Fifty-five percent of our State of the Industry 2015 survey respondents have recently changed their business model to increase profitability, gain new clients and be more competitive. Five of our respondents share their stories.
The first part of LMT’s comprehensive, multi-issue State of the Industry 2015 coverage offers an in-depth look at the key trends impacting laboratory operators today.
Read More 11 minute read
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...
- September 2014
The great transition taking hold of the way our community works is far from settling down as strategies continue to be employed and tested by tomorrow’s business leaders. Some of the changes have the capacity to pull the rug out from under us even as we retool to adapt to today’s innovations.
Though there will be an increased need for restorative work among aging boomers in the near future, right now it’s a huge challenge for laboratories to make it to that future. Having a detailed read on the market—that would enable you to see your own future more clearly—would...
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.
- June 2014
One of the reasons lab owners prefer to fly solo is that they have no appetite for dealing with the challenges that come with personnel management.
There’s no doubt that more people mean more issues. However, there are also as many, if not more, positives for having employees, key among them is that they play a critical role in a business’s ability to grow and prosper.
Listening to recent news discussions for or against raising the federally mandated minimum wage to $10.10 has me wondering: What do you feel your responsibility is to your employees? What obligations do you feel you have...
- May 2014
During the start-up years of LMT, I read several articles about how product life cycles are bell curves; they typically peak and then decline. I also subscribed to the Harvard Business Review (HBR) and it featured a series about why most startups fail within the first five years.
Between the image of the bell curve and the HBR stats, the message loomed large that I needed to remain on high alert to recognize when LMT might peak and start to decline. I also decided it was important to have more than one product. We created LAB DAY.
Our fourth year was exceptional; I knew then that we were going...
- April 2014
Over the last 30 years or so, the use of alternative/complementary medical therapies has become more widespread in the U.S. Now allopathic (traditional) practices are taking a more holistic approach to healthcare and the trend is continuing to generate more avenues of opportunity.
In addition, as we learn ever more about how the human body works, it’s become clearer to the traditional medical profession that many important clues to one’s health can be gotten from the oral cavity and, thus, it is of increasing importance for physicians and dentists to work together for the well-being...
- March 2014
Owner: National Dentex; Lab President: Lynn Jenkins
“H&O Dental Lab valuescomplete honesty and trust; open, two-way communication; mutual respect; individual accountability; and total commitment. Management always acknowledges team member accomplishments such as first, fifth, 10th, 15th, 20th and 25th anniversaries; perfect attendance; and achieving CDT certification. We also have monthly themed events for various holidays and traditions.
To ensure open communication, we have morning huddles, a 15-minute meeting during which each section leader discusses the...
The buzz at the Dental Laboratory Owners Association of California’s CAD/CAM Symposium in November 2005: rapid prototyping technology. First developed in the 1980s and used in the automotive and aerospace industries, the technology had laboratory owners enthusiastic about what was called the “next generation of CAD/CAM.” Advocates said the additive technology would result in increased efficiency and less material waste.
Those forecasts were spot on. The technology continues to revolutionize the way laboratories fabricate waxups and metal restorations. And, like CAD/CAM, it’s...
After years of speculation, CAD/CAM came to fruition in the dental laboratory in 1998 with the official U.S. launch of the Procera® AllCeram Crown, featuring an aluminum oxide coping milled at Nobel Biocare’s production facility in Sweden. The success of Procera—and the introduction of a dozen new in-lab milling systems in the early 2000s—fueled intense interest among laboratory owners and made CAD/CAM the hot topic for the unforeseeable future.
The automated manufacturing process afforded an efficient, consistent method of production and also opened the door to using zirconia,...
- February 2014
"Let me invite you into the pages of Lab Management Today...our goal is to give you the tools you need to build a better, more profitable, smoothly operating dental laboratory business," wrote Publisher Judy Fishman in Lab Management Today's inaugural issue.
After its first few months, it became clear that LMT was destined to be more than just another industry trade magazine. LMT quickly earned its reputation as the "Go-To" resource for business, marketing and management strategies. We devised several ground-breaking crown experiments, created the much-anticipated biennial Wage and...
- October 2013
The subcontracting market is strong, thanks to the ever-growing demand for digitally fabricated restorations and steady demand for cast partial frameworks.
- September 2013
The changing demographics of the dental field could bode well for laboratories. There are more general practitioners and prosthodontists, more dental consumers and fewer laboratories. In other words, the potential client base per laboratory is growing.
Here's a look at the shifting demographics between 1998 and 2011:
The number of laboratories declined 12.5%, from approximately 12,000 to 10,500. The number of GPs and prosthodontists increased 17%, from 133,623 to 156,011. This means the ratio of dentists to labs increased from 11:1 to 15:1.
The ratio of adult patients (20 years or older) to...
- 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...
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The following week, the prosthodontist confirmed that, indeed, the next step would be the crown lengthening procedure followed by six weeks of healing time before he would insert a post to further support the crown. And, as Bill Mrazek, CDT, recommended, the best restoration in this case, would be a PFM. He and his office are the cat's meow when it comes to professionalism and patient care and I'm fortunate to become their patient.
The periodontist he recommended was the same one I'd already called so that added to my feeling of being in the right hands. I've since had the crown lengthening procedure....
- May 2013
Despite the fact that many lab owners have been feeling the effects of the economy in many areas of their businesses, the majority of respondents to LMT's latest survey say the implant department isn't one of them.
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- February 2013
Thereâs a 50/50 chance your clients will switch laboratories in the next five years. Want to know why they might jump ship? Read the results of LMTâs 2013 Dentist Survey conducted jointly with Dental Economics.
Read More 7 minute read
- October 2012
The majority of respondents to LMT's 2012 Fee Survey are delaying fee increases in the face of price-cutting competition and declining caseloads.
- September 2012
Forty-five percent of respondents to LMT's exclusive 2012 Removable Survey rate the market as good and 35% classify it as fair. The majority say their removable business in the first half of 2012 is level or just slightly up or down compared to all of 2011.
At one end of the spectrum is the 9% of survey participants who say the market is booming and that business is markedly up. "All areas of our removable department are up. We had a record May and July was not far behind. As far as fixed, we are down double digits," says Gary Iocco, Owner, Dimension Dental Design, Hastings, MN.
At the opposite...
Uncertainty prevails among the respondents to LMTâs 2012 Wage Survey and theyâre being cautious about rehiring or raising wages. On a positive note, more than half saw an uptick in
Read More 4 minute read
- August 2012
How about a round of applause for one- to three-person laboratory owners? With almost another decade to go before many of these operators feel "the calling" to retire, they are still very much engaged in the here and now and are clearly living the well-disciplined, well-balanced life. Bravo.
The results of LMT's comprehensive Small Lab Survey give us the opportunity to celebrate some of the reasons you are all so deeply engaged in this field in the first place, highest among them: a shared passion for replicating natural dentition.
When the first huge batch of completed surveys came through—both...
- June 2012
The majority of respondents to LMT's Small Lab Survey are enthusiastic about the outlook for their own businesses, calling their future "good" or "great." However, their prediction for the market segment as a whole isn't quite so rosy.
Read More 5 minute read