Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran
Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran
How to perform dentistry faster, easier, higher in quality and lower in cost.
Blog By:

1221 Strategic Impact by Patrick Bernardi, Senior VP at Hu-Friedy : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

1221 Strategic Impact by Patrick Bernardi, Senior VP at Hu-Friedy : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

7/15/2019 8:04:00 PM   |   Comments: 0   |   Views: 398

In his current position, Patrick Bernardi serves as Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President at Hu-Friedy, a world leader in the design and manufacture of dental instruments and products. In this role, Patrick is responsible for directing and managing the global brand marketing function, including brand strategy, digital customer engagement, content marketing, CRM, and creative services. 


VIDEO - DUwHF #1221 - Patrick Bernardi

AUDIO - DUwHF #1221 - Patrick Bernardi

Over the past 10 years, Patrick has played a critical role in helping Hu-Friedy achieve growth percentages that are double the industry average, while also directing a wholesale repositioning of the brand and implementing contemporary marketing approaches designed to better align with the mobile and digital expectations of the modern consumer. He has led the marketing efforts behind major initiatives, including the Friends of Hu-Friedy community and the GreenLight Dental Compliance Center™ by Hu-Friedy.

Howard: it is just a huge honor for me today to be podcast interviewing Patrick Bernardi: chief marketing officer and senior vice president Hugh Freedy a world leader in the design and manufacture of dental instruments and products in this role Patrick is responsible for directing and managing the global brand marketing function including brand strategy digital customer engagement content marketing CRM and creative services over the past 10 years he has played a critical role in helping Hugh free achieve growth percentages that are double the industry average while also directing a wholesale repositioning of the brand and implementing contemporary marketing approaches design to better align with the mobile and digital expectations of the modern consumer Patrick has held executive leadership roles the last two decades with companies such as Office Max Experian foresight technology Leo Burnett and Hart Hanks with vast understanding of the messages and tools needed to create emotional connections with target audiences patrick is an agile leading-edge brand strategist who keenly comprehends the key to success in today's competitive global landscape thank you so much for coming on the show today you great thanks for reading oh my god how old is you free what year did 

Patrick Bernardi: it start it started a long long time ago but it's just over 110 years old right now it started it's a funny story it started in 1908 and why that was such a great day to remember for a while until recently it was the last time the Cubs had won the World Series since they won the race the clock still ticks but 1908 is when Austrian immigrant

Howard:  Hugo Friedman founded to 3d Wow any was from one where was he from Austria Oh Jim Friedman huge readers there's a party trick that you can pull out for your friends that I find me revit I've got bill and  what do you think if he if he came back today what do you think how do you think he would just think about dentistry now

Patrick Bernardi:  basically on ten years later what do you think you'd think of that I don't know what I would say two things I would say one some of the instruments that were designed even when he was around are still kinda in the same design they are today because a lot of it was perfect right so maybe an elevator that was around when he had is maybe still an elevator that has so even recognized instruments but he recognized nothing else probably he went recognized a vast array of instruments nor the digital technology nor the fact that you know Dentist around the world they're relying more than just just products but relying on information and services to perform at their best as well 

Howard: and you kind of look at dentistry from 30,000 feet I mean I mean how many employees does you freaky have globally right now yeah so so you're seeing you're seeing this on this dental industry around the globe there's you know how does it look to you it is it is it healthy is it growing is it flat as a contracting or some areas of the globe double-digit growth while others are contracted how does it look to you up there

Patrick Bernardi:  looks really healthy on our side what the reason why that I think is happening is is that I think that we're really trying to stay ahead of what we see as a merging depends but more than anything I wouldn't probably have argued five years ago and there wasn't a lot outside of like cad/cam technology or some other things that were changing dramatically I would say over the last three years however I've seen a dramatic shift in the speed and the makeup of the industry whether it's from private practice the DSO to digital technology to social media to reputation management concerns that a practice never would have to take advantage of but is required to compete on I would say over the last three years it's been light speed of change 

Howard: well I want to go through all those with you I like to do dentistry and sensor I like to talk about things that no one agrees on you know go right to the ball game what is what is scaring my homies and social you mentioned social media man when an infection control breakout happens I remember thirty years ago I would talk to some epidemiologists and they'd say you guys have no idea how many times you're breaching this and then and then the detective work of DNA and microbes has taken off where they're actually tracing it back there's there's been some good old boys that that it was like a crime scene where you know they brought back 15 people from a hospital and said do they all came to your you know dental office how does infection control look to you now

Patrick Bernardi:  well it looks a very similar to a little odd when it's been so we have this solution called an SRE called instrument management systems we've had it for a long time it's really a base management system during the cleaning it's but more than that it is a system there's a complimentary consumables a way to do it right and you know we have an amazingly high market share in that category that the problem that we have with that is not so much market share it's adoption and so why do we have an adoption problem and this is what makes of marketing or speaking about infection control tricky because it's not everybody's topic and you know you never as a manufacturer or any marketer want to tell any of your customers they think there might be doing it wrong or there's a better way to answer very delicately engage the conversation knowing that you know especially recently there's been breaches all over the place but that one breach in Oklahoma that everybody remembers is is kind of infamous but their leaders what we found and and this is what prompted us to start scratching our heads for a solution the people were threatening article or there is an interview or something and invariably the doctor or the staff said we just didn't know we just didn't know certain things about what was right or wrong and I think you probably understand you know there's no malice aforethought in the dental community everyone's trying to do their best job to do the gig and there's a passion that's why they do it but it's hard to stay up on every single thing it's hard to do training it's hard to develop a cohesive team but one of the things we started to think about is like if that's an unmet need about not knowing then let's solve it by helping them to know making it easy to know the CDC guidelines state regulations they change every day you know in giving them easy access to the information there are business people in practitioners that's their passion it shouldn't be librarians indeed you know having to know all that so that's what we came in with this green light solution Howard: well one of the one of the big reasons I brought you on the show is my buddy Jared Johnson who's an American board-certified pediatric dentists in Iowa he started a thread about your he said I've been looking to update my infection control manual but he freed he was a savior recently I subscribe to their green light program and filled out the information huge bonus to my practice detective but anyway so tell me why is my buddy Jared loving your green light program I assume it's made out of corn

