S ometimes, opportunity knocks during the most unlikely of circumstances. Take Robert Hayman and Dr. William Dorfman, of ABC's " Extreme Makeover" fame. The two met at a University of California, LA Bachelor's Auction Charity Event in 1991. With disparate backgrounds, the two found common ground between their respective professions of dentistry and business. What followed was a roll of the dice. Discus Dental, founded two years later, is today a leading global direct manufacturing marketer of premium dental products to both dental professionals and consumers. Headquartered in Culver City, California, this $ 130 million company with 600 employees also provides state- of- the- art practice management software, practice enhancement products and services, and expert industry training for the professional dental community. The company's leadership is a balanced blend of industry expertise and business fortitude. " We seek to become partners in our customers' success. Our commitment to quality products is just the beginning of this endeavor," said Hayman. " We continually develop outstanding practice marketing and management tools – from software to patient consultation materials – designed to build dynamic, healthy businesses." In 2006, Discus Dental acquired the intellectual property and control of BriteSmile's " Associated Center" business in 5,000 independent dental offi ces in 40 countries, for $ 35 million in cash. " The completion and successful integration of this acquisition not only establishes Discus Dental as the dominant company in the light-activated, chair- side whitening category but also as the world leader in professional whitening," said Hayman at the time of the announcement. The dentistry industry has changed drastically since the advent of teeth- whitening technology, and Discus Dental has been riding the upswing with its proprietary Day White- ACP, Nite White Turbo- ACP, and Zoom2- ACP products, among others. Its full cadre of products spans whitening, oral hygiene, impression, restorative, offi ce art, endodontic, and rotary instrument categories. In February 2006, Discus Dental Software, a division of Discus Dental, landed a huge account for its practice management software. Its proprietary DentalVision Enterprise software was chosen by InterDent Service Corporation to be installed in 120 offi ce locations and nearly 1,500 workstations. In addition, InterDent and Discus Dental Software are working to develop a Java version of the software. " InterDent is one of the largest and most respected dental practice management organizations in the industry," said Bruce Lieberthal, General Manager of Discus Dental Software. " We are excited at the opportunity to work with them. Their selection of our DentalVision Enterprise software is the culmination of their two- year search for a software solution to meet the needs of their growing business and speaks to the robust nature of DentalVision and the value it can bring to the dental community." Lee Rouman, VP & CIO of InterDent, agreed. " DentalVision was selected after an exhaustive search for its ability to meet the current and 154 October 08 www. bus- ex. com Through an expert blend of dental industry know- how and business prowess, Discus Dental employs an all- in- one approach to outshine competitors. Kate Sawyer reports Abright idea
October 08 www. bus- ex. com 155 Discus Dental future needs of our organization. We view this as integral to our future growth plans," he said. The software boasts multi- offi ce and multi-provider tracking; true line- item accounting; implant tracking; sophisticated accounts receivable and insurance management; electronic and paper- based insurance billing; appointment scheduling; real- time tracking and ranking of referrals; fast and fl exible reporting and correspondence functions; and seamless connections to all major digital imaging and digital radiography products. Discus Dental manages its own manufacturing through its Westside Packaging subsidiary. In addition to a plant in Culver City, Westside Packaging also has a 180,000- square- foot manufacturing facility in Ontario, Canada. Westside Packaging aims to keep costs low by cutting down on overhead and increasing capacity through lean manufacturing, which was introduced to the shop fl oor in July 2007. The fi rst lean cell took fi ve months to implement, but the result was staggering – a reduction in labor of 50 percent, for a savings of $ 240,000. In addition, sourcing 70 percent of materials from local vendors has drastically reduced shipping costs. Westside Packaging is also able to contain costs by recycling, and has saved $ 70,000 by switching to low- energy, fl uorescent lighting. The company plans to install 220,000 square feet of solar panels on the roofs of its Ontario plant and the adjacent building, and Westside Packaging will use the majority of the electricity generated.