National Director of Sales at Renfert USA
in an interview with JDT Focus Magazine
The past year has been difficult for us all, but the dental industry has faced unique struggles. At the end of last year, our National Director of Sales for USA and Canada, Greg Martin, CDT, TE, spoke with FDLA’s focus magazine to reflect on the ways Renfert adapted to the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic. In this article, he offered insights into the future of the dental laboratory industry and actionable advice on moving forward through 2021 and beyond.
What measures has Renfert taken in order to overcome the challenges from COVID-19? Did your business strategies change?
2020 and COVID-19 presented myriad challenges or us as a company. We needed to be able to continue to service our dealer partners and customers (end users), make sure our inventory supply was stable, be financially responsible to the company, etc., all at the same time. Plus, there was the fact we were facing so many unknowns. We had excellent leadership from all levels, from our CEO in Germany to our General Manager here in the U.S., who encouraged us to be forward thinking and really plan for the worst. We reduced travel to a minimum, but pivoted to virtual connectivity via video conferencing (Skype), increased webinar activity, and creation of our Renfert-On-the-Go Video Learning series, etc. Our team, on a global scale, really pulled together to face the challenges head-on and with a “stronger together” mentality. It really was great to see. I think it made us a better company having faced these challenges.
Where do you see the industry headed in the next five years?
The industry will continue its shift to more digital processes, both with better technology and communication tools (vital to dentist/lab communication), such as our EASYview 3D, as well as new materials for both milling (such as high performance polymers and next generation zirconia) and 3D printing (resins and new materials for final restorations). As the 3D printing technology becomes more mainstream, you will see a huge increase in the offerings available and will drive new innovations for dentistry. With new materials, there will be new finishing techniques and subsequently more new materials needed. We want to be able to meet those needs for our customers.
What advice would you give to laboratory owners to survive and thrive in today’s environment?
Stay on top of technology. Be aware of trends and new materials via dental journals such as FDLA’s focus and NADL’s JDT, and through dental forums and groups. Most important, and I can’t stress this enough, is to make sure you have open lines of communication and use the tools available to communicate with your doctors. Be available, be flexible, and be open to new technology and processes.
Why is being an FDLA Business Partner valuable to you?
Being an FDLA Business Partner is valuable to us because FDLA really provides a touchstone for information, trends in the industry, and insight into what is really going on out there in the “real world.” The FDLA has many members who are trendsetters and industry leaders, and it is vital that we as a company look to them for advice on how to make better products for their daily work processes and to increase our ability to “Make Work Easy.”