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The words “Quality Management System” get thrown around a lot, but at Vident, there is an actual process in place to bring meaning to the phrase. What can you tell us about that process? At Vident, quality management is a continuous process of improvement that never ends. There is always room for increasing the customer experience and reducing nonconformance in an efficient way. VITA has had amazing quality processes in place since 1924, and we definitely benefit from being a VITA company.
The words “Quality Management System” get thrown around a lot, but at Vident, there is an actual process in place to bring meaning to the phrase. What can you tell us about that process?
At Vident, quality management is a continuous process of improvement that never ends. There is always room for increasing the customer experience and reducing nonconformance in an efficient way. VITA has had amazing quality processes in place since 1924, and we definitely benefit from being a VITA company.
For the laboratory, quality is always an important part of the mix and it’s the standardized efficient processes and customer value you add to the quality mix that can really separate you from your competition. Plus, with a good quality proposition, it’s not always about the lowest price, it’s about the value for the price. And this is where labs can really differentiate themselves from their competition the same way we have.
Another important part of the continuous improvement process of quality management is that it requires you to focus outward to your customer base for feedback. This is critical for customer-centric businesses and I highly recommend everyone have a standardized process for receiving and addressing customer input, whether it’s a complaint, a compliment or a friendly suggestion – gather the data, learn from it and in turn yield better business outcomes.
You do more than just make products – you support customers in their purchases through channels such as your education program. What can you tell us about the type of education you provide?
Superior education is a founding principle of Vident. By providing a good mix of opportunities across all indications and skill levels we show our dedication not only to providing the best support for our products, but our support for increasing industry knowledge as a whole. We also recognize that in today’s economy we need to provide alternative methods for technicians so that they can choose the most efficient format. We have excellent in-person, high-end courses like the upcoming Claude Sieber course in New York City, and a productivity-oriented panel discussion that has become an annual event – we’ll be hosting another one in partnership with Nobel Biocare in 2012. We are also very excited about our distance-based online CE curriculums – we are in beta-test now and will launch this initiative shortly.
In terms of product launches, what are some recent introductions you are most excited to bring to the dental market?
By extending the line of tools within the VITA Classical and 3D-Master shade systems we have been able to facilitate better and faster communication between dentist and lab. Products like the VITA Easyshade Compact make shade determination more precise and reproducible, the 3D-Master Bleachedguide offers intermediate shade tabs and provides a value-based linear arrangement, and the Linearguide represents a faster version of the 3D-Master shade guide.
Materials-wise we are excited about new VM effect porcelains in both PFM and all-ceramics that allow ceramists to reproduce warmer, extremely lifelike shades. Our CAD/CAM offering continues to expand with VITA Rapid Layer Technology – a milled YZ bridge framework with a milled VITABLOCS Triluxe forte on VITABLOCS Mark II bridge on top. Also, our VACUMAT 6000 furnace series has been extremely well received; the small footprint and intuitive, elegant design (it recently won the iF international design award) combined with the ability to control up to 4 firing units with one control pad has really resonated with our customers.
In terms of your product development, how do you determine the competitive categories in which you can bring something truly different to the marketplace?
This is an excellent question, especially since VITA is used to being on the forefront of most areas of restorative dentistry: shade measurement and communication, CAD/CAM, dentures and all-ceramics to name a few. The voice of the customer is so critical in product development. At the same time, we strive to design and produce products that make restorative processes more efficient in measurable ways that a lab may never have considered. In order to do this, we seek out the underlying business and operational needs of the market.
An example would be that we noticed customers reporting they are receiving a lot of restorations that lack sufficient space for porcelain and VITA has done two things to remedy this: worked to achieve shades as thin as .8mm and also helped guide the technician through the process by replacing manual shade confirmation using shade tabs with a sophisticated spectrometer to know which shade variable to adjust in order to achieve the best possible result. Another example is the new Effect Opals that don’t diminish or turn white as you fire them – our 5 new Effect Opals are formulated to maintain their opalescent effect through multiple firing for a more predictable outcome. It is this combination of shade control and production efficiencies that excites us most, and laboratories will continue to see innovations from VITA in this area.