Letter from the Founder
Thank you for taking the time to visit our website.
I have been asked why a dentist would care about owners of small laboratories. While working for the Captek Company, I was part of a team that worked with the 50 largest labs in the country. But my background is rooted in small business. My father owned and ran a small family business with his brother until the time I was in college. Then, changes in the industry made it more difficult to get paid and larger competitors made customer retention problematic. Eventually, he was forced out of business.
I also was a small business person, operating my fee-for-service dental practice as a sole practitioner for 26 years. I took no discount plans when, in 1991, expansion of managed care caused my net income to drop by a third. Despite the high level of quality dentistry I tried to provide and semi-annual fee raises, my income remained flat with decreasing buying power each year for the next 10 years. I know the pain of owning a small business in a highly competitive world.
Today, the power brokers in our industry are big insurance companies that have cut dental fees to levels not seen for a decade. Pricing pressures, flowing downstream, strain the ability of small lab owners to acquire technology and properly market themselves and remain competitive. We want to change that by helping small dental laboratory owners cut their expenses, increase productivity, and market to dentists that would not otherwise know them. Together, small dental laboratories will be able to operate with marketing and buying power just like larger competitors.
As you read through the website you will read about our mission and values and the great discounts and support offered by our corporate partners. You’ll also learn how we intend to brand your lab nationally with all kinds of marketing tools to help you grow. And best of all, because we want to be inclusive, the cost of membership is determined by your lab size so that all small laboratories can afford to participate.
Many of you have said that it’s about time something like OPT-In was organized. To make this work requires full-time dedication, industry-wide contacts, and people like you that want to see things improve. Join us in proving that small dental laboratories are willing to get it done. The more that OPT-In, the more we will accomplish and the faster we will accomplish it.
Thank you for visiting. We hope to hear from you soon.
Dean Mersky, DDS