The DentaLab System... serving dental laboratories since 1979
 
 
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May 2007

 

DentaLab News

 

from Mainstreet Systems & Software...

May 2007

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Frequently Asked Questions
DentaLab News & Tips
DentalRx

Ah, May Days!

 

There is always controvery in Pennsylvania as to whether May, with its lush array of green, white and pink, or October, with its splendid golds, oranges and reds, is the best month of the year. After a long winter, we are certainly glad to be checking out May and a number of upcoming events.

We have begun making plans for our trip north to Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada, in July to present a workshop at the Dental Technicians International Association's Leadership in Motion Conference. Our workshop will focus on how innovations in software offerings can help your dental laboratory succeed.

Prior to the main conference, we will have use of the classrooms and computers at the Glendale Campus of Niagara College on Wednesday, July 18. We will be inviting both prospective and current customers to come in for our own workshops and user group meeting that day. So save the date and start making your plans to come to this beautiful part of the world.

To review what will be available at the main conference and check on extra activities in the Niagara Falls area, go to www.dtia.net or call 1-800-874-4133 or 1-905-991-0684.

Please be in touch with us by the end of May to let us know whether or not you and others from your lab will be coming on July 18. We will have only minimal staff in the support office while we make the trip to Canada, so please do not schedule any major changes or updates from July 16-20. We will be carrying mobile phones and will have computers and internet access during that period so that we can handle any support emergency. Better yet....join us in Canada!

Mainstreet Systems and our flagship product DentaLab for QuickBooks will be featured in articles in the May issues of Spectrum and the Journal of Dental Technology.

We also have two grand honors among us this month. Our leader, Elaine Whelan, has been selected as one of the Best 50 Women in Business for 2007. Pennsyvlania will honor her at a reception in the Governor's Mansion in Harrisburg on May 21. This brings a lifetime membership and will have Elaine back on the college circuit to speak and encourage leadership for women from time to time, as she has done in conjunction with copyright education, and back in Harrisburg for a special day every May. On May 22, the Center for Intellectual Property will present Elaine's essay and the song "Voice of Creativity" she wrote with her cousins Ellen and Roger as the Grand Prize Winner for the 2007 Copyright Symposium competition at the University of Maryland.


 
     

Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.


 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: What is the difference between technician tracking and the technician productivity supplement?

 

A: In the basic DQB systems, you can select and record a technician for each case item. This can be done in advance of the work if you wish to assign technicians and print daily assignment sheets. It can also be done anytime during the work or upon completion of the work. This is essentially technician tracking and will be available whenever you look up the case and in various case-related reports. If there are quality control issues, this will help associate which technician is responsible.

For more sophisticated analysis of productivity, the barcoded technician productivity supplement is a good choice. This provides for printing barcodes for each labor item on the work tickets that can quickly and accurately be scanned to record the date and, time upon completion of each technician item in the case. It can provide summations and analysis, as well as calculation of piece rate payments by technician and item.

 

Q: Are you limiting the number of new installations for DentaLab for QuickBooks each month?

 

A: For those choosing self-training, the answer is no, there is no limit. But for those wanting data conversions, onsite visits and/or customizations, the answer is yes, because these can involve a greater amount of our staff's time. It is best to let us know your plans, so that we can schedule the appropriate amount of time.

 

Q: Is there anything special we have to do to run under Vista?

 

A: Yes, Vista has brought some special considerations regarding permisssions and security. Its two most outstanding features have been its visual beauty and its high security. Nathan has developed a special white paper on this topic to assure you have the correct permissions set to assure good connectivity. You can request this be sent via email, fax or mail.


 
     

With the same look and feel of QuickBooks.


 

It's So Easy to Fool Yourself

As month after month rolls merrily by with no problems, no issues with your computer system, it is so easy to let yourself think "Why do backups? Do we really need to?" Yes, you really need to do backups!
Just this past month, we learned from two support calls from two very experienced labs that they had stopped doing backups--and as it turned out, they needed them.

We have built into the DQB utilities a very easy way to backup your data and scanned images, to have at least a week's worth of daily backups, and to restore easily if needed.

 

Along this same line, it is easy to convince yourself when things are going great that you do not need to have a support agreement. Yet, just in this past month, here is a small sampling of our calls. A lab owner learned that the woman who had been running their computer system was rushed to the hospital with a brain aneurysm and he had not a clue about how to run the system. In another lab, they needed to replace one of the client stations on their network, could not find their intallation documentation or CD, had no idea what to do next. Very few labs are totally self-sufficient when it comes to taking care of and operating their computer systems. We have developed a support program with fees that are affordable for even the smallest labs so that we in turn can will have the funding to be here for you when you need us.

Quickbooks Backups Aren't Enough!

Nathan encountered a couple of labs this past month that prided themselves on backing up---but he discovered they were only backing up QuickBooks. Here, from the support front line, is his advice.

Here in the support office we have seen every computer issue you can imagine. We have always been able to find out why something is not working and how you can correct it. We keep careful documentation on all issues that arise, so the next time it happens, it's easier to correct. However, one thing we don't know and can never find out without you is the last 10 cases sent by Dr. Smith and what they contained. QuickBooks is not tracking this information--DentaLab is. QuickBooks data and DentaLab data are stored separately. When you backup QuickBooks, you are safeguarding your financial history, but not case history. DentaLab has a backup utility that can be accessed from the File/Utility dropdown menu. This backup, along with the QuickBooks backup, will ensure fast easy recovery from ANY situation. Please, if you value your time and business, it only takes a minute or two to backup your DentaLab case history.

Buzz in the Industry...

There has been much buzz in the dental laboratory world on two fronts, one is the emerging global economy and offshore operations, the other is the rapid increase in digital technology for dentistry. Some lab technicians are wondering whether they will become like the ice man, the egg-and-milk man, the shoemaker, who not too many years ago were much needed and no longer are. Mainstreet Systems' name came from its location on Main Street in Harleysville and it has been interesting to watch the changes and adaptations in its businesses over the years. Some survived and prospered, others did not. Those who survived learned and adopted new, more professional skills, technology, and business models, sometimes aligning themselves with larger organizations. This was certainly true of the florist, the hardware store, the real estate office, the accountants and financial planners. The ice man had to graduate to refrigeration and then large-scale food preparation and storage.

Along the way we have seen many predictions that did not come true---that everyone would be able to write their own computer programs, that we would all be using Segways to get around, that flouride would make everyone's teeth sound and there would be little need for dentists. And were any of you able to predict that sneakers would mostly be made overseas and still cost over a hundred dollars, that bottled water would be more expensive than Coke, that just about everyone would be using cell phones?

The bends and turns of time and technology are often tough to forecast. For some things in our lives, we are OK with large scale and mass-production, but for other things, we very much want professional expertise as well as reliability, convenience and the personal touch. Where do dental laboratories fit in all of this? We would be very interested in hearing your thoughts.


 
     

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.

"It is a rare thing to find someone in IT who has technical skills along with sales and business skills. Elaine and her company are great to work with and she is a great person to have in your corner. I highly recommend Mainstreet Systems and Elaine."

Shane Purnell
Phoenix Business Systems
MO


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