Evolution at its finest
Now in its third decade of providing high-quality infection control products, Mydent International continues to evolve to meet the needs of both the dental dealer and the dental team.
By Kevin Henry, Editor
The purchase of IconLabs, an infection control product manufacturer headquartered in Farmington, Mich., added a selection of disinfectants and cleaners to the DEFEND line three years ago. Andy Parker, Mydent&rquo;s chief executive officer, points to that as a pivotal day for the company.
“Our infection control products line has expanded from what was almost exclusively disposable products to include solutions, disinfectants, evacuation cleaners, and hand care products,” Parker said. “We have added surface disinfecting wipes, a full line of surface barrier products, and we are also about to introduce our line of SilPure antimicrobial scrubs and labcoats, which is one of the most unique products we have seen in years.”
Mydent has realized phenomenal growth with, as Parker puts it, “quality products, aggressive pricing, and marketing support, including active dealer partnerships.” Mydent supports its dealers with an informational web site, product promotions, consistent convention presence, in-house sales support, advertising and publicity, dealer communications, and cooperative programs such as sampling opportunities. Mydent also listens carefully to dealer input.
“The dealer network is extremely important to us,” Parker said. “We are always striving to help our distribution partners sell product by developing ‘pull through&rquo; programs and by our excessive support and marketing structure. We have a very aggressive rebate program that rewards our most loyal customers, we provide spiffs, training, samples and marketing dollars all for the sole purpose of supporting our customers. Mydent has always worked very closely with the dealers (large, small, independent, corporately owned, etc.) in an effort to help them realize true sales growth and profitability.”
Not a day goes by that Parker doesn&rquo;t reflect on the goals he and his father, Carl, set for the company (Carl retired from the company in 1991 and recently passed away). “One of our primary goals,” says Parker, “is to provide a value-priced product line to our dealers and end users. DEFEND products have a unique mix of quality and affordability. We go to great lengths to manufacture products that meet our high quality standards with an eye toward cost containment for the end user. We have also begun to partner with seminar and CE providers to help spread the word about DEFEND products.”
Spreading the word includes tackling hot topics such as the MRSA virus and the continued battle against HIV, Hepatitis, and other diseases that could lurk within the dental practice.
“We make efforts through groups such as OSAP and we attempt to put the best products that we possibly can in front of the end user,” Parker explained. “End users have to want to protect themselves, their staff, and their patients and they need to demand more from us as manufacturers.”
Mydent International now offers more than 100 products, which are sold in 30 countries around the world. When you combine the company&rquo;s strong focus on infection control with the impression material systems and procedural accessories that the company has always offered, the entire line makes up more than 20 percent of the products used every day in the dental operatory.
“Three of our strengths are our reputation for value, having an enjoyable culture within the company, and keeping our infrastructure nimble,” Parker explains. “To compete and distinguish ourselves from the competition, we have to do those three things very well. Those three things allow us to keep the customer as the priority. The customer is everything to us, so we have to make sure everything we do is customer centered.”
Part of that focus on the customer involves a new management team, headed by Parker. Also included in the management triumvirate are Chris McDevitt as the company&rquo;s vice president of sales and marketing and Gary Mahr as the company&rquo;s director of customer relations. McDevitt has more than 18 years of sales, marketing, and product management experience at both the wholesale and retail levels, while Mahr has more than 17 years of experience, mostly at the retail level, focused mainly on customer service and operations.
Just a few of the new and innovative products that Mydent International has launched in 2008 are shown below. The DEFEND Disposable Barrier Products are designed to cover most of the touch surfaces found in today&rquo;s operatories, allowing for easy prevention of cross contamination and the protection of valuable equipment. The DEFEND+PLUS Disinfecting Wipes were formulated with safety, strength, and speed in mind.
“We feel that we have found the proper combination to help protect the staff and patients while providing the killing power necessary to reduce the spread of infection,” Parker said. “The DEFEND SilPure Scrubs and lab Coats may be the most unique item that has been introduced to the dental industry in years. The antimicrobial protection provided by these garments is a giant step forward in the battle against cross contamination and the spread of disease. Why would anyone choose to wear a garment that was not treated with SilPure when they can have a garment that provides additional safety and ‘peace of mind&rquo; at the same price?”
All of these products help to make up one of the most comprehensive infection control lines available to the dental industry and to push the DEFEND brand name to the forefront. Mydent International has been one of the largest private label manufacturers since 1985, but in recent years has focused more on its branded business.
“At Mydent International we have always prided ourselves on working with our distribution partners to provide the dental industry with superior products at affordable prices,” Parker said. “We encourage you to review our product line and incorporate it into your own offerings. We also welcome inquiries for private label opportunities and for new products.”
As for Parker&rquo;s goals for his company? He keeps the focus very simple.
“Keep expanding our product offerings and our reach,” Parker smiled. “We are in constant search for new products and ways to better our current offerings.”
Mydent reminds you to “Be Smart. Be Safe.” For more information, log on to www.defend.com or call (800) 275-0020.