Web Exclusive! Derek Van Volkom, VP of Account Services, Lanmark360--a marketing agency specializing in dentistry and healthcare--shares some additional tips he feels every lab owner should keep in mind...See more as they focus on content marketing.
When Daxton Grubb, Owner, R-Dent Dental Lab, West Bartlett, TN, began promoting the lab’s new INspire multi-layer translucent full-contour zirconia restorations, his first step was to create and promote a comprehensive guide to all-ceramic materials
After learning about the benefits of content marketing at a dental conference, Dianna Carroll, Business Manager, Carroll Dental Lab, a 27-person lab in Kinston, NC, felt a blog would be the perfect vehicle to provide added value and go the extra mile
When Bill Atkission moved from California to North Carolina five years ago and founded Bella Vita Dental Designs, he wanted to expand his client base and become a valuable resource to his customers, specifically CEREC doctors. He started emailing a q
In 2010, five prestigious prosthodontists asked Mark Frichtel, President, and Sven Jesse, Owner, Jesse & Frichtel Dental Lab, a 46-person lab in Pittsburgh, PA, to write a chapter on All-on-4 restorative procedures for their book, Dental Implants: th
More and more businesses are adopting content marketing strategies since social media has made it easier than ever to share content. In its June/July issue, LMT looked at the benefits of content marketing and profiled six laboratories that have implemented it into their marketing efforts. Read it first here.
Below, Derek Van Volkom, VP of Account Services, Lanmark360—a marketing agency specializing in dentistry and healthcare—shares some additional tips he feels every lab owner should keep in mind as they focus on content marketing:
Pictures are powerful. Videos and photos are gaining the most traction on social media. If you feel like video is too cumbersome, remember photos are super easy and can be uploaded to any medium you’re using (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.). If you have a great looking case that looks amazing, snap it, upload it and see how many “likes” it gets. It could be something the doctor hasn’t seen before.
Don’t forget LinkedIn....
In response to the most frequently asked questions from dentist-clients, NDX Keller has created a robust library of more than 70 free online videos. Housed on its website and hosted using YouTube, the videos range from 30 seconds up to 1 hour.
“Social media is a great tool for developing brand recognition while also promoting audience engagement and providing opportunities to convert users into customers,” says Jayme Hong, CEO, IDOC Dental Lab, a 40-person laboratory in Orange, CA.
Because of the limitless reach, immediacy, interactivity and cost-effectiveness of social media compared to many traditional marketing strategies, content marketing has become the Next-Gen marketing strategy. It’s a soft sell and relationship buildin
To help dentists reap the benefits of their chairside CAD/CAM systems, Christian Scull sets up in-office laboratories, establishes protocol and trains dental assistants to design and finish the units.
From non-traditional work schedules to wellness programs, laboratory owners are thinking outside the box to help their employees better juggle work and personal lives.
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Russell DeVreugd was revered in our community and when he passed away last month, there was an outpouring of emotion and tributes from his industry friends.
Arian Deutsch, CDT, DTG, shares his technique for using microwave technology to deliver predictable, consistent results with expedited turnaround times.
If you are supervising employees or contemplating adding employees to your staff, your success will be measured by how your employees feel about you.
Studies show that having a good boss is more important than other work factors, including income earned. Almost half of those who report their bosses are inferior are more likely to leave their current position.
Most bosses don’t wake up in the morning with an intention to treat their employees poorly. The gap lies between intention and delivery. Many bosses haven’t been trained in the skills required to build productive, empowering relationships with their employees.
The best bosses:
Recognize effort and don’t expect perfection. They use mistakes and failures as learning opportunities rather than a cause to belittle and/or embarrass.
Are positive rather than negative. To improve relationships, some experts recommend a 5-1 ratio of positive to negative comments. Become aware of your positive comments to ensure you’re...
To answer this question, Dr. Sunnie Giles, Founder of Quantum Leadership Group, completed a study of 195 leaders in 15 countries. Participants were asked to choose the 15 most important leadership competencies from a list of 74. She grouped the top 10 competencies into five major themes, all of which have less to do with authority and more to do with our basic human needs:
Strong ethics and sense of safety. This theme combines two of the three most highly rated attributes: high ethical and moral standards and communicating clear expectations. “A leader with high ethical standards conveys a commitment to fairness, instilling confidence that both they and their employees will honor the rules of the game. Similarly, when leaders clearly communicate their expectations, they avoid blindsiding people and ensure that everyone is on the same page,” says Giles.
Empowers others to self-organize. Providing clear direction while allowing employees to organize their own time and work is...
It’s well known that strong management is a critical part of organizational health. But exactly what type of leadership behavior is most effective?
Using their own practical experience and searching the relevant academic literature, researchers at McKinsey & Co. came up with a comprehensive list of 20 distinct leadership traits. They surveyed 189,000 people in 81 diverse organizations worldwide to assess how frequently certain kinds of leadership behavior are applied within their organizations. They divided the sample into organizations whose leadership performance was strong (the top quartile of leadership effectiveness as measured by McKinsey’s Organizational Health Index) and those that were weak (bottom quartile) and found that these four kinds of behavior account for 89% of leadership success:
Solving problems effectively. The process that precedes decision making is problem solving, when information is gathered and analyzed. This is deceptively difficult to get right,...
