Laboratory Earns Loyal Clients with Timely and Consistent Service
A reliable partner for zirconia discs and CAD/CAM equipment is key to success
When Mark Pelak opened New World Dental Laboratory in 1982, his former coworkers at his previous job joked that he should lease equipment rather than buying, so he could return it if he failed. But failure was not an option, Pelak told them. The jokes actually motivated him more.
"I may have been naïve about business," Pelak says, "but I worked hard to make sure my laboratory would succeed."
Pelak had spent approximately 3 years at a laboratory in Florida before venturing out on his own. Before that, he had moved south from Detroit, Michigan, at age 21 after working for a few laboratories there. He got his start because a friend suggested that his artistic skills would translate well to dental laboratory technology.
"I liked the artistic part of it," Pelak says. "My older brother had a friend who was an actual ‘starving artist,' and I was determined to make a better living than that."
Thirty-six years after opening, New World Dental Laboratory is a thriving six-person operation. Pelak's wife, Susan, started working in administration and billing approximately 25 years ago and has used her computer savvy more recently to contribute in other ways, too. Their 24-year-old son, Ted, now works at the laboratory as well.
Pelak credits his success in large part to an emphasis on quick turnaround times. A previous employer frequently had dentists complaining about late cases, and Pelak vowed that when he opened his own laboratory he would complete cases not only on time, but early.
"I make sure my cases are delivered 24 hours early," Pelak says. "I work late so I can deliver cases early."
Consistency is another area of emphasis. Pelak had two clients who stayed with him from 1982 until they retired this past December, and he says most of his accounts have been with him for 10 years or more.
In order to maintain that level of loyalty, Pelak needs consistent products, and he has found a perfect partner in Whip Mix. He purchased his first scanner from Whip Mix in 2010 and then added two mills. He now also uses Whip Mix's VeriCore line of zirconia as well.
"We tried a bunch of different zirconia, and Whip Mix offered a great product at a great price," he says. "Dentists demand reasonable prices with no dropoff in quality, and VeriCore zirconia allows us to offer that."
Pelak is particularly partial to VeriCore ZR Pro, which Whip Mix says offers anterior esthetics with posterior strength. It exhibits a desirable level of value and a more natural, vital appearance.
"VeriCore ZR PRO is basically halfway between regular zirconia and anterior zirconia," he says. "It is not too translucent, and it has solid strength."
Dentists appreciate the quality of the Whip Mix material.
"They love it," Pelak says. "They say, ‘Mark, don't change a thing. What you are doing is perfect.'"
Pelak also uses milling tools from Whip Mix. They last significantly longer than other milling tools, he says.
"We have tried a variety of different brands," he says, "and usually you get chipping after a certain amount of time. The Whip Mix tools are just amazingly long-lasting."
Perhaps the most important part of Pelak's partnership with Whip Mix is the company's technical support. From the time he first integrated CAD/CAM into New World Dental Laboratory, Whip Mix representatives have helped immensely.
"They really bend over backward for us," he says. "I hear from so many other laboratories that, when they call for technical help, they are lucky if they get a response in 2 to 3 days. When you are on a deadline with these crowns, however, you cannot afford to wait that long for technical support. The patient is in the chair with their mouth open, and the dentist needs the crown."
That understanding is a large part of what has made Pelak so successful and his clients so loyal. It is why the family business is so strong that Pelak anticipates Ted eventually taking the helm.
"Between the product and the technical support representatives, Whip Mix has been awesome for my business," Pelak says. "That is the key to the whole thing for any laboratory."
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