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February 2008

 

DentaLab News

from Mainstreet Systems & Software...

February 2008

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DentaLab News
Product Costing

 

Leapin Lizards!!

2008 is a Leap Year and we will have Leap Year Day on February 29. Leap Year Day has been around since 45 B.C. That 2053 years! Leap Year Day was added to our calendars to keep the calendar in line with the seasons.

Some of you have asked if this could affect the DentaLab schedule or reports. The answer is no, unless you have deliberately made this a non-workday, it will be a scheduled work day. If you take a look at one of the many calendars available in DQB, you will see that February 2008 shows 29 days. And because the month starts and ends on a Friday, there are still the standard 21 work days and 21 sales days this month.

 

Good News for Startups

Intuit has released an in-depth research report on the future of small business, predicting that artisans will re-emerge as an influential force in the coming decade, using technology and globalization to help them expand. The report predicts that the emergence of a barbell-like economic structure will drive new business collaborations, creating greater opportunity and profitability for small business. There will be giant corporations on one end of the barbell, a relatively small number of mid-sized businesses in the middle, and a very large group of small businesses balancing the other end.

As this structure becomes more prevalent, there will be increasing opportunities for small business to flourish in niches left untouched by the global giants. The small organizations will be better positioned than large corporations to provide customers with highly targeted, customized and relevant services and products. Technologies will make running a small business easier than ever and, as a result, small businesses will reclaim manufacturing, fueling small-scale specialized production.

Each month, we continue to add to our lists new startups in dental laboratories. Some follow the traditional entrepreneurial path of going on their own after having gained experience at another lab, some want to have a try at outsourcing abroad, some are dentists wanting their own lab, some want to create a specialty lab that will be used by other labs as well as doctors.

One difference we see in this entrepreneurial group is their eagerness to embrace technology, to view the computer and new forms of communication as valuable assets, essentially a very low cost dependable resource to help with marketing, communication, staying organized and managing their time and money very well so that they can concentrate on delivering top-notch work.

We have the Intuit report available in a series of three PDF (Adobe Portable Data Format) files and can send it to you upon request.

 


 
     

Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.


 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can you use your computer to take a look into mine and help me with this?

A: Yes, we can if you are set up for us to do this. You would need to set up your computer for remote access and then invite us to come in by giving us the appropriate commands and logins. This can be done via a variety of software products, such as Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection, LogMeIn, Real VNC, PC Anywhere. To work at a reasonably swift pace, you should have high-speed broadband service to your computer, such as cable, DSL, FIOS.

Q: Can you convert any of the data from my current system to yours?

A: We have converted information on customers, employees, items, and accounts receivable balances from many other systems, both dental lab and generic. QuickBooks provides for importing these from Excel and IIF formatted files. In our conversion work, we sometimes have to create one of these formats from another system. DentaLab for QuickBooks also has import capabilties from Excel formats for many of the Basic List records, such as doctor materials, tooth shades, case stages and types, quality control issues, ship methods. What works best is to have us take a look at a sampling of your data so that we can determine what can be converted electronically.

 


 
     

With the same look and feel of QuickBooks.


 

Good Manufacturing Practices

Currently, DentaLab for QuickBooks has many features to help meet the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) required by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and recommended by the National Association of Dental Laboratories (NADL). Case item materials including lot/batch numbers used can be recorded in both the case item description and notes. Analysis reports by date range are readily available from three vantage points for customer/items, product group/items and work center/items. The image scanning feature can be used to easily retrieve and track prescriptions and other documents related to the case. The system also provides for tracking which technician worked on each case item as well as any quality control issues.

We have been asked to add even more features related to safety of materials and GMP compliance. At this point we have developed our first specification for our programmers to add this to the standard DentaLab for QuickBooks release. This specification calls for adding specific material indicators, manufacturers, manufacturer codes or part numbers, and lot/batch numbers to the DQB item master records and transferring these to the case item records as they are used. A new search would be added that would provide for finding case items by any of the GMP fields along with a results report that can be viewed or printed. In addition, a case compliance report would be available for both use in the lab or to send to the doctor.

If you have any further suggestions for this new feature, now is the time to contact the DentaLab Support team. Please give us a call or send an email.

 

On Parsing

Parsing is a term we computer professionals use quite often but it may not be familiar to you. It means taking something large and breaking it down into smaller pieces. Most often, we do parsing when performing data conversions and when setting up searches, where we take a long string of text and move or compare just a piece of it.

Because we use this in our work, we tend to transfer this term to other things, particularly dividing our day into many little pieces so that we can take care of a lot of responsibilties: responding to customer requests, answering questions, putting on our Sherlock Holmes hats to try to figure out what might have gone wrong, researching and developing new specifications, program code and documentation, testing new features, checking for email messages, following up on those in trial stage, etc. etc. etc.

Over the years we have learned that when we are loaded with work but want to accomplish a particular new task, one best way to do it is to think in parsing terms. You can say to yourself, if I take 30 minutes of my day every day, that is 150 minutes in a workweek. If what I want to do needs about 10 hours or 600 minutes, I can tackle it in 4 weeks.

If you continually procrastinate on getting something done that would be of benefit to yourself or your lab because you are inundated with getting cases done and out the door, why not give parsing a try?

 


 
     

Customization is available for all products.


 

Product Costing
Knowing the cost of producing a product or service is essential to any business. This knowledge can become critical if faced with competitive pricing or with opportunities for new business based on meeting price requirements. Cost analysis is an important part of maximizing profits. At times it may uncover ways to reduce costs.

  • Estimate production costs
  • Allows for price experimentation, potential profits
  • Easy to understand samples included to get you started
  • Clear and comprehensive reports
  • Integrate with QuickBooks, DentaLab for QuickBooks, or create your own entries

 

Available now at a special introductory price.

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.

"I love this software…it is so amazing!"

Eva Boguslawski
Studio Visual, Illinois


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