In 2004, New Image/Laboratory Solutions became the first 3M ESPE Lava Milling Center on the East Coast. Victor Harp, an up-and-coming waxer/finisher, learned the system and wowed everyone with how quickly he picked up the digital process. "He was like a kid in a candy store playing with the machine and got great results right from the start," says Fay Ashley, Customer Relations Manager.
The laboratory immediately began accepting outsourcing cases and Harp was chosen to head the department which has since grown to seven staff members and produces up to 600 units a week.
The success of the department has a lot to do with Victor's work ethic. "Some people just punch the clock but Victor really cares about the work that goes out," says Ashley. For instance, when the new division was first getting off the ground, Victor—a one-man department—frequently put in 70-hour workweeks. More recently, the lab has been experiencing power surges due to weather which cause the milling machines to shut down. "We have a three-day turnaround time so I'll stay late or come in on weekends to be sure the machines get turned back on and the work is getting done," he says.
Harp has also earned the respect of his close-knit staff and part of his secret is not just coaching from the sidelines, but rolling up his sleeves and getting in the game. For instance, after assigning cases and taking care of any customer service issues, he looks for bottlenecks in the workflow and jumps in wherever necessary, from scanning to shading zirconia, to make sure no one is overloaded and all the cases head out the door on time. "Some managers wait for a problem to come to them, but I like to look for where a problem might arise and head it off before it starts," he explains.
But if you try to give him the credit he deserves, he won't take it. "I'm so grateful to Jeff Paulen [Owner] for giving me this opportunity and to all the guys in my department for all their effort and hard work," he says. "I'm nothing without this team."