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August 2007

 

DentaLab News

 

from Mainstreet Systems & Software...

August 2007

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DentalRx

 

Customer-Driven Innovations

We have always been very fortunate to have a core group of dental labs that take a keen interest in the development of the DentaLab systems. They have provided a steady dialog of information, ideas and recommendations that keep us well informed on their changing needs. We in turn provide communication on what is workable, what is new in technology and ways to use technology to make your business a secure, successful one. Here are some of the innovations coming your way as a result of this continuing dialog:

 

  • Lab Notes--Not Only in English! A number of years ago Root Labs in Kansas was the first to request a table of standard lab notes for their custom system. Then Pacific Dental Arts of California requested for their custom system a table with both English and Chinese phrases. Nu-Life in Brooklyn put in a request for Spanish, since many of their technicians were more proficient with this language. As international interest has grown in DentaLab for QuickBooks, so too have the requests for many other languages. To address this growing need, we determined it was time to start introducing features in our standard release that would accommodate this. With the next release of DQB, we will have a new table called Lab Notes. Each note can have up to 100 characters. Separate notes can be added for separate languages such as Light Occlusion or one note can accommodate more than one such as: Tight Margins / Margenes Apretados . These notes can be derived from or inserted into Case Plans or Doctor Preferences. They can also be used in Case Memos and transferred to the Work Ticket.
  • Case Plans This was a feature used by some labs in our legacy systems, but not as widely as some others such as customer alerts. As DQB has increasingly been the choice of larger labs, specialty labs and outsourcing labs, the call for having a case planning feature grew. There will be in a new tab in Case Entry called Case Plan, which will be indexed by the case number and will be free-form. We recommend that you include your date and initials along with the text for each phase of the plan, but this is not required. Very nicely, whenever appropriate, you can insert standard phrases from your table of Lab Notes. Each case plan will be available for viewing as well as printing separately from the work ticket. A lab can choose to send these out into the lab or outsourcing location or not.
  • Changing Prices, Piece Rates by % These are new convenience features to make increasing (or decreasing) piece rates or custom price levels by a percentage very easy and very speedy. In addition, you can choose to not round or round to .05, .10, .25, .50 or 1.00.
Our special thanks to these labs and their personnel for their part in driving these upcoming innovations: Clear Advantage, Killian Dental Ceramics, Nu-Life/Brooklyn, Pacific Dental Arts, Princeton Laboratories, Root Labs. Look for these and a number of other enhancements in the fall release.
Oh Canada!
We are certainly pleased that we took up Reg Goulding's invitation to speak at the Dental Technicians International Conference in Canada. While there, we were able to make use of the wonderful facilities of Niagara College for our own workshops on DentaLab for QuickBooks and it was fun to meet a number of you in person. We will be organizing and documenting the ideas we gathered while there and presenting them in an upcoming newsletter.
The DTIA is providing a new positive approach to the dental lab industry, focusing on business and leadership. We will be helping to moderate their forum whenever software or computer related issues are presented. If you would like to learn more, go to www.dtia.net.
For quite a while, we have also been tuning in and helping whenever software-related issues come up on the Internet Dental Forum (IDF). This is an exchange of questions, ideas and outlooks (often casual and funny) among lab owners as well as lab-related businesses and dentists. To check this out, you will need to go to www.internetdentalforum.org to subscribe or send an email to dental-lab-moderators@internetdentalforum.org.

 


 
     

Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.


 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: Can DentaLab for QuickBooks be used with touch screens?

 

A: Yes, touch screens can be used as an alternate to whatever functions use the left-click of a mouse. Touch screen monitors typically cost in the $600-$700 range and are most effective with limited-function menus such as those found in restaurants and for directions and information at parks, museums, etc. Some of the labs using DQB have one or more touch screens for use by their technicians and other personnel. Most of our labs prefer, however, to use barcode scans for technician entries as they are very fast, accurate and cheatproof.

 

Q: Can we customize our work tickets?

 

A: This is probably the most frequently asked question of all. And the part of the system that we customize the most. The answer is yes, work tickets can be customized. They can be made as simple or as complex as you would like and you can choose to have various fonts, colors, logos, fields of information, check-off boxes and pretty much whatever else can be done with Windows-based graphics and printers. You can also customize case labels for DQB. In QuickBooks, both invoices and statements can be customized using their library of templates plus their built-in layout designer.

