Dental Insider Blog

Observation and Commentary On the Dental Industry

Trouble Brewing at Zahn Dental???

Posted by dentalinsider on April 18, 2007

What’s not coming to a laboratory near you? A Zahn sales representative. Their team is falling apart quicker than a New York minute. It seems the “beautiful marriage”, as Stan Bergman put it last summer, is in divorce court. When they bought Darby Lab Supply they sold everyone on the fact that they were meshing together two wonderful companies, with two great leaders. David Rodriguez and Rita Acquafredda were going to take this new company above and beyond what anyone could imagine. Record sales, new products, and they were going to corner the lab market.

They sold quite a few people on their dreams and hopes, but it seems less than a year after the purchase that this company is falling apart at the seams. What is happening you ask? Well David Rodriguez is no longer with Zahn, and seems to have been given a “token” job as Sullivan Schein Prosthetics Educational Director. David was brought in around 2 years ago to turn this company around and actually make it profitable. He was hired by Zahn with much to do after they went through a couple of pathetic General Managers. He was going to “take this company to new heights”, which is a phrase we seem to hear all too often from Zahn. According to Zahn’s outside sales representatives he went by the nickname the “ghost”, as nobody ever could get a hold of him or even knew where he was. He never returned his own employees phone calls, let alone calls from customers or suppliers. So I guess we bid farewell to David, and wish him best of luck directing all that education. While David leaving the company does not alone signal major problems, as they have been through many GM’s over the past few years since Dennis Dalton left the company.

That is why when another key person within the company leaves it make you take notice. It seems Donna Villarose, Eastern Regional Sales Manager, left the company a couple weeks ago. Those of you who know who Donna is, know that this woman has been instrumental in the growth of Zahn Dental for many years. She was very close to Norman Weinstock, the “Chairman of the Board” of Zahn Dental (What board I am not sure) and it the times when Zahn had no leader she stepped up and pretty much ran the entire company. This woman was the inspiration and the first recipient of a prestigious award the company hands out every year at their National Sales Meeting. I am not sure exactly how long she was with Zahn, but she was with the company though many changes and helped the company grow. She is based out of Florida and for years was responsible for overseeing the Zahn Expo. With the return of “The Sopranos” I have to say if the company were like the mafia, she would have to have been considered the under-boss.

Ok, so two people leave the company no big deal right? Wrong, big deal and big problems on the horizon. First, why did both these people leave? Well, for David it was only a matter of time. As I said earlier, when they bought Darby Lab Supply there was a spectacular marriage made between David and Rita. But ever since that day it has been a power struggle between the two and my sources tell me that David was just sick of it. You see Zahn used to be an upstanding company, good people, good ethics, trustworthy and all that good stuff. Sure not perfect by any means, but in relationship to the snakes running Darby Lab, they were angels. So when they brought the Darby people into the fold it was kind of like they let the “Dark Side” into the building. Now people are worried about their jobs, spending more time watching their back then selling. If you want more details all you need to do is ask Annette Martino how she feels about Rita, you see Annette once worked for Darby. So the past 8 months or so all of this stuff is going on. Back stabbing, firings, people taking medical leaves then not being allowed to come back to their previous position. The list goes on and on. At some point after Schein purchased Darby Lab Donna Villarose told the Zahn bosses that if Rita ever became her boss she would quit. Well, that day came and that was exactly what Donna did, she left the company she helped grow and put years of her life into. I give her a round of applause for sticking to her morals. From what I hear she is now with an independent dealer named Dental Supplies Unlimited (DSU) in Boca Raton. Look for big things from this company and I would not be surprised to see several Zahn reps go with Donna in the coming months.

