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

 

DentaLab News

from Mainstreet Systems & Software...

October 2007

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DentaLab News
DentalRx

 

Foundations for Growth

Whether you are a brand new startup lab or you are a lab that has been in business for a while thinking about new possibilities, taking time to plan for growth is always a wise idea. Growth can come in many forms, sometimes building your customer base, sometimes going into new markets or new products, sometimes changing your business model. As its long-range goal, an increase in income and reserves is definitely in order.

One of the least expensive tools to provide a foundation for your growth is a good reliable computer system. Taking the time to set up an infrastructure of data on your customers, products and services sets the stage for your income. Next your vendors and purchases will be needed to keep a close watch on your business expenses. Hardware and software together costing in the vicinity of $1000 can now do what might have cost tens of thousands of dollars not too long ago.

From this basic data you have entered into your computer day by day, you should be able to:

  • request fast, flexible reports to help you analyze your business and profitability
  • determine your cash flow requirements
  • pay your bills on a timely basis to develop a terrific credit history
  • quickly see where changes and adjustments are needed
  • review your customers and analyze where you can increase the flow of income
  • determine the profitability of each product and service you offer
  • build your reputation for excellent quality and service
  • communicate this to customers and prospective customers

 

In our service and marketing to the dental lab industry, we encounter a number of labs that get weighed down in long hours, poor cash flow, jaded and feeling unappreciated and unsuccessful. We also see labs who have managed to jump out of this syndrome through better planning and willingness to try new ways of doing business.

 

A Proven Way to Improve Your Cash Flow

When credit card processing first became available to dental labs, we heard that a number of labs were reluctant to do this, citing that their doctors were used to paying once a month after receiving their monthly statement. Some labs began by inticing their doctors to pay by credit card to receive bonuses such as free travel and merchandise. Some labs requested that the doctors provide credit card authorization as a backup if a check was not received by a specified due date.

Now it has come to be that some labs require credit authorization as part of their agreement to provide service. Taking payments via credit or debit cards adds a good measure of predictability to your cash flow. With a computer and high speed internet connection, you can now process quickly and accurately. By having executed credit card authorizations with full information and security codes, you can reduce your rates and your possibilities of claims.

As part of the Intuit Developers Network, we can offer you QuickBooks Merchant Services, which include credit card and other forms of payment processing. Some of the advantages of this program to you are:

  • you can have the payments posted to your QuickBooks invoices in the same step
  • you can achieve lower rates and rapid deposit into your bank account (typically two days)
  • if you give Mainstreet Systems & Software with Elaine Whelan as the referral, there will be no setup fee, no application fee, no service fee for two months and no termination fee
  • customer service is available 24/7 with calls answered usually in 30 seconds or less
  • we can provide samples of credit card authorizations and show you easy ways to store/retrieve the security codes

Call Merchant Services toll-free at 1-800-601-3751 if you would like to learn more and/or apply.

 


 
     

Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.


 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What updates have you added to DentaLab for QuickBooks?

A: The list of enhancements for all of 2006 plus those of 2007 to date are posted on our website (mainstreet-systems.com) in the Support section. If you have an up-to-date service agreement, you can call to get the passwords to download these enhancements and our technical staff can coach you if you need this. If you do not have a service agreement but want to keep up-to-date, please call and we will work out a financial arrangement with you to do this. We strongly recommend that you do not let your system get way out of date so that it becomes impossible to support if needed.

Q: Can DQB provide for passing the patient name to QuickBooks so that it can be printed on the customer's statement with each invoice listed?

A: Yes, this is automatically done when you invoice a case in DQB.

Q: Can you provide a way to have work tickets printed in a language other than English?

A: Yes, after custom formats for work tickets, this is the most common request for the tickets (also called lab slips, work orders). Although QuickBooks is essentially based on English, you can setup item descriptions, lab notes, case memos, doctor preferences and case plans in alternate languages or have two languages side by side, perhaps with a character such as a slash to divide them. To provide the prompts such as Shade or Teeth in another language would require customization of the work ticket format. To date, some of the extra languages we have worked with have been Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish.

 


 
     

With the same look and feel of QuickBooks.


 

Harp...Harp....Harp

As we write this newsletters, many areas of southern California are experiencing major fires that are spreading fast due to high winds And at the very same time, we have had two support calls this morning in which we discovered the labs had not performed any backups of their data.

And so once again we must harp, harp, harp on the importance of making backups. There are a number of different backup media available at low cost, including zip drives, removable disk, CD's. In addition, there is software available to take care of automatic backups. Having a backup at a distant location can also be of enormous help when a widespread area has been hit with a disaster such as the California fires, the recent hurricanes that devastated Louisiana and Florida, the rains that flooded the areas surrounding the Mississipi River. One way to achieve long distance is to mail or deliver a backup copy to a relative, friend or bank in a distant area. Another way is to upload via a high-speed connection to a web-hosted backup service. These have proven to be economical, secure and reliable.

To help with DentaLab for QuickBooks backups and restorations, we have made several enhancements. One is to easily combine data and image scans into one compressed file, another is to have multiple backups by date, and to be able to request both backups and restorations from client stations on networked systems.

Call if you need guidance with backups and restorations.

 

Coming Soon: Product Costing

Working with Chris Kelly of Orthoplant in Australia and Greg Killian of Killian Dental Lab in the USA, we are nearing completion of a new offering called Product Costing. This new software will work with products (items) stored in either QuickBooks or DentaLab for QuickBooks, but can also work as a standalone by simply adding your product names.

The costing procedure will allow you to develop detailed labor and materials costs, as well as outsource, royalty/license, safety and shipment costs associated with each service or product you provide. You can play with pricing possibilities to determine what meets your profitability standards. Samples of typical laboratory items will be included to give you a head start on developing your own costs.

Should you be faced with competition or offered a new possibility for increased business that involves specified prices, knowing your costs and profitability is paramount. As you adjust costs, try out pricing possibilities and any other changes, the program will quickly and easily provide you with percentages of your direct and indirect costs and your profits.

If you interested in this topic (and you should be!), please give us a call.

 


 
     

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.

"Very, very nice program!"

Ken Nichols
Aesthetic Dental Lab
Maryland, USA


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