As you take time each day to enter your case information into your computer database, those records also are building a wealth of information for you to organize, track, monitor and analyze your business. The phrase often used to describe this is business intelligence. Tuning into this can help you to be more responsive, to be ready for opportunities, to make worthwhile decisions, to know when changes are needed or risks worth taking.
To reach this point, it is important that the information you enter using your case management software is accurate and complete. Take the time to review the options available to you and the basic lists that create the infrastructure for your business. If you have delegated responsibility for entering your information, continue to monitor from time to time to assure that your standards are being maintained.
Next, assure that the financial portion of your case records is reaching your accounting software on a timely basis. If you are using software that automatically synchronizes your case management with your accounting and financial management, this is the best possible option. If your software requires exports from one to the other, care must be taken that the transfers are complete and on schedule with no missing gaps or time overlays.
Allocate a little time to take a look at the queries and reports available to you. This can be both educational and enlightening as you view your business from a number of angles. Again, before launching this project, take a look at the options (also called preferences) you can choose for your reporting. Using an example from QuickBooks, although you need to choose an accrual or cash basis for your corporate returns, you can elect to view your reports on either or both basis. Very often, both the options and the reports will be by category such as cases. inventory. productivity, accounts receivable, sales, financial.
Software systems vary as to the level of built-in customization you can request for your reports to limit or expand the information, to choose the fields to include, and how the information will be presented. Take a look at the capabilities for requesting the percentages, comparisons, rankings, counts and totals that can be the basis for your analysis. If you are inclined to perform even more advanced analysis, having the ability to export to a resource with a wealth of formulas, algorithms and other analytical tools such as Microsoft Excel is a good idea.
With today’s technology, it takes only a few moments to select your report, its criteria and then generate a report. If you have elected a summary report, it can just take a click to drill down to the records that were used to gather and calculate your results. If the information is not quite enough, it is very easy to change the criteria to create a new angle or more comprehensive results.
By reviewing month-by-month and year-by-year statistics, you can detect trends, determine whether to continue on your path or change directions, know if the time has come to invest in new technology or other resources. The landscape for dental labs is continually changing. There are still many dentists and dental labs using the labor-intensive methods, but there is also a very steady beat of increased use of modern materials and computer-aided technology in the lab and for better communication between the dental office and lab.
We still see young hopefuls entering the profession but also more and more lab ownership by dental groups who are willing and able to invest in the new technologies. We also see in our user group of labs a substantial number who are holding their own or growing to a new level by staying organized,, continually monitoring and analyzing to stay on top of their production, customer service and finances. We in turn have made it one of our important missions to continually provide for both the traditional and the new software tools to help them achieve this.
If you would like an overview of the business intelligence information available to you in QuickBooks and DentaLab for QuickBooks, we invite you to request a free copy of our white papers on these. You can contact our support team at: