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“We knew we could no longer build a value proposition around technology that can be procured by anyone,” says Lab Owner Mike Hill. Read about his strategies for engaging clients on a new level.
Argen Digital’s ArgenLink is a new cloud-based, drag and drop file transfer system customers can use to order SLM, printed and milled restorations, temps and digital models. It streamlines the ordering process by allowing laboratories to export cases directly from 3Shape’s Dental Manager into ArgenLink in seconds, without any data entry. (It will soon be available for exocad and DentalWings.)
All the order information—from lab customer details to manufacturing preferences and material selection—is dynamically populated in the system. A dashboard offers real-time updates throughout the manufacturing process, including case status, package tracking, case reorders and cancellations. Laboratories also have the ability to batch upload files of various material types and restoration sizes concurrently, including split files.
“Previously, we had to do a lot of data entry and upload the files one at a time. Now, we just enter the case numbers, drag and drop the...LMT Communications, Inc. · October 14 at 11:31 am
In the last year, MicroDental has acquired four laboratories and is actively seeking additional laboratory members. Here, MicroDental President Len Liptak details what the company is looking for and the benefits it offers.
Respondents to LMT’s 2015 Marketing Survey are using new as well as tried-and-true strategies to cement client relationships, boost loyalty and increase referrals.
Read More 6 minute read
Recently, I was talking to industry veteran George Obst about my startup years and our conversation got me thinking about how the priorities of a small business owner shift as the business matures.
In the beginning, it was all about having enough customers to pay the bills while at the same time making sure our products—the magazine and then LAB DAY—met the needs of the market so we could be sure we’d keep being able to pay those bills. Those were the years of 100-hour workweeks.
Once we established our market presence, we continued to build market share and market value. Four years after starting LMT we introduced Synergy, a magazine for both dental technicians and dentists. We knew it was “an idea ahead of its time” but were eager to push the envelope because we truly believe in the importance of the team effort. However, the market wasn’t receptive and we learned quickly what made us happy and what made us unhappy in our work lives; we folded it after...
In our industry, where the economic barriers to entry are relatively low, it’s all too common to hear stories about employees leaving a lab and then winning that lab’s customers, or worse, other staff members. Of course, from the lab owner’s perspective, the former employee didn’t win the customer or staff member; in his mind, he was stolen!
Like some of you, we too have been burned and it’s happened often enough that we were compelled to change the way we deal with new hires. In California, the Department of Corporations allows companies to pursue financial damages if it’s determined that protected, confidential information has been taken from your business, so we incorporated two documents into our hiring process to legally protect us from employees pursuing our customers and staff once they leave our lab.
Our goal in this process is not to create overly burdensome legal documents but rather to simply obtain a mutual understanding of our company’s...
CAP is now Amann Girrbach’s premier partner in North America, selling the complete line of AG equipment, material and tools, as well as enhancing training and customer support.
By taking risks, going outside their comfort zone and reinvesting in their laboratory, Greg and Diane Nash, Owners of Nash Dental Lab, have managed to thrive in an ever-changing laboratory market.
A few months ago, my son turned me on to two television reality shows that I feel have merit for anyone who runs a small business or aspires to: The Profit, on CNBC, showcasing the multi-talented Marcus Lemonis, serial entrepreneur and CEO of Camping World; and Fox’s Kitchen Nightmares, starring restaurateur, Chef Gordon Ramsay. Unfortunately, Ramsay retired this series at the end of 2014. Fortunately, there are 123 episodes you can watch on YouTube.
Say what you will about reality TV; these shows are like business school by proxy.
Without knowing any particular market, Lemonis attempts to save failing businesses—from beauty shops to sporting goods—assessing, reinventing and turning them around. For Lemonis, whose mantra is “people, product, process,” the buck stops with integrity. If the business owner(s) he comes to help is not completely transparent with him regarding the status of his business—financial and otherwise—he walks away—but...
The digital transition in labs is not just about fabrication processes; the operational side of the lab business is changing too. Speakers at the 2014 DLOAC Meeting look at the continuously evolving role of the technician. Also: new products announced at the show.
When Massoudah Faiz opened her C&B laboratory in Atlanta a decade ago, she made working chairside a core part of her business model. Currently, she works chairside for 70% of her cases.