Patrick Bernardi:  it's because a lot of Bob will be serviced there's a problem that wasn't hasn't been addressed red light and that is please somebody show me in an easy to with easy digital way what's required for my practice federally state wise osha all of it so I can get so in if I have a question um I'd love to be able to talk to some experts we have that as a bit as it available to have function we also have reminders you know you might reminder there's certain things that you need to be doing in your practice and your based on your state regulations today remind your staff today and that is solving a problem that's why he said what he said

Howard:  huh and so when you think of infection control I mean is it more the Cassatt's is that the wipe down what would where do you think the bare barriers are that need to be focused on is the water line I am embarrassed to say this and I think it's been so many years maybe I won't get sued for but I'm out here in Arizona where you know it's a hundred and ten for half a year and seventy to eighty the other half year and I was having bizarre swelling and infection and finally this old guy said you know it's hot in the desert have you ever checked out your water lines anyway long story short I had them all come back and it was just a nightmare my this back in 1987 and it was just a nightmare and I think about these two people that I did a root canal on with the amount of post-operative swelling you know it all came together but do you think it's the water line do you think it's the autoclave do you think it's the wipe down hopefully it's the dental assistant and not the dentist any of those bonded 

Patrick Bernardi: well I actually think it is is higher than that it's a mindset so you design your mind and it's something that you care about it is something that you care for your patients and your staff and that's where it starts once you have a mindset that it's important and then yeah the water lines are completely neglected part of the process and you know the benefits of cassette-based sterilization whether it's the efficiencies that it offers you or even being able to unwrap you know a clean and sterile cassette in front of the front of a patient it hasn't stayed you know what I'm a little freaked out about going to the dentist but even you know all the efficiencies that I'm sitting with your staff makes me feel a bit better it makes me feel like I'm safe that counts and especially it counts today you know and with the advent of Yelp's and reviews and every single thing that you can put on for your patient in terms of showing them how much you care counts being able to go onto your website and say listen we subscribe to green light why do we do that because we're invested in your safety and that's why we use cassettes and that's why we do what we do that's a mindset answer and then of course then it's about  all of the functional elements of that including the water line because that's an all that bit starts off with how you think about it 

Howard: yeah you I see it in clinical dentistry like a like a Venice decides he wants you to learn InDesign so he goes off to learn Invisalign and of course is referring orthodontists and scared about that he's gonna lose business but now the general dentist is looking at bites and he's and he's looking at orthodontics and then the ortho says it's crazy now he's doing two or three Invisalign cases a month in his office but he's referring me twice as much orthodontics so it's like either thinking fear and scarcity or hope growth and what you're saying is that the dentist is wearing a lot of hats and if you're not thinking about infection control it's gonna be dangerous

 Patrick Bernardi: right and I know that you're you're  friends with both David Rice and kevin Henry from McKnight yeah in ignite DDS right Jared right we have a partition them and  they're both amazing guys but they also and we worked with her before but we've got I considered her like the best in the business at this Tia hunter who's writing a monthly green light journal for us about what's what's happening with her practices and she's implementing green light and T is going to be putting out journals that are gonna be videoed and we're really excited to see what happens there but because you mentioned dental assistants and that's super important they have hard gigs now again you know Dentist and practice owners have hard gigs too but you know there's a lot of pressure on the dental assistants and I'm getting it right it's kind of not optional right 

Howard:  TIA toti J a hunter and she and she's doing a lot of lecturing on it and all that stuff you said we had her ot uh oh my gosh I'm she was on she was on my house and she was on show six six six I wonder if she knows that she was show six six six she probably wants us to change it but um so what is so she's going around lecturing for you on this project so much lecturing but gia she B we said like that's right and have T reused the system and in document how she's using you know what impact it's made on the practice and that's what she's going to be doing for a she's me doing video Journal yeah and now when you when you say video journal I mean um and that was the thing you were talking about earlier about how social media has been one of the biggest changes in in dentistry I am do you think an influencer like TIA is that the faster way to get all this information out to dental assistants and dentists and hygienists everybody wet hands the office

Patrick Bernardi:  yeah wish it was just that simple these days Howard but the answer is the folks who I work with say it's everything so it's a full-court press and you've been a pull on the lever as you can and that's just one of them these days because even because why because you said it when we started is that the information flows you people just as humans it's so unbelievable right now that people need a way to break it down so they need a passive learning experience where they can driving their car listen to your podcast you've got to find a way to give them bite-sized chunks of the things that you want them to know and 

Howard: do you see any difference on these digital mediums like social media lightly for instance whenever someone's on this show talking about marketing they talk about Yelp I'm always sitting back there thinking I had four kids now they're five grandkids I'm 56 years old I've never seen anyone use Yelp in my entire life now maybe if I was 30 and lived in Manhattan er but but um but in when you look at dentistry is um is social media influencers and all that kinda stuff like that is that normal across the whole spectrum or is it mostly the young kids or what does it look like to you 

