credit amount applied.

Note that in QuickBooks an invoice will remain open until it has payments and/or credits to total the full amount.  A credit or payment will remain open until is is applied to one or more invoices.

Q: There are lots of note-taking features throughout DQB.  Is there one that is best to use?

A:  The one that is best to use would be the one that will serve the purpose of the note and will be read and reviewed.    For example, the case memo that is available in Case Entry is typically used for any extra notes the doctor has added to the prescription and for any notes you might want to add to the case.   It will be printed on the work tickets for the technicians, available on the tablet workflow app, and in a number of case reports and case history.   

If you want to send a message to the dental office, you can enter this so that it will be printed on the case invoice or packing slip.  

If you are requesting an action from the doctor, you can enter an Action Required. have it included in the case notification, mark when it has been fulfilled and review the action required report to also check which cases are still requiring a response.  

If you are aiming to be in compliance with GMP Good Manufacturing Practices and the FDA or other government agencies, it is best to record any issues with the case and their resolution. 

We can tell you that the ones most frequently used are the Customer Alerts and the Case Alerts that pop up for attention whenever the customer or case is being displayed.   There are many other note-taking areas throughout the system.   Taking just seconds or a minute or two to enter important details when the case is at hand can save lots of time and work should having supporting documentation become important.

   With the same look and feel of QuickBooks.

The end of the "standard" work week

In this ever changing world one of the concepts that is on its way out is that of a standard work week.   The 2020 pandemic has made this even more so both for the dental offices and the dental labs.   In keeping up with changing times, here are some of features we have added to DQB and DentalRx:  

In January 2020 for DQB, we added options to the Schedule Master so that you can, in addition to the longstanding Saturday/Sunday options, specify which of the other days you are working and the daily limits by work center for each day of the week. 

In October 2019 for DentalRx we added a feature where you can display to the dental offices your current work schedule and hours adjacent to the prescription entry.  

In the upcoming October release for DQB, the Customer Information frame that is available in Case Entry/Edit has been expanded to include the customer's Custom Fields so that you can use these to show the days and hours that the dental office is open.    This can help when scheduling completions and deliveries as well as when you can call.

We want to share with you some of the lab schedules we have been told about during our support sessions:  

  1. One lab alternates so that one week they are working Monday-Thursday and then the next week Tuesday-Friday.   This gives their personnel one four-day weekend each month. 
  2. Some labs work 10 hours 4 days a week and always have a 3-day weekend.   
  3. Another lab has set up their scheduling for three 4-hour shifts each day and they provide a choice to their personnel of working 1, 2 or 3 shifts on any of 6 workdays.   This gives part-time and flexible opportunities for those who are going to school, parenting or taking care of other responsibilities. 

For those aspects of lab administration and management that can be performed from home or another location, keep in mind that there are many options available for remote access via the internet.  We can help guide you on how to do this in a secure and efficient manner.

The wonderful convenience of automatic actions

One of the goals of the DentaLab systems has been to provide you with the capability of setting up automatic actions whenever these are logical and wise.   These help to maintain standards, avoid errors and wasted time, and keep your staff and customers happy.   Along with these, there is provision for making exceptions and adjustments whenever needed.    Here are some of the most well-liked capabilities: 

  • In Basic Lists, you can setup your work centers and items for automatic detailed scheduling of case items to improve workflow and assure that cases are completed on time.  
  • Whenever you negotiate or grant special prices or discount percentages to a customer, you can enter them in a Basic Lists-Price Levels to assure they are honored when creating each case invoice.  
  • In Basic Lists-Customers or the Customer Center, you can enter one or more alerts to be displayed whenever significant actions take place for the customer.  If appropriate, you can enter an expiration date. 
  • In Basic Lists-Lab Notes, you can create your own dictionary of frequently used notes or specifications for easy insertion in text fields throughout the system. 
  • In Options/Case Settings, there are many indicators and choices you can make for case entry and tracking.   You can disable or require case entry fields, choose case label formats, select work tickets, specify how to handle remakes....and many other possibilities.  
  • In Options/Invoice Settings, you can indicate that you want to automatically print labels, case material disclosure, and/or quality control feedback forms whenever you create an invoice, select which case fields you want automatically transferred to the QuickBooks invoice, and other selections related to invoicing.  

Take a look at the variety of choices you can make throughout these and the other Basic Lists and Options/Settings menus.  When labs have crossed over from other systems to DQB, they very frequently remark how much more convenient and versatile it is and how it has saved them a great deal of time in their daily work.

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

"Works like a charm! This is great; thanks so much!"

Rob King
Hagstrom Dental Laboratory
Seattle, WA


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