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February 2010

DentaLab NewsFebruary 2010
from Mainstreet Systems & Software

FAQ  DentaLab News


It's a White White World

Our local Chester County farmers predicted a wallop of a winter this year...and once again, they were not wrong.   Here in the Northeast of the USA, we have had two back-to-back blizzards and now have over 72 inches of snow.  Plus lots of long icicles and even a "frozen fog" with forecasts of more snow to come.

But we here in Harleysville were luckier than many hundreds of thousands who lost power and heat during storms.  We were able to continually provide service to you from our home computers and telephones during the worst of the weather and are now back in our offices.

Just before the storms, we launched the first of our webinars on QuickBooks and DentaLab for QuickBooks.  We will continue to build these both for showing prospective labs how these can fit in with their operations and for additional training for labs that have already launched the system.  Because many of you tend to slow down a bit on Friday afternoons, we will begin scheduling these toward the end of the standard work week.  These are interactive sessions in which we get to talk to one another while you get to see our training system in action on your computer screen.

Please call or email to let us know if you would be interested in participating in one of these sessions and if there is anything you would particularly like to see.

Upcoming Group Training Sessions

Contrary to our famous Pennsylvania groundhog Punxatawney Phil, The Chester County farmers have also predicted an early spring.   We are not quite ready to schedule spring dates for our DQB Group Training sessions, but would like your input on these, both for dates and content.   We have been holding these on Mondays so that those coming from a distance can travel on Sunday.   We typically wrap up mid-afternoon on Monday so those wanting to be back in their lab by Tuesday can have time to return.  


    Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: We just bought a new computer with Windows 7 - does DQB work with this?

A:  Yes, we did the testing and made the adjustments in time for both the release of Windows 7 and DQB Release 1.20 in October 2009.   Staying compatible with current technology is one of the important reasons you should be mindful of keeping your system up-to-date.   If you are going to be using Windows 7 and not sure about compatibility, go to Help/About in the top menu of DQB.  If you are at release 1.20 or 1.21, you will be OK.  

Q: Will you consider adding automatic backups to the standard DQB?

A:  Yes, we have had several inquiries on this.  Please let us know if you too are interested in having this feature. 

Q: We missed your offer for annual reviews in January - can we still do this?

A:  Yes, although the start of the year was a very appropriate time to do annual reviews, you can request that we do this at any time during the year.   We found in the group that already had a review, there was only one lab that was doing backups correctly.  Some were holding back on using standard procedures, which can add a lot of speed, accuracy and completeness to case entry.  In every review, we were able to give coaching and education.  

      With the same look and feel of QuickBooks.

Can You Continue to Do What You Do Best?

When it comes to good ideas, we have found the publication Options - for Dental Laboratories that mean Business one of the best.  Now its publisher Jim Poulliard has reached beyond the print format to create a blog that will focus on marketing, sales, and business development topics and welcome your comments and ideas as well.  To tune in to this blog go to:

From a post on the blog titled "Future Tense:  Easing Technical Transitions" here is a sample: 

"I've posted previously about how changing technologies are impacting a couple of business communities I'm particularly familiar with--print media (in which I work) and dental technology (which I've written about). Since those earlier posts, I've been thinking about how technological advancements can challenge your ideas about who you are and what you do. Maybe that's why some people resist them.

In dental technology, CAD/CAM fabrication offers an alternative to decades-old production techniques. There's been an opportunity in this field to work with digital technology for several years, and an explosion of new options within the last five years. The technology, equipment and materials have all continued to evolve. Although ownership of digital systems is an expensive proposition, outsourcing options make the technology accessible to all labs.

Steady growth in both acceptance and demand has led many laboratory owners to believe that embracing new technologies is essential to the long-term success and stability of their businesses. Some have become enthusiastic CAD/CAM proponents. Others still prefer conventional methods but are also working with digital technology. And then there are the holdouts. As technology marches on, those marching with it are increasingly perplexed by those who are standing still. What are they waiting for?

It's reminded me of something I heard years ago from a very successful dental laboratory owner. He believed some lab owners got stuck in place, not growing their businesses as they could, because they thought of themselves as artisans rather than as manufacturers. The definition became a kind of mental roadblock.

For many dental technicians, what they love about their work, their point of pride, is the painstaking custom craftsmanship they bring to each unique case--their artisanship. A sales pitch wholly focused on the manufacturing advantages of CAD/CAM fabrication doesn't speak to how these technicians approach their work. On the other hand, resistance to change has consequences. Progressive dentists want to work with progressive laboratories. Labs experienced with state-of-the-art technology use that as a sales tool. Equipment and materials for old technologies will become obsolete as demand declines.

There's just no winning a tug-o-war with the future.

That said, all the marketing hype about signing up for the digital revolution is never going to be as persuasive to the holdouts as helping them come to terms with a digital evolution of their businesses. Many dental laboratory owners who have already successfully combined an artisan mindset with new digital tools find that the automation of part of their production process--most commonly, using CAD/CAM to build the substructure of a dental restoration--saves them time they can then devote to the unique, artistic requirements of each restoration.

For dental laboratory owners who built their businesses on quality custom craftsmanship, I doubt that the most compelling argument for incorporating digital technologies will ever be the opportunity to increase production, or the superiority of new materials, or the fear of being left behind. The most important thing for them to hear, understand and believe is that digital technologies can enhance what their businesses do best."


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Kathy Lovett
Lovett Dental Laboratory, Ohio

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