Patrick Bernardi: well I think it's taken a while to get the dentistry but I think it's becoming without a doubt so if you go into any practice these days hard and you look at their website there are invariably their social media link buttons on the bottom of your screen that maybe that's a new phenomenon five years ago not everybody had those buttons you have to have them today because the world is connected and I just moved to Seattle I think my cousin Jimmy is gonna oh hey Jimmy do you know I'm going to ask them who I'm here with my family just moved that's how it happens word-of-mouth happens that quick and or you'll pull something to your Facebook friends to say does anybody have a whatever it is including chemistry

Howard:  so I noticed that you Freda on their website if you go to Hugh what would he call that that Hugh - Freddie yeah cube - Freddie calm and a member it's I before E so Hugh Fri Edie why calm Ford / community you guys have started a community on your website is that part of your strategy absolutely and

Patrick Bernardi:  so again over 110 she was a lot has happened and while we're amazingly proud of the heritage of quality of our instruments for sure well we will be know now especially over the last 10 years is that that's not enough and so for all about helping the best perform instrumentation and quality is just a ticket to the game you've got to give them a chance to connect as humans and clinicians and so we ending in 2007 launched a friend's a few free online community projects it's now 15,000 strong and last year we reap lat formed it onto a Salesforce community cloud which that means like if Janie and Seattle is wanting to talk to Tammy and Tampa then in about what they use on a top clinical case that's how that's the beauty of what it's supposed to be about so we stand back at this point we host it but it's the communities forum they do what they say they did who uses what where does anybody have a good tipper trick this is what it's about so yeah we're invested in you know more than just product and community is definitely a piece of it 

Howard:so when I think of you free di but it's very different than a hygienist or system hygienists and a system might be thinking of your instrument management trays um all my pita donek friends think of your stainless steel crowns um would would eat when you say you free tea to a general desk what usually comes to mind first that's a good question and 

Patrick Bernardi: I would probably say quality and by the kicker so it's when we got to teacher 3 when I got to do for any 10 years ago I mean really worked hard on making sure that the brand was meaningful and connecting on all sorts of levels and so quality you know when we did our brand research obviously that's the first thing but it's got to be more than that and so what they said was I said would you consider other solutions from you fruity like I think it was like seven years ago Harvard we launched a line of hand care products soap sanitizers along those lines and our brand is broad enough and compelling enough to carry you know that off and so that is what I guess it would be it would start it starts with quality but I think it's probably and that's why I think you know as hokey as it might sound about all it's about our tagline but how the best perform that's what we're invested in so whatever it is that is the performance based of the clinician and of course it could be products but again increasingly it's more than that it's customer service it's it's certain service offerings its customer experiences that is the human part of dental and that's why is the build brands who continue understand that it's about the human connection with the dentist the hygienist the clinician those are the brands that are going to stick around and be relevant 

Howard: so if you were on shark tank right now the smartest guy on Shark Tank is obviously the bald guy mr. wonderful it's always the bald guy he's the first thing you ask us who's your competitor in this space is it different for each product line I mean do you have like one major competitors are like depending on the product you have all these different competitors

Patrick Bernardi:  very different competitive set and not just in North America but the whole competitive changes dramatically when you're not in North America so then it becomes very regional eyes and so again you know taking a brand and making it global and making it mean the same thing and having it have the same experience and connection you go whether it was you want to ID us last the less than there was an IDs or you come to CMW or you go to Greater New York where you see the messages that are being sent off by the free Japan or China it's very very gratifying to see that it's the same and mostly the customer base is getting the brand the same 

Howard: so what so what else are you seeing on the day I I never want to get an executive VP of a huge company on with a thousand employees without going back to macroeconomics you mentioned and some of the changes I'm you mentioned DSO does a manufacturing company really even care if the Dentist and I just work into the army the Navy Patterson our Heartland VSO private I mean do they even care or visit does it make an impact or how does it how does that affect you dsos

Patrick Bernardi:  the easy answer to that again a bunch of North to go by depend it's a tough business model if the price game and it's going to be talking to manufacturers if the manufacturer lets it be right and so but we didn't let it be but the deer so it has a different need set and so again it's a mindset from the manufacturer of being able to walk up to it so what am i night what am I not seeing here in terms of the value add so give you a quick story we talked about the high mass cassette and it's into the role in sterilization and safety and so recently on last year recently Pacific Dental did a trial as they were looking to oh they had a somewhat of an issue with sharps injuries with their staff and we became them multiple different trials of cassettes and it made a dramatic difference in the number of stops and so now we're onto something it solved the problem for a DSL it had nothing to do with price it did because there's money there in terms of things that are impactful to their bottom line but more than that what they learned was that it was it more efficient certainly at how full sharps injuries but it was a business solution that we came up with that is the compelling reason why and yes dolls are about repeatability consistency and risk mitigation and I am us consent system does absolutely that

Howard:   well you say those three things DSS are about what yes are about 

Patrick Bernardi: I would say that they're about consistency repeatability efficiency and you know of course risk mitigation and so you want to make sure as much as possible if your idea so that everybody's doing it the same way consistency that repeatability what else efficiency and risk mitigation

