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Ryan Hamm is the Editorial Director for Dental Products Report and Digital Esthetics.
Vident has long been a name well-known to dental labs. But recently, Vident changed their name to make their relationship with VITA more apparent: the company is now called VITA North America.
We recently spoke with VITA North America Fred Ketcho about his company's recent changes, what they mean for the lab market and what VITA has planned in the coming year.
1. You’ve recently changed your name to VITA North America. What was the impetus behind that change?
Since 1984, our core business has been focused on the distribution of VITA products to dental laboratories and clinicians across North America. In the past, we have supplemented our VITA offerings with accessories and ancillary products. However, these add-on products served to dilute our efforts. We have been refocusing for several years now and decided it was time to go “all in” and change the company name to VITA North America. The name change is our most visible way of renewing our promise to the dental industry that VITA products and top-notch technical support are now, and always will be, what we do best.
2. What does more closely tying yourself to the VITA name do for the company?
The brand awareness and equity of the VITA name is exceptionally high. Saying “VITA” to virtually any dentist or technician in the world elicits instant recognition. VITA is 90 years old now, and all this time the name has represented quality and esthetics in dentistry. To not recognize that brand and consolidate our future behind it would be a big mistake.
3. How does this name change mirror the business strategy Vident has always had?
We focus on technical proficiency and education combined with excellent customer support. We also add value through exceptional service and programs for large labs, small labs and clinicians. It seems simple, but it can be very hard, particularly in an industry where sometimes the cheapest product gets the most attention. Aligning ourselves with VITA through this name change reinforces our strategy of continuing to provide superior customer and technical support.
4. What kind of changes or innovations will this enable VITA North America to make that might not have been as possible before?
The change removes the confusion we’ve propagated in the marketplace for some time. Dentists know us as “VITA” and labs know us as “Vident.” Can you imagine setting up a trade show or designing a magazine ad and having to determine which logo to use? We’ve had to do this for 30 years. Is that customer-centric? Of course not. When I joined the company, I brought a more customer-centric attitude, and this change will present a unified vision to our internal team that will then translate into more effort and time spent on customer-facing efforts.
5. You’re also moving your headquarters. What is the driving force behind that change?
In November, we’re moving our Orange County, Cali., corporate office from Brea to Yorba Linda, the city immediately to the east. The new office is in a med tech complex which more closely aligns us with our industry and offers a much better business environment. The building features state-of-the-art renovations across the board and a more modern clinical look. We’re designing the inside to foster a collaborative and productive work environment for both our colleagues and our customers; the building will also include a new, high-tech CAD/CAM lab.
6. What does the move do for VITA North America as a company?
It will allow us to present a more modern facility to course participants and have a more clinically professional appearance. The layout and flow of the facility also promotes a more collaborative and productive work environment.
7. With all of this change, what can customers expect from you?
I anticipate shorter hold times as a result of a new phone system, a better classroom environment with upgraded benches and faster technical support from our lab team. We always strive for fast, professional customer service, and although our research shows we rank high in this regard with our customers, I believe there will be an even higher rate of satisfaction after the name change and move to our new office.
8. How do these changes better equip VITA North America to serve labs all over the country?
We are rolling out an initiative to help our lab partners successfully grow in the CAD/CAM arena, centered around VITA Enamic. The program is focused on a business proposition that will help labs differentiate themselves in the marketplace with materials that most mimic natural dentition. Our new dedicated CAD/CAM lab will support the certification program. We will also have a milling room that allows for expansion as new systems come to market, allowing us to remain on the cutting edge.
9. What product is VITA North America most excited about for 2014 and heading into 2015?
Our VITA Enamic hybrid ceramic material has proven exceptionally popular with CEREC dentists, and we intend to launch it to dental labs. We will also be introducing universal mandrel CAD/CAM blocks and disk materials that will allow Enamic and our Mark II feldspathic material to be milled in most systems.
10. What else can we expect from VITA North America in the coming months?
We are also in the process of putting the finishing touches on a CAD/CAM certification program that will allow us to present a milling material solution to labs that combines our products with excellent training, service and support.