Wow, another year has passed and a new one is upon us. I always like to look back and see where we succeeded as well as where we missed. Here are five ideas for lab owners or managers of 2017 resolutions that I believe could be achieved this year.
Complete two full days of digital education. Things are changing so fast that it can be difficult to keep up. Perhaps you did a bunch of CEU’s last year or perhaps not. Things are going to be different this year for sure. The further you fall behind in education, the more difficult it will be to compete. Doing just two days or 14 hours of the right programs can help take you to the next level. Becoming more knowledgeable will help you thrive. Check out the CAP education calendar here.
2. Invest in Yourself
Pull the trigger on that investment you have been considering, but are a little apprehensive of. Investing in yourself is the number one way to grow your business, your profits and your net worth. For more on this, read my full blog about the importance of investing in yourself.
3. Introduce a New Product
Bring in a minimum of one new product that can get you in the door of that dentist office you have been thinking about that would be great converting to one of your customers. Chances are this dentist is happy with the lab he is using. That said, getting his or her attention by offering a product he or she cannot obtain from their current lab is the easiest way to get started. Once you get a foot in the door, it is much easier to obtain additional work. For a more detailed approach for which products to consider adding, read this blog.
4. Become a Little More Lean
When you go through your entire lab, everything that is not used on a monthly basis should be removed from bench drawers. Pull out excess inventory form staff benches as well. If you employ more than 7 or 8 technicians, it’s likely you are ordering consumables you already have in drawers. For more details on becoming lean, download our complimentary ebook: Turbocharge Your Lab With Lean Manufacturing.
5. Improve Communication
Deploy a plan to improve communication with both staff members and customers. Like dental technology, communication alternatives and technology have changed. For improving communication with customers, I would suggest asking each what method they prefer; phone call, text, video conference or email. If they prefer phone, ask what number is best to reach them at. I have some customers that want a call direct to their cell. Many people like receiving texts. Texts are great as they can be viewed and answered very quickly and you can add photos to messages easily as well. Staff communication or collaboration can be set up a few ways. When done correctly, employees will feel more a part of the lab and it will improve morale and inspire them to embrace the task at hand. I’ve had great success with implementing a morning huddle; you can read more about that here.
Wishing you the best in 2017.
Happy New Year!