Howard:  that is a that is well put well I just want to tell you my side of the story on that how it affects manufacturers is I think they don't like then just don't like to talk about what's the worst problem in the room they like to talk about what makes them happy not what makes them stressful and employee turnover is a nightmare for your patients you know the number one complaint I get from anybody well I went there I really loved the hygienists and then she's gone I'm and then I'm like okay and that guy where she left is like my alcoholic drinking friends I'm like do you know why she left and it's little things like the assistant was ordering all the supplies and she hated the gloves and she hated the Profi pace and she hated this and that when I looked at associates who left who quit their DSOs and by the way their long-term success rate at a private fee-for-service office as an associate is about the same length of time as a DSO it's only one to two years and one of the things they hate the most is when these eye clinics they're they're not consistent with their assistants and they go into work they have the big day in their first patients a molar endo and they thought about it all night and now they got some temp coming in that he's never worked with in his life so there goes your consistency repeatability and and then so then I always ask supply reps and they've always told me this I need to get one to come on the podcast say on there I'll say who orders the supplies and she lasts she says well if the doctor micromanages and doesn't make any money in his broke he orders everything himself and if it's a million-dollar practice that the dentist says well why would I order the Profi pace and scalars and all that stuff like that I got three hygienists doing all that I wouldn't want her telling me what endo file I should use so I'm going to ask you just point out blank who is ordering the supplies and in your and America 

Patrick Bernardi: it depends I mean again when we're seeing and we're trying to connect with the practice yes that is it a dental assistant increasingly there's  an infection control coordinator there so it there's a lot of things that we have to think about that that is and then who can then spread the word of that if it's not the dentist then making sure that the dentist gets connected with that but one other thing I wanted to mention is you probably brought it up about the DSOs and I forgot to of course say it but it's probably their number one concern and that's the the recruitment and retention of qualified associates right so we all know that and I was at a student forum couple years back and all the kids wanted to know that same thing I heard that you don't get to make your own decisions I heard that you know you don't get to use the things that you need to do to perform at your best and so what we also understand is that if you're envious oh you have to be attracting these kids to your practice I'm petting them know that you are mindful of safety that you are wanting to give them the best instruments for them to perform at their best that's another recruitment device and then for us it's important that our DSO audiences and whether that's mid tier or release they all understand that 

Howard:  so if your idea so listening to this and  you tell me that employee turnover with the dentist associates is the number one nightmare problem and then I then I always say well on your exit interviews how many did you call them all let's call them all and let's ask them to identify why they quit and I'm telling you I I'm actually thinking dental assistant turnover is probably number one and not having the right supplies in their hand I mean it's hard enough to pull a wisdom tooth or do a molar root canal or do these things that we went to eight years of college to train for and then to get in there and you don't and you don't have something like for instance I have two pairs of loops and I because I didn't realize one day I dropped them and the right side fogged and then I took off my loops and I was gonna sit down to do a root canal I thought well I wouldn't do this on myself I'm Stevie Wonder I don't want Stevie Wonder doing a root canal on my tooth and so I wonder if any of these dsos have gone to great links of finding out why their hygienists assistance and  why people are put I also know why they stay and I know why Heartland keeps are the longest is because Heartland promises to teach them some skill set like you'll say why would I learn Invisalign or place implants or something and they'll put together a five-year plan where you'll get your f AG D and being implantology or Invisalign or whatever it is and then the opposite of that success is the number one reason they leave private practice because they say they wanted to work with this guy because he places you know he places you know five implants a week and I want to be an implant tologist and then it turns out that he does all the implant cases and gives him all the fillings and crowns and he's not mentoring this person and when I see some Dennis take someone on and mentor them and train them and take them to paint ich euch spear Ross Nash whatever and develops this young dentist then they stay for maybe seven years and then they eventually start on their own so yeah I think um I think shopping supplies on price might not fit in with employee turnover

Patrick Bernardi: we did this we did this EE blow glass we have some really amazing and it was all about you know what is it that is an unrecognized problem and what don't people know and if you had to invest in one thing in your practice what would it be and I thought I would get these around the body answers on digital or this but it became like the biggest node uh in the history of no does and it was treat people like human beings and communicate with your team and they will perform for you and that is like the most universal truth whether you're in dentistry or marketing or janitorial services or whatever it is and that is a thing you know and I think it's folks they give that right in dental that address the issues that you just talked about there's another Howard: thread on dental towns to em and says uh Hugh freaking launches subscription scaler sharpening service called the launch is ever care how is that going I'm ever care sharpening calm 

Patrick Bernardi: yes and it's another non product based thing that was focused on and and you know the clinicians are very busy and so we've had a very good response to them sending in there are there there are scalars to be sharpened and what we've done is created a really cool experience I mean a lot of it could be like listen I can't afford to be these but without these two lon and so we kick out messages about where it's at in the process we actually show you who it is it's working at it and they actually sign a personal note back to the to the customer in thinking or there they're out there your business and it's been really great 

Howard: so how's it work does the hygienist male and the instruments at the end of the month or would you need like at one month's with you getting sharpened while I use this month how's that the time and the switch and all that work 

Patrick Bernardi: they sign up and again you can it's up to the clinician about how often and how many and we send them a pre-printed label and you know and we do I think the the site does a really good job of explaining the process and yes it's up to them with  how much and how often again only they know you know what they can live without and but the key is is the communication of the turnaround time so that is what we do on a case-by-case that everything is different based by about how many that the clinician is sending in so it's been very effective program so far so Woodham 

Howard: so when I'm looking at um if I just do a search on dental town for hue freedy I mean it's just countless threads I mean just countless I mean it's unbelievable what has got you most passionate now and 2019 you've been there for a decade what are you excited about now 

Patrick Bernardi: many things but a lot of it is is what's happening with the technology and the speed of the business and in how much that you just have to stay relevant and it's also a battle for for the docs and the practices too so every single day I liken it to this and so for as a marketer who's trying to connect with all the dental community you know my job is to leverage technology and stories and products and trials and try my thing and but it might like presents and conventions but it's like going and walking up to the yogurt aisle and you go to the grocery store you and every other person is looking at the growth the yogurt aisle like which one are we getting today and there's so many choices so what's what's compelling to me is person a dental is understanding that he cannot do every single thing that I'd like to do but what's the most impactful thing to do in terms of power support you 3d is realistic connecting with professional and so finding you know challenging myself every day to come in do that in so passionate about telling me your pretty story and finding the right way to do that because it changes everyday 