This should signal something to everyone inside Zahn that more changes are coming and that it is no longer Zahn, but rather Zharby Lab Supply. The new guard has taken over and things are only going to get worse. When you put this next to some of their other recent actions, I see doom and gloom coming out of this company. Sure you can say that Darby was larger than Zahn and someone built it to that point. But that was when you had several companies competing. And the only way Darby every got as large as they did was because they competed on price. They would undercut anyone on just about anything. But now that there has been further consolidation and fewer dealers how do you compete on price? They might actually have to work now. Plus, they have recently changed the way they pay their sales representatives and from what I understand it is looking bleak for them. I hear that their commissions are all growth based and the growth figures that are required are ridiculous. So basically instead of firing people they are just running them out of town.

Now you might be asking yourself, ‘Q, why does any of this matter and why should this concern me? Plus what does this have to do with your original point?’ Well here is my prediction. If you are currently doing business with Zharby, good luck getting any knowledgeable help. In fact good luck getting a real person on the phone. Their most recent sales flyer included a full page insert that was “A guide to Zahn’s new phone system”. It is pretty bad when you have to put out a sheet on how to order something from your company. If you are a shareholder of Henry Schein Inc, or are a funds manager, investor, etc I would start asking how profitable this little division is. Supposedly they are on their 5 th or 6th year of losses. When you add that to all the debt incurred to purchase Darby, this lab division is starting to look like a cement block tied around the Henry Schein leg. But Schein continues to pour money into propping this division up, probably all because of the stories coming from an aging Norman Weinstock.

Many people forget, and many people don’t want to remember that this industry has been through changes like this before. Consolidation happens for about 5 – 10 years, then once people get tired of the BS they leave these companies to strike out on their own. Mark my word you will see more lab dealers open their doors, and you will see more of the existing dental dealers with weak lab divisions start to take business away from Zharby. You will start to see more manufacturers selling direct in order to better service the customer. When you treat your customers like crap, make your employees afraid and feel like they don’t matter and you alienate yourself from your suppliers bad things are bound to happen. They might think they are the only show in town, but they are greatly mistaken.

There are some very promising small, independent lab dealers that are growing and I expect to see quite a few open before the end of the year. I say go out and support your local, independent dealer whenever you can. This is the last hope to keep some sense of service in this industry. These dealers generally can tell you more about the products and their pricing is generally very competitive.

Associate Q

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32 Responses to “Trouble Brewing at Zahn Dental???”

  1. teresaduncan said

    I had no idea this was all going on. I’m a longtime Darby customer so this was very interesting to read!

  2. Q,

    That was an excellent writing! As being in the industry for most of my life and having a “family” relationship with all of my customers I have heard of these problems with Zahn even before they acquired Darby. Since that aquisition things have only gotten worse for the labs. Hopefully this will open peoples eyes up that other dealers do exist and can service them so much better.

    Shawn Nowak
    Nowak Dental Supplies Inc.

  3. Dental Guy said

    Schein needs it’s lab divsion, and it will continue to keep it even if it continues to lose money. Otherwise, it would give its marketshare to Patterson and Benco. There is no way Schein will do anything that makes Patterson happy!

    By the way, is Zahn the exclusive distributor of KaVo’s CAD/CAM lab system everest? Schein and Danaher like to run around with big smiles saying everything is great, but everyone knows KaVo’s sales took a nose dive after ended business with Patterson. KaVo USA is another company that can’t keep any staff on board!

  4. Associate Q said

    The Kavo system is being sold direct as far as I can tell. Kavo was a solid company until Danaher got its hands on it. Now it seems it is all about pleasing the shareholders and not the customers. While I do not know as much about their dental office products I can tell you that their laboratory equipment has been getting worse and worse as time goes by. If you dig a little deeper you will find out that Danaher is closing facilities in Germany and there have been many layoffs workers. They are moving the job elsewhere it seems, and from what I can tell it is not back to the USA. I have spoken with several labs that have complained about their micro motors. If I were to guess they are probably moving those jobs to a low wage country and producing for much less than it costs in Germany. But those lower wages seems to bring lower quality. Yet they still are charging a premium for the products. They are purely living off the name at this point. Danaher is a conglomerate, and now with the Sybron group under their umbrella they are poised to make a surge in the dental industry. I think they set their sites on the dental industry a few years ago and just went on a buying spree. I am pretty sure it all started with buying Gendex from Dentsply. I am not really sure what they had in dental before that, but since then they have acquired some key names. Kavo, Kerr, Pelton & Crane, Gendex, Dexis, and some other lesser known names.

