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November 2006

DentaLab News )
from Mainstreet Systems & Software... NOVEMBER 2006
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  • What's New in QuickBooks
  • DentalRX

  • SNOW IN ALASKA AND COLORADO!
    But not yet here in Pennsylvania. We probably won't see the foot-deep white reported to us already by our friends in more northern and mountainous areas until after Christmas, but any day now we will start to see some flakes. It is not usually snow that keeps us away from the office, but icy roads when by law, only emergency vehicles are allowed to be traveling. We want to remind you that when this occurs, our answer-call system will take your call. Please leave your full name, lab name, telephone number and a brief message on the answer call and we will be checking in frequently to respond to you from our homes. Through webmail, we can also tune in to any emails you send to sales or support@mainstreet-systems.com.

     

    We are also closed for the major holidays observed in the USA. Upcoming holidays are: Thanksgiving on November 23-24, Christmas on December 25-26, New Year's Day on January 1.

    REMINDER! As we move toward the end of 2006, you may soon want to review the 2007 calendar and enter your holidays and other non-workdays for the year ahead.

    For those of you who have told us you would like to go live with DentaLab for QuickBooks at the start of 2007, we recommend that you go into action for this in November, before the hecticness of the holidays and end-of-year. Let us know if we can be help.


    TRIVIA QUESTIONS: Do you know what a google is? How about a yahoo? For the answers, scroll down to the QuickBooks section.


    Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.

    A FEW MORE FAQ'S

    Here are more frequently asked questions from your calls, as well as their answers:

    Q: Where can we find half-size paper for work tickets?

    A: Many labs chose half-size work tickets rather than the standard 8.5 x 11 sheets so that each ticket can fit in a traditional pan. The standard names for these paper sizes are A4 for 8.5 x 11 inch and A5 for 5.5 x 8.5 inch paper. Some labs choose to buy the inexpensive A4 sheets sold everywhere and fold them in half or, if their volume is small, use a paper cutter to chop them in half. Another thing you can do is ask your local office supply store (such as Staples, Office Depot, Office Max) to use their equipment to cut the paper you buy from them in half. Although more expensive, you can also order A5 paper from some paper supply companies, which can be found by entering "A5 Paper" in Google or other search engines.

    Q: Do we have to print work tickets?

    A: No, but most labs do. The practice of printing work tickets to add to the case pan in addition to the prescription was developed to give clear, readable instructions to the technicians, as well as the schedule and any preferences or standing instructions from the doctor. In labs where there are sufficient computer stations to give this same information to those working on the cases via the screen, you can directly look up the case record, which provides general information, scheduled items, case enclosures, doctor preferences and images or view the work ticket without printing it. If you are using one or more of the barcoded supplements, you will want to print work tickets since they provide the barcodes for the case and its labor-related items.

    Q: Where can we print quality-control forms for feedback from the doctors ?

    A: In our traditional DentaLab systems, labs would either have a separate quality control feedback form or include it as part of their invoice format. For DentaLab for QuickBooks, you can use the QB invoice designer to include a footer section requesting feedback on the specific case. You can also create a separate document using a text editor or word processing, make copies and then affix one of the case labels to each one, if you want feedback related to each case. We also have on our programmers' to-do list a generic feedback form that will include the information for each case. The user will be able to request these in the same manner as case labels and invoices. We will offer customizing service for this form, just as we do for work ticket formats.

    With the same look and feel of QuickBooks

     

    DentaLab Tips & Techniques


    KEEP AN EYE ON THAT CLOCK

    Within each personal computer or workstation is a system clock. Whenever software needs to record a date or time, it relies on this clock. If the workstation is part of a network domain, it will likely depend on the date and time of its network server. Otherwise, it uses its own clock.

    Within the DentaLab systems, there is an initial setting of the date/time a case is entered and when it is scheduled to start. If you are using technician productivity or shipping features, transactions will be stamped with a date and time. While system clocks tend to be very reliable, at times that they can speed up, slow down or stop altogether. This is why you and your personnel need to keep an eye on the system clock. The Windows operating systems typically provide the date and time in two places. One is at the rightmost spot in the taskbar and the other is in the Settings/Control Panel (located just above the Start button), usually labeled Date and Time.

    Traditionally, system clocks would keep track of the number of milliseconds from a default date such as 1/1/1970 or 1/1/1990 and transform this into the current date and time. With the most recent operating systems, you now have an option to automatically synchronize with internet time services which are based on access to national institutes that provides these throughout the world. In addition there are GPS (global positioning) systems and atomic clock services available.

    From our support logs, here are some examples on why you need to watch your clock and assure its accuracy. In one instance, the lab wondered why invoices created during the afternoon of the last day of the month did not appear in their month-end statements. This was traced to the clock being set to PM during the morning, which meant at noon, the date turned over to the 1st of the next month with an AM setting. In what was probably the worst case of not watching the clock, one lab reported that many of its invoices from the current month were being tallied into the oldest aged balances. This was traced to a failure of the system clock on the 8th of the month, which resulted in all of the transactions from then to the last day of the month being dated with the system's default date, which was 1/1/1990. Somehow, for 23 days, no one noticed.

    CLOCK-RELATED TRIVIA QUESTIONS: Do you know what a jiffy is? How about a nanosecond? For the answers, scroll down to the QuickBooks section.



