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February 2011

DentaLab NewsFebruary 2011
from Mainstreet Systems & Software

FAQ  DentaLab News


February-A Good Month to Stay Indoors

Most of us here at Mainstreet have been working diligently on our background projects this past month. It has been an exceptionally brutal winter here in Pennsylvania this year and there were several days we could not make it into the office due to snow and ice, and several days when we had to wait a few hours for the roads to be cleared for travel.

For Charles (aka Chuck), most of this month was spent in the trauma unit at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and then in Grand View Rehabilitation.   When a tractor-trailer in front of his automobile braked suddenly, he too braked and spun out of control on a batch of black ice underneath an overpass.  We thank all of you who sent warm thoughts and prayers and want you to know he is definitely on the road to recovery.  

All of this plus the weather set us back a bit, but here we are publishing this month's newsletter just under the wire while many of you are in Chicago for the industry's big trade show and seminars.

But Down Under, It is Summer

Our next DQB release 1.26 will likely be remembered as an Australian work of art.  Lead by suggestions from Jason McGregor of Giorgio Dental Laboratory in Victoria, Australia, the next set of enhancements will bring a new level of sophistication to DentaLab for QuickBooks.   One of the new enhancements will allow you to indicate in Options/Case Settings which fields will be required in case entry, with new controls for scanning images and determining who entered each case.  Some of the current screens will be divided into tabbed screens to keep each set of choices simple and straight-forward.

This set of enhancements is about half-way completed and is targeted for release in April 2011. 

An Afternoon with Scott Cook, Founder of Intuit

It was the humble mission of making his wife's checkbook easier to balance that lead Scott Cook to develop Quicken, which became Intuit's first product.  Now, twenty-eight years later Intuit has become a multi-billion dollar business with its industry-leading products such as QuickBooks and Turbo Tax.

As part of Intuit's Inner Circle, Elaine was invited to participate in a webinar with Scott Cook and found she and Mainstreet are very much in tune with Scott's philosophies and outlook.  We will be telling you more details in future newsletters.  For now, we can tell you that the desktop version of QuickBooks will remain a top priority within the company but will gain more capability for access via the internet and the newer devices such as smartphones and tablets.  QB Connect is the first step in this process.   Due to its high acceptance in the marketplace, QuickBooks Enterprise will be enhanced so that users will no longer outgrow it once they reach the level of more than 30 users.  QuickBooks Online has been very limited, particularly for manufacturing companies and those interested in inventory tracking, but will gain more capability in the future.  

Stay tuned...more to come in upcoming newsletters.


    Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  How do you determine what becomes part of the standard release and what is custom?

A:  When suggestions come our way, whether from users or from ourselves or from changes in technology, we review whether the suggestion would be applicable to many of our labs.  Some are very obvious and need little thought, such as additions for government compliance and technical advances from Microsoft or Intuit, so these are funded by our revenues from licenses and service agreements and become part of the standard release.   In contrast, some are definitely applicable to just one lab, such as special reports and forms.  Others that fall into the custom category are those that are in conflict with the basic design of the system, for instance scheduling in four-hour segments rather than full days or complicated rather than simple straight-forward workflow.  If the suggestion falls in a gray area, we ask other labs known to be insightful users for their opinion to help in making our determination.

Q:  Can you issue credit memos in DentaLab for QuickBooks?

A:  No, credit memos are a function to be performed in QuickBooks.   DQB handles only invoicing from a case.   You can, however, give a discount or credit (minus amount) within an invoice created from a case in DQB, but the invoice total can not be negative.  See the article below on Giving Your Customer a Price Break. 

Q:  Can our case invoices include a message back to the doctor?

A:  Yes, near the bottom of the invoicing screen is an entry for invoice memos.   You can use the keyboard to enter a specific message to be printed on the invoice and/or easily include text from your DQB lab notes for standard messages.   If you have a message that you want to appear on all invoices, you can have this setup in your QuickBooks invoice template and/or your DQB invoice format.  

      With the same look and feel of QuickBooks.

Giving Your Customers a Price Break

If your customer is asking for, or you have negotiated a price break, there are several ways this can be accomplished:

1) Specifically for negotiated prices is the DQB Price Level feature.   You would set up a Price Level either by a percentage decrease or by entering special prices for specific items and giving the Price Level an appropriate name such as Health Partners Group or Discount 5%.  In Basic Lists/ Customers, the Price Level can then be assigned to one or multiple customers.  Note that the default prices are always established in QuickBooks Items.

2) When invoicing in DQB, you can enter the Billing Percentage near the top to have it applied to each billable item in the case.  The default is 100%. but you can override it with another amount such as 90% to give a 10% discount.

3) You can establish one or more items in QuickBooks and set the Item Type to Discount, which means it will always have minus sign.   When you want to clearly show on the invoice that a discount is being given, this is the desired method.   You can insert one of the discount items anywhere in the invoice, for example directly under the item being discounted or at the bottom to discount the entire invoice.   Be sure in the DQB screen creating the invoice that the quantity is not zero, that the description reflects the nature of the discount and, if you want to include the discount in the calculated total near the bottom, set the discount amount to a minus value, e.g -10.00.   If your calculations become at all complicated, remember there is a calculator icon near the bottom right to help you.

Keep in mind also that if the case has been marked as a Remake, anytime you enter a minus line amount or a line amount that is less than the standard amount, the offset will be reflected in the Remake column as lost revenue.

Also note that if you are reducing the customer's balance for early payment or for a volume discount, this is best done in QuickBooks at the time you are posting a payment since it does not apply to a specific invoice. 

Are Online Prescriptions Finally Getting Off the Ground?

In dental laboratory software there have been a number of worthwhile ideas that have taken a long time to get off the ground.   An example of one of these was image scanning.   The DentaLab systems were the first to offer this, with only a handful of labs accepting the idea in the beginning.   Then as the years went by, more and more realized the many benefits this provided and it has now become our #1 supplement.

The same has been true of online prescriptions along with greater online communication between the dental offices and the labs.   Our offering called DentalRx has in recent months garnered a lot of new interest.   For those using DentaLab for QuickBooks, it offers several significant advantages over other systems currently available:

1) It ties in directly with the DQB database to enter a new case submitted by the dental office.   There is no need for re-entry from another source.

2) It makes use of the standard procedures already in place to make the transition from the doctor's directions to the steps needed to develop the case in the lab, including as much detail as a lab desires.  Each standard procedure in DQB has an indicator to say whether or not the procedure is available to DentalRx.   If desired, the standard procedure names can reflect whatever systems the doctors are using such as ADA codes for the USA, other codes or names specific to a practice or location.

3) The cases submitted via DentalRx are clearly identifiable so that the lab can review and/or fine tune them as needed.  Prescriptions can be submitted both online and as paper copies. 

4) In addition to online prescriptions, DentalRx provides for pickup requests and case lookups by the dental office. 

5) DentalRx is a secured system and operates over the internet within a private cloud between the dental office and lab.  The lab controls access and authorization.

6) DentalRx is licensed for a one-time fee with no per-prescription charges.

7) DentalRx can be and has been customized for special needs and integration with other systems.

We have also worked with DDS-Weblink and Seagate on an alternate system that would tie in with more dental practice management systems and would involve close integration and information exchange between generalists, specialists and laboratories.  DDS-Weblink decided not to use the ADA system or standard procedures, but is instead working on new standards for communication.  This will be a system hosted by DDS-Weblink.  

Please call us to discuss your thoughts on having your lab offer this important service to your customers. 

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