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

 

DentaLab News

 

from Mainstreet Systems & Software...

August 2008

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After Working in a Closet...

Well, it really wasn't a closet, but it felt like it in our overcrowded offices in Souderton. We are very happy to be mostly settled in our larger quarters and back in Harleysville again. We had to do without electricity for a few days and the internet for a few weeks, and there were lots of interruptions in our phone service. Ironically, in our move the smaller companies came through with wonderful on-time service, the giant companies kept no promises, kept changing stories, kept us on the phone for far too many hours.

Our next mission will be to setup a training room so that we can meet more of you and give more hands-on training for those who learn best that way. We are still targetting October when the weather and foliage in Pennsylvania are terrific, but will be keeping tabs on how the rest of the building construction goes before we can announce a date. In the meantime, please let us know if you are interested in coming and if you have preferences on dates.

Once again, here's our new contact information for your records:

 

  • Mainstreet Systems & Software Inc.
  • Village of Lederach
  • 656 Harleysville Pike, Suite 250
  • Harleysville PA 19438 USA

Our main telephone numbers:

  • SALES 1-800-257-4535
  • SUPPORT 1-215-256-4535
  • FAX 1-215-256-1594

Our email and internet addresses remain the same:

August Happenings

In August, we will be installing for the first time the new DentalRx that links directly to DentaLab for QuickBooks. The willing pioneer is Maher Odeh of AMA Dental Lab in Florida, who very nicely already had a website to serve as a host for their dental offices to enter prescriptions, preferences and pickup requests via the internet.

On August 8, in coordination with the opening of the International Olympic Games, we drew the winners for our Lucky 8 contest. Coincidentally, these included one small, one medium and one large lab. Cheryl Shelton, our first winner, submitted an entry for Randy's Dental Lab in Tennessee, a 3-technician denture lab. Her responses to our questions corresponded to most others, saying that what they valued most in computer software was ease of use. The second name drawn was Kevin Crane who owns a 7-technician lab in New York with a striking crane logo. He is an experienced QuickBooks user and responded that what he likes best about DQB is materials disclosure and tracking. The third name drawn was Peter Snow Cao who is Marketing Manager for a 200+ technician lab in Chengdu in the Sichuan province of China. He is very enthusiastic about moving up from Excel-based tracking for their cases to DQB because it "works well" and has been interested in having a work ticket with dual languages and in email notifications. As you recall, Sichuan was the area of China that experienced great devastation from a major earthquake this past May. Congratulations to all of you!

It turned out that we were pioneers in the Village of Lederach for fiber optic communications. It took a multitude of phone calls and visits, but we now access the internet through Verizon FIOS at lightning speeds.


 
     

Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.


 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Should the analysis reports for product and customer groups in DentaLab for QuickBooks match the figures for sales reports in QuickBooks?

A: Typically no. This is because the DQB analysis reports are based on work scheduled dates and the QB sales reports are based on invoice dates. For most lab cases, the work requires more than one day. In addition, in DQB some of the items involved in producing a case may not be billable items.

Q: Can you change your Find functions to search for matching text anywhere in the field, rather than just at the beginning?

A: This capability already exists in DentaLab for QuickBooks. You just need to place the percent character % in front of the field. For instance, entering %clinic for a customer will find all the customers having clinic somewhere in their name. We have on our programming to-do list to change this to checkboxes to the right to indicate whether to search anywhere in the field for a match, but this is not done yet. This will eliminate your having to remember the % prefix.

Q: Do you synchronize with accounting systems other than QuickBooks?

A: In our legacy DentaLab systems, we provided for exporting accounts receivable and sales information to import into 14 different accounting systems. This is different than synchronization, which means two systems work hand in hand. At this time, we only synchronize with QuickBooks. Seeing our success with DQB, Microsoft asked us to consider doing something similar with their Dynamics/Great Plains software and Sage did the same for Simply Accounting. Dynamics/Great Plains is a more involved accounting system, with steeper learning curves and pricing. Simply Accounting is an easy to use system and very popular in Canada. We would like to hear from you if there is an interest in having us bring DQB capabilties to these systems or any others.


 
     

With the same look and feel of QuickBooks.


 

64-Bit Computers Are In the Stores

64-bit computers have been around for quite a while, but were generally targetted toward large sophisticated systems. When we first began offering the DentaLab software, computers worked at 16 bits and then for a number of years, the 32-bits were the standard. Just this past month, however, two labs who had requested the DQB trial simply went to their local store to purchase a new computer and came away with a 64-bit station. At first, the SQL database that comes with the trial would install but would not go into action. We worked with Heidi Johnson at Encore to test all the surrounding components to DQB and found that we had to download a 64-bit version of Microsoft SQL Express to get it to work.

The bit level of a computer defines the addressibility of the registers that are used to find locations in the computer. From all that we have read, it looks like the 64-bit level is slated to become the new standard for personal computers and their operating systems.

Are You a Misoneist?

From our experience, lots of people are. This means someone who fears change and innovation. As computer professionals, we are not allowed to be one of these as there is a steady beat of technological innovation and competition in today's world. One of our missions as well as Intuit's is to make the changes reliable and easy to implement for just about everyone.

In the four years since we began offering DentaLab for QuickBooks, we have encountered a number of changes that caused us to adjust our software to changing times:

  1. Microsoft dropped support of MSDE, the Microsoft Desktop Engine for SQL, in favor of SQL Express.

  2. Image scanning of dental prescriptions and other case documents became widely accepted and affordable to many labs and the doctors also started sending labs many more graphic images associated with cases.
  3. Almost all labs connected at least one station to the internet, allowing this to become a major way to communicate not only with us but also their doctors and vendors.
  4. Crystal Reports, originating from a Canadian company and for many years the best reporting tool, was bought by a large corporation that began to outsource their development work to India. Many new problems and incompatibilities ensued, causing us to switch to .NET Stimul Reports and SQL Server Reporting Service for DQB reports and forms.
  5. QuickBooks Enterprise was introduced for larger organizations that needed more than five concurrent QuickBooks users and became a major success in the mid-range market, allowing us to offer DQB to the largest of labs. At this time QB Enterprise can be used with up to 20 concurrent users and DQB can be used with up to 200 concurrent users.
  6. More labs determined that having dual languages would be the best way to assure that their technicians understood the doctor's instructions, so both we and Intuit expanded the item descriptions to 1000 characters to accommodate dual languages as well as introducing lab notes that could do this too.
  7. As bacteria-laden cases and lead found in cases became publicized internationally, the concerns for patient safety caused dental and dental lab organizations as well as the government to increase scrutiny and compliance requirements. The need for better computer record-keeping of materials, sources, dates, technicians and procedures involved with dental prescriptions put us into action to add more features such as the materials disclosure set to the those already there for standard procedures, quality control and technician tracking.
  8. All of the additional software components surrounding DQB advanced their versions, including the IBiz connector to QuickBooks, the Microsoft .NET framework, the Microsoft operating system from XP to Vista, SQL Express data engine from 32-bit to 64-bit.

Experience has taught many of us that the best way to handle advances in technology is in small steps, at a pace that allows time for learning and adjustment.


 
     

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.

"DQB....best bang for the buck."

Joey Breaux
Breaux Dental Prosthetics
Texas, USA


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