 

Q: Can you recommend computer equipment for us?

 

A: We can provide guidance for you on choosing your computers and their auxiliary devices such as scanners, barcode readers, label printers, etc. We can review proposals you receive for equipment to tell you if the components meet minimum or desired requirements. We can sometimes tell you from our own experience or from what we hear from other labs whether certain vendors usually provide quality and reliability. We do not sell equipment nor do we receive compensation in any way from hardware manufacturers. We always leave the ultimate decision in your hands and it is up to you to do sufficient research and review when making your buying choices and purchase agreements.

 


 
     

With the same look and feel of QuickBooks.


 

Thank Heaven for Ebay!

We are increasingly hearing that the only place left to find replacement equipment compatible with DOS is on Ebay. And there you take your chances as most of the time, there are no guarantees or warranties. Typically, as computer equipment and operating systems become obsolete, they will be on sale for a short while, then they are passed on to organizers who put together flea market and other computer shows with bargain prices. Then there comes a time when whatever is left over is sold to developing countries. And after a time, even they do not want the old technology.

For a number of years, major manufacturers such as HP and Okidata offered printers and other devices that were compatible with both DOS and Windows. And now, this practice has stopped. In spite of all this, we have over 60 labs known to still be using the DOS-based DentaLab/PC system, mostly citing how reliable, easy and dependable it has been. It is hard for them to come out of this comfort zone.

With DentaLab for QuickBooks, we have made it our goal to provide even greater ease of use and reliability, while bringing in many worthwhile features that were not available in the DOS era such as image scanning for prescriptions and other case documents, capturing graphic images sent by the doctors and making them part of the case record, email notifications, easy check-offs to choose cases for work ticketing and billing, and many others,

 

Myth Busters

Along the way, some of the other companies that offer dental laboratory software have been notorious myth creators. One would tell labs (on the QT of course) that they had inside information that we were about to go out of business. Another, guessing that labs would never take the time to do any research on this or even know what they were talking about, told prospects that only they had SQL-based technology. Now we are hearing that some are telling labs that they are too big for QuickBooks and DentaLab for QuickBooks. Not true! Here from Intuit is a list of myth-busters on QB Enterprise Solutions.

 

  • Myth #1 QuickBooks is only for small businesses. Reality: QuickBooks is the #1 financial management software for firms up to 500 employees. And now QB Enterprise Solutions is a powerful QB product for larger growing businesses--and has already been chosen by over 38,000 companies.
  • Myth #2 Businesses don't switch from other mid-market applications such as Sage MAS 90 and Microsoft Great Plains. Reality: Over 6000 businesses have already switched to Enterprise Solutions from other more complex solutions. Former users of these complex solutions realized they were just too complex and too expensive to maintain and they were just a hassle.
  • Myth #3 With QuickBooks, you are on your own for migrating from exisitng data and getting set up. Reality: Intuit offers a data conversion service that can help you convert your business data from a number of applications. In addition, the Intuit Developers Network (of which we are a part) can also help with data conversions.
  • Myth #4 QuickBooks lacks critical accounting features like an always-on audit trail. Reality: With the largest user community of any accounting software, including 230,000 professional accountants, Intuit knows what first-class accounting managers need and strives to deliver it with unmatched ease of use. Long story short: Don't worry, the audit trail is there and it is always on.
  • Myth #5 QuickBooks is not secure for more sophisticated, mid-size businesses. Reality: It has advanced user permissions to give you exceptional control over how users access your system and distinct permissions for individual reports, accounts, lists and activities. You can further customize access levels to view-only, create, modify, delete, print or any combination.
DentaLab for QuickBooks adds dental lab case management to QuickBooks Pro, Premier and Enterprise Solutions for years 2004 and later, including versions for Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and the United States of America. Like QuickBooks, its special qualities provide the unique ability to be used by very novice to very expert personnel.

 
     

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.

"Your software and support have been great through the years. I have nothing but great things to say about you guys!"

Jeff Thomas, CDT
Aesthetic Arts
Louisiana


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