    FINDING AND FILTERING

    Much like the Biblical fishes and loaves, the find and filter facilties of QuickBooks and DentaLab for QuickBooks can turn one query or report into many. With these, you can expand or limit your searches and customize your reporting to whatever you specifically want to see. These are not hard to learn and, even if you goof from time to time, there is no harm done.

    Within case management, there are a tremdendous number of different viewpoints. You may want to check on a particular doctor, see only a certain case status such as open/in lab, out-for-tryin, on-hold, or invoiced, tune into certain quality control issues, monitor the work of one or more technicians, stay organized and on schedule through due reports, find invoices that included a certain item, check whether upcoming workloads are heavy or light, find which cases have extra time in the schedule, check your receivables, respond to requests from your doctors, and on and on.

    If you are like most, you will establish your favorite queries and reports to keep your business organized and responsive. It is also a good idea to check on new possibilities from time to time, as there might be something right there in your system that you have not used that can be a big help to you.

    IMAGE ACCESS IS BECOMING A MUST
    Labs of all sizes are telling us they are receiving more and more images from doctors. Sometimes these are photos, sometimes graphics. To stay organized, they must be able to store and retrieve these images and quickly associate them with a particular doctor, patient and case.

    In addition to its capability to scan the prescription and other documents that accompany a case, the DQB Scanning Supplement allows you to browse the images sent by doctors and match them to a case. From the find and select facilities for cases, you can pinpoint the case by doctor, patient, date, status and/or contents. Then, from each case presentation, you can click the Images tab to see any and all images associated with it, as well as edit and/or print them.

    To discuss how this works and how it can benefit your lab, or to request a white paper that discusses this in depth, give us a call at 215-723-7041 or send an email to mailto:support@mainstreet-systems.com


    YOU HAD A CHOICE....

    And you choose us. In this month of Thanksgiving, we would like to thank all of you very much, with a special thanks to all of you who have participated in the user group program of support and who have submitted your ideas and suggestions for how software can be effective in the growth and success of dental laboratories. We have been told that the synchronization of DQB plus QB now rivals (and in some ways exceeds!) the most expensive dental lab systems.

    We also very much appreciate your telling other labs about the program and spreading the word. These are truly the ultimate compliments.

    NOTE: A new schedule of license fees became effective September 1, 2006. The main changes are that the fees for network versions will be based on the number of users and the addition of the Notifications Supplement.

    We look forward to hearing from you.

    WHAT IS NEW IN QUICKBOOKS?

     

     

    QuickBooks is the #1 selling software for financial management and accounting in the world. More businesses choose QuickBooks than all the other accounting software systems combined. Recently, it received PC Magazine's Editors Choice Award with the top 5-star rating for the best software.

    They also are very responsive to the needs and requests of their users. Here are some of their new features.

    Speedier Cash Flow

    For those using the Merchant Services of QuickBooks to process credit and debit cards, the turnaround time to get the funds into your bank account has been shortened. Typically, it will now take only two days.

    The Discounts

    The Affiliate Program, of which DentaLab for QuickBooks is a part, is now handled by Kowabunga. The banners on our website have changed, but the discount levels ranging from 15 to 20% for procuring QuickBooks products and services through www.mainstreet-systems.com will remain the same.
    The Centers

    The five centers from one Home Page for customers, employees, vendors, banking and company that were introduced last year are proving to be very popular and easy to navigate. We told Intuit that the only complaint was that some found the text too small...and were very pleased to see that the 2007 versions have bigger fonts and brighter, more colorful icons.
    The Tutorials

    In addition, there are a number of helps or guides, including online Help with topics, indices and searches, context-sensitive guides as you enter fields.

    For one-on-one help, there are many accountants and Pro-Advisors who are expert, educated and experienced with QuickBooks to help you.

    Training courses are available throughout the world. On their websites (www.quickbooks.com and www.intuit.com) are a number of tutorials to help you get started and to guide you at any time you need it.

    Google Searches

    The 2007 versions introduce new options to do Google searches within your QuickBooks data. In addition, a new service for Google Marketing Tools is available.

    Here are the answers to the trivia questions. Although people most often use jiffy to convey quickness, such as "Be there in a jiffy", a jiffy is actually one-hundredth of a second or 10 milliseconds. A nanosecond is one billionth of second. Most software commands work in nanoseconds.

    Together, QuickBooks plus DentaLab for QuickBooks provide the most comprehensive well-supported software for running your dental lab…and at very affordable fees. Let us know your plans and ideas and how we can help. We are always happy to hear from you.

    Your DentaLab Support Team

     

    Customization is available for all products

    Dental RX
    We have been working with dentists on an alternate version of DentalRx that will be web-hosted and offered as an online service. The initial version will be for the USA and will include ADA insurance codes and dentist notes and preferences. Our goals for this second version remain the same:

    • Easier-to-read prescriptions
    • Provide accuracy and consistency
    • Fewer errors due to misunderstanding between doctors and labs>
    • Convenient tooth chart and calendar
    • Secured access>
    • Time and cost-saving features
    > And much more...look for this in 2007

    Call 1-800-257-4535 or visit www.mainstreet-systems.com to learn more about Mainstreet Systems and our software designed specifically for dental laboratories.

    Learn more about Mainstreet Systems Products

    "Everything about this software is excellent, truly outstanding. I wish I had this 30 years ago when I was first starting."

    Jan Rainey
    Smile Quest Studio, Texas


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