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Dental Tribune U.S. Edition

Industry News DENTAL TRIBUNE | December 201112A For years, NSK dental handpieces have had a strong base of devoted users in the United States and Canada who are attracted to the company’s reliable, user-friendly performance and reputation for quality. A word- of-mouth advertising strategy com- bined with highly targeted customer relationships has worked well for the organization. But the strategy has also meant that there are many dental pro- fessionals who still aren’t sure about what makes NSK so different in the handpiece market. That’s about to change. The dental equipment manufac- turer, founded in 1930 in Japan, is raising its U.S. and Canadian profile in a big way, perhaps most tangibly to date by the May 2011 opening of its newly constructed North American headquarters in Illinois. The facility includes a showroom, training facil- ity, expanded warehouse space and a larger parts and service center. “The company made the deci- sion last year to increase its invest- ment in North America in 2011,” said NSK Dental Marketing Manager Rob Gochoel. “We’ve also added office and technical-service staff, and an inter- nal team of representatives who will be able to work directly with a greater number of dental practices.” The company is also expanding its distributor relationships. As a whole, the efforts should enable NSK to pro- vide information about its unique business model to most of the dental practices in North America. The company’s efforts also include an expanded dental convention pres- ence, which began with the 2011 Greater New York Dental Meeting, so practitioners are more easily able to hold an NSK handpiece and expe- rience firsthand what has enabled the company to become one of the top handpiece manufacturers in the world. “We’re making the investment in an opportunity to connect with more customers,” Gochoel said. “Not only will we be able to handle customer questions and inquiries much faster, but we also will be able to further develop a sense of loyalty by develop- ing even more personal-relationships with doctors.” Innovation based on input Close relationships with its customers are critical to the company, because that is what has driven its global growth for more than eight decades. “Everybody is pretty excited,” said NSK Dental President Mirco Stiehle. “We have very good feedback from the market so far. I am looking for- NSK Dental invests in support, service and distribution to serve more practices ward to working with den- tal professionals and learn- ing more about what they want from us because that’s where we’re coming from. We need to understand what we need to be doing to be successful in the U.S. And that means providing prod- ucts that fit to the customer demand.” NSK is able to respond quickly and specifically to localized needs because it maintains complete in- house control of the man- ufacturing process. An example of how such a phi- losophy translates into real products is the NSK S-Max Pico, which has the small- est head and neck size of any handpiece on the mar- ket. NSK built it in response to requests from practic- es in Asian markets with higher numbers of patients with smaller-than-average mouths. Interestingly, a bonus realized by the company’s will- ingness to address this need is that the S-Max Pico has gone on to also receive high interest from pediatric practitioners throughout the world. “We know there are other needs out there that aren’t being met,” Gochoel said. “We want to provide options based on what customers are asking for. We love to solicit feedback through our office at (888) 675-1675 and through our microsite at www.” Key to the company’s ability to develop equipment in direct response to customer need is its commitment to controlling the entire manufac- turing process. Nearly 90 percent of the 17,000-plus parts that go into the creation of its handpieces are manu- factured in house. Global handpiece manufacturer boosts North American presence NSK quality is achieved primarily through uncompromising process control, which enabled it to acquire ISO9001 certification in 1997. Its factory has more than 100 state-of-the-art Computerized Numerical Control machines running 24 hours per day. (Photos/Provided by NSK Dental) By Robert Selleck, Managing Editor At NSK, innovative engineering starts where the product is being used: in the dental office. In response to demand for vibration-free, accurate, stable cutting, NSK answered with Integrated Shaft Bearings (ISB), in which the shaft itself forms an inner race for holding the outer race, ensuring all three needs are met efficiently, compactly and reliably.