Affordable Dentures Dental Laboratories (ADDL) Vice President Mike Thomas, CDT, explains the key strategies used to teach more than 350 technicians to consistently and accurately fabricate implant overdentures.
In 2013, frustrated by the changes he was seeing in the industry—mass digitization, commoditization, consolidation—Von Grow, Owner of Dark Horse Dental Studio in Pleasant Grove, UT, sent out a rallying cry via social media to his fellow technicians:
“I propose that we all band together in the name of high-end, handmade, esthetic restorations and do not let machines take over our jobs. …Instead of hoarding all of our secrets and techniques, we give the information away freely to other like-minded technicians and dentists,” proposed Grow. “…everyone within the sound of my voice who is feeling helpless, downtrodden, fearful of the future or just wants to get excited again about the work you do, let’s take a stand. Let’s get a worldwide network going that is so big, it cannot fail.”
His words struck a chord and technicians responded in droves. The result? The Dental Technicians Guild (DTG), a closed Facebook-based group where members...
Although Rick Sonntag owns his own four-person laboratory, he has the power of a much larger operation behind him. Sonntag is a member of the OPT-In Dental Laboratory Cooperative, a group of small, independently owned labs focused on helping its members build their businesses and strengthen their competitive advantage.
“All of our members have common goals and values and are committed to sharing information as freely as possible,” says Sonntag, RDT, AAACD, Owner of 4Points Dental Designs, Inc., St. Petersburg, FL. “And, since we’re all small businesses, we all have the same competition: big box labs and private equity-backed group labs. If we act as a group, it makes all of our individual laboratories stronger.”
That synergistic effect was the vision Dean Mersky, DDS, had in 2012 when he created the OPT-In Cooperative, an aggregate of small labs with 20 or fewer employees. Potential laboratory members undergo an interview process to ensure they fit with the...
Owner Chris May, CDT, was well positioned for growth. His 12-year-old laboratory, May Dental Arts in Fenton, MO, was successful, modern, efficient and well-staffed with 30 employees. But he also felt he had taken the business as far as he could on his own; he wanted additional capital, marketing assistance and IT support in order to grow his lab further.
May and industry veteran Donald Park have been friends for over five years, first meeting when Park worked for a CAD/CAM manufacturer and May was his customer. May knew that Park had a good understanding of laboratory operations and would periodically ask for his advice. Park knew May ran a top-notch laboratory. During that same time, Park had been talking with Long Trail Holdings, a private equity firm interested in getting into the dental laboratory market.
The result of those connections came to fruition earlier this year with the creation of Central Dental Holdings LLC (CDH), backed by Long Trail Holdings. CDH acquired May Dental Arts...
Artistic Dental Lab in Chicago has been a member of TEREC N.A. (Technical Research Consortium of North America) for only three months but CAD/CAM Manager Dan Ulaszek, CDT, feels they’ve already gotten their yearly dues’ worth and then some.
For example, at Ulaszek’s first meeting in January, another member recommended a milling disc supplier that will save Ulaszek over $2,000 a year, and he also had an opportunity to measure his lab’s production against other labs using the same systems. “You never really know how well you’re doing until you can compare apples to apples with another lab; that information is priceless,” he says. “We learned so many little pearls of wisdom at our very first meeting and have been able to look at our lab from a different point of view because of it.”
Founded in 1985, TEREC holds three meetings each year in different areas of the country. Each meeting features presentations from manufacturers and other industry...
When Gary Iocco was thinking about his long-term exit plan, he wasn’t sure he liked his options. “I didn’t have an employee interested in purchasing the lab so I thought the alternative was selling to a laboratory group,” said Iocco, Owner of Dimension Dental Design, Hastings, MN. “But I was concerned that a group would want me to change my business model, or perhaps even terminate employees or send work offshore. I just really didn’t want to do that.”
So what did he do? He joined forces with another successful laboratory owner—Todd Mayclin, CDT, Mayclin Dental Studio, Minneapolis—to form their own laboratory group. Mayclin had already acquired two other laboratories—E.C. Chmel, Eau Claire, WI and Jackson Fairmont, Fairmont, MN—and he and Iocco saw an opportunity to pool resources, ensure the longevity of each lab, and continue to grow with additional acquisitions.
In 2015, Iocco and Mayclin formed a multi-laboratory holding...
Much like the polarization we’re seeing in our country this election year, members of our community—including, of course, the dentists we serve—have different ideas about where they think our industry is headed and, more interestingly, why.
Some believe independent dental laboratories are going to disappear altogether. They are concerned that, in the not-too-distant future, most dentists will use chairside systems to make restorations and those who don’t will be sending work overseas.
This is the most negative end of the spectrum. It includes visions of profit-focused dentists who are compromising the quality of care they deliver in order to boost their bottom line. Part of this comes from buzz about some corporate dental groups working recent grads “to the bone” in an effort to move as many patients through the door as possible.
Some lab owners also voice concern for the quality and depth of education dental students are receiving and say today’s...