An Interview with Enrico Romano
Aurora Digital Technology Center made headlines recently with the acquisition of the venerable Custom Milling Center (CMC). Inside Dental Technology spoke with Aurora CEO Enrico Romano about the move and his vision for the company moving forward.
Inside Dental Technology (IDT): You have worked in the dental laboratory industry for 17 years. What experiences have shaped your career to this point?
Enrico Romano: I started in the industry as a field sales consultant with Henry Schein and Zahn Dental. Since then, I have had the benefit of exploring, educating, and learning throughout every avenue of this industry. I have learned about products from the perspective of distribution and sales. I have had the opportunity to run a small dental practice and grow it from four offices and a 300-square-foot manufacturing facility to 17 offices and a 9,000-square-foot facility; from that experience, I developed an understanding of what practitioners want, what patients need, and what manufacturing elements must exist in order to ensure that we deliver a quality product in a timely manner.
Over the past 6 years, I gained experience with milling centers, which is why I found the opportunity to acquire CMC so attractive. It is a chance to really create a digital footprint that will be a resource to the laboratory industry. Attaining returns on investments in digital technology is such a challenge, but CMC already has a digital footprint. Instead, we can focus on improving that footprint and providing added value to laboratory owners—they can utilize us to secure and grow infrastructure, and really understand what the right type of equipment would be to implement into their workflow, thereby enabling them to be more efficient.
IDT: What else made CMC so attractive compared with other milling centers?
Romano: One of CMC’s strengths is its volume of great footprints in different avenues, from milling to printing to the skilled technicians on hand to finish the restorations. The attractive part of that was the opportunity to utilize the mindset we have developed from our past experience to implement improvements that will make us an even better resource for our laboratory partners. CMC has a really great foundation, and with some minor adjustments, we can have a great infrastructure that can truly be an ideal support system for the industry as a whole.
IDT: What will the transition entail?
Romano: We are rebranding CMC to Aurora Digital Technology Center. We will have the same mindset that CMC had, while enhancing the operation and adding more products for our laboratory partners. We will strengthen that digital footprint and add newer technology to help our laboratory partners. We will be based in New York, in a brand-new, state-of-the-art facility that will open the first week in March. We hope to have as many CMC technicians relocate with us as possible; that opportunity was offered to all staff. We have received a great response to the inquiries about the positions we have available.
IDT: What are some specific new initiatives that will be implemented?
Romano: We are developing new standard SOPs to help the workflow and ensure ongoing consistency, superior quality, and expedited turnaround times. We are diligently looking at implementing more 3D printing solutions that will lead to a much greater potential for printing more items with more types of materials. We are also establishing the potential to be able to mill customized abutments, screw-retained crowns, bars, and more, which CMC had not been doing recently. We are excited to re-implement that huge value for our customers.
IDT: What excites you most about the future?
Romano: One of our focal points is definitely the digitized workflow. Everybody is in a race to achieve high-quality, esthetic, affordable printed dentures. The next thing we are looking at is the ability to create a solid digital workflow for our partners, from beginning to end. Furthermore, we are implementing other platforms. CMC was known for being a 3Shape-certified facility; we are expanding on that capability and are now implementing exocad and Dentsply Sirona systems as well. We are adding technicians who have proficient knowledge of surgical guides and other services that we know our laboratory partners would like to have under one roof. We are excited to truly be that one-stop shop for our laboratory partners. Our infrastructure and ownership spans such a wide variety of perspectives and experience; in addition to myself, one of my business partners is a 45-year seasoned engineer who established his knowledge of CAD/CAM technology with a Fortune 50 company, and the other is an MDT and owner of a multi-generation laboratory. We pride ourselves on having vast knowledge across the board that truly can bring added value back to our partnerships with laboratories.