14 Nov These 4 Trends Are Changing How Dental Labs Do Business
“Change means that what was before wasn’t perfect. People want things to be better.” –Esther Dyson, Founder of EDventure
The world of medicine is rapidly advancing, and the dental sector is no exception. Innovation is constant, and although every change doesn’t trickle down industry-wide, some trends are unavoidable. With that in mind, dental labs must constantly reassess and refine their workflows and products to ensure they’re competitive.
Here are the biggest trends and technologies driving industry change:
The advent of 3D printing is decreasing costs throughout the industry. That combined with an increase in dental practice consolidation and competition from off-shore dental companies is putting pressure on smaller labs to keep up. IBISWorld’s industry analysis classified this high competition environment as the primary negative factor influencing business growth within the industry.
Competition is only expected to intensify, so how can your dental lab separate itself from competitors? According to Matt Morgan, former CEO of Dental Services Group, the secret is deceptively simple. Great customer service. Morgan predicts “dental labs that listen intently to their customers will be the most successful.” While labs should continue emphasizing the importance of a top-notch product, enriching the client experience should not be overlooked.
CAD/CAM Technology is on the Rise
Originally used in the manufacturing sector to produce precision tools, Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing technology is used to produce milled ceramic crowns, veneers, onlays, inlays, and bridges. This technology can save labs a substantial amount of time and money, while allowing them to compete with larger competitors in terms of production speed, materials, quality, and accuracy.
Start-up costs and the specialized training required to produce CAD/CAM prosthetics are a significant investment, but small labs shouldn’t be phased. The increase in efficiency typically makes the return on investment worthwhile.
A Growing Population of New Dentists
The last 25 years have seen a sizable increase in the number of dental schools (increased 15%) and overall enrollment (increased 28%). A growing number of new dentists are entering the workplace, and that means a shift in client demographics for dental labs. This emerging population of dentists is increasingly diverse and more comfortable with technology. These dentists will prefer electronic health records (EHRs), digital diagnostic tools, and they will be fueled by innovation.
In another industry shift, millennials are flocking to Dental Service Organizations (DSOs). Joining a group practice eliminates the many of the costs and challenges associated with private practice and offers increased flexibility and more potential for practice expansion.
But what does this mean for dental labs? Most importantly, it means that you’ll be doing business with a different kind of client. This clientele base wants convenience and efficiency. They don’t want to write you a check, or navigate a clunky, antiquated web portal. If your dental lab isn’t using software to digitize workflows, it’s time to make some updates.
The Appeal of Digital Workflows
Streamlining workflows means your staff has time to focus on what really matters—a quality product and a fantastic client experience.
Less than a decade ago, only half of laboratories reported client interest in trying new technologies, but that’s changing quickly as more dentists embrace digital innovation. You can improve the experience for both your clients AND technicians with digital workflows.
There are two main ways that software solutions can increase productivity and optimize workflows. First, as a lab tool, allowing for intra-oral scanning, CAD/CAM milling, 3D printing, and finishing, all in one place. Second, in the office, boosting cash flow and digitizing invoices, payments, and statements. When choosing a solution for invoicing and payments, ensure support for Level II/III transactions to avoid paying inflated rates.
All the change within the dental lab business points to it soon becoming a buyers’ market. Staying abreast of the latest trends and advancements and adjusting workflows accordingly is paramount to continued success. Providing great and convenient service will be a necessity.
Here at BASYS, we’re focused on providing great customer service as well. As your lab is planning for the future, we’d love to be a resource for you. That’s why we provide competitive pricing, seamless integration, and a payment gateway to streamline every facet of your accounts receivable process. We’re focused on being the best in our industry, so we can help you be the best in yours.
BASYS Processing as a business partner
Does your current processor understand the unique struggles of your industry? Do they provide great rates and personal customer service? Are they offering solutions to grow your business and being proactive about helping you reduce risk and increase your savings?
BASYS Processing features:
• A friendly, live voice will answer the phone when you call; no automated phone systems
• In-house PCI Compliance team to walk you through the process step-by-step, improving security and reducing costs
• Accept payments in person, over the phone or online
• Next-day funding options
About BASYS Processing
BASYS Processing provides credit card and debit card processing services, plus solutions that include terminals, virtual terminals, e-commerce, mobile, and point-of-sale, customized to fit any need. Banks, associations, and software partners depend on us to strengthen their reputations and relationships with their customers by providing remarkable service paired with ultimate flexibility and pricing. Merchants depend on us to make accepting credit cards and debit cards convenient, safe & affordable. BASYS was founded in 2002 on one philosophy: to take care of our merchants, partners, and employees so they never want to leave. We are dedicated to working one-on-one with our customers to design the perfect solution. BASYS is Personal Payment Processing.
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