    As for Zahn they do not sell a Cad/Cam system, however their mother ship (Schein) does or is trying to. They took the D4D system away from Zahn division and decided to market the product to dental offices through Sullivan-Schein. The Zahn people hyped that thing for almost 3 years, supposedly “pre-sold” a hundred of them, and then Schein signed an exclusive agreement with them, but “ooops” we are selling this to dentists not labs. At least that is where they are marketing it, I suppose labs could buy the system but I have yet to see it in action so I don’t really know the ins and outs of it.

  5. The Boss said

    Interesting to note the over promised and under delivered D4D system seems to be having set backs once again. I wouldn’t be surprised to see 3M tie their Brontes package together with a chairside milling system.

    BTW, David Rodriquez owns Lab Innovations. He may dedicate his time to that once his contract with HS is over.

  6. Associate Q said

    3M will be tie everything together with the Brontes system, this I guarantee. That is why they have strategically located centers across the USA. Patient sit in chair, doc preps, doc scans, scan sent to center, crown is milled and delivered to the doc within 1 or 2 days. Of course they will possibly try to do a chairside but then how is that any different than a Cerec? The technology Brontes has, along with others, is for digital impressions. One of the theories is that you could send the digital impression to a SLA type machine to build a working model with which to build a crown if necessary. Yea right, SLA machine to make models and dies. Maybe at the cash rich milling centers, but not your average lab.

    You see that is what the problem is with every system. You can’t get the quality you want unless you have a human actually building the porcelain, or at the very least doing staining. Even then the quality is questionable at best.

    Yea, D-Rod has been dedicating his time to something for the past few years. That is why they call him the “ghost”. Don’t get me wrong I think he is a great guy, and very likeable, but they used him up and spit him out. But that is OK Rita will be right behind him at the rate she is ticking off manufacturers. They might be the largest, but when they have nothing to sell because nobody wants to do business with them you will see more heads roll.

  7. Dental Guy said

    Just before Midwinter, D4D ran a marketing blitz in one of the dental magazines. I think it was DPR. Since then, I haven’t seen or noticed anything about the new system, and I find it suprising that they are only making plans to sell it to dentists. Patterson/Sirona market one type of Cerec to dentists and another for labs. You would think that Schein would do the same thing.
    As for 3M, the former head of ESPE, Tom Engels has retired from the leading the company, but he is staying with the company for the sole purpose of working on the Brontes integration. So, it seems like a chair side milling system would be the main goal of his special project.

    Interesting news about KaVo, I don’t know who is left at the US division, but it seems like just about everyone important has fled to new dental homes. As for branding, I know they are very confused. DEXIS competes with Gendex, but they haven’t (atleast as of a few months ago) decided how to sell the digital sensors since Gendex sensors work so differently from DEXIS. At the same time, they don’t like to be promoted to the industry as Danaher becuase they want to promote their operating companies and not the parent company. It’s funny becuase some of their employees don’t even know which divisions they work for! If they work on the Danaher Dental Platform, they are not supposed to promote themselves to the industry as such. Instead, they are supposed to work for the operating divisions. KaVo people say they work for KaVo/Gendex, but DEXIS people might just work for DEXIS and Gendex but not KaVo. Yet, a DEXIS employee could also be promoting the Diagnodent! Oye!

  8. Associate Q said

    Sounds like you would have an identity crisis working at that place. Danaher is a smart company though, so once they do get things in order I think they will be one of true major players. (Not that they aren’t already) Plus, who says they are done with their buying spree? They have been wise in their purchases, they are buying the technology that will take this industry through the next generations. (Whether we like it or not).

