THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

On the flight deck

I’ve used the “flying” metaphor before in posts and infographics – with “dental” jobs for the pilot, co-pilot, navigator and crew. On a modern flight deck we mortals see a bewildering array of information that helps the crew take off, stay up in the air, stay on course, respond to change and land safely. Historically, dental practice owners have flown with a minimum of information – the equivalent of a small aircraft with the basic life-saving data. Let’s face it – 80% of dental principals are flying twin-engined Cessna’s and not long-haul cruisers – but times are changing. Enough of metaphors. I posted on Facebook yesterday my enthusiasm during my meeting with Mubbasher Khanzada from Welltime Limited, with whom I am working closely on the strategic development of their business. They currently offer on-line patient appointment systems, automated social media marketing for patients and other exciting innovations. Welltime is a company to watch and I have every expectation that their contribution to dental business profitability will be considerable in the next 5 years. The project we focused on yesterday was a new “business insights dashboard” that is due to launch around The Showcase later this year. Let me say first of all that, from the get go, the project has been “open source” at my recommendation – and we are inviting feedback and participation from other trainers, consultants and coaches to dentistry, as well as beginning beta testing with existing dental practices. The final product will carry a small monthly investment by the Principal – but will be available across the profession – the more data we collect, the more benchmarks we can create for the benefit of all. Imagine a pilot’s flight deck (sorry, I’m back there again) with a range of metrics and data that tell you:

  1. exactly where you are

  2. exactly where you are heading

  3. how to get back on course

all presented by a software package that can plug into the bag of your existing practice management software and present the data visually, highlighting areas where you are “off course” in real time. Frankly, its a god-send for a business coach or accountant as well as the savvy owner. Mubbasher demonstrated the latest version to me yesterday and I cannot wait to get it “out there” as a diagnostic device to use with 7connections clients. All the Key Performance Indicators, compared with your budget and with benchmarks for the profession. All the productivity and profitability of individual fee-earners calculated and compared against operating costs per surgery. All the return on investment from individual marketing campaigns identified. All the conversion success of your Treatment Co-ordinators and fee-earners identified. All at the click of a mouse – in real time, anytime. Imagine the extra profit that can be generated by being that much in control of your business! I will be sharing further updates with you as we continue to evolve towards the finished product.

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