Howard: and what do you think I'm what do you think is the next new technology that's gonna be that the next big thing the next new thing what do you think is gonna be coming from

Patrick Bernardi:  so again I there's many many things that have happened digitally over the years I think that again this is a low-tech answer it's going to be something that's innovating something that has been a long-standing I think you know you know I think my CEO gets concerned that at some point someone's gonna have to build it all be over but that hasn't happened yet and so it continues to be something that can be better that exists today again you mentioned our sharping program that's a better experience the green light dental compliance center that's a better experience and so it might not be some whiz-bang ultra digital cool thing that costs a million bucks that you put in your practice it might be a series of small things that make the the clinician and doctors lives better and and I'd know for sure that we're invested in a lot of that

Howard:   I always thought it was bizarre how obsessed dentists are with supplies because when I got out of school in 87 I just build you know Delta of Arizona for a crown they just asked me what my fees were and they told me what percent they pays 50 percent for crowns dentures partials I'd bill a thousand they'd pay if I've had root canals fillings 80% clean exams x-rays how to present and then they switch that they started sending me the price well the difference there between me sing sending you my fee guide versus now in your new PPO is a 42% reduction nationally on average so the number one overhead in 1987 didn't exist and now it's 42% next would be Labor 22:28 associates are getting paid 25 to 30 lab bills 8 and 10% and when people start talking about supplies like did supplies is four to six percent I mean it just seems like I mean what if you had high overhead and your best idea was to put a lock box over the thermostat so the employees don't I mean that's just not your cost and light like this Dennis asking today I'm looking to buy new hygiene instruments my first question is how long do hygiene instruments last and should I plan on them last seen two years three years five years and I thought to myself of all the problems in the world in your office wanting to know how long a damn scaler last would not be on my first 1,000 thoughts but how would you answer her 

Patrick Bernardi: well I would tell them to tune in to your show 1st of August as well but how many people have you have in your show that that weren't engine coaches and embed themselves into practices to show them how hiking could be a profitable part of their practice I mean many many many people have been on your show had that competency right don't be again it if that is a service that your practice provides that's where I would say get it right you know what don't even know about you know how did I build a profitable hygiene department that's where I would go

Howard:  yeah and I also think one of the law of unintended consequence I had no idea on August 9th of 1990 when I gave my first lecture in Manhattan I was so excited to see New York feel of the first time I had no idea that three decades later I would have lectured in 50 countries and it's so amazing how when you go to so many countries they have no concept of insurance and I don't think they ever will especially the Chinese because the Chinese dentist and China and us both have about the same number of general dentists even though they have five times many people and they would just tell me that I mean I remember the president of the the China Dental associated tell me well if you don't brush your teeth and you don't floss and you drink coca-cola that's not your employer's problem that's not your governments from and anybody who helps pay for your treatment is doing a moral hazard they're subsidizing bad and habits and I guarantee the last country on earth that will ever have dealt will be Delta Dental of China because they just don't they believe in personal deal so that that's another problem with these dentists you know every time they're complaining about dsos and PPOs I'm like okay well you do know that half of America doesn't have dental insurance right you do know they bought their iPhone with cash you do know the average American between 16 and 76 will buy 13 new cars from just a dozen companies and the average price of a new car is thirty three thousand five hundred and they'll finance it to them over 60 months so and so when I tell you all of that your problem is your supplies are too high and and your instruments not lasting long enough and it's the DSO and it's the people it's everything but they're tackling business acumen

Patrick Bernardi:  all those other issues you mentioned they're all relevant business issues no doubt but you know again I think we're all infatuated with this word why these days what's your why I mean why you you know again for your pretty why would you do this other options out there why are you free so you've got to stand and fight for why you are the choice and that that is again I say it all the time that is also a mindset I'm going to compete for what's mine I'm going to show you why that you should come to my practice that's it 

Howard: so on your I'm going to go back to your community because I am I you know I I put my heart and soul in the dental town community back in 1999 the big believer by the way for you young kids you Moyles that weren't even born yet when the internet came out let's say we're gonna test Patrick see how old he is do you remember what the five C's of the internet were when they came out

Patrick Bernardi:  I'm a marketer so I know about the four PS you don't love the fourth the five Cs over some knowledge on me 

Howard: well they you know is all amazon talking about commerce and then there were people talking about content like your blogs I loved your he 3d blogs and then there was a connectivity so that it could tie all your devices together so that's commerce housing commercials for people buying ads on the internet and Here I am looking at Commerce well I'm not gonna buy I'm not gonna drop my supply rep because when I'm buying Indo files before I'm asking the price of an Indo file I want to know what my favorite endodontists Brad gentleman is using up the street content connectivity commercials it was the community and the five C’s when I saw the community that's when I thought it was all for selfish reasons because I wanted to show a PA to another Dennis and say you know what do you think so you've started your community hugh free comm ford slash community and I see Edward Lynn for orthodontics and reek Acosta for infection products giorgio tam Piniella for Perry Donnell let's start with endured let Edward Lynn our how was Hugh Freedy in the orthodontic market and 