    As for Brontes, I don’t disagree with you Dental Guy, but why would they buy that company only to produce a chairside system? Chairside systems have not worked for most restorations to this point. I don’t disagree a chairside will be available but I believe my theory is what they are aiming for in the future. It is pure production and reduces the labor dramatically. (Also reduces quality)


  9. The Boss said

    The cadent business model is flawed. Charging the dentist $25 and the lab $25 is nonsense. They should be setting up labs with the model making capability, and sell the raw materials. I think 3M is planning on open architecture, and outputting that .STL file to a number of devices, including but not limited to LAVA machines.

  10. kp said

    The E4d is a joke. Why would any doctor with their right mind spend $100,000 on that thing? It’s been delayed for years and I heard (may be only rumor) that the original investor took his money back and bolted. I believe it was an individual.
    CEREC like it or not is a 20 year proven technology. It is only getting better. The new software update is pretty amazing. It allows a doc to fine tune the restoration him/herself and it also has an automatic feature that will do it all by itself.
    The new milling chamber has cut the time in half to approx. 4-8 mins. It has plenty of studies and endorsements.
    Patterson may be putting a lot of it’s eggs in one basket, but it’s not a bad basket to have.

  11. Associate Q said

    What do you see as the model making capabilities? And who do you think can afford them?

    As I said before I think the Lava Centers are and have been strategically planned from the beginning. Think about it, 3M could essentially own the marketplace. Or for that matter anyone that is capable of doing the same.

    But you know what always gets in their way? The Boss already said it, GREED.

  12. The Boss said

    Model making will most likely be stereolithography. Milling is a waste of material and too slow. There are plenty of labs that can afford to get into this game, and since 3M is the largest stakeholder of the impression material market, don’t think for a minute they will squander this opportunity.

    Interesting quote from Gordon Chtistensen at the opening of the new facility in Scottsdale. He predicts in ten years or less there will only be about 2000 dental labs left standing in the US. Most likely it will be the ones who are early adopters of new technology.

  13. For the milling process I don’t think some of the labs realize how economical they can start milling out their own Zr copings. We sell a machine from Amann Girrbach for around $26,000. Sure the Sirona machines out there are nice but who has $100,000 lying around? I heard yesterday that even Whipmix is opening up a milling center.

    I do agree that the lab market is shrinking mainly due to most of the technicians retiring and no younger techs coming into the market. At LSU Dental school only 3-4 technicians actually getting into the field after finishing the program. I don’t believe that in 10 years we will only have 2000 labs left in the US maybe in about 20. You have to look at this way the older dentists that still have 10-20 years until retirement will not want to adopt new technology that late in their career so the need for labs will still be there.

    Back to what the topic was suppose to be I can’t believe how many phone calls I have received about the problems brewing at Zahn. The main question I get is “Who is Associate Q?” I think it was an excellent article. I was at the Southeastern Conference in Atlanta the weekend before last and when I saw Rita at that meeting it only signaled to me the troubles they are in.

    Shawn Nowak
    Nowak Dental Supplies Inc.

  14. Associate Q said

    I just love quotes. I have a quote I have on my wall from The Lab Guru himself, Lee Culp. It is from an article published in Dental Products Report in 2001. He said:

    “I honestly can’t see the lost wax casting process being around much longer than seven to 10 years.”

    That is a DIRECT quote from him and here we are in 2007, 1 year away from the 7 year mark, 3 away from 10, and the lost wax casting technique is not going anywhere anytime soon.

    Christensen is a wise man, but I disagree yet agree. Sure it is really easy to say that SLA machine will be producing the models in labs. But correct me if I am wrong but don’t people go to school for 4, sometimes 7 years, to get degrees in engineering that allow them to operate these types of machines? I know this type of technology pretty well and I have yet to see a material they can produce object out of that can produce the type of models for laboratories that won’t be problematic.

    Long term I don’t disagree that it is coming, and whether it is 2, 5, 10 or 20 we will see a drastic reduction of the number of dental labs. Plus, we will see the divide widen just as it is across the United States. The middle class is shrinking as will the medium sized labs. There will be large labs and small boutique labs. The large labs will become true manufacturers, plants, production lines and operate completely different than they do today. The landscape is changing, this we can agree. The question of when is one that when you ask 10 people you will get 10 different answers.

