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From the Managing Director
Welcome back to 2017.
Already a month into the year and the recent Christmas-New Year break seeming like ages in the past, we now throttle on towards this year’s Christmas like a freight train in a tunnel with the ADA Conference looming in May along with the NZDA Conference in August in our Dental Calendars. Also, many of our Australian Customers will be planning for the end of the Financial Year to take advantage of the Small Businesses (less than $2 million in turnover) instant asset threshold deduction, whereby small businesses can immediately deduct assets costing less than $20,000. The deduction is claimed in the income year in which the assets is first used or installed, ready for use. At the end of this financial year however, it is more than likely that the Government will reduce this figure back to $1,000.
Disappointingly, just before Christmas, the Australian government announced plans to reduce the spending on public dentistry; reducing the CDBS rebate from $1,000 to $700 over a two year period, as well as announcing changes to promised Dental Funding for public Adult services. The lack of a clear policy on Public Dentistry creates uncertainty for both those patients relying on the service and those Oral Health Professionals providing the service. It further erodes the importance of a regular visit to the Oral Health Professional by the public who can choose to afford to pay. One would hope that the Oral Health Professional bodies could work together to have a common advocacy position in this area of policy to help the Government to make the right choices with respect to Dental Health.
As we use technology and culture to create more health, more access and more dignity for more people, we keep reminding and sometimes, beating ourselves up about how inadequate it is in the face of the injustice and pain that remains, forgetting sometimes the advances we have made. The greatest Dental Show on the planet, IDS, occurs every two years in Cologne. In March this year, the 37th IDS will open its doors, and if you have not attended an IDS I would recommend it. The IDS provides an opportunity for every Dental Manufacturer from around the world to exhibit what they do and what they think the future will look like for the Oral Health Professional. This year there will be more than 2,100 exhibitors from 52 Countries. Visit the web site at http://english.ids-cologne.de/ for a glimpse of its splendour.
I think one of the key business trends in 2017 will be the continued focus on Customer Service. Omotenashi is the Japanese word for treating people the way you'd want to be treated - for a posture of customer service, that builds long-term trust and loyalty. I think the challenge we have as business owners when providing a service to Customers who have a choice about where they spend their money, is to offer human service that's even better than what the customers could provide for themselves. One way to think about this is to consider the Dental Practice that focus on cutting costs and improving productivity where their efforts to cut costs and improve their productivity exceed their commitment to patient outcomes. On the other hand, in the ways that some Dental Practices have given patients control of their choices (seeing all available treatment options, for example, or choosing their own flavour choices), satisfaction has had a chance to increase. If you're going to do it, do it beautifully.
Thank you for your business in January. We look forward to continuing to help you provide the best possible care in the future.