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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.
An estimated 25 million adults in the U.S. suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. Oral appliances have proven to be a viable option for treatment and a huge opportunity for dentists and labs, but there are numerous complexities in the market.
Your website is a reflection of your laboratory; many times it’s the first impression a potential client will have of your lab. Jordon Comstock offers tips to keep in mind when designing your website.
A record-breaking crowd welcomed LMT’s LAB DAY East to its new Atlantic City, NJ venue on September 19. More than 1,020 attendees flocked to the Atlantic City Convention Center for a jam-packed day of education, networking and comparison shopping.
Social media is a relationship-focused, human-to-human marketing approach that can open up communication between you and your customers. Author Mark Schaefer offers some tips to help you take on the social media world headfirst.
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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.
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Whether you have two technicians or 20, there is perhaps no greater challenge in the laboratory than managing your staff. From morale issues to interpersonal conflicts, Lab Owner and Manager respondents to LMT’s Personnel Survey share their strategies for achieving pleasant and productive work environments.
- December 2014
Every now and then something comes along to add spice and extra-rich texture to the make-up of our community and that kind of energy is both welcome and contagious. If you’re familiar with the group that calls itself DTG, the Dental Technicians Guild, you know what I mean. It has an edgy cool that exudes energy and also draws it in. Its goal is to celebrate a passion for restorations that mimic natural dentition in both form and function.
Social media plays a large role in keeping members of the group active and engaged 24/7. DTG members share photos of their work on the Guild’s members-only Facebook page and enhance their skills and capabilities by openly sharing tips, techniques and ideas with one another. The Guild also has its own magazine featuring member contributions and hosts an annual meeting in Utah every year.
The exclusivity factor has its appeal: to keep the group functioning as well as it currently does, it needs to be manageably sized, so it isn’t all that...
- June 2014
SEO ensures that your target audience has the ability to quickly find your laboratory’s website through a search engine; it’s what gets your website found and helps build traffic to your site.
- April 2014
“Change, consolidation and new business models are inevitable, but survival, growth and a seat at the table are optional. Your future in the next several years is dependent on what you decide to do,” said Mark Murphy, DDS, in his State of the Industry presentation at the 88th Annual Cal-Lab Meeting. “We have tremendous control over what our role will be in the future. You can’t change the direction of the wind, but you sure can set your sails.”
Other speakers during this year’s meeting offered ideas on exactly how to set those sails. Terry Fine, President of AMG Creative, encouraged attendees to embrace social media as a marketing tool during his presentation, Social Media: Truths, Perceptions and Myths, citing these statistics:
70% of small businesses use Facebook for marketing.
69% of dentists have a Facebook page.
On average, for every eight minutes people spend online, one minute is on Facebook.
The fastest growing demographic group on Twitter is...
- February 2014
In its infancy, laboratory owners didn’t immediately see the internet’s application to their business. However, in the past 15 years, the number of laboratories with internet access has tripled, with 88% of U.S. laboratories LMT surveyed now having online capability. The ability to transmit data over the internet is fueling the growth of milling centers and subcontracting businesses. Emailing questions, case considerations and photos with clients has become the norm. And the opportunity for far-reaching promotion has prompted more than 40% of laboratories to market their nother third to use social media to network with clients.
- October 2013
This Fall I’m heading to the great state of Arizona for a couple of months and I’m hoping to meet some laboratory owners while I’m there. I’m also hoping I can make some stops during the drive out (the last week of October) and possibly the first week of January on the drive back.
Our route takes us through Harrisburg, PA, then along the Pennsylvania Turnpike and over to I-70 and down to I-40. We’ll be going through Columbus, OH; Indianapolis; St. Louis and Springfield, MO; Tulsa and Oklahoma City, OK; then across to Amarillo, TX; Albuquerque, NM; and into Flagstaff, AZ.
We are taking all three dogs and our one remaining twenty-one-and-a-half-year-old cat and renting a house in Fountain Hills, just north of Phoenix, through the end of the year. I’m letting you know so you can let me know if you’d welcome a quick hello. I’d love to know some history about your laboratory and how you’re faring in this digital age. If your lab is near any...
It's time to get involved in social media: it's free, it's easy, and more and more of your competitors are doing it.
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When it comes to marketing, more laboratories are going digital to reach dentists: theyâre building websites, using social media, advertising online and phasing out printed marketing pieces in favor of digital ones.