  15. The Boss said

    Well, I don’t agree with him either. I was just repeating what I heard. The Amann system or for $2500 you can get into the ZirconZahn system. The problem is, will people be selling these copy milled zirconia restorations fraudulently under the lava brand name? What happens when these counterfeit products start failing in a few years and ALL the zirconia products get a bad name. I see a disaster in the making as everybody tries to get their little piece of the action.

    As for the situation at Zahn, I hear the rumors, I know the players, but do the customers see or hear any of it? NO. All they see is the most competitive pricing, widest selection of products, quick, same day shipping up until 4PM PST, and no back orders.

    Problems or not, they are the 800# gorilla.

  16. Associate Q said

    Almost every Zirconia system in dental is flawed technology, I say almost every only because I have not studied every system. There are so many problems with it, the way it is cured and the way it is used that you will see massive failures in the coming years on a level to which the dental industry has never seen before. There will be accountability when this happens.

    Sure Zahn is the massive, but their prices are not that competitive, their customer service is impossible to reach and most reps have poor product knowledge. Father Schein is the only thing keeping them going. They are losing customers daily, but on the other hand they are picking up customers daily. You are correct that they do have selection, stock and shipping in their favor. But as this industry becomes more and more specialized they will be blocked out of new technologies. And as they piss off more and more manufacturers they will lose selection. You can’t keep solid vendor relations when you are stabbing everyone in the back.

    The customers do see it, they feel it every day. Since he posted earlier let’s take Shawn Nowak as an example. I bet he gets a call a day from a customer wanting to buy from him instead of Zahn. He might not be able to supply everything to them, but he is getting 80% of their business. It is the same with many other small dealers in the lab business like Norton over in Atlanta. Plus, I have spoken to a lto of Patterson reps that are saying they are getting business as well.

    The problem with being the 800 pound gorilla is that the fall is hard and fast. There have been plenty of companies that UNDER THE WRONG LEADERSHIP (AS ZAHN IS) have gone from being that massive big box to being nothing. It can happen, it has happened in this industry and if they continue on the track they are on it will happen to Zahn.

  17. Dental Guy said

    While we are on the subject of Schein… Has anyone else heard that they already own Becker Parkin? Around the time of Midwinter, I was trying to initiate a relationship with them, and then a small Chicago manufacturer told me that the rumor was that Schein already owns them. If Schein hasn’t outright bought Becker, then it is out of necessity because Becker supposedly owes Schein alot of money.

    I just find it all curious. Schein’s management structure is so convoluted. Tim Sullivan is the President of Sullivan-Schein, but it seems like many of his decisions are routed through Steve Kess. Steve has a VP title. Depending what day it is, he may say he works for SSD or he may say Henry Schein. Do you know if SSD have any problems absorbing Island Dental? Or was Island so tiny that nobody really noticed a difference?

  18. Associate Q said

    What I don’t understand is why Becker Parkin owes Schein money? What are they buying from Schein? Plus, if Schein does own part, some, all of Becker, since Schein is a publicly traded company, are there not some SEC laws that would make them have to make this information public?

    From what I can tell it is nothing more than a rumor, but any more these days I am not surprised by anything that happens with all those incestuous companies in NY. Plus, it seems I continue to hear this rumor over and over and over again. But I hear every week that PDCO is buying Benco. A lot of times these rumors started is some dentists office by a sales rep and it grows from there.

    As far as Island, I think they were already being phased out by Darby before Schein even bought them. I don’t know if they kept Island runnign for any period of time or just cut the cord as soon as the paperwork was signed. That deal with Island, Darby Medical and Darby Lab was all about Darby Lab and I think the Ashkins just unloaded some of their garbage with it.

