Lab owners: What’s your vision?

26 02 2010

It’s all about the vision.

 That was one of the key messages David Lesh, CDT, and founder of Dale Dental, wanted attendees to take away from his presentation, “Purchasing High Technology for the Dental Laboratory,” at the Westin on Michigan Friday morning. His talk was one of many offered at this year’s Cal-Lab meeting.

 While you need to have a vision to be successful in the lab industry, you also have to figure out what pieces, what technologies, fit into that vision and the lifecycle of those pieces, he said. You also need to understand economics.

 The industry is rapidly changing, Lesh said, which means great opportunities if you have the vision to take advantage of these changes. Lesh recommends creating a strategy room, a place with blank walls where you can clip magazine articles or papers filled with your ideas and goals. This keeps your ideas visible, so you’re more likely to act on them.

 One of the huge, exciting changes Lesh sees in the industry is the shift to the Center of Excellence model. This model makes it possible for small labs to provide the same products and services as larger labs. Small labs can assess the same products and information from their dentists through the digital pipeline. Most dentists would rather work with smaller, local labs, Lesh said, but often don’t because they offer fewer services or have to charge higher fees. The Center of Excellence Model takes those factors out of the equation, giving smaller labs the ability to do everything the larger labs do.

 This model means what you make becomes more important than how you make it, Lesh said.  

 “This is the future. And we’re not the only ones doing it. A lot of companies are moving to the Center of Excellence model,” Lesh said. “…It takes the lab from the basement to the living room.”

 This year’s Cal-Lab meeting finished Friday afternoon, with Robert Ash, BC, CP, ACHE, Mark Murphy, DDS, FAGD, Shaun Keating, CDT, Dr. David Garber and Dr. Gui Cabral rounding out the day’s speakers.

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