Patrick Bernardi: talked about words of 80 patients a day and what he requires and how he helps his team that um he's a he's based about an amazing friend a few pretty as all of I think I think right now we have 600 K pinion leaders are affiliated with their brand globally and you know we're we treasure all of them they're an important part of what we do anything that's been built on mutual respect and as much and again it's so critical from the podium or from the lectern or from where it is their voices matter their opinions absolutely matter what I have seen recently though is it is what you've talked about is the  podcast the past learning experience right being able to tune into someone's channel someone's podcast someone's social feed in a matter of one to three minutes maybe even less sometimes takes something away because that is how long our human attention span is these days so we've done a lot with also investing in folks that do a lot on Instagram or other places because that is also where people are are coming in to connect with 

Howard: as well hi yeah have you noticed Edward is not as happy now as since he's from my Green Bay Wisconsin and the Packers are miserable has he has he shared that with you yeah he's probably had more time on his hands since he probably no longer watches the NFL back to your open you layers do orthodontist use you free D the same degree as say a periodontist 

Patrick Bernardi: also understand that again we're in a band back in business so our job is to deliver design precise you know Donald you know equipment and instruments that solve the problem for the orthodontist whether it's visual acuity or access or a unique been to a particular product that solves another problem and so we get our best ideas first of all from my customers but absolutely from the key opinion leaders that we sponsor and said listen we're saying this in the practice or it'd be great if we had a product like this and that is the life of lifeblood of our innovation pipeline but there's a bunch of those folks and so our job is to identify who best aligns with kind of the values of our brand it believes what we believe and then we align with them and start making a beautiful music together 

Howard: well I have I have to tell you I'm I am and very impressed with your Instagram feed I got four boys and two of them dropped Facebook years ago and went completely to Instagram and you have 25,000 followers on Instagram I mean that's monster I mean usually someone are really good at Instagram account as I got 500 I mean how did you get 25,000 followers is it because you're you're posting images is that Instagram stories is it videos and and how was your Instagram strategy different than your Facebook 

Patrick Bernardi: strategy of cultivating the younger professional with content and experiences and against stories sometimes even dental humor on Fridays we post a lot of you know things and people you know tell us that it's a nice respite from what they do every day and it and they enjoy that but then we also make some lots of clinical stuff and some personal stories so a lot of its been built on the content but make no mistake a lot of that is our work with the students and as they come out and then again I think word of mouth with you know telling their friends about our Instagram feed and that's why we are what we are we're very proud of that number by the way

Howard:  so I want to go back to a macroeconomics I mean you have offices I mean you sell products in 80 countries 10,000 instruments and product solutions are sold in over 80 countries I mean and you have centers have your headquarters is Chicago and then you have Netherlands Italy Germany China Japan and you have active cells people in 30 countries how does dentistry look global what do you think someone driving down highway 54 in Kansas on an hour commute to work driving down there probably hasn't left North America maybe in his life his entire life and what's dentistry look like in the other six content

Patrick Bernardi:  well I'll turn that I'll do it was the last time that you were at an IDs show every two years in Cologne Germany okay so if you do you find it as a as a North American person who goes there every two years do you find it's the same or different the energy drives do I find the International dentistry different I 

Howard: I do its subtleties like say like you like you know Asia you know and South America and Africa there's no dental insurance in Europe they think Americans have way too white of bleaching and they don't use any of those bleaching shades they actually think we look like clowns and if you think the United States bleach they're too white my god the Middle East they're whiter teeth than northern so I see things like that and then I see things where in the richest 20 most developed countries it's all expanded function as hygienists assistance and it's a machine and then when you go to more poor countries the other 80% or the 200 other countries it's about 220 the 200 developing countries the dentist seems to be in one chair and thinks he's saving money by not having any employees so yeah i do see a lot of difference what are you thinking communist –

Patrick Bernardi:  I agree and again open and geo differences even in the prophetic some countries don't have a high chance so when those markets you know our job is to kiss to cater directly to the doctor you know I think that we continue to try and figure China out it's the rising middle class makes that a such a compelling market and we continue to put people on the streets to learn I know how to better serve that market Japan has been a fascinating experiment with us and we're invested in invested tremendously in the asia-pac bull market in Australia we learned things - and so again back to your doctor driving down the speak I think that at some point the doctor would pass by something and said that looks familiar and  something that would say that looks entirely like nothing I've ever seen before I am but part of the distributors and the manufacturers and all the people who do what we do that's the challenge is you got to find what works in your market I mean for example I mean you know when we start to put marketing campaigns together you know and we'll send them off to to Europe or they'll  kick in mobile share them right even the literal translations of words means something different it was certain words that we would use here they would never use in Japan because they're boastful so all of the cultural nuances that exist you have to count on your people there - who lends you free D the way the market is going to accept at best and that is a been a fascinating journey over the last ten years for sure 

