Publisher Letter

Change is in the Air 

Bill Neumann

In many parts of the country, this is the time of year that leaves are starting to turn from green to red, orange, and yellow. Accompanying this predictable change, the plentiful daylight hours of summer make way for the increase in darkness. Temperatures begin to drop and the air becomes crisp. For many of us, the change in seasons is comforting and welcomed.

Most change is not quite as predictable and welcomed. We have had many, recent changes in dentistry. One of the most obvious, and possibly one the most impactful, has been a recent shift in distribution access to manufacturer lines. The exclusive or semi-exclusive dealer/manufacturer partnerships have given way to (almost) open access to a multitude of manufacturer product lines. I am not sure exactly when or how it started, but one can look back to the A-dec and Henry Schein partnership as one of the first, large manufacturer access changes in recent history. Shortly after this move, several of Danaher’s equipment companies opened Patterson Dental. Fast forward to 2017 and Dentsply Sirona’s CEREC is now available through Henry Schein.

What does this new era of “non-exclusive” distribution mean to the industry and our customers? Dealer reps are challenged to differentiate themselves beyond their company’s product offerings. Furthermore, dealer reps need access to quality training, information, and education on these products so they can integrate them into their “practice solutions offering”. Manufacturers must learn the nuances and protocols when working with new dealer partners while not alienating their former “exclusive” partners. How this shakes out remains to be seen, but it will be interesting to watch. Ultimately, the customer wins by having access to the products they want through the dealer they trust.

While we watch the distribution changes effecting our industry, we also have some big changes here at Share Moving Media (First Impressions’ parent company.)  October 1 marked our acquisition of DentalFax. The newest addition to our dental family is a subscription-based industry news source that has been in business for 23 years. DentalFax offers timely information on just about everything going on in the industry. We are pleased that Jim Ferrell, founder of DentalFax, entrusted our company to carry on his legacy of delivering timely, relevant dental industry news and data. Whether this is the first you’ve heard of DentalFax, or maybe you’ve been a long time, dedicated subscriber, I think you’ll enjoy The DentalFax Story in this issue. We talk to Jim Ferrell and get the history of DentalFax and give you an idea of where we’d like to take it in the years to come.

Changing with the times,

Bill Neumann

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