An Interview with Keating Dental Arts' Shaun Keating, CDT, President
Since it was established in 2002, the mission of Keating Dental Arts has been to provide only the highest quality dental restorations, delivered in a timely fashion and withattentive customer service.
INSIDE DENTISTRY (ID): What makes Keating Dental Arts (KDA) unique?
Shaun Keating (SK): My wife and sons helped me start Keating, so it has always been about family. KDA is a big lab, but we have a genuine family-centric focus. I think that with big companies/big corporations, you lose the feel for your customers and I never want that.
ID: If you had to rank the most important elements of your success, what would be your top three?
SK: First, I think the Internet helped me with my success. I got involved with online dental communities when I first began and it really helped my lab take off.
Second, it’s about the people. You’re only as good as your people. At KDA, we strive to surround ourselves with great technicians and staff to work with the doctors. Communication is key in the laboratory business. When customers call our lab, they get a real person, not a recording or voicemail. It’s important to us that we will be there ready to support our clients when they call.
Thirdly, it’s important to remember that every day, every case is new. You can’t live on your past achievement.
ID: When it comes to running KDA, what defines your outlook?
SK: I bring a passion that is second to none; I love what I do. We live teeth 24-7 and I’ve been doing it since 1984, but not many people know that. From the beginning, I always knew this is what I wanted to do.
At KDA, the customer is always right. We have great service where we want to treat people well. I’m excited everyday doing great work and making doctors happy. Helping doctors grow their practice gets me excited.
ID: What inspires the forward motion of your company in today’s marketplace?
SK: It’s all about the challenge. The biggest challenge for me is how to get doctors to try us. We’ve brought on new talent to help us stay abreast with the market. Working as a team, we increased our social media presence and created a one-of-a-kind educational website, Dental Up™ (https://dentalup.xyz). This site reaches across six generations of dental professionals and connects them to podcasts, videos, and news on everything dental. Our goal is to connect our media content and our product/service offerings.
ID: How is the global economy impacting your operations?
SK: Globally, offshoring probably had more impact on our laboratories than the economy. When lab work was going offshore, I spoke about it in the dental industry. The people doing it were not transparent. If you’re going to do it, be honest about it. Maybe they do good work at an offshore location, but you should let the doctors know that it’s going there.
I’m a big proponent of products made in the USA and I’m going to stay that way.
ID: Can you share anything that you might have in the pipeline right now?
SK: We want to stay focused on what we do best—finding new ways to help our customers grow. On the product side, we will be implementing new materials and solutions as we move into 2016 to stay competitive.
We’re working with our manufacturer of our zirconia and coming up with new materials that will change the industry. We’re releasing the KDZ Bruxer® “Aesthetic” now. This new material mimics the esthetics of IPS e.max® (Ivoclar Vivadent, www.ivoclarvivadent.com) and is 30% to 40% stronger. I’m really excited about that.
I’m also excited about the educational programs we’re doing for doctors and their staff. I see it setting us apart from the other labs. Our goal is to be a destination for education and excellence in restorative solutions.