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September 2011

DentaLab NewsSeptember 2011
from Mainstreet Systems & Software

FAQ  DentaLab News

 

Fall Training and Other Autumn Events

Group training: For those who learn best through in-person training, we had scheduled two dates for group training here at our offices in Pennsylvania.   For the second session on Monday, October 24, there is still space available.  You are welcome to come even if you have not yet licensed DentaLab for QuickBooks and even if you do not participate in our User Group/Service Agreement program.  The fees per person are $150 if you have an up-to-date service agreement; $220 if you do not.  This fee includes lunch and refreshments.

October release: When not handling your telephone calls and other requests, we have been working earnestly in the background on the next release, targetted for early October.  The most siginificant enhancement will be the new connector between QuickBooks and DQB, which provides for much greater speed and for more fields of information.  We think you will also like the new features for more fine-tuned scheduling, case labels and quality control. 

Windows 8 preview: At the Build developers conference this month, Microsoft provided a preview of the upcoming Windows 8.  This new operating system will feature two views, one the Classic similar to Windows 7 and the other a new Metro view with many of the same touch features as the new tablets and smartphones.  Windows 8 is not ready for general release, but you can see a preview on YouTube. 

DentalRx demo: This demo is hosted on one of our own servers and was taken down temporarily from our website while we were reconfiguring our systems here.  There has been quite a bit of interest in online prescriptions and we want to let you know the demo is now back up again under Products and then DentalRx.

For your marketing , customer service and business development: We began this summer on a new design for the Customer Center in DentaLab for QuickBooks and will begin program development soon for the next release.   This summer we also took on a custom project for a company that provides sophisticated online manufacturing software.  In conjunction with this, we developed synchronization with SalesForce, the #1 web-based CRM system that can be used with a wide range of devices including desktops, notebooks, tablets and smartphones. We are now exploring the possibilities of synchronizing DQB with SalesForce, much like we did with Intuit six years ago that lead to the highly successful synchornization of dental lab case management with QuickBooks, the #1 system for accounting and financial management in the world.  

Autumn combo specials:  We are offering two combo specials, effective until October 31, 2011.  

  1. For the single user DQB license plus the image scanning supplement, we are offering a 20% discount, which reduces the license fee from $1000 to $800 (USD).
  2. For the combined barcode supplements for case tracking, shipping, and quality control plus technician productivity, we are offering a 25% discount, which reduces the license fee from the standard $1600 to $1200 (USD).
 

    Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  Is integration with QuickBooks the same as synchronization?

A:  No, synchronization has many advantages over integration, as it provides for transferring information both in and out of QuickBooks, for keeping the links for the various tables and the transaction records coordinated and accurate at all times. 

QuickBooks originally provided for integration through the creation of IIF files at intervals to bring information created in other systems into QuickBooks.  In our legacy systems, this was the only choice and required very careful, often manual, coordination between the two systems and remembering to integrate at the correct times.  Intuit has not dropped the use of IIF files, but discourages it.   Synchronization was introduced in 2004 and provides many benefits, including these:

  • Synchronization means that separate systems now work hand-in-hand as though they were one. It is a step above integration via export/import steps.
  • The standards, methods and look and feel are coordinated so that once one learns one system, it is easy to continue on with the other.
  • Data is typically entered only once, eliminating the time and errors involved in multiple entries for the same data.
  • Updates are immediate, as there is no need for exporting from one and then importing into the other at specific intervals.
  • Data is not lost or mismatched due to forgetting to export and import or to enter at more than one point.
  • Synchronization brings together the benefits of mass-marketed software funded by millions of users with the benefits of expertise involved in a smaller but more specific industry.
  • Synchronized software results in a richer, more comprehensive, more complete set of features at an affordable cost.

Q:  Will Mainstreet be switching DQB from a desktop platform to one that is web-based?

A:  There is currently a great push in computer technology to move from the traditional desktop systems to what is being called the cloud or web-based.   Cloud-based systems can be public or private or a hybrid mix.  We are carefully monitoring this trend as well as listening to our customers to determine what they would prefer.  We are also monitoring the safety concerns involved with entrusting information to the internet.

