Welcome to The BRIDGE, the social and information hub of the dental lab industry. Connect with industry peers and vendors, ask questions, sign up for events, review products, read LMT articles and industry news and more!
- November 2013
It's a perfect storm heading straight for your bottom line: the economic crisis, new technology, profit erosion, offshore competition and the changing demographics among your dentist-clients...
Read More 6 minute read
- April 2013
In the latest installment of Barry D. The Lab Guy, Laboratory Owner Mike Hill explains his strategies for protecting the bottom line.
- March 2013
Six ways proactive laboratory owners are keeping their customer relationships strong and the cases flowing in.
- February 2013
From consistency and good service to referrals and successful seminars, these tips and techniques help you maintain the relationships you have and find the customers you want.
Read More 9 minute read
- October 2012
The cost of labor can constitute as much as 50% of production costs in some laboratories, making it a key factor in determining the success of the business. One of the fairest and most effective ways management can reduce labor-to-sales ratios and remakes, as well as increase productivity is to implement a productivity incentive plan that financially rewards employees for their efforts to achieve these goals.
In many laboratories, profit sharing is either nonexistent or handled in an inconsistent manner. But when you have an established bonus plan that incorporates quality control measures...
- March 2012
Perhaps no single event in the last 100 years of dentistry has had a greater impact than the recent recession. Dr. Roger Levin explains how the economy is affecting your dentist-clients and what it might mean for their futures.
Declining profits and the loss of its largest client would send even the healthiest laboratory reeling. But as a result of its customer-focused plan, Jesse and Frichtel Dental Labs in Pittsburgh, PA, has emerged stronger and poised for growth.
Read More 6 minute read
Thanks to a number of strategic decisions over the past few years, Oldsmar, FL-based Knight Dental Group's annual output per technician has nearly doubled!
3Shape Co-Founder Tais Clausen offers advice for maximizing your competitive edge and taking advantage of positive market trends.
- February 2012
Have an ingenious marketing strategy? Innovative cost-cutting idea? New way to streamline production? Share your best business boosting strategies with over 3,000 of your peers on THE BRIDGE!
Faster, Smarter, Better: 6 Financial Strategies to Boost Your Business. Share Your Money Saving Tips Here!
Problem: My lab is tight on cash and I'm looking to better control my inventory costs.
Strategy: Keeping a tight reign on your inventory and not stocking a lot of extra materials can be a great idea—especially when it comes to high-priced metals and implant components. On the other hand, you can also save money by buying in bulk—especially for frequently used items like acrylic or ones that have a long shelf life, like teeth. Other strategies to save on inventory costs include combining multiple orders into one to lower shipping costs, taking the time to shop around for the best prices...
8 Faster, Smarter, Better Management Strategies to Boost Your Business: We Want to Hear Your Management Strategies
Problem: I'd like to implement pre-scheduling to help make our workload more consistent; we're overwhelmed one day and slow the next.
Strategy: Pre-scheduling—where the laboratory, rather than the dentist, determines the turnaround time for each case—helps ensure an even workflow, which minimizes the pressure of deadlines and enables a technician to focus on his product quality.
For example, some laboratories use a manual pre-scheduling system. Each technician has a designated block of time and pre-determined number of units he can handle per day. As cases come in, the office manager...
Read More 8 minute read
In this economy, working faster, smarter, better is the key to riding out the storm. Here are 6 easy-to-implement tips that can lead to a leaner, meaner, more efficient laboratory operation.
Problem: I feel like my staff is very fragmented, especially between departments. I need some strategies to inspire my technicians to act as a team.
Strategy: Have some fun. Encouraging your employees to have fun together and to develop relationships is an excellent way to foster mutual respect and teamwork. People who enjoy one another usually have a greater loyalty to each other and to the laboratory....
- October 2011
The primary objectives and responsibilities of an outside vs. inside sales rep differ and so do their compensation packages. Nick Azar offers average salary ranges and guidelines for commission.
- September 2011
Glidewell Laboratories is once again âcrossing the traditional boundaries of dental technologyâ with the opening of its 2,800-sq-ft, state-of-the-art training, education and technology demonstration facility.
The technology learning curve for both dentists and technicians is ramping up to a never-before-seen level, putting tremendous pressure on laboratory owners to educate themselves, their staff members and their dentist-clients. LMT looks at the indust
- April 2011
Are you getting the most from your precious metal scrap? Or are valuable dollars literally slipping through your fingers? Refiners share their hints for maximizing your scrap returns and elaborate on their services.
Establish regular scrap collection procedures and be diligent about sticking to them.
Look at all sources that may contain precious metal scrap like bridges, crowns, inlays, clasps, grindings, casting splash, sludge, sweeps, vacuum bags, crucibles, towels, rugs and ventilation systems. Even molds and investment waste can take in small amounts of gold during casting.
7 Tips to boost employee morale
To charge or not to charge for remakes is an issue that often divides lab owners. LMTâs exclusive Remake Survey looks at how your peers are handling cases gone wrong.
The first wave of out-sourcing began two decades ago with jobs for making shoes, cheap electronics, and toys departing to developing countries. It caused a huge blow to the U.S. manufacturing sector...
Five laboratory owners offer their strategies for keeping accounts receivable in check in this tough economy. Plus: red flags that should give you pause.
If you don't know where you're going, how will you get there? An exit plan is not just about the day you'll leave the laboratory, it's about setting long-term goals so the future doesn't sneak up on you.
Read More 10 minute read
Generation X is the term used to describe Americans born between 1964 and 1981âbut theyâve also been referred to as disloyal and demanding, especially by their baby-boomer managers. Generation gaps arenât new...