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a blog by Chris Barrow

Why Cfast?

Yesterday I enjoyed two rail journeys across the Pennines after another interesting day with Gary Dickenson and the team from Cfast at their new offices on the outskirts of York. By the way – direct train travel to and from from Manchester Airport (8 minutes drive from home) is both easier and cheaper than the car and allows me to complete over 3 hours of desktop work en route – the more I travel by public transport, the more I like it. In case you are wondering, my son’s duties have extended far beyond driving me around the UK and he needs the time as well to keep on top of his back-stage work at 7connections. At Cfast, I met the newest member of the team, Rhian Tarling, a graphic designer and making a very good start on developing new literature for dentists and patients – we shared some of her latest creations on a plasma screen – looking very good. My two-pennyworth was to share with her some of the info-graphics that we are developing at 7c and suggest that the same could be done on subjects such as the patient experience and training for dental teams. Some people around the dental community have asked me why I am aligning (sorry) myself with Cfast in a market becoming more populated with GDP-ortho providers? The commercial answer is that Gary approached me before anybody else did and asked for my help as a Non-Executive advisor and business coach – presumably recognising the fact that I have some experience of running dental businesses (otherwise known as the good, the bad and the ugly), that I’m well connected after 20 years and that I do have a little tribe who follow me around on social media to cheer and jeer (in equal measure). I’m asked to do more of that work nowadays – which presumably means I’m getting old – ah well – they say that “wisdom enters through the wound”. If you want some good advice – ask the person with the deepest scars. However, I’m not just a hired gunslinger and I do like to work with clients who “do good” and make a positive difference to those with whom they connect. I’m no longer overly interested in taking fees from prima donnas, egotists and those who do not subscribe to Colin Campbell’s philosophy on Prethics (which I consider to be one of the most important dental blog posts of recent years) Now – back to Cfast. Why am I very excited to see this business grow and play a part in that process? Every business needs to positively differentiate itself from the competition. I have never feared competition – it stimulates demand. The more business coaches there are, the more people hire a business coach. The more short-term ortho providers there are, the more dentists recommend and deliver, the more patients buy, the more people get helped and happier. Competition is essential to avoid monopoly – because monopoly always breeds complacency. Competition assures attention to detail, innovation, customer relationship management and transparent pricing. Competition places the onus on the provider to answer the question “why you?” from the distributor and the end-user. So I asked Gary a simple question today. “Why Cfast?” And this is was his “Baker’s Dozen”:

  1. Cfast is specifically designed to be occlusion-safe for GDP use

  2. is a one-stop shop for all cosmetic orthodontic methods – fixed labial, fixed lingual or clear aligners

  3. has a fair price (no differential pricing for large orders – so every GDP is on the same level playing field)

  4. is provided by a UK laboratory with 30 years of experience

  5. offers a commitment to total customer support

  6. offers lab work on credit to everyone, no credit checks

  7. offers a free marketing materials and advice

  8. offers unlimited free course re-sits

  9. has a free clinic locator service on their web site

  10. has a free on-line forum and case support, 24 hours a day

  11. offers not-for-profit workshops on marketing with Chris Barrow and guest practitioners as speakers

  12. has no pushy sales people

  13. can arrange in-practice training sessions for team members

I’ve worked with the team at Cfast for some months now and I’m excited to be playing a role in their future plans, which include product and service innovation as well as the opening of new markets. As I write, a new web site is close to “reveal” and their social media profile is expanding rapidly. Every business needs the right people – people with aptitude and attitude – and I’m convinced that this is a good place to be. Gary knew that I would be blogging his answers – and, thus, that he will be accountable to live up to the core values published here. I asked him for a KEDO (knock ’em dead offer) for this post (taking care to suggest added value and not discount) and he responded that any new client who contacts him as a result of reading this will be offered a free place on the Cfast full-day marketing workshops that I will be delivering on 14th September and 5th October (plus a date in Northern Ireland soon to be announced) along with Mark Skimmings and Iain Morrison as Principals who already market and deliver the product). So – if you would like to hear more – talk to the man himself – Gary Dickenson – on 0844 2097035 or 07866 038079 or He will be happy to answer your questions and guide you on the pathway to this rich source of new business (and a community of dentists with a bigger future).

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