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Inside Dental Technology
September 2022
Volume 13, Issue 9

Your Dental Laboratory’s Success

Results are directly attributed to the quality of decisions

Executive Editor Daniel Alter, MSc, MDT, CDT |

Dental laboratory business owners and managers often grapple with making decisions in hopes of propelling their businesses forward; indeed, one of the most critical skills to possess in any business entity management is the ability to make well informed decisions, quickly, in order to attain the best outcomes for the business, staff, and clientele. As so many often struggle with making important decisions—particularly when the stake are high—understanding the best practices and the five steps of decision making can alleviate and remove the emotional consequences of the decision making. Procrastination and indecisiveness, in essence, are decisions themselves and can lead to unintended consequences. The website Business News Daily recently published an article by Siri Hedreen, Project Manager at Embedded Software, titled, "Techniques and Tools to Help You Make Business Decisions," that is well worth the read and practice. Among the many pearls within the article are the five steps of decision making: Identify your goal, gather relevant information, evaluate all your options, make a choice, and then evaluate your decision both short-term and long-term.

Certain tools can help you formulate a decision for your business, whether the decision involves opportunities for growth, internally and/or externally; incorporating new products/solutions or technology; partnering or acquiring another business; or anything else. Having a sequence of steps or protocols to walk you through the decision process with appropriate tools can make the processes mindful and significantly less stressful. The Business News Daily article outlines some of the tools and techniques for organizing your thoughts during the decision-making process. For example, a decision matrix helps you evaluate all of your options. When using the matrix, create a table with all the choices in the first column and all the factors that affect the decision in the first row. Next, score each option to decipher which factors are of more importance. A final score is then tallied to reveal the best pick. Then, compose a "pros and cons" list: Decision-makers use a T-chart to weigh the benefits and disadvantages of the options. It ensures that all positives and negatives are considered when making a decision. Additionally, a cost-benefit analysis can be used when weighing the financial ramifications of each possible alternative to determine what makes the most sense from an economic perspective, and a SWOT analysis assesses strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Whatever the mechanism you use to arrive at your decisions, consider these potential tools and processes so that you can arrive at the best decision for your laboratory, to ensure it continues to thrive and grow.

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