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December 2008

 

DentaLab News

from Mainstreet Systems & Software...

December 2008

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Drumming up Business

How can I increase my business? How can we get back to the level of business we had last year? In recent discussions we have had with labs, we have heard that increasing business has moved high on many priority lists.

Some have decided their approach should be to compete with faster turnaround and lower prices. Others have decided a better approach is offering more expertise and service to the doctors and letting them know through seminars, presentations, direct mail, email and phone calls.

And if you asked the doctors what they would like, what would they say? All of the above. One of the best ways to give more for less is to explore how technology can help.

One lab owner told us he plans to learn and keep in sync with the digital technology his doctors are using more and more. For this, the thing he wanted most in a new computer system was the ability to store digital images sent from the dental office and use these to produce excellent lab work. In addition, his own photos and scans of case documents could save time and provide reference for multi-stage cases or whenever a patient's history is needed.

Another excellent service to provide to the doctor is the ability to enter prescriptions and case notes via the internet, then have these records readily available when the case materials arrive for production. The dental office could use the same online system to check the progress and dates for their cases and to request pickups.

Another approach to better communication is to implement an email notification service to let doctors know which cases have been received and are in progress in the lab and which cases have been recently shipped. This results in time savings and convenience for both the lab and the dental office.

To help you get started, we are offering during the month of January 2009 these reduced license fees: Image Scanning Supplement $200, Email Notifications Supplement $200 and DentalRx Supplement $1200.

And for even more ideas on low-cost business buiilders, be sure to take a look at Options, a new publication dedicated to marketing to dentists and to other labs. If you do not already have a copy, visit www.katadamedia.com or telephone 860-485-0740.

What's New for QuickBooks 2009?

Two of the new features for QuickBooks 2009 instantly caught our attention. One was that the Enterprise version now is available for up to 30 concurrent stations using QuickBooks. Along the way, there was only one lab operation we had to turn away. This was because the lab along with their supply business required more than 20 persons working with QuickBooks at the same time. Intuit has been very cautious in each of its expansion to be sure that the increased volume of work could be handled with speed and reliability. The Enterprise versions have been very popular with mid-size businesses, resulting in increased requests to have more concurrent users. The number of application areas and activities that can be secured to limit access is now over 115. New inventory capabilities include multi-location, serial/lot tracking and barcoding.

The second item that may be of interest to international businesses is the new multi-currency feature. In addition to providing for multiple currencies for orders, invoices and payments, up-to-the-minute conversions for many countries are available. This is available in Pro, Premier and Enterprise versions.

For more details on what is new in QuickBooks 2009, visit www.quickbooks.com.

Once More...Our Holiday Schedules

These are the days our offices will be closed:

  • Wednesday and Thursday, December 24-25, Christmas
  • Wednesday, December 31 at noon, New Years Eve
  • Thursday, January 1, New Years Day

Because not all the labs we service honor these holidays, we will check for email and voice mail messages on these days.

We wish you all good times now and in the year ahead!


 
     

Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.


 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I start a new QuickBooks company file and still continue on with the case histories I've built up in DentaLab for QuickBooks?

A:If it is truly a new company, you should begin with a new QB company file and a new DQB database. If you are simply changing the company name, we can guide you through the steps needed to assure DQB synchronization and a coordinated license code.

Q: I bought a new computer that is 64 bit with the Vista operating system and am encountering new error messages.....what do I need to do?

A: To be compatible with 64 bit equipment, you need to make sure you have 64 bit drivers. On our website www.mainstreet-systems.com in the Support section, you will find new drivers for SQL that can be downloaded. For Vista, you have to make sure you install with administrator privileges. Our standard installation instructions include guidance prefaced by **Vista. We also have a written guide that covers uninstalling and moving. It would be best to call our tech support to review whether your DQB software or any of its associated software needs to be updated and for guidance through the steps to take care of all the system components.

Q: I am all thumbs when it comes to computers....what is the best way to work with you if I encounter an error?

A:We would recommend that you setup broadband internet service and then a remote connection service such as LogMeIn so that we could work with you right on your computer from a remote connection to our computer. This way we can see exactly what is going on with your system and you could watch what we do on yours. Typically, we also use the telephone during this type of support. Call our tech support line if you would like more details.


 
     

With the same look and feel of QuickBooks.


 

New Legislation=New Software Features

Triggered by concerns for patient safety, there have been many new laws either underway or already passed that are bringing new regulations to the dental industry. As a typical example, beginning January 1, Florida will require that the lab call the dentist if the prescription is not specific in its requirements and then record the results and use these to guide the work being done. In addition, the materials used and the locations where the work is performed must be disclosed.

If you have not already started in a good direction to comply with these regulations, you need to begin promptly. If you do not know the regulations, contact your state association or the National Association of Dental Laboratories (www.nadl.org) for guidance.

An extensive array of materials disclosure and other compliance features were added to DQB in Version 1.15.000 released July 2008. Check your About box from Help in the top taskbar to make sure you are at this version or later.

Custom vs Standard

These past few months have been busy with an above-average number of customization requests. Many are "small" requests involving changes to reports and forms, but some are "big" and typically involve unique ways of doing business or response on the part of labs to unique requests from their customers.

We are sometimes asked if a request could fall under user group funding, using service agreement funds to develop and test and then making the feature a part of our standard system. We try to evaluate each of these to determine whether it is unique to one or a very small number of labs or whether it is something that will be needed by many. When the number is small, but we have found two or three who have the same interest, it is also possible to use shared funding.

Examples of some that were considered unique were tracking student dentists for a university client, importing products and discount levels from a supplier's Excel worksheets, creating purchase orders from cases to be sent to outsourcers with special pricing.

Some of the requests that were considered applicable to many labs were the compliance and materials disclosure features, synchronizing QuickBooks jobs for use with group practices, more reports to view and classify items from various angles.

When you have a new idea or encounter special requirements, it is best to call us and start the discussions. We will explore the possibilities with you and if needed, do further research or check with other labs to gauge interest.


 
     

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.

"One of the big appeals for us was that they offered a true synchronization with financial management. Being new to the dental lab industry but having some experience and familiarity with QuickBooks made choosing Mainstreet easy. We love the fact that DentaLab syncs seamlessly and instantly with QuickBooks. We can print invoices directly from QuickBooks or DentaLab and we really like that flexibility. We can also confidently run reports through either system and the customization that both have is priceless.

Another aspect that drew us to Mainstreet was their ongoing support for business development and growth. As our lab began to grow and we added new staff, Mainstreet was instrumental in helping to make the transition easy. The ability to add as many users to the software as we needed was a huge advantage and they really took the time to train our staff. They also did a follow-up with our new staff several months later to make sure everything was working properly.

The ability to customize the software to fit our needs was another tremendous benefit. I would definitely recommend any dental lab that is looking for software to go with Mainstreet.
"

Evan Jaffe, MBA
Mabel Dental Lab, Ohio


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