  19. Miss Kad said

    The Zahn motto should be over promise under deliver! There are so many people within Zahn/Schein that are part of the decision making process that it all becomes too confusing and they loose site and don’t think about the process and how it will affect things in the end. By “the end” I mean the customers!
    I agree, if labs want to deal with a consistent company, sales reps who know product and will treat them with courtesy then those labs need to deal with independent dealers. I know the smaller dealers would appreciate the business and treat their customers with personal respect.

  20. Dental Guy said

    As for Benco, I just can’t see the Cohen’s selling out. Not only are they cheapest guys around counting the bills in their own wallets, but their egos are pretty big too. I think they are very content to be #3 while they are successfully doing battle against two billion dollar companies.

  21. Miss Kad said

    How stable is Benco’s lab division? They have been back and forth over the years about the lab division. Do they have sufficient support in this division yet to service customers well enough?

  22. Just out of curiosity why is everyone so afraid to hide behind made up names? Why can’t everyone in this world speak their mind and tell us who they are? If you have the cohonas to say it then be proud of who you are.

    I’m heading off for the FDLA meeting on Tuesday and I will report back to the “troubles” with Zahn. I’m sure this being their home territory it should make an interesting meeting. I was begged to participate in this meeting as the labs in that area are tired of Zahn getting all the business. I know a dealer friend of mine told me that he had something that Zahn was not going to be happy with it, can’t wait to see what that is.

  23. The Boss said

    It’s not about hiding behind a screen name, but some of us work for manufacturers, and would risk losing our jobs for expressing our thoughts, as they may be misconstrued as being representative of the thoughts or opinions of the organizations we work for.

    I for one like this format, ON THIS PARTICULAR website, as you’ll hear a lot more about the inner workings of some companies where you might not ever hear the truth. Sometimes having access to “insider” information requires anonymity…otherwise it’s just another DentalTown.

  24. Associate Q said

    Boss, I agree. Anonymity is required for this information to be made public. I mean we don’t know who “Deep Throat” is but he had the facts straight. To make yourself public is a problem for anyone who is giving what may be considered inside info, even more so if you work for or work with the company you are giving info on.

    It is a whole different ball of wax when you have people self promoting through putting others down and then hiding behind a name. Personally I have nothing to gain except clearing my conscious.

    Although I do wish everyone could speak their mind without repercussions, I know the fact is we live in a world where you need to wear a Kevlar jacket to work! Pretty sad this industry has sunk to this level, but that is the fact.

    Another Dental Town, please don’t talk like that. Plus, it seems every board I ever post on is run by a band of Board Nazis. There is usually like 4 or 5 people that will jsut bash the hell out of anyone who gets out of line. Dodell runs the one board, and he has a lab e-mail board. I subscribed for a while but then I realized it was jsut liek 4 people posting and bickering about the same stuff day after day. DI really keeps this baord mixed up with product info, insight into companies and other info. I just try to help by giving my take on the lab side of things.

  25. The Boss said

    Most websites, mail lists and blogs are the same way. Dominate personalities will be dominate personalities in person, or via their electronic persona. Hopefully having some anonymity will allow some of the more timid individuals to “find their voice”.

    That being said, I forgot how I found this site, but it’s very interesting, and I have met with a few “big-wigs” that have started watching this place, and speculating on who is behind it. It’s kind of a National Inquirer and Consumer reports all combined into one!

    I’ve not heard anything juicy in a while though?!

  26. One of the big guys said

    Who do you think the little guys buy from. Where do you think they call to get the answers. Your little guy is just like an outside representative for Lincoln, Zahn, Patterson, and Pearson. I know working for one of the companies mentioned, we have accounts for nearly all of your little guys. Not only do we sell them the products they mark up and sell to you, we also do all the product research for them. We are are the ones that sit through countless hours of product training with the manufacturers, we are the ones that rush your orders from the manufacturers, and we are the ones that are your link to the manufacturers. All your little guy is doing for you is ordering with us for you. Do you really think they are saving you money?

  27. Why do you think that the manufacturers only sell to the larger companies? I work for Nowak Dental, a family company and we buy direct from all the major manufacturers and smaller mfg’s. I think it’s a big statement to say you (big guys) do ALL the product research for the smaller guys. Maybe for some but not all! You can usually look on a mfg’s website to see who they are dealing to. There’s more than just 4 names.

