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May 2012

DentaLab NewsMay 2012
from Mainstreet Systems & Software

FAQ  DentaLab News

 

May Days

This year, Memorial Day in the USA falls on Monday, May 28.   We will be closed for the holiday but will check on emails for those in other countries.

The April release, also known as DQB 1.30, has been successfully implemented in a number of labs and we are now working on the July release.   Here, from your suggestions, are some of the new features now under development:

  • Display of the invoice register, to provide for easier browsing and review within DQB
  • Highlighting the holidays/non-workdays wth color in the master schedule and weekly schedule graphic screens
  • Adding the actual shipped date and time to the status area of the case entry screen
  • A new Case Settings option to display the time along with the Entered, Invoiced, and Actual Shipped dates in the Case List, for completions in the Case Item grid
  • For the Pickup/Delivery report, add Days Office Closed from customer record and Time Requested from the case record
  • Adding more keyboard shortcuts to case entry...let us know if you have any suggestions on this 

Of these, two suggestions came to us from Australia, one from Europe and three from three different states in the USA.  

Planning for Windows 8

We've been keeping an eye on the plans for Microsoft's upcoming release of Windows 8.   This release will combine the best of Windows 7 with what is called the new Metro View that you have been seeing on the IPad and other tablets.  It is projected to be a more business-oriented operating system than Apple's iOS and Google's Android.  The potential areas related to DentaLab for QuickBooks for use of tablets would include these:

  • For use by in the lab to review work assignments by technician or work center, to record start and completion dates and times for case items, to record techncian notes for a case, and to review/edit other aspects of the case such as the case memo, case plan, materials disclosure, enclosures, doctor preferences and electronic images.  
  • For use by personnel calling on doctors to review and update the information currently found in the Customer Center. 
 

    Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  In the hopes of avoiding them, what are the most common  issues that need trouble-shooting?

A:  First we will tell you about the resources we use to help you trouble-shoot.   In our in-house License Manager database, we keep support logs on all of the issues presented to us by customer, date, and topic. We have setup advanced search techniques to find whatever we might be looking for.

For certain types of errors that can occur while you are processing, we give you the opportunity to send the detailed error message to us via the internet and this is stored in an area we call the weblog.   Whenever we determine how to handle a specific error, the issue along with the approach we have taken is also stored in a database which also has advanced search capability.

Next we will tell you the most common issues we encounter:

  • Network setups and configurations.   In our installation guides and user manual, we publish information on how to do this.   Sometimes we find that implementation consultants do not follow these guidelines; other times, we just need to provide extra guidance on doing this.
  • Authorizations and permissions.  For certain tasks, the Windows operating system requires administrator privileges.   For QuickBooks, there are also requirements for working with integrated applications such as DentaLab for QuickBooks.   Then in both QuickBooks (QB) and DentaLab for QuickBooks (DQB), your administrator can setup security levels through logins and passwords.
  • Not having QuickBooks loaded when synchronization is requested or having the wrong QB company file loaded or having moved the location of your QB company file.   DQB checks to verify that the QB company is the correct one for your case management.
  • Lockouts.   These can take various forms.   If another user has a record open that you are now requesting, you will simply get a message that this has occurred and you will not be able to work with that record until the other user closes it.    For the custom fields being sent from the DQB case to the QB, a lockout can occur if the QB customer record containing the field is being edited or left open for another purpose.  Lockouts are a normal occurence and safeguard that multiple users are not trying to update a record at the same point in time.  
  • Conflicts between software versions and hardware incompatibilities.   Both software and hardware have a multitude of technical details and requirements.   Sometimes, users make the mistake of thinking that everything goes with everything.   This is not true....you need to pay attention and comply with specifications.
  • Guidance with updating and/or expanding software and hardware, including operating systems, device drivers, remote connections, QuickBooks.
  • Interruptions caused by automatic updates by other software such as the Windows operating system as well as power outages, device failures, etc.

To avoid these, however, you would need to make time stand still, never expand or upgrade, run without security...naah, impossible...better to assure that you have an excellent support program readily available. 

Q:  What are some of the ways you customize your software?

A:  For DentaLab, the most frequent requests we get for customization are for the forms, particularly the work tickets, quality control feedback, and case/shipping labels.  Next in frequency are the reports.  We sometimes take care of utility tasks that were not taken care of in the normal way, such as marking cases prior to a specified date as finished or their invoices as printed.  DentaLab essentially handles work specification and scheduling for a custom job shop and we have received requests to adapt it for other industries such as orthopedic replacement parts; upcoming will be an adaptation for high-end custom framing. 

For DentalRx, just about everyone who has licensed this has asked for customizatons to make it a unique offering to their customers and to incorporate the service into their website for convenience.

Q:  The report feature is great and I cannot wait to see what else you are going to provide.  Are you still taking on ideas?

A:  Yes, we are continually encouraging new ideas as this is one of the prime features of our user group/service agreement approach.   Some of the ideas have come from our staff and some from changes in the industry, but many have come from our customers over the years.  These smart-thinking customers help not only themselves but also benefit many other dental labs. This is one of the reasons why the DentaLab systems are so well accepted and so useful for so many labs.  Because trouble-shooting takes only a small portion of our time, we are able to continually develop and fine-tune our software and train, educate and guide on its use. 

   With the same look and feel of QuickBooks.

Privacy and Security of Information:   Two Very Important Concerns

There have been many articles touting the benefits of cloud computing--for access from anywhere, for giving up concerns about local hardware and software, for more venues to communicate with customers and vendors--and these are all true and worthwhile.   What is also very true and worth your while is the need to also be concerned about the privacy and security of your company information. 

Whenever the media focuses on new and promising technology, there are inevitably a number of offerings from those who want to jump on the bandwagon.   Some will be reputable, knowledgeable and ethical, others will not.   Here are some pointers on situations that require caution:

  • Be sure if you store your information with another company that you can always have access to it and that there are strong measures in force to prevent unauthorized access to it.
  • Be wary of agreements that hold you hostage forever, that require you continue to pay continually or suffer the consequence of losing your data.
  • Although these might be tempting when you are first starting, do not agree to a payment plan that is based on your revenue.  This would absolutely mean that the provider is examining your business transactions to determine this, subjecting you to inappropriate scrutiny and invading your privacy.
  • Know where your information is being stored and the security measures that are in place, as well as what happens if your provider defaults, if there is destruction or failure, or if you no longer want to be part of the business arrangement.

Many organizations of all sizes and types have been reviewing whether to move into cloud computing.  Most have determined that it is vital to maintain control of their core business information and to proceed cautiously into those areas where cloud computing can be very beneficial. 

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Customization is available for all products.

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

"Thanks for a great program!"

Dan Stenkilsson
Middle East Dental Laboratory
Dubai, UAE


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