It Starts at the Top: A Resource You Can Trust
Chris Bormes and PREAT Corporation provide value as a knowledge resource for the industry.
Laboratory customers who work with PREAT Corporation have become accustomed to the highest levels of customer service and continuing education for the past 36 years. Tom Bormes started the business in 1980 with those values as a foundation. So his son, Chris, had a choice to make upon joining the family business nearly two decades ago. Chris could pursue an MBA to supplement his bachelor’s degree in accounting, and focus only on the business side of PREAT, or he could opt for an education in dental technology and carry on the tradition his father started. Chris chose the latter, which is why now even as the president of the company he works with customers on cases and presents continuing education courses at tradeshows.
“I fell in love with the dental laboratory industry and dental technology, just like my dad did before me,” Bormes says of his time at City College of San Francisco’s dental technology program, which has since been shuttered.
That was just the start of his education in dental technology. Bormes’ father insisted that he start at an entry-level position and work his way up.
“I had worked at an accounting firm after college, but I started here by packing boxes and shipping out orders,” Bormes says. “It was a learning experience. It was frustrating at times, but the knowledge I gained about every step of every job at the company was invaluable.”
The learning continues even today. In addition to his own lectures, Bormes attends some shows just for the continuing education courses.
“Whether I am on the podium speaking or in the audience, I am always learning,” Bormes says. “It is such a dynamic industry to be in right now.”
That knowledge and expertise are then passed on to customers and anyone who attends Bormes’ lectures. A key objective in all PREAT presentations is to educate, rather than simply advertise products. In the past year, in fact, the company has sponsored business management courses by Mark T. Murphy, DDS, FAGD.
“We differentiate ourselves in that way,” Bormes says. “We have great turnouts at our courses because people know they are going to see good educational content and not a commercial.”
Top-Notch Customer Service
On a regular day, Bormes fields calls to offer everything from treatment planning advice to troubleshooting.
“Having a background that enables me to work directly with customers is extremely helpful,” he says.
Tom Bormes worked with customers in that way as well—he now spends most of his time on internal education—and he instilled in his son the value of always taking a call, no matter how busy a day it is.
“In our fast-paced industry, responding 6 hours later or the next day does not help,” Chris says. “Even if I am knee-deep in paperwork, I drop everything to take calls.”
PREAT has made its technicians even more accessible via its free app for Apple products. In addition to placing orders, technicians can chat with technicians via the app and even upload photos for help identifying components.
“The app allows us to make customer service faster and easier,” Bormes says.
Made in the USA
Trust is another important element to good customer service. Bormes says he and his staff are always honest with customers if another company might have a better solution for a particular situation. Not only that, but they provide a phone number and the name of someone at the other company who can help.
“Building relationships and trust is more important than one order,” Bormes says. “We want to support the industry because we are invested in it.”
At a time when laboratories are emphasizing to dentists and patients the value of US-made restorations, PREAT offers laboratories similar value with US-made components.
“Prosthetic components are an attractive market in the dental laboratory field, and we are witnessing significant amounts of investment in that area,” Bormes says. “Are those companies supporting the industry? Will they be here in 10 years? As a laboratory owner, I would want to ask those questions.” PREAT is in its 36th year, and Bormes says he intends to personally be at the helm for at least another 20.
“We help laboratories frequently when the company they purchased product from either no longer exists or no longer has the same parts,” Bormes says. “It is important to choose a vendor that will support you in the future.
“We have the widest selection of attachments and implant parts at very fair prices. Our customer service and technical support are second to none. We are proud to be the company whom technicians call when they need help with a case, and that relationship and trust are important to us.”
4 Key Take Aways
PREAT emphasizes nonpromotional education in its tradeshow lectures and honesty in its customer service and support.
The free PREAT app for Apple products makes customer service faster and easier, as customers can chat with PREAT technicians, upload pictures, and more.
PREAT is a family-owned, American business with a proven history and the widest selection of attachments and implant parts at fair prices.
In its 36th year, PREAT plans to serve laboratories for decades to come, so customers can be confident that the parts they purchase will be supported in the future.
PREAT by the numbers
Average hours of CE per year for PREAT employees
On-time delivery rate
Week-to-week increase in technician communication via the PREAT app
Prism Design & Printing Center 2016 growth