Preferred Dental Services is a small family-owned company specializing in prompt, personalized dental equipment solutions and services. Since its founding in 2011, the company has combined extraordinary know-how and customer support to improve efficiency, productivity and success at dental offices throughout the Northeast Wisconsin region.
The company began as something of a one-man show. After 20 years spent servicing equipment on behalf of several major dental suppliers, owner Richard Wilde seized an opportunity to strike out on his own. And using his wealth of knowledge and experience, he sought to shape his company into something unique in the dental equipment industry.
“No two dental practices are the same, so we don’t offer cookie-cutter options,” says Wilde. “We get involved with each practice at the base level, interfacing with staff and seeing firsthand how an office works. Then we create a solution that not only fits the operation, but also makes it more productive and efficient.”
While the company’s competitors prioritize the selling of dental equipment and supplies, Preferred Dental focuses on the service side of the business. “Service is what we lead with,” says Wilde. “We focus on custom solutions for helping dentists get the most from their practices and their equipment investments.”
When designing equipment solutions for his customers, Wilde takes several things into consideration, among them, the number of patients, the menu of services being provided and how many years a dentist has been in practice. “A doctor who’s young and just getting into practice is going to have different goals—and a tighter budget—than a well-established doctor who’s interested in upgrading to a higher-grade of equipment.”
And though the company has only been in business for five years, its footprint already spans a large portion of Northeastern Wisconsin, including Green Bay, Appleton, Oshkosh, Manitowoc, Sheboygan, Sturgeon Bay, Crivitz and Oconto, and stretches as far south as North Milwaukee and Madison.
Though the service area is big, the Preferred Dental staff is relatively small. In addition to Wilde, the company is staffed by three technicians, and Wilde’s wife, Micky, who handles accounting, marketing and more. “But as the business continues to grow, the staff will, too, I’m sure,” says Wilde, laughing.
Wilde understands that Preferred Dental Services wouldn’t exist without some courage on his and Micky’s part. But he also gives a great deal of credit to Wisconsin Bank & Trust (WBT) for trusting his vision and giving him the resources to make it a reality. “We’ve partnered with WBT for about two years now,” says Wilde. “We couldn’t be happier with the service and attention they provide.”
VALUE OF RELATIONSHIPS
Prior to starting Preferred Dental, Richard and Patrick Murphy, Wisconsin Bank & Trust Senior Vice President and Market President in NE Wisconsin, first met about 10 years ago through networking and developed a mutually beneficial business relationship built on trust and respect for each other’s professional acumen. If Richard had a client with banking needs he referred them to Patrick, and if one of Patrick’s dental clients needed equipment he would recommend Richard.
Patrick was contacted by Richard, who was seeking a new banking relationship with a trusted partner to help them manage the growth of the business as it was really taking off. Patrick introduced him to a Personal Banker that could assist with the Wilde’s personal and business banking needs. Through the WBT Small Business Lending Center, they were able to finance a van for the business and a small Line of Credit.
Preferred Dental’s continuing success and growth eventually necessitated growing the bank relationship team, and once again, Patrick and Richard were working together. “One of the biggest challenges Richard and Micky faced was the great growth their business was experiencing”, said Patrick. “I counseled that controlled growth is good, wild growth is not.”
MANAGING GROWTH AND SUCCESS
To illustrate this point, Patrick showed Richard financial statements of a business with controlled growth and one with wild growth, and the impact each had on the bottom line. “We meet with Richard every quarter to review the financial statements,” stated Patrick. WBT’s ProfitMax system was an invaluable tool to help Richard understand how managing the growth would have a positive impact. ProfitMax is an interactive financial diagnostic tool that allows WBT to get behind the numbers to review the cause and effect of changes that impact every business.
So when an unexpected opportunity for more growth knocked on Preferred Dental’s door, Richard knew they were in good hands. Working closely with Richard, their external CPA and the ProfitMax system, Patrick and the WBT banking team were able to find the right debt structure to allow Richard and Micky to seize that opportunity. “Unforeseen circumstances created a new equipment dealership opportunity in our area,” says Micky. “WBT immediately stepped-up, helping us navigate the process and grow our business far beyond what we had envisioned at that time.”
THE FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT
Today, Preferred Dental Services utilizes a wide array of WBT products and services to make its day-to-day business efficient and successful. The commercial card program allows them to provide fleet type cards to employees to use for fuel and travel expenses. The employees also benefit from direct deposit and personal banking services available through WBT’s ATWORK program. Micky also takes advantage of the positive pay and fraud filter services the bank offers to help keep their finances safe from fraud.
When it comes to advice for fellow small business owners in need of friendly, convenient and full-service banking options, Wilde doesn’t hesitate, “A good partner is critical to success in business. WBT will take the time to understand what you do as a business and what you need to achieve your goals. And they’ll work with you to customize banking options for getting you where you want to go.”
Richard has also attended the WBT sponsored Profit Mastery workshop to increase his understanding of the financial side of running a business. “What Richard and Micky have built in Preferred Dental Services is very impressive when you consider their humble beginnings when Richard first hung his shingle out,” stated Patrick.