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June 2012

DentaLab NewsJune 2012
from Mainstreet Systems & Software

FAQ  DentaLab News

 

What's New in June

Here at Mainstreet we have had a number of custom projects under development as forward-thinking labs are providing more services for their customers and boosting their marketing efforts to develop more business.   We are happy to be able to support their efforts for themselves, for the dental lab industry and for the economy.   Also underway has been the next release DQB 1.31 targetted for mid-July, which will include a number of more detailed time-tracking features that have been requested by our customers.  Some examples:

  • You will be able to specify in Options whether you want to display along with the date in the case lists the time of day that cases were invoiced and shipped.  These can be compared to the date and time of day the dental office requested return.
  • In the case item grid, you can also elect to display the time day of day each item was completed.  This will be available for all case completions recorded via barcode scanning and for case completions recorded via keyboard entry after DQB 1.31 is installed.
  • For Fedex shipments, you will be able to connect directly to the internet to track the progress dates and times of each shipment.
  • The pickup/delivery report will also show the time of day the case was requested.

The next release will also include a number of new convenience features, some coming from suggestions submitted by DQB users and some from our technical team:

  • The DQB invoice register, previously available only for printing, can be displayed on the screen.
  • The pickup/delivery will provide more information on the days each dental office is closed and the time of day each case was requested.
  • The graphic calendars for the master schedule and the weekly schedules will highlight in color the holidays.
  • For those who prefer the keyboard over the mouse, we have added more shortcut keys to navigate through case entry and edit.

Back in Action!

And a little deja vu....Sergey and Elaine, your original support team for DentaLab for QuickBooks, are being called back into action as everyone at the current tech support desks will be away for the first week of July.  For those who enjoyed talking to them, this is your chance to say hello again. 

We will be closed on Wednesday, July 4, for the USA Independence Day, but will check voice and email for those from other countries.

We ask that you not schedule any major upgrades or re-configurations involving DentaLab for QuickBooks or DentalRx that week.

 

    Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  Are some labs totally becoming paperless?

A:  There are a number working in this direction, so we would say less paper rather than paperless.   Some of the steps they have taken are:

More scanning of the paper documents that come their way so that future lookups are via the computer rather than retrieval and refiling of paper documents. 

Encouraging their doctors to submit prescriptions and graphics online.

Rather than printing work tickets, having enough computer stations available to display these on-screen.  To date, this practice has primarily been in the smaller labs where only a low number of stations are needed, but we anticipate that as tablet support is increased and costs are reduced, this will be implemented in more of the larger labs.

Paper in the form of shipping bags, boxes and labels is still needed.  Most labs still issue invoices and statements via paper, but some send via email.  We would recommend that for any documents needing long-term storage as opposed to transient use, strong consideration should be given to electronic storage.

Q:  We are in an area where we tend to get brownouts and power outages in the summer months when air conditioners are running strong.  Is there anything we should be doing to protect our computers?

A:  Yes, definitely.   You should have adequate UPS (uninterruptible power supply) installed and know the specifications as to how long these will protect.  A few years ago we were able to persuade the electric company to increase capacity in our area because the  ADP UPS system we were using also provided software to show spikes and brownouts over time.  Some of the UPS systems also provide for cleaning the power flow, which helps prevent brownouts.

You should also be rigorous in your backup practices to make sure you have at least one extra copy of your programs and data at regular daily intervals and then also have your staff trained and the information readily available as to how to restore if needed.   Be also mindful that computer and backup equipment have acceptable ranges of temperatures, so take caution not have them exposed to high heat in your lab or office or automobile. 

You can also call upon us to help in these endeavors.

      With the same look and feel of QuickBooks.

The Great Divide

We are hearing more and more from dental labs that they have come to view their customer base as having a great divide.  On one hand are the doctors who continue to value high quality in strength, esthetics, comfort and safety for their patients.   On the other side are those who value low cost above all else. 

Not wanting to compromise the high standards they have for the work coming out of their lab, they have asked us to put our heads together to see if their lab could develop greater efficiencies to reduce overhead to meet the pressures for lower fees.   Here is a sampling of some of ideas that came out of these discussions. 

  • Encourage the dental offices to submit their prescriptions and graphics online via DentalRx as well as lookup the status of their cases online rather than via the telephone.  This will provide more accurate clear prescriptions and reduce case entry costs and remakes.
  • Require advance credit card authorizations to assure more rapid payment of invoices and then have these post directly into QuickBooks to improve cash flow. 
  • Have some of the smaller labs in their local area do a portion of the work rather than expanding their own facilities and payroll or outsourcing work to distant locations. This will serve to help the local economy much needed by most dentists and help assure the quality and timeliness of the work.
  • Take the time to provide more training to their own staff to assure they are taking advantage of the many efficiencies already available through DQB, to avoid unnecessary time-wasting steps.
  • Develop good product costings and timings to aid in negotiations for price and turnaround times. 

A relatively small investment in software support and training can pay big dividends in the long run when it comes to meeting the challenges everyone is facing for their business.  Do you have even more ideas to add to this list?

 


An Invitation to Learn and Interact

In the last quarter of 2011, we began to assemble the start of an online blog dedicated to the dental lab issues that involve software.  This was designed to provide education, thought-provoking topics, and to invite your interactions and input.   It has been a background project, as we have a little extra time here and there, and we now have five topics:

  1. Patient Safety Compliance for Dental Labs....this covers existing and upcoming compliance requirements
  2. Dental Lab Case Scheduling....this provides an in-depth look at how automatic scheduling works
  3. QuickBooks Synchronization vs. Integration....this covers why synchronization is a major advance over integration and its many benefits
  4. Surrounding Yourself with Good People....this includes a look at a number of the online forums and blogs available for dental labs
  5. Artistic, Creative, Custom, Elite, Precision, Quality....these are the names of dental labs as well as the qualities they strive to achieve

We hope that you and all of those in your lab who might benefit will take a look and let us know your thoughts on these as well as any other topics you would like to have included.

The link to the website is:   www.dentallabsoftware.blogspot.com

Access is also available from our website under Support and then Knowledge Base.

 

If you wish to be removed, reply to this email with the subject "unsubscribe".

     

Customization is available for all products.

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

"DentaLab for QuickBooks is pretty impressive…so easy to maneuver."

Angie Guilbeau
Summit Laboratories, LLC
LA


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