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...
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...
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...
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.
Read More 5 minute read
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.
Read More 5 minute read
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...
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...
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...
- March 2014
Owner: Don Albensi, Sr.
When Albensi Laboratories says its employees receive a Total Rewards Program, it means total. Along with paying 100% of the staffs’ medical, vision and dental coverage, the lab also provides flexible working hours, life insurance, a 401(k) program with matching and access to a financial advisor. The laboratory even offers a 12-week Fit Camp—including aerobic classes, strength training and advice on healthy eating—twice a year and pays 50% of the cost for each employee.
Benefits like these are what led the staff to vote the...
Headquartered in Seneca Falls, NY
Owner: Bruce Bonafiglia, CDT
200 employees across three locations
Striking a work-life balance is a constant challenge for many of us. How can I squeeze in a workout? Who will watch the kids? When will I fit in a haircut or get the laundry done? And what’s for dinner tonight? If you work at BonaDent, all of those answers can be found within the four walls of its new, state-of-the-art facility in Seneca Falls, NY.
BonaDent’s unique amenities truly make employees feel valued and taken care of: the in-house fitness center, onsite daycare, comprehensive...
Owner: Greg Thayer
Ever wish you had an extra day in the week to run errands, go to appointments, spend time with family or just chill out? The employees at Thayer Dental Laboratory have just that thanks to the lab’s four-day workweek adopted in 2005.
“Ninety-five percent of our technical personnel work four, 10-hour days and that provides them with a better balance for their personal life to enjoy hobbies, interests or time with children,” says Lab Administrator Robert Gitman. The laboratory compresses its turnaround times to meet delivery dates...
In the early 1980s, industry forecasters predicted a boon in implant placement, a prediction that was premature for a market still in its infancy. Inadequate education, inconsistent techniques and unpredictable results contributed to resistance on the part of many dentists and laboratories.
However, by the time we entered the new millennium, implant treatment became the first choice in tooth replacement thanks to technical advancements, long-term success rates, and the abundance of manufacturer-provided education.
The advent of CAD/CAM and cone beam technology further impacted the precision of...
- February 2014
LMT took six impressions of the same prep and anonymously sent them to six different laboratories along with prescriptions for non-precious PFM crowns; one was made in the Philippines. In this ground-breaking experiment in 1985—with LMT Publisher Judy Fishman as the patient—we wanted to know: could a dentist tell the difference between the $35 crown and the $75 crown?
Among our panel of dentists, no one crown was rated head and shoulders above the rest. Although not uniform in their assessments, the dentists could not discern which was the most expensive and which was the least; in...