A True Partner for Laboratories
Inside Dental Technology talks to Valerie Abucejo-Poon, Director of Sales and Operations for ETI Digital Technology, to discuss the role of a boutique vendor in the dental laboratory industry.
Inside Dental Technology (IDT): As the world moves toward large corporations dominating so many industries, why are the dental laboratory industry’s needs different?
Valerie Poon: Every laboratory has a different need, so they cannot all be treated the same. Patients and dentists are different. Clinical pain points can vary. Laboratories need to really customize what they are seeking to achieve with each case. Dissecting each laboratory’s needs individually is critical for a vendor to be their true partner.
IDT: What can a “boutique” digital dentistry company offer that larger vendors might not be able to?
Poon: A boutique digital dentistry company such as ETI Digital Technology can offer a one-on-one, enclosed support system to address everything from customer service to understanding their business to supporting software and hardware in order to help their business be successful. The expectations of a boutique company are higher. The customer knows that they can expect the highest level of customer support, expertise, training, installations, etc. We are able to really provide that at a level that not many others can offer.
IDT: What is ETI’s philosophy in how you serve your customers, and why is that so important?
Poon: For every single software and hardware solution we distribute, we are always inclusive with proper installation, both remote and onsite. We offer extensive hands-on customized training for all of our customers, both remote and onsite as well. Based on the customer’s experience level, resources, and needs, we select the appropriate technician and training plan to ensure success. Because we pay such close attention to each customer’s business model, they feel very confident by the end of the training and installation. They also know that we are there for them and will support them if any new needs arise. Our post-purchase support is critical to success for our customers, so we pride ourselves on that.
IDT: In a profession with so many materials coming out almost daily, and so many open systems, how difficult is it to navigate the market?
Poon: Anyone can sell a material, equipment, or software to a customer. The challenge is that everyone is starting to say the same thing, while in reality not everyone is offering the same thing. Doing as much research as possible is key in purchasing decisions. You need to work with a company that can be there for you as a long-term partner, not just a vendor to sell you something.
IDT: How can a good vendor partner make it easier to run an efficient, high-quality laboratory?
Poon: The road does not end when the purchase is completed. A good vendor partner stays in contact with the laboratory. That communication and education help the vendor partner to understand the laboratory’s future needs as well as ensure that the laboratory is using its current resources as efficiently as possible and maintaining the highest quality.
IDT: What can customers expect from ETI in terms of the ongoing support they will receive?
Poon: In addition to our ongoing training and support with no mandatory support fees, we have a phenomenal marketing team that we offer as assistance to all of our customers. Some laboratories purchase a CAD/CAM system but do not know how to market it to their customers. We provide website support, eblast support, and print marketing materials. Sometimes we even help create logos. We provide that support because marketing is so crucial to maximizing the benefits of their new products.
We also offer consumable materials to support the equipment. We make sure our customers have the proper materials that have been approved and validated. They do not need to worry about where the materials came from because we have done all the groundwork with R&D. Our customers will receive the highest quality materials.
Additionally, we continue to work with our customers on evaluating their business to ensure they are profitable, and we offer ongoing CE courses and seminars. We also have both loaner scanners, and offer backup milling/printing options in case equipment goes down at our customer’s location. We stand out from the crowd because we truly are a partner to our laboratories.