Our first venture into the cloud was with DentalRx for online prescriptions and other internet-based communications between the dental office and lab.   This  is essentially a private cloud with the lab providing the hosting and security.   Our next venture may be synchronization with SalesForce for marketing, business development and customer service. Intuit has already coordinated with SalesForce to provide a limited amount of integration with QuickBooks and if we proceed, we would be adding the features of laboratory case management and analytics.   These are two areas where there are definite benefits to having web-based communication. 

On a custom basis, for labs with multiple production locations, we have helped setup virtual private networks (VPN) which use the internet for remote connections into DentaLab for QuickBooks.  

We would like to hear your thoughts on these trends in technology.

      With the same look and feel of QuickBooks.

Oh the things you can do...

Very often in the sheer busy-ness of their days, labs do not realize the capabilities already built into QuickBooks and DentaLab for QuickBooks that can make their lives easier, that can help to develop their business, that can serve to provide better communications with their customers, that can make it easy to stay in compliance with ever-increasing regulations.  Here is a sampling:

  • To provide a special service or to land a contract, in QuickBooks you can create a report for a specific customer to review their transactions, choosing the fields, the date range, adding a custom title, and then memorize it for ongoing use.
  • To honor special requests and assure that everyone who is involved has the information, you  can record alert messages.   For ongoing special instructions, you can setup preferences by work center or item in DQB that will be available during case entry, available for viewing, and included on work tickets. 
  • Either on an ongoing basis or upon special request, you can email invoices, statements and other documents from QuickBooks.  For any form or report generated by DQB, you can create a PDF version that can easily be emailed and read on any computer with the Adobe Reader that comes with the Windows operating systems.
  • Through QuickBooks Merchant Services, you can process credit/debit cards and have the payments posted to the correct invoices all in one transaction to save time, assure accuracy.
  • For compliance with federal and state/province regulations, you can setup standard procedures, generate case histories, track who performed the work and whether there were any issues and how they were resolved, record the specific materials used in each case and provide a ready report on these through materials disclosure.
  • Through the DQB image scanning module, you can scan the prescription and any other relevant document, as well as accept graphic images and other documents from the dental office, take a digital photograph of the completed work and make these part of the case record for very fast, easy retrieval and reference.
  • For customer service and business development, you can record all communications in each customer's activity log and provide reminders for yourself to fulfill promises, to remember to take the next step, to carefully document conversations and responses.

And there are many many more....we hope you will take a little break from time to time to think about these possibilities, to work with us to explore the ways your software can provide many ways to make it easy to take on new challenges, to keep your customers happy and coming back, to save money and make your business more profitable.

Assurance above all

Over the years, we have developed a business model for our support programs that is based on these goals:

  • Assurance that our users will have skilled technical support to keep their systems running smoothly and accurately
  • On-going education and guidance
  • Keeping up with advances in both computer technology and dental laboratory management
  • Supporting governmental regulations to help labs stay in compliance
  • Giving our customers a voice in the development of the software
  • Opportunities for customization to meet unique needs
  • Maintaining fairness to our customers in access and use of these services
  • Providing these services at affordable rates while maintaining financial stability

All of these elements are built into our service agreements, which also define the responsibilities of both parties.   While many labs appreciate the assurance and excellence this business model provides, we find that some try to impose unworkable demands such as unlimited support for themselves or unlimited free service,  to hold us responsible for hardware and software components of their computer system that are provided by and proprietary to other vendors, to forget their own responsibilities involved in the success of their systems. 

While there have been many companies (now numbering in the mid-thirties) that have tried to provide software to the dental lab industry and failed, we have been able to be here when you need us because of our support programs and the values they uphold.  We are always interested in hearing from all of you on how this program can be of even greater service to you, whether it be suggestions for new features, new venues for training and communications or any other ideas.

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Customization is available for all products.

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

"I use it [DentaLab for QuickBooks] exclusively, and have for about three years now. I would be happy to talk to you about scheduling, but the people to go to are those at Mainstreet. If you're considering a system, part of that system is the service available. Try them out, I have found them to be quite helpful and patient over the years."

Devaughn Fraser
Highland Dental Lab
Alberta, Canada


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