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Dr. Brian Schaefer – Green Bay, Wisconsin

Issue: Fall 2008
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Left to right: Jerry Laes, Equipment Service Technician; Cindi Matt, Designer; Sue Schaefer; Dan Krueger, Equipment Sales Specialist; Todd Gregory, Field Sales Consultant; Paul Batley, Regional Manager; Bob Ross, Equipment Service Technician; Dr. Brian Schaefer.
”Much of our older equipment was breaking down…production was declining…and my lease was due to be renewed. There was a great thread on DentalTown called “Show Me Your Office.” I was seeing all these great offices, and hearing stories of how the right location could rejuvenate a practice. When my new lease arrived in the mail, I was facing a major decision…I knew that this lease was going to tie me to the current office for the rest of my career.”

Dan Kroeger, Henry Schein Dental Equipment Sales Specialist recalls his conversation with the Doctor around that time. “I stopped by the old location to advise Dr. Schaefer on a ceiling-mounted light. After looking at the shape of the existing equipment, I suggested that he might want to consider moving rather than replacing some of the equipment…he could increase productivity…enhance his image…and set the tone for the quality of care he was providing in a better location.”

Dr. Schaefer’s practice dates back to the 1930s, when most dentists practiced in downtown Green Bay. In the late 70s it was purchased and moved across the river and reestablished near the west side of Green Bay. It was there that Dr. Schaefer became an associate in 1986 and went on to purchase the practice in 1991. One year later, he moved his business to a 1,800-sq. foot leased space in a newly constructed office building where he practiced for 16 years until opening his new office, seven miles north. “In a city like Green Bay…long-time residents still have an issue with having to cross the river for anything,” comments the Doctor.

“I think that the phrase ‘All the way out there’ when referring to a location more than 5 miles away or across the river, was coined in Green Bay!”

When discussing the demographics with Dr. Schaefer, Dan Kroeger estimated that moving the practice about five miles away would retain about 90% of its patients. In fact, patient loyalty exceeded that number-about 97% of the Doctor’s patients stayed with him, as did his staff.

The area chosen for the new facility was an ideal match-and was also surrounded by two medical clinics and the local school system. After a more in-depth check on the area’s demographics, the plan was sealed.

“Dan got back to me immediately…and was very informative about the whole process…he did a fantastic job in guiding me along,” notes Dr. Schaefer. “Dan worked with interior layouts and then brought in a design-build construction company to help put together some ideas and make sure that the property was a good fit for a dental office…once that was done he was instrumental in helping us with our equipment selections.” Along with Dan Kroeger, the complete Henry Schein team also included Todd Gregory, Field Sales Consultant; Cindi Matt, Interior Finishes Department; Jay Kohlhaas and Jennifer Rhode from the National Design Group; and Bob Ross, Installation Team Leader. Their collective expertise created Dr. Schaefer’s six-operatory, 4,105-sq. foot dream office-fully equipped with the technology his business requires to keep it efficient, productive, and competitive.

The facility’s spa-like feel also extends to the operatories where the best in hi-tech supports the staff’s activities and provides the patients with a soothing environment-complete with treatment chairs in ultrasoft leather with a built-in back massage.

The office’s interior motif was coordinated by Cindi Matt- with inspiration and assistance from the Doctor’s wife, Sue. The end product is the perfect combination of tranquility and sophistication. Warm, earthy tones of browns, greens, and copper and an abundance of contrasting textures were used for walls, floors, and furnishings, which include oversized couches and club chairs in the reception area. Ambient lighting casts a soft glow to the area. There is a dedicated space for patients to relax and browse the Internet while awaiting treatment. But there is apparent playfulness to be found as well in the adjacent children’s area that sports “kid-sized” club chairs, toys, and a large-screen television. A hand-painted wall mural offers a backdrop of the tropics-swaying palm trees, a sandy beach with lapping waves, and a treasure chest literally invite the viewer to “step in” and take part in the adventure that seems to be underway. In the distance, high atop its mast, a ship reveals an unfurled Jolly Roger-the pirate’s flag. Just the type of imagery that brews up excitement in the mind of the beholder-young or old!

There is apparent playfulness to be found as well in the adjacent children’s area that sports “kid-sized” club chairs, toys and a large-screen television.

The facility’s spa-like feel also extends to the operatories where the best in hi-tech supports the staff’s activities and provides the patients with a soothing environment-complete with treatment chairs in ultrasoft leather with a built-in back massage. The operatories give patients and staff a glimpse of the great outdoors as well. Designs for the spaces were reconfigured to take advantage of a beautiful lake on the east side of the building that offers a refreshing view of a 16-ft. water fountain and resident wildlife.

The building sits on an acre of highly visible property with all of its four sides exposed. This allowed the exterior to be detailed with an upscale stone and brick facade that takes advantage of the premises’ prime location and may prove to make it a local landmark. The practice’s signage follows the building’s style and includes a 28″ x 10′ LED high-resolution, full color message board that has proven to be an excellent marketing tool. “We have had an incredible response from the local community since moving our practice,” notes Dr. Schaefer.

“Everyone who calls or stops in comments that they have been waiting for a dentist to move to this part of the community. In the first week, we picked up 85 new patients and ended our first month at 250 new patients scheduled. Production was 50% higher than our average from the old office…and we have not done any external marketing yet.” The office is also seeing a great number of secondary referrals and it is anticipated that the practice will have doubled its patient load within about 5 months.

The new design is beneficial to staff and patients, literally directing daily activities in a much more effective manner. “Ergonomics and staff positioning help define the environment in the operatory,” adds Equipment Sales Specialist Dan Kroeger. This makes the delivery of dentistry much more efficient…in a more relaxing arena. Better patient care is evidenced throughout the office…making it a friendly place to visit. The new patient count is way up and [the] stress levels are lower. There are now designated spaces for the specialized equipment used-such as the CAD/CAM and laser technologies brought into the business.”

“This is an office that makes you look forward to coming to work,” points out Dr. Schaefer. “Our staff has been with the practice since the days of the 900-sq. ft. basement office. We all feel that this work environment has been earned through the years-and we are very, very proud of it. After 22 years, I feel that I am finally measuring up to my vision of how I always wanted to practice. I am the same dentist that I was before the move-and we offer the same services-but to see business just explode with a new location has been nothing short of incredible! I can’t thank everyone at Henry Schein enough for all the time, talent, and expertise that they put forth to make a project like this come together. They are true professionals.” What else has hopefully been gained by the completion of the new office? In the words of Dr. Schaefer, “Long-term peace of mind-and a chance to play more golf!”

Who could disagree with that great analysis?