Howard: you know I'm forgot one of my biggest nightmares when I started lecturing an international and China and everything this young guy was looking up to me and listening to me and he went out and did all this advertising stuff I was talking about and he almost lost his dental license and I happened in Hong Kong in Romania and I wasn't even thinking that what I'm doing in Arizona could be illegal in other countries China I I love China but it's just amazing how the old the Chinese biggest problem in all of Dentistry is that for five thousand years they've been eating all this healthy food and vegetables and chicken and just just fantastic eaters and then they get they developed this middle-class and grandma and so you have this one child he's got a mom and dad that each parent has the mom dad so you have six adults that want to do something nice to the kid so the first thing they think of as a treat and they bring him our Hershey's chocolate bar a coca-cola a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and then they're in the dental office I stood in one all day inch engine and the moms one know what all these black things are on the teeth this kid needs like eight pulpotomy chrome steel crowns and his mom and dad and grandparents have never had a cavity and they hadn't and they made zero connection between all the sugar Western processed crap and and then and then when I remember I tried to meet in podcast the first pediatric dentist in Hong Kong and he said he didn't want anybody to know anything about him because he was booked up six months in advance and the only thing he wanted me to do is try to go try to find another pediatric dentist somewhere in the world that would move there to help him so it's amazing how different countries are all on different journeys towards dentistry and the change in diet is going to be the the biggest problem for the developing world while the developed world needs to try to get off that diet and then but I'm gonna make another thing about them to the young kids because podcaster if you're listening to the podcast and you're on the dental town hygiene town or throat on app you're a you're a millennial and if you're on desktop you're a baby boomer and a lot of us old guys like me at 56 we trashed our necks and our hands because we weren't using loops we weren't doing the right posture and I loved it when you guys came out and you really understood that you needed to thicken up the instrument I mean those instruments were the diameter of a pencil in 87 and yeah and so so how was organ aam exciting cue guys have been leading the way and taking a real serious the bigger the circumference of that instrument the less pressure I have to put on it to hold it do you see that as a big big thing changing 

Patrick Bernardi: you know the amount of R&D; that we do on that just that topic alone is with this blow your mind we respect the heritage of the clinician and how hard they work and not what their body goes through so we're always looking at crimps and grit stock and working ends and in finger position and of course handle size for sure that's a big thing for us

Howard:  handle size and I also thought I was very interesting I I didn't realize how much people were talking about it but just just simple innovations like when you came out with that on double-sided mirror do you remember remember that and talk about that why would you do that right 

Patrick Bernardi: it makes all the sense in the world so that was something that we actually heard from our community as a desire we're like yeah that's that's  right we should be going to do that or oh again I'm going to date myself a little bit but even in in the policy alien universe you know there's the swivel you know how instead of having to wrap the cord around your arm you can just swivel the end and that would get you access to what you need to do clinically and so it's again you talk about what's the next I think it's continues to be these little things there might be the difference right yeah 

Howard: I mean 99% of diagnostics and oral exam is gonna be with that mirror and why would you not have it on the other side I want to go back to these little things for the kids um couple of things that I just think are insane so you're gonna practice from 25 to 65 for 40 years you're gonna sleep eight hours eight hours and then the rest your life non dental is eight hours and they decide to build their room 10 feet by 12 foot they're basically building a solitary confinement and the smartest Dennis I watched over 30 years ago they thought well hell I'm just gonna make it 20 by 20 why should mom have to come in here and trip over a trash can and all this stuff like that what wait why isn't the room for just a damn chair a nice chair and it was my classmate Brian Neuwirth the smartest guy in our class of 87 at UMKC and he went on to become an oral surgeon and he just he just was gonna change mine and same thing with the mirrors you know you go you graduate you go move and work with your mom or dad who's a dentist and then using these little three quarter inch mirrors there's only a mirror on one side they can't see anything to begin where they got readers or blind well I have inch mirrors two inch mirrors you know you just want to look at it differently and right final impress why not stick a different mirror in there why not have mirrors on both sides of your mirrors and if you I mean so just I mean just stop and slow down everybody is in such a hurry to solve this problem they're gonna learn it one way in school and then do it for 40 years and the hardest thing to do is just slow down and say you know maybe there's a better way to do it and maybe just because your mom and dad have been doing this for 40 years doesn't mean that that's how you have to do it the rest your life I want to ask you one more question though you asked me about the Cologne meaning which is the greatest sweetie in dentistry it's it's only every other year it's in Cologne Germany they usually get a hundred thousand dentists there from every country on Earth life you could find a dentist here from anywhere you cannot see all the booths there in five days not a no that's because I'm still at the hotel drinking beer or if there was something else here but when I look at those big meetings how have American meetings sank you're talking about Instagram and videos and who freed community and blogs is that compliment meetings or do you see meetings like this Chicago midwinter and and all these big meetings do you see them contracting or facing headwinds because of all this internet video and online CE and all that stuff

Patrick Bernardi:  say that again cologne meeting you know I give credit to my managing director over here Fabio Molinaro always tells me that that's a romantic experience for the brain especially because it is absolutely a show so we have products there absolutely but doubly being focused more on the brand experience and stories I flew to North America and I think everyone's aware that there's been certain you know entities or groups that if said that's it I'm not going to any more shows and then everyone said oh oh that's gonna start an avalanche and everyone's going to contract it up I haven't seen it there's there's  years where I've seen less than there's yours what I've seen more in terms of attendance and activity but I haven't seen consistently last and what I know and I in someone when I first started he freed he told me this in me they said Patrick this is a Show and Tell business so when people go into the show they want to see the thing that you got they want to feel it in their hand because they're at the show you can put a video up there all you want but until I feel the instrument and how what it feels like its weight its thickness that's what counts and that's why people go to those shows and that's why even if you decide to take all of your grip stock or your inventory except for the fine things that never come out it's gonna be those five things that at the next show someone's gonna want to see so it's an interesting question Howard and I have just not seen it I've seen different experiences built around the convention I've seen more digital data collection journey mapping but I've not seen less 

Howard: yeah and I want to say something on also as as you get older you lose your vision yeah but basically once you're all developed I mean all dentistry is slowing down the rate of ascent for all your teeth to die and fall out of me we're all gonna you know the longest any human live now 1 million hours and as the providers get older and older it's just harder to see and I really like I'm gonna go back to that mirror she sounds silly but they're brighter you say they're 38 and a half percent brighter images and rhodium because the reflection factor scratches or whatever but man as you get older you want just a better mirror you need more light you need more magnification and I think that's pretty damn cool that you've figured out a better reflector and something as basic as a mirror that's probably been around centuries 

