The DentaLab System... serving dental laboratories since 1979
 
 
Support :: Newsletters

August 2009

DentaLab NewsAugust 2009
from Mainstreet Systems & Software

FAQ  DentaLab News

 

The Muggies of August

August in Pennsylvania is notorious for hot humid days and we are happy to be spending most of our time in air-conditioned offices working on our computers, talking to you on the phone.

We have been busy getting DentaLab for QuickBooks ready for the upcoming release of Windows 7.   This new operating system from Microsoft has already been released to manufacturers (RTM) in anticipation of its general release on October 22, 2009.  Like our peers who had earlier obtained beta versions, we are happy with this version.  In general, it is getting much higher marks than Vista and this is being attributed to having been fine-tuned by input from a large number of beta testers. 

We are targetting having the next DQB release, which will largely be dedicated to Windows 7 compatibility, ready for you in conjunction with Microsoft's release date. 

For those of you still using one of our legacy systems, Elaine Whelan (our main support person for these) will be in Mountain View, California, the home base for Intuit and Google, from September 1 through 6.  Please do not plan anything major for these old systems during this time period...but please starting thinking about making a transition to the new technologies.    

On September 7, Labor Day here in the USA, our offices wll be closed but we will check email for those in other countries.  

We have not yet set any dates for group training sessions for the fall months.   We have found that Mondays are a good time for these, as they provide for travel time on Sunday, just one day out of the lab, and the possibility of a return trip by late afternoon on Monday.   Let us know if you are interested and the date(s) that would be good for you.


Spreading the News

This newsletter was created and distributed with our newest software called Spreading the News.  For those who would like to give it a try, there is a free beta version available for download from our website www.mainstreet-systems.com.   Give us a call or send an email if you would like some guidance.  

 

    Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Sometimes the work centers on our work tickets are not in the same sequence as when we entered the case.   What can cause this?

A:  In Options, DentaLab Settings, there is a checkbox to indicate whether you want to combine items for a work center when adding Standard Procedures to the case.  If this is checked on, the program will rearrange the items on a work ticket to put all of the items for the same work center together, regardless of the sequence in which they were entered. If you do not want this to occur. check off (blank) this option.

Q: What will DentaLab for QuickBooks change in QuickBooks?

A:  When you create an invoice in DQB from case information, it is transferred into QuickBooks.   Once it is in QuickBooks, you can edit, delete or simply print the invoice. Any invoice transactions available when you request sales or accounts receivable reports in QuickBooks for a specified date range will be included in those reports.    For the QuickBooks invoices, you can transfer specific case fields such as patient name, shade, teeth, etc.  In DQB, in Options, Invoice Settings, you can specify which of the available case fields are to be setup as QuickBooks custom fields and transferred when you create an invoice. In a similar manner, you can also create purchase orders in QuickBooks and transfer case information in DQB versions other than the Starter.

In summary, 3 things are created:   custom fields, invoices, purchase orders

Q: How are you different from your competitors?

A:  There are several important differences.  We emphasize education through our many forms of communication, training, articles in industry journals.   Our main product DentaLab for QuickBooks synchronizes with QuickBooks, which means it works hand-in-hand using the same methods and principles, rather than merely exporting data at intervals.  We have programmers on staff who can customize upon request, who keep up with the latest technology, who can typically find resolutions to complex issues even when caused by other vendors, hardware defects or operational mistakes.

We always aim to keep our systems very capable, yet easy to learn, affordable, flexible and reliable, using the same philosophies and methods as Intuit does for backend accounting and financial management.   As a result, we are not inundated with support calls or buggy issues and have time to continually improve our systems, add new features and keep up with technology.   

      With the same look and feel of QuickBooks.

The NED2 Principle

NED2 in one mnemonic you likely have not heard before, but it is very common for those who design computer software.

NED2 is short for NEVER ENTER DATA TWICE.   Having to enter twice not only requires a lot of extra time and money, but also increases the possibility for mistakes, causing one set of information to not always match the other.  Often the updates are made at different points in time, again causing data to be out of sync.

As we talk to labs, however, we find far too many who do enter the same data twice and sometimes even more.   Some are trying to make use of inexpensive software or software bundled with their hardware, some simply do not know how to assure that one set of data matches the other.   We see some awkwardly trying to do case tracking with Excel, case scheduling with Outlook, case invoicing with still another software such as Peachtree, QuickBooks, Simply Accounting.  Then, for those doing marketing and contact management, there is still another such as ACT!. Constant Contact or IContact.   

One of the many beauties of synchronized software is that you do not have to enter data twice and multiple purposes or views of data are automatically updated in real time.  It is a concept built into DentaLab for QuickBooks that adds to its ease and accuracy while saving lots of time and money.  

Training Your Staff

There are many resources available for training your staff on use of the computer and DentaLab for QuickBooks.   Some of these include educational material on our website www.mainstreet-systems.com and on other websites from the other vendors involved in your computer system such as Microsoft and Intuit.   These include tutorials, white papers, newsletters, technical support teams and forums for questions and discussion.

Within DentaLab for QuickBooks and QuickBooks are user guides, available from the Help button.   This is also true for Microsoft and hardware vendors such as HP (Hewlitt Packard), Dell, Toshiba, Fujitsu and others.   You can enter a topic or even a specific question into one of the Internet search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing.

For those who learn best from another person, we offer low cost group training througout the year.   You can also arrange for onsite training at your lab.  For QuickBooks, there are many facilities that offer low-cost training.  

To assure accuracy and excellent customer service, you will need to add your own principles and methods when training.   Some points definitely worth considering for your list are these:

1) Performing data backups at least once daily on media that is or can be carried out of the lab.

2) Keeping a log of significant events, such as upgrades, new releases, issues, and keeping your system up-to-date.

3) Where to turn if questions or problems arise, for your hardware, network, software, operations, accounting and financial management.

4) How to handle customers, requirements for new entries, changed entries, how to distinquish customer accounts by checking location, telephone number, particularly for those with similar names so that each case is aligned with the proper doctor, how to handle group practices and individual doctors, how to change doctors if a case has been improperly assigned.

5) How to setup and monitor for proper taxation and discounting, if in use for your lab.

6) Your standards for standard procedures and their use in building cases, handling multi-stage cases, complex cases, unique doctor requirements.

7) How to use various communications capabilties such as doctor preferences by work center and by item, customer alerts, labnotes, case memos and case plans.

8) Your standards and timings for billing and materials disclosure, staying in compliance with government regulations.

If you need training yourself on any of these points, make good use of your service agreement and call us for help.

 

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Customization is available for all products.

Contact us at 1-800-257-4535 or www.mainstreet-systems.com.

"Very, very nice program!"

Ken Nichols
Aesthetic Dental Lab
Maryland, USA


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