    I worked for DLDS previously which would have been considered a smaller dealer and I went through countless hours of product training. I bet if you talked to customers they would say that the girls from DLDS had/have the most product knowledge out of most sales reps in the industry. I still take the time to train and learn new products every day. I can’t SELL a product if I don’t know about it. We drop ship orders overnight to customers at the last minute. I have a personal link to most of the manufacturers.

    I save my customers time and money by being able to assist them on a personal level and suggest products to them. Time is money and a customer isn’t always looking for the lowest price, they may be looking for service.

  28. Miss Kad said

    If it is so much of a thorn in the Big Guy’s side, then why do the big guys still sell to the small guys? Because they make the big guys even more money. The big guys sit through all that so that they can sell more and make more money; and they do.

  29. Associate Q said

    Manufacturers are even working harder now to get more involved with smaller dealers becuase they know that most (I said most) of the reps for the larger lab dealers don’t do them a damn bit of good. Really I don’t consider there to be but one true large lab dealer left any how, and that is of course Zahn. Lincoln and Pearson are bigger than the others but they still are in touch with reality. Patterson is not a pure lab dealer, and while they do a lot of lab business they don’t have dedicated lab reps. I am not saying that is bad or good, I just don’t consider them a laboratory dealer. They want to sell Cerec machines and teeth.

    While I am sure that some smaller dealers have to by materials from larger dealers from time to time, I know many who do not and if they can’t get something they will tell their customer. Or they tell their customer they have to get it second hand. And you know what, their customer is OK with that because they want nothing to do with the “Big Guys”.

    I think the above post says it all in regards to saving the labs time, which in turn saves money.

  30. I can personally tell you my company “a small dealer” has never bought a product from the large dealer. It sounds to me like this user is losing a lot of his sales and commission to us little dealers. I have great relationships with all of my manufacturers I even have one trying to save up enough money so I can come to the Kentucky derby next year. My company is only 1 of 5 dealers to have access to Amann Girrbach products we have worked very hard for the last 65 years to learn our products and not just sell the customer a piece of junk that brings a bigger commission in. People call us all the time just and ask us questions why would I want to call the big dealer to ask a question that first I have to sit on hold for 10-20 minutes until a real person answers then talk to an order taker that has no idea about anything except what code number the person wants. I hear this complaint all day long from customers so I’m not sure what “training” your getting maybe it’s Order Taking 101? Is that class offered at the local community college?

    On a side note the FDLA meeting starts tomorrow I will keep everyone posted on the turnout.

    Shawn Nowak
    Nowak Dental Supplies Inc.

  31. Miss Kad said

    The sad thing is that the reps that answer the phones don’t even try. They just say they don’t know and tell the customer to call the manufacturer. Don’t all these manufacturers have catalogs? Really, are they getting trained and not using it? Sometimes I think I’m calling LL Bean. Heck they would probably get me an answer to a dental lab product question faster than Zahn. So when and where is this training that these reps go through? I feel sorry for all the manufacturers, it seems like they have waisted a lot of time “training” these guys.

  32. Disgusted said

    I am responding to “Associate Q” and her childish and cheap lashing of Zahn Dental. First of all, I am extremely embarrassed for this person who apparently has so much to say but not the guts to reveal themselves. The even sadder part is that everyone already knows who it is! Its cowardly, especially for a grown person.

    I only wonder how great this Donna Villarose was as a REGIONAL SALES MANAGER since “Associate Q” is saying that Zahn has not made any money in years. As the leader of a sales team, what does that say about her?

    Honestly, I am not going to sit here and stoop to your level. If writing what you did made you feel better, then you have problems. There are people at Zahn that are professional, caring people and are obviously much better off without certain people. The company has grown tremendously, and has done it with dignity, which is why it is the largest supplier in the country.

    Good luck with your professional life. Unfortunately you just turned off a lot more people than you know!

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