Patrick Bernardi: visual acuity is a thing and so who figured out that it would that rhodium was a thing was that in house or how 

Howard: does a company like that figure that out it's our in-house folks that did that get up every day and think about what's next right and so that's all know that 

Patrick Bernardi: that's how that innovation happened well I want to end on this one note because I've gotten this question so many times I can't count how many times some hygienists are dentists or assistant they have a new idea something they want better but they're always afraid because that you know if they asked you

Howard: what do you think about this idea that it was a good idea you just take it and run some companies say I don't want to hear about any new ideas because I got a sign a nondisclosure deal or both in dentistry half the time I have someone sign that we've been working on in ten years it's a lawsuit waiting to happen so how would you answer she's listening to you right now and she says oh my god if you think rhodium is a better mirror I've got the best mare idea in the world or a product um what would you tell her what how could she have relationship with you 3d on that appreciate what you said about

Patrick Bernardi:  you know again in modern world there's probably like but I think that if if she wanted to come back to us that we would find a way to partner as we have you know throughout our 110 years this is what we've always done right it's just again I appreciate your point though it's gotten a little bit your Frank but the spirit of innovation in community what we talked about that happens there we are we welcome that that level of communication with our customers 

Howard:was there any topic that you were hoping I was gonna ask you about that I was too dumb to bring up or anything because 

Patrick Bernardi: I know you well enough to know that I was gonna get a lot of curveballs which I appreciate and so a lot of uncontrolled balls from you which is great but that's okay because I live by what your I'd guess is idle in that subset so know what I'll leave you with this topic and I don't want to be the marketing guy commercial but I will say is that in terms of uncensored again  we if you're free you're really invested in this green light gentle compliance cetera because we feel like there is no reason why a dentist should be getting their people our picture in the paper if anything bad happens to them they should be running their practice building their teams doing it the right way and they need some help you know everyone's got best intentions they need help so we're here to help them with that and 

Howard: you also you also have a lot of online self-study education how many how many God you got webinars on air polishing diagnostic instrument management systems or talks pareo restorative surgical online everything I'm reading because dental town has online see so I and I'm in Phoenix where University of Phoenix online actually started here and that's what I actually gave me the idea I mean I saw you know there's always a newspaper so in 2004 I said well let's add online see today sure but all the research is showing that humans what the courses to be shorter  and when you're in grammar school they're saying you can only retain information for seven to fourteen minutes an hour and then in high school it goes to an hour so these dentists they they'd love just I just want to listen to a for an hour I don't know if I want to commit to closing down my office on Friday and spending the whole damn day at some damn dough so how was your online internet education going and

Patrick Bernardi:  our highest attended webinars are clearly infection control I don't know why that is but again maybe that is a topic that in the privacy of wherever you're at you want to get a better glimpse or a better education on how to do that I think our top five are probably infection control based our webinar program 

Howard: well I tell you what my homies are smart I mean you know my four boys always told me they love dad's friends I yeah I guess all the dad's friends have eight years of college in there they chose the profession to help other people doing surgery with their hands and that's why I tell you young dogs stay away from IV sedation they have anesthesiologist from that because one bad case and you might some morning wake up wish you'd never been born and second to an IV sedation death would be an infection control nightmare and we've all heard of these cases I mean can you imagine getting a letter to find out that Harry your patient last week needs a new liver transplant I mean this is insane and it's also revolving so fast like the gut microbiota all end in one story work everybody kept beating up hospitals saying why do you have so much infection why do you have so much life and they were doing everything they can so finally this one microbiologist thought you know I'm gonna start getting the DNA of all my cultures I want to make sure that it came from someone else sure enough the these guys infections were coming from their own gut microbiome so they're laying in that bed scratch themselves edge to themselves if you have a fingernail you might scratch your ear but break the dermis and how streps getting in there and you might reach down and scratch yourself in some other place but an infection controls huge they're there they're treating it like a crime scene and they're gonna get the DNA and they're actually gonna be able to tell you know this came from his own gut but no this one came from your dental office and it can be just a catastrophe but I'm sorry I went 15 minutes over Patrick it's been a pleasure for you to come on thank you so much for coming on the show today and my only parting advice to you in Chicago is move the Chicago Midwinter Meeting to when it's above minus 48 degrees if you had that meeting in April May October November it would be twice the size and every time I go there and say why are you having in February some it's always some 89 year old Denis's we've been having at this weekend since 1812 do you think they'll ever move it to a pleasant month in Chicago you see anything about gene lag right but I absolutely pass your words of wisdom on to my friends well that that that's what makes the Greater New York my favorite meeting because you oh it is always the weekend after Thanksgiving so it's that November I mean when you want to walk around Manhattan it's Thanksgiving that's why they have the Thanksgiving Parade they would never reschedule that parade till January or oh well my god he would die walking down the streets but hey thank you so much for coming on the show and good luck with you free design blogs the community just love what you're doing thank you so much for all that you guys do for dentistry thanks  

More Like This

Total Blog Activity

Total Bloggers
Total Blog Posts
Total Podcasts
Total Videos


Townie Perks

Townie® Poll

Do you allow parents into the operatory?

Site Help

Sally Gross, Member Services
Phone: +1-480-445-9710

Follow Dentaltown

Mobile App



9633 S. 48th Street Suite 200 • Phoenix, AZ 85044 · Phone: +1-480-598-0001 · Fax: +1-480-598-3450
©1999-2019 Dentaltown, L.L.C., a division of Farran Media, L.L.C. · All Rights Reserved