November/December 2013, Volume 34, Issue 10
Published by AEGIS Communications
MicroDental Laboratories: Aiming to Anticipate Dentists’ Needs and Exceed Expectations
Kim Bradshaw, CEO and President of MicroDental Laboratories, says research studies in psychology suggest that customer needs are constantly changing, and, therefore, no set formula exists to ensure their needs are always met. Understanding this phenomenon, MicroDental focuses on anticipating the needs of its customers—ie, client dentists—before they are even articulated by the client.
MicroDental’s competitive advantage, Bradshaw says, lies in the company’s ability to meet and exceed expectations through its commitment to patient care. “We incorporate cutting-edge technology that provides us with unprecedented precision and an array of superior material options that our industry has never seen before,” she says. “We are seeing a convergence of the digital and traditional processes evolve, and it is very exciting.”
“We are a full-service laboratory,” Brad-shaw continues. “We offer the complete range of laboratory products and services, but our commitment to customer service translates into a desire to identify and deliver the services that are most important to our clients.”
For example, she explains, many doctors have come to accept that remakes, long seating times, and delivery delays are to be expected. “Many don’t realize that new materials, technology, and process improvements have made it possible to quickly and efficiently offer improved fit to the degree that seating times and remakes can be dramatically reduced and restorations can be delivered more quickly,” Bradshaw says.
Bradshaw credits technology for the company’s ability to measurably improve the quality and consistency of the restorations it produces. Collaboration between the dentists and technician, she says, is critical, and digital technologies allow MicroDental to take it to a new level. “Digital dentistry gives MicroDental’s technicians the ability to preview a case from start to finish and to communicate and co-diagnose with the dental team in real-time.”
In keeping with its efforts to accommodate its client dentists, MicroDental also uses a dynamic case planning software that ensures the preferences of dentists are visible throughout every step of the fabrication process.
Bradshaw emphasizes that MicroDental’s formula for success involves more than just having and using the latest materials and technology—although that’s now a critical prerequisite; it’s also being able to connect each of the components and optimize performance so that they communicate seamlessly. Above all, she says, it’s about delivering the benefits doctors care about most—on-time delivery and consistency of fit. “It comes down to fit, form, and function—that is, the anatomy, the accuracy, the occlusal harmony.”
Bradshaw says she has seen measurable improvements with the implementation of digital tools. “Remakes are down, on-time delivery is up, and seating times have been reduced from 45 minutes to a consistent 15 to 17 minutes on single-unit restorations.” Other measurable indicators of customer satisfaction the company cites include: MicroDental’s first-time clients are four times the industry benchmark, and their repeat purchase rate is up 30%; customer retention is up 20% and those loyal customers are sending 18% more cases to the company. “Orders for MicroDental’s new ZEUS™ Zirconia restorations are growing at three times the industry growth rate for zirconia restorations,” she says, adding that MicroDental remains one of the leading laboratories in the world for advanced cosmetics and e.max® restorations.
Looking to the future, Bradshaw comments: “We believe that by making the effort to truly understand our customers’ needs and wants—sometimes even before they themselves are aware of them—we can be a true collaborative partner.”
“Where we set ourselves apart is in our knowledge base,” Bradshaw acknowledges. “We’re looking to fully understand doctor preferences. I’m especially excited about the potential to use the virtual environment to capture the kind of information that will help us meet individual doctor’s requirements to maximize their ability to work collaboratively with us so they can focus more on the clinical side of dentistry.”
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