Interview - Adding value for the dental practice

· Jürgen-Richard Fleer, General Manager of J. Morita Europe GmbH, on his company’s philosophy and innovations

Mr. Fleer, Morita celebrated its 100th anniversary three years ago. You have been working for the company in a leading position since 2008. What is your day-to-day experience with the company’s philosophy and its associated values?

Morita is a family-owned business that has been building on our customers’ and partners’ trust for more than 100 years. We continuously exchange notes with users from the fields of dentistry, radiology, and otorhinolaryngology, and with our authorized distributors and with university-level research institutions. This enables us to better respond to their real — if sometimes somewhat concealed — needs. Our task is to offer true value to doctors and their teams. For us, that means creating the best possible environment for perfect treatment results. This is what we want, this is what our partners want, and this what the patients want. In this way, we all work together to improve people’s quality of life.

You say you all work together. But how does that happen in actual reality? Don’t these different groups all have their own separate interests and ideas?

We all share a common passion: the well-being of our patients. Morita’s part is to constantly push the limits of what seems technically feasible. Of course, new products must also be superior to the competition in order to prevail. We therefore strive for innovation, precision and quality and, of course, maximum esthetics.

Then there are our own expectations of the products we develop. We are not interested in supporting only selected market players — we want to be appreciated by all practices that work hard to achieve the best possible outcomes for their patients. In simple words: All our products and solutions must have the potential to support many dentists.

The first time you hear that, it sounds almost too altruistic. On the other hand, though, the underlying economic principle resonates here — a broad approach to target audiences increases the number of potential customers...

Our company is certainly in business for business and thinks in business terms — else we would not have been able to survive for so long. Profitability is the foundation of our existence. But it does not shape our mission or our actions. First and foremost, Morita is all about staying true to its values. Our basic tenet of sustainability, very much in the tradition of our Japanese parent company, has led and will lead us to success. High moral standards do not contradict sound business sense. And this is where we return to the issue of trust. We can grow through appreciative interaction with employees, colleagues, and partners and through our social commitment. Everyone benefits — ourselves included.

After all, our developments are geared to the needs of our partners. A prime example of this is our high standard of quality. Our products stay desirable for a long time, offering maximum functionality throughout their entire service life. They often stay in use for over 15 years, sometimes even more than 20. Service and maintenance requirements are extremely low, and that makes for a great return on investment. We apply this high standard to all our innovations. Anyone who “buys Morita” must feel confident it was a good buy.

You place great store in long-term value, quality, and sustainability. A dental practice could therefore easily get fifteen years or more of reliable use out of an X-ray machine they buy from you. But your development cycles are much shorter than that. How does that add up?

I would like to explain this by way of an example. Take Morita’s imaging systems. Of course — and completely in line with our basic tenet of functionality — it is important to always deliver the best quality. But that does not mean always wanting to achieve the maximum in imaging. The highest levels of image quality are often only required by specialists and certain specialist areas in the dental practice. Take our proven combination system Veraviewepocs 3D R100. It still delivers leading and outstanding image quality and is suitable for use in any practice. Of course, the requirements of general dentists when purchasing a 2D/3D X-ray unit differ from those of an endodontist, implantologist, or oral surgeon. These specialists can benefit from the even higher imaging quality of the successor unit Veraview X800; for generalists, the already impressive resolution of the Veraview 3D R100 is perfectly sufficient for their indications. So we are not trying to force these partners to upgrade to the newer combination system. Our goal is to offer gold standard systems. But that does not mean that performance has to exceed the limits of what is clinically useful in everyday practice — beyond pure fascination.

Well, that is one example. How many more such examples can be found at Morita?

Our principles guide all our products and solutions. Morita has been following the path of Total Quality and Total Performance for over 100 years. We are a family business and base our success on long-term partnerships. Our products must add value to each practice, a principle we have always taken to heart. It was against this background that our Tri Auto ZX2 endodontic system was developed, a unique handpiece for combined apex localization and preparation. And our AdvErL Evo laser system, and our TwinPower turbines, and our treatment units. In addition, we are now launching the Morita Academy in the occasion of the IDS 2019 to offer dentists comprehensive and sustainable support in their professional activities and to help promote the success of their practices.

The Morita Academy? What is that?

The tasks expected of and performed at dental practices are becoming more diverse. For example, in addition to their professional competence, dentists are increasingly required to be leaders, entrepreneurs, or experts in patient communication. For this reason, the Morita Academy does not restrict itself to teaching specialist medical topics. We deliberately focus on topics such as leadership and human resources, practice development, patient retention, and work/life balance. These areas are often criminally neglected in education and training even though they are crucial for professional success and for the quality of life of the practice team.

To achieve these goals, we have entered into a partnership with Gross ErfolgsColleg, a pioneer and leading expert in leadership and management in the healthcare and dental sector. In this way, we ensure the highest quality for all topics and all services, combining a a scientific foundation with direct practical applicability. In addition, our Morita Academy is a forum for an interactive exchange of ideas and experiences. To present the whole range of services would unfortunately go beyond the scope of this interview. We will be pleased to inform interested dentists in more detail at our stands at the IDS: Hall 10.2, Stands R040, S049, S051. — I am looking forward to it!

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