“In the U.S., dentists and labs tend to be divorced; they need to get remarried. We’re a team and we need to understand each other better,” said Gordon Christensen, DDS, MSD, PhD, during his keynote address at the Argen Corp.’s Future of Digital Dentistry event in November.
- December 2014
In September, exocad America acquired the dental assets of SensAble Dental and can now distribute and further develop SensAble’s software for designing metal and flexible partial denture frameworks.
- November 2014
Jeff Smith, CDT, offers a step-by-step look at how to fabricate esthetic, monolithic restorations in a single press sequence with subsequent glazing using Ivoclar Vivadent’s new IPS e.max Press Multi.
LMT taps into the expertise of 20 laboratory owners and managers from all size labs who’ve successfully incorporated digital technology into their operations, offering real-life experiences and tips on what we all wish we would have known before taking the plunge.
Read More 19 minute read
- October 2014
“It’s people who make the difference, so my business philosophy is based on taking care of the staff first. If you do that, I believe everything else will come naturally,” says Jayme Hong, CEO and Chief Rainmaker at IDOC.
- September 2014
Nearly three quarters of respondents to LMT’s exclusive 2014 Wage Survey have taken cost-cutting measures related to personnel in the last two years, citing unpredictable workflows, pricing pressure from dentists and other low-cost labs, and an increase in business costs.
Read More 6 minute read
In addition to technical support, marketing personnel and a scanner repair area, 3Shape’s new east coast facility in Warren, NJ, features training rooms for technicians to test drive and learn about 3Shape scanners and dentists to get familiar with the TRIOS Digital Impression System.
- May 2014
Just in the past six months alone, there have been a number of laboratory acquisitions by private equity portfolio companies. While private equity is not new to our community, portfolio companies are poised to make the most of our changing industry.
Coming from 23 states and 12 countries, LAB DAY East 2014 attendees—more than 900 lab owners, managers and technician--were upbeat and optimistic about business and keenly interested in adding new materials, products and equipment to their labs.
- April 2014
Using genuine Laser-Lok® and non-Laser-Lok® abutments and BioHorizons components and materials, Core3dcentres NA now offers BioHorizons Custom Titanium Abutments and Hybrid Abutments to customers across North America. All related Core3dcentres workflows have also been fully validated by BioHorizons, including the use of Core3dcentres scan bodies by the technician and the dentist.
“This agreement further enhances Core3dcentres in-tegrated ‘Practice-to-Lab’ Digital Implant Solutions™ for customized implant prosthetics, supported by continuing education, extensive technical assistance, and validated workflows,” said Mark Maier, President, Core3dcentres NA, noting that the service will be available to other Core3dcentres locations around the world in the future.
For more information, call 888-750-9204, email InfoUSA@core3dcentres-na.com or visit www.core3dcentres.com.
Owner: Dr. Dick Barnes
With more than 200 employees, it’s no easy feat to get everyone focused on the same goal. But at Arrowhead Dental Laboratory in Sandy, UT, a singular mission gives meaning to the work day: helping customers become better, more productive dentists.
“Dr. Barnes emphasizes building relationships first and building the business second; that’s really become our culture here,” says Peggy Nelson, the lab’s Director of Business Development. “In fact, the bond between the people who work here and our customers is what makes work not a chore, but an incredible privilege every day.”
Because a team is assigned to each dentist-client to ensure personal service, technicians truly feel a part of the dental team and an extension of their practices; dentists become more than just a name on a case pan. Seminars held every other week also give the staff a chance to bond with clients, since technical support representatives...
Lake Forest, CA
Owner: Mike Hill
Many labs call themselves“studios” but Mike Hill, Owner of 6-11 Dental Studio, makes sure his lab lives up to the name. Treating his technicians like artists is his number-one priority in his employee-centric laboratory.
To inspire creativity and productivity, each ceramist’s work area is a spacious 12' by 12' and set up like an individual studio, with divider walls to create a sense of privacy. The L-shaped workstations are twice the size of typical workbenches, giving technicians ample room to spread out, and the 19-ft-tall ceilings add to the roominess.
Technicians are encouraged to play their own music, burn incense or scented candles and really make their workspaces their own. Interruptions are kept to a minimum and, even then, non-technical staff and managers try to wait until there’s an obvious breaking point for the technician. “There’s an unwritten, although clearly articulated, rule that it is very...