The DentaLab System... serving dental laboratories since 1979
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May 2008


DentaLab News

from Mainstreet Systems & Software...

May 2008

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Product Costing


This May Be the Best Time!

The economic stimulus program in the USA has received much attention from every type of media. Because these broadcasts have concentrated on the funds directed toward individuals, many do not realize that the stimulus program also has provisions for businesses.

The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 has revived bonus depreciation, providing a generous boost for many businesses in 2008. Under the Act, all businesses, large or small, can immediately depreciate an additional 50-percent of the cost of certain qualifying property purchased and placed in service in 2008, from computer software to plants and equipment. Moreover, the 50-percent bonus depreciation allowance can be taken together with any Code Sec. 179 expensing, which also increased for 2008.

The 2008 Economic Stimulus Act enables all businesses to take a bonus first-year depreciation deduction of 50-percent of the adjusted basis of qualified property purchased and placed in service for use in your trade or business after December 31, 2007, and generally before January 1, 2009. Bonus depreciation is allowed only for: (1) tangible property that has an applicable recovery period of 20 years or less, (2) water utility property, (3) computer software, and (4) qualified leasehold improvement property. It is not allowed for intangible property, with the exception of computer software.

If you have been wanting to upgrade the computer systems for your laboratory, do not let this opportunity to save money go by. Check with your accountant to see if 2008 is the right time for you.


Upcoming Holidays

There are two major USA holidays coming up. We will be closed on these days, but will check our answer call service and support email. The holidays are: Memorial Day, Monday, May 26 and Independence Day, Friday, July 4.


What Rhymes with 8?

Last summer we had a very successful Lucky 7 contest in conjunction with the special once-in-a-century date of 07/07/07. This also served to bring in a lot of good input on what dental labs would like to have in their computer software. This year we have another special date. It is 08/08/08 and the start of the 2008 International Olympics being held in Beijing, China. And in the spirit of the high hopes that come with the Olympics, we have put on our thinking caps about sponsoring another special contest.

In our staff meetings, we have played with what could rhyme with 8. One possibility is Nate, our lead technical support person. He said "naah, don't use my name" and came up with investigate the good things computers can do for you. Another possibility was simply great.

By the time our June letter is published, we will have made our decision and let you know the details. If you would like to see the results from last year's contest, go to our website, then to Support and Newsletters and select the July 2007 newsletter. Let us know too if you come up with another rhyme or theme that corresponds to 8.



Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can you fix my computer?

A: No, that is not what we do. We can give you guidance on your hardware, help you distinquish whether a problem is equipment, operations or software, review measures you should take to assure continuity. But essentially we are software developers and from our many years of experience, we strongly recommend that you work with a local hardware/network company who can give you quick hands-on help with your equipment and its setups.

Q: How can you tell if a case invoice was deleted?

A: An invoice generated from a DQB case will have the same number of the case, as well as the customer and patient names. If the invoice is not in the QB transaction list for the appropriate date period for the customer, go to QB Reports, then Accountant & Taxes and run the deleted/voided transaction register for the appropriate time period and customer. Review this to determine if the invoice was deleted. Another alternative in QB is to void an invoice. This marks the invoice as Void and changes the line amounts and total to zeroes. You may want to establish a standard in your company to record in the Invoice Memo field an ID for the person making the deletion and the reason. QB retains the original date of the invoice and the date it was voided or deleted and shows both in the register.

Q: Is the enhanced Materials Disclosure set ready?

A: Yes, the programming and alpha-testing have been completd and this important update will be in our next quarterly release, which is scheduled for July 2008. We have issued it to several beta-testers and are awaiting further feedback from these labs. If you are anxious to have this and are willing to be a beta-tester, please give us a call.



With the same look and feel of QuickBooks.


Case Movement

Traditionally the DentaLab systems have focused on the Standard Procedures for building templates to guide and track the worksteps for technicians within the lab. In recent years, tracking case movement has also become a concern as more work is directed to other locations such as milling centers, labs with specialized equipment, offshore and outsourced work centers.

To track dates and locations for case movement, we have guided a number of labs to setup new items that describe the movement. Typical examples might be:

  • Shipment to ABC Milling Center
  • Receipt from ABC Milling Center
  • Shipment to XYZ Lab
  • Receipt from XYZ Lab

Having these at the item level can provide a highly detailed tracking of dates. As with other items, it is always your choice whether to mark these (in Basic Lists/Items) as billable and/or technician items. In additiion, you can setup work centers to reflect locations outside the lab as well as inside. The work centers are a major category for selection of due reports, late reports, lab summaries, shipping and other reports based on schedules.


Statistics Tell a Story

When you are running a business, you inevitably develop gut feelings about what is happening in your business. Sales are up or sales are slackening, which products are successful, which are waning, which customers are sending the most work, which have a high level of remakes, who is getting behind on their payments, whether the new technician is working out well and on and on and on.

Many times, these gut feelings are correct, but once in a while they are not. It is when you take the time to review your actual statistics, the measurements of your business, that you can confirm your thinking or adjust it to the facts. In both QuickBooks (QB) and DentaLab for QuickBooks(DQB), there are a tremendous number of reports with flexible dates and criteria to give you a look at your business from a variety of viewpoints.

For analyzing your case production, we think the Analysis set (from DQB - Reports in the Navigation frame), provides the best detailed statistics item by item for work in progress, work invoiced, and remakes for product groups, customer groups and work centers. For reviewing your technicians, again go to DQB-Reports and then Technician Productivity. QuickBooks also provides a very comprehensive set in its Reports Center with selection from major categories such as Customers & Receivable, Sales, Company & Financials.. Included near the top is a button that leads you to tutorials to help you learn how to make the most of their comprehensive reporting capabilities.

By taking some time to review our own statistics, we learned that about 60% of those who license DQB already had QuickBooks, with the net result that about 40% license QB because of DQB. We had the gut feeling that most of those who transferred to DQB from other dental laboratory software came from Case Manager, but to our surprise, most were from Lab Manager and then next LabNet. Case Manager and Jenmar tied for 3rd place. Altogether there were 21 other systems, including many general programs such as Excel, Outlook and Peachtree. We thought our systems were installed in 7 countries, but learned it was actually 8. We tried out the QB sales graphs over a series of months and found that every other month our sales spike high and then come back to a medium level, then go back up again. We have not yet figured out the why of this story.

If you have developed a unique but worthwhile report or report set from the myriad of choices and would like to share your ingenuity, please send it in.



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 to learn more about Mainstreet Systems and our software designed specifically for dental laboratories.

"I use it [DentaLab for QuickBooks] exclusively, and have for about three years now. I would be happy to talk to you about scheduling, but the people to go to are those at Mainstreet. If you're considering a system, part of that system is the service available. Try them out, I have found them to be quite helpful and patient over the years."

Devaughn Fraser
Highland Dental Lab
Alberta, Canada

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