Quality Partner Helps Laboratories Multiply without Addition
Inside Dental Technology speaks with Ray Gunaka, CDT, Director of Talladium Milling Center, about the advantages of working with an outsourcing partner and why Talladium has risen to the top among outsourcing options.
Inside Dental Technology (IDT): Why is having a good outsourcing partner such a viable business model in today’s laboratory environment?
Ray Gunaka, CDT: Any time you can reduce inventory and labor requirements while still producing a quality product, you are working while you’re not working. Laboratories are keeping their business moving after hours by sending a file or model to Talladium Milling Center (TMC). We finish the case from there. A couple days later, the laboratory receives an awesome restoration. Even the most competitively priced laboratories can to turn a profit on our products. Outsourcing with TMC is a multiplier without addition.
IDT: Talladium Milling Center had a strong 2018; what were the reasons for that?
Gunaka: Timing was key. The market is undergoing significant changes and consolidation. There is a huge demand for quality work, which TMC has always provided. At the same time, we made our pricing more competitive, especially through shipping rates. Laboratories in the Midwest and on the East Coast have gained advantages through options now and are saving money with us. Laboratories just like our work. Adding several new zirconia lines has boosted sales—Anterior Multilayer, “One For All” (which has a 47% translucency necessary for anteriors, with 1,100-MPa strength for a full-arch cases), and our “One For All” Multilayer Zirconia. Furthermore, TMC added 3D printing using Nextdent 5100 printers for models.
IDT: What allowed you to make your prices more competitive?
Gunaka: We manufacture the products we use, from zirconia to coloring liquids, which minimizes our costs. I was able to negotiate ridiculously low pricing from our shipping vendor and passed the savings on to our customers. Additionally, our process and experienced technicians ensure that our work is done right the first time, eliminating the costs associated with remakes and production inefficiencies. Most of our technicians have been with us for several years and bring a significant amount of dental experience to our operation, which makes a significant difference.
IDT: Now that you have started 3D printing models, how much growth opportunity does printing overall offer?
Gunaka: Printing models with the Nextdent 5100 offers us a lot of opportunity for growth! We will start printing impression trays, denture try-ins, NFC printed teeth, and dentures (as soon as this liquid gains 510(k) clearance). We also will be printing sleep appliances later this year. These offerings will help us continue to offer customers the widest array of services.
IDT: How does Talladium’s experience and knowledge in various facets of the industry help produce that high quality?
Gunaka: Talladium’s product portfolio includes equipment, tools, materials, and more. For Talladium Milling Center, that means everything is here at our fingertips. Being multifaceted as a manufacturer, having these resources and a team that develops our products, start to finish, helps us optimize our quality. TMC acts as our research-and-development testing ground in addition to supporting our customers. All those factors come together in ensuring that our people are knowledgeable, well-trained, well-versed, and consistent in the services that we offer.
IDT: How has Talladium as a whole established itself as such a leader in the dental laboratory industry over the years?
Gunaka: Our founder, Ed Harms Sr., BS, CDT, prioritized offering high-quality products via an entire system under one roof to maximize profit and productivity for our partners. He put together and taught to have a comprehensively compatible system. Now that we have transitioned to CAD/CAM product manufacturing, this remains our philosophy; from traditional laboratory materials to software, mills, prosthetic materials, milling tools, ovens, replacement parts, service, training and support teams, Talladium has an integrated comprehensive portfolio with which to serve our customers.