August 2016
Volume 7, Issue 8

From A to Z: Extensive Solutions for Competitive Advantage

Rita Acquafredda and Zahn Dental aim to provide customers the widest range of products and business solutions.

Imperative for managing any successful business in today’s fast-moving environment is keeping pace with changes in the industry. Only by embracing the drivers of that change can companies help meet the needs and challenges faced by their customers. It’s a business strategy all too familiar to Rita Acquafredda, Vice President and General Manager, Henry Schein. Her job is to ensure that Zahn Dental remains positioned to support dental laboratory owners and managers with the business-building strategies, products, and solutions they need today and in the future in order to sustain a growth trajectory for their businesses and to remain highly competitive in the marketplace.

“The complexity of today’s business environment requires that we continually evolve as a solution provider for our customers as well as support them with a broad range of relevant product brands and services,” Acquafredda says. “Our mission as a Henry Schein company, and part of the Henry Schein ConnectDental promise, is to offer our customers the competitive advantage of a complete range of business solutions, services, and products in concert with the technical, financial, business management, and service experts and advisors to help customize those solutions to our customers’ business needs.”

Strengthening Services

Whether through distribution agreements with major manufacturers or through acquisition, Zahn is continually adding to its stable of product and service options to strengthen market position and meet the needs of its customers. The recent acquisition of Custom Automated Prosthetics (CAP) is a prime example of how Acquafredda sought to strengthen a perceived weakness in the organization by bolstering the gap in Zahn’s technical support for its digital product line and technical education for digital workflow.

“We had a digital support team in place, but it would have taken more than a year to achieve what CAP brings to our organization,” Acquafredda says. “Not only does CAP offer our customers incredible technical knowledge, education, and support in the digital space but the company also has a strong social media presence. With the acquisition of CAP and the support of Custom Milling Center, our customers have the security of a large company that can support them in all digital arenas, regardless of their needs.”

Strategic Business Opportunities

The real strength that Zahn Dental offers customer partners, Acquafredda believes, is the broad portfolio of business solutions and services available for laboratory owners whose goal is to build a solid foundation of growth for their business.

“Although the core business of Zahn Dental is to offer customers a broad spectrum of products and supplies for their day-to-day production needs,” she says, “our overriding goal is to provide our laboratory partners with a suite of financial, business management, and technical services and tools all under the Henry Schein umbrella that they can tailor to their business needs to remain competitive and successful.”

Need to lease or finance new equipment, redesign your laboratory for production efficiency, better manage inventory, or find a small equipment repair service? Perhaps you need a speaker for your study club or in-house clinical education seminar, or professional advice on a business acquisition or exit strategy.

“Our business services and product lines continually evolve with the changing needs of our customers,” Acquafredda says. “We are always evaluating new ways of looking at our customers’ needs, new ways of delivering customer services and strengthening customer interactions as well as uncovering new product lines that offer our customers the opportunity to explore and grow in new markets.”

Winning Strategies

The business philosophy guiding Zahn is that of putting the customer first and partnering with customers to support their business as well as personal goals. It’s a small-town approach from a mega organization that is more personal than corporate. From Acquafredda’s viewpoint the dental laboratory business today is better positioned than ever before to become collaborative partners with their dental clients and utilize their wealth of technical knowledge to bring a value proposition to dental practices.

“The rapid adoption of digital platforms in dental practices will open up new opportunities for laboratories,” she says. “From offering CAD design services that free up staff to treat more patients to providing the practice with technical support and education, laboratories can become valuable digital consultants. Offering clients consulting services goes beyond digital into all technical aspects of dentistry from removable prosthetics to implants. When it comes to technical knowledge, there is no one more knowledgeable than the dental technician. It is an emerging business model that can become a new profit center for laboratories.”

And, Acquafredda adds, it is a profit center that Zahn Dental can help laboratory partners formulate and promote.

“The dental technology industry is one of the most important and valuable components to the success and future of dentistry,” she says. “Laboratory professionals must never lose sight of the value they bring to this industry.”

4 Key Take Aways

Zahn Dental continues to broaden its portfolio of product and business service solutions to meet today’s and tomorrow’s business needs of laboratory owners.

The company’s guiding philosophy is putting the customer first through supporting their customers’ businesses as well as personal goals.

The acquisition of CAP offers Zahn customers unprecedented digital technical knowledge and support as well as education and training.

As a Henry Schein company, Zahn Dental is uniquely positioned to understand its customers’ needs and challenges as well as those of its customers’ customers.

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