By Danny Chan
For an early adopter of dental technology, nothing is more frustrating than finding your equipment installed with a messy digital network configuration. Any dentist who has attempted to sort multiple user names (invariably with missing corresponding passwords), searched the web in vain for new drivers, felt hapless with error messages or got stuck with a software feature would know what I am talking about. The reason why many of us would rather take the self-help route when we find ourselves in a pickle, figuring out a new software or equipment, is usually because we cannot wait for technical support to respond. Either that or we do not wish to be put on hold by a phone technician, who sounds just as clueless as us.
That is why when a major dental equipment supplier like Henry Schein Halas announces new developments in its technical support for Australia-wide customers by increasing staff training and geographical coverage, our interest is naturally piqued.
According to Stephen Wilkinson, Service Team Leader, the significant upgrade means that HSH now boasts the largest Digital Integration and Service teams in Australia with the greatest coverage. The geographical dispersion of technical and IT manpower is clearly shown here:
WA – 3 Field Service Technicians, 1 Digital Support Technician, 1 Service/ Administrative Staff
SA – 2 Technicians, 2 Service/ Administrative Staff
VIC – 6 Technicians, 1 Digital Support Technician, 2 Service/ Administrative Staff
NSW – 8 Technicians, 1 Digital Support Technician, 2 Service/ Administrative
QLD – 5 Technicians, 2 Digital Support Technicians, 2 Service/ Administrative
With service/ administrative staff manning the hotlines in each state, the company aims to ensure that the “phone will always be answered and initial troubleshooting offered for immediate results”.
The new structure, Stephen attests, allows for more efficient operation and faster job resolution. Regular training courses will also provide opportunities for technical support personnel to upskill and upgrade.
“All our technicians are fully qualified and trained in the equipment range. To maintain a high level of technical knowledge, four training sessions will be held – for iCAT, Instrumentarium, Planmeca imaging and Morita – between now and the time of the article’s publication.”
Explaining HSH’s objectives for IT staff expansion and technical support restructuring, Jim Allsopp, Equipment Operations Manager, says:
“The primary reason would be the rapid growth and development to our product range, particularly with regard to the introduction of ‘high-tech’ ranges such as 3Shape 3D scanners, Roland mills and Instrumentarium’s CBCT range, amongst others.”
“This also correlates to the rapid growth of the HSH Equipment business (including the coverage) and our pledge to provide the best support and service possible to ensure our clients get the best from their investment.”
Customer feedback, Jim acknowledges, played a critical role in pushing for change.
“Historically HSH’s service has suffered from reputational issues (which were deserved). Feedback and the desire to lead the market has led to a change in management, re-order of the service business and review of all associated processes.”
Perhaps the most notable change has to do with HSH’s focus on Digital Support. In line with Henry Schein’s global efforts, Jim says HSH hopes to raise the profile of its digital technology range by boosting its presence with adequate support and training.
“Having an expert, dedicated Digital support team is very important as the introduction of high-tech products brings significant new challenges to dentists and service techs alike. The biggest of these is the new emphasis on software and integrated equipment. This takes training and expertise that more than justifies a dedicated team in order to provide full and timely support as it is required.”
“The acquisition of Body Logic, 6 years ago, and their expertise in CBCT imaging has certainly given us a head start.”
At the digital end, there are the 5 Digital Support Technicians to handle issues of dental integration and another team of 8 designated for CAD/CAM support, of which 4 are dedicated experts and the rest who are sales engineers equally versed in handling CAD/CAM issues.
With the largest Digital Support team in Australia – 5 digital support technicians – HSH is leaving no request unanswered. A nationwide support number is available to ensure your calls are dealt with in person and prioritised to minimise downtime. The support team can access your IT network remotely to resolve issues and reconfigure software and settings to improve the operation of equipment and software in your practice. Nationwide customers can expect complete support (8am - 5pm AEST) for all digital devices and software including cameras, sensors, PSP's, OPG, CBCT & CAD/CAM.
Driving home the point, Jim says HSH wants to ensure a worry-free maintenance program irrespective of where the customer is based.
“We are all familiar with how frustrating inadequate training and breakdowns are – Henry Schein Halas’ extensive service and support coverage ensures that breakdowns are reduced, with preventative maintenance available regardless of location and downtime is shortened in the event of a breakdown due to stocks of parts and an impressive service network.”
“This Network is even more important with regards to DI as availability and quality of support can significantly affect the ‘usefulness’ of a product. A dedicated team is a must!”
From efficient installation to training of practice staff, Jim explains, the entire process needs to be factored to maximise the benefits of the equipment.
“We provide product (equipment/software) training courses for dental practice staff. Full training and handover is conducted with every equipment purchase. Following this, ongoing support and training is available both in our showrooms at one of our many (often free) events or in the clients own practice.”
As previously alluded to, finding appropriate and timely technical support can sometimes feel like extracting teeth, especially when you are constantly being put on hold or not being referred to the right person. Can dentists expect better help from HSH’s current support team?
“We certainly agree (with the teeth pulling analogy)! That is why we have taken significant care to ensure calls are answered and resolved as quickly as possible. Both Service and DI have dedicated support lines, all of which are monitored during business hours.”
“All calls go to a service administrator (based in each state) who can provide initial support on many issues and, if required, schedule the next available technician to attend the practice and resolve the issue:
This high level of support can be expected from all customers, Jim stresses:
“Every Henry Schein Customer can expect the same great level of support regardless of what they purchase! It is a matter of integrity and principle that we offer all our clients the best customer service possible.”