To say Ryan Napolitano made some changes to his father's laboratory is an understatement. In 2003, Precision Craft was a 17-person, "mom-and-pop" operation in a 3,500-sq-ft space. Today, it has doubled in size—in terms of staff and dentist-clients—and operates in a $3.4 million, 14,000-sq-ft facility.
"When I came aboard, it was still very much the lab I had grown up in," says Ryan, who worked in the lab since age 10 and formally joined in 2003 after earning a degree in communications and marketing. "Everything was run on a day-to-day basis; work came in, work went out. There was no marketing or long-term plan of where we wanted to be in five or 10 years."
Ryan initially got involved in administrative and marketing functions, including conducting a client survey to get a picture of where the lab was and where it needed to go. Using that feedback and other industry research, Ryan and his father—Richard Napolitano—developed a long-term strategic plan to grow the laboratory, get more involved in digital technology and take a lead role as educators to their clients.
One of their first big decisions was to build a new laboratory and education center to reflect their new focus and allow for growth; Ryan was instrumental in the process, helping to select the building site, evaluating and revamping designs and floorplans, and researching and selecting vendors. The result is a spacious, state-of-the-art facility featuring granite countertops, custom shade-taking rooms, staff training areas, a 50-person lecture room and in-house operatory.
Ryan has also helped establish the laboratory as a highly progressive operation. In addition to offering several courses and live surgeries throughout the year, the Napolitanos present about 40 lectures annually across the country on topics ranging from implants to digital dentistry. "Getting in front of an audience allows them to see how far we've advanced and many dentists want to be on board with that," says Ryan. "It has really helped us foster relationships."
He's also responsible for researching and implementing new digital technology and today Precision Craft has four CAD design stations and three milling machines, and he plans to grow the lab's digital sector further. His latest goal? To convert to a model-free workflow within two years.
"Joining my dad's business has been a great experience and I'm proud of the improvements we've made," says Ryan. "I'm excited to keep going and, with where the industry is headed, we can only go up from here."