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- September 2013
A year ago, Whip Mix Corp. promoted its Vice President of Manufacturing, Jim Myers, to President of the company, succeeding Allen Steinbock, the grandson of Whip Mix Founder Edmund Steinbock, Sr. This promotion makes Myers the first non-family member President in the company's history. LMT travelled to Louisville, KY, to talk with Myers about his new position and where the company is headed.
LMT: As President, how has your role changed?
Myers: For 11 years, my priority was our manufacturing processes; now, it's more focused on customer needs and opportunities. I have much more interaction with our sales team and Whip Mix customers.
LMT: What stands out to you regarding your customers?
Myers: The most striking thing about our laboratory customers is their level of energy, dedication and desire to improve their businesses. Rather than hoping digital technology won't affect them, they're rolling up their sleeves, re-inventing themselves and embracing new technology.
LMT: Tell us more...
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Thanks to the advent of digital technology, many laboratory owners and managers are discovering new business models and finding ways to reinvent their businesses and reinvigorate their careers. Here are the stories of three lab owners/managers who have done so using Sirona Dental, Inc.'s CEREC Acquistion Centers, Sirona Connect.
- August 2013
Written by Erik K. Curtis, DDS, MA, MAGD and reprinted with permission from AGD Impact, October 2012. (c)Academy of General Dentistry. All rights reserved. On the Web at www.agd.org. License #37166
America loves big business. Never mind the warnings of philosophers and other naysayers. For every Occupy Wall Street curmudgeon huddling under a leaky tent to protest stratospheric CEO incomes, a million of his compatriots get in line at the local Apple store to purchase the company's latest and greatest products. For every crusader decrying the ethics of the bottom line, an army of analysts crisply counters that an entrepreneurial, creative private sector is what makes this country great. For every science fiction movie featuring an evil corporation bent on taking over the world, there is a corporate cinema screening that very film. Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Media, even Big Chocolate: For most of us, big organizations mean the security of efficiency, reliability, consistency, and cost control....
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- 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.
- November 2012
Marketing maven Walter Orellana has gone back to basics; in today's changing landscape, he believes face-to-face sales and personal relationships are the real keys to success.
That's proven true at Excel Dental Studios where he was hired last year to help rebrand the laboratory, broaden its target market and grow the business. And grow it he did: the laboratory has gone from 12 to 35 employees in the last year alone.
Orellana's easy-going personality and knack for networking make him right at home exhibiting at trade shows, visiting dental offices and socializing with dentists in a variety of settings. "Social media has its place but, especially in this economy, people want to shake your hand, look you in the eye and have you tell them everything's going to be ok," he says. "You need the personal attachment you can't get through a computer screen."
A key to building these important relationships, says Orellana, is avoiding the number-one mistake marketers make: overselling yourself....
- April 2012
We've got the ball rolling. We're moving the needle in the right direction--maybe not as fast or as far as we'd like--but it's moving," said Dr. James Willey, Director of the ADA's Council on Dental Practice, addressing almost 50 technicians, dentists, educators, manufacturers and association representatives at the 8th annual Lab Summit in Chicago.
The ADA's involvement in the Summit has grown substantially since the group was formed in 2005 by Drs. Gordon Christensen and Bill Yancey to brainstorm about the challenges facing the laboratory community. As in past years, the meeting touched on many of our profession's ongoing difficulties, including the aging technician population, dwindling technology programs, increased offshore competition and the need for closer dentist-technician relationships.
But this year's meeting also offered a look at what's been accomplished as well as projects in the works. For example:
•In keeping with the ADA's 2010 resolutions to encourage and improve...
- February 2012
7 Marketing Strategies to Boost Your Business: Share Your Faster, Smarter, Better Marketing Tips Here!
Problem: I'd like to boost my laboratory's name recognition in my local community. What are some low-cost public relations strategies?
Strategy: Public relations initiatives are a valuable way to promote your company without having to spend big bucks. They can enhance your credibility and help build your name recognition within your community and amongst potential clients. Here are some ideas to get your lab name out there and keep it visible:
• Call your local paper's health editor and offer to answer any questions he may have or send a letter to the editor offering your perspective on a topic that may be of interest to the paper's readers, like cosmetic dentistry or concerns about lead in restorations. Also, when you have a noteworthy business development, such as opening a new denture department, a 10-year anniversary in business or a charitable event, send a press release to the local newspaper.
• Speak before civic organizations and senior groups on relevant...
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- October 2011
LMT reports on the highlights of 3M ESPEâs 2011 Media Tour in August, including new products and social media usage.
Now more than ever, laboratory owners are stepping into the role of educator to their clients.
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