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Saturday, Apr. 16th 2016

Article in JDT: “The Middle Pushes Back”

Reported in the August/September 2015 JDT, studies show that many mid-sized labs are doing fine, even thriving, in today’s market. Conventional wisdom has said that mid-sized labs will start to disappear, but polls show these are overall very optimistic about their future.   This, despite large labs’ increased investment power, in-clinic restorations and the push by manufacturers to create restorations on a nation-wide scale.

The article defines mid-size labs as labs with ten to fifteen employees, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from them. The labs interviewed seem to have invested heavily in CAD/CAM systems. These systems mean a huge output per employee, which should help ensure profitability, though this is not always the case.

Some of the interviewed described an industry-wide crunch that will effect labs of all sizes. Small labs who have a hard time keeping up with new technology may not make it, and larger labs may feel the squeeze.

Owners cite visiting national and international industry meetings, and following up these meetings by investing in new technology.

Other owners spoke of the need to understand their lab’s capacity. There are only so many cases a lab can do a day without sacrificing quality. A good lab knows when to accept a rush case and when to reject it.

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