CEO Candor: Meet DenMat’s Dave Casper
In just over a year as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at DenMat, Dave Casper has earned the respect and trust of its 400+ employees. Whether it’s his extensive knowledge of the dental industry (in which he’s worked exclusively his entire career) or his unique leadership style, Dave has been instrumental in DenMat’s current revival—and he’s just getting warmed up.
Hired as CEO in July 2017, Dave oversees the company’s entire global operations. In addition to a wide range of restorative products and equipment, DenMat also operates a dental laboratory that is focused almost exclusively on cosmetic veneers and crowns, and offers unique practice management solutions. These cumulative offerings are designed to provide value to dental professionals by creating a “one-stop shop” centered on exceptional customer service. This complete solution is designed to complement dentists’ expertise, giving them access to many DenMat-specific tools that enable them to deliver more efficient care while increasing case acceptance.
“DenMat is the only company that offers a full solution for the dentist, from innovative products and services to dental laboratory services,” Dave explains. “But DenMat is more than that—it’s a partner for success.”
The company has long been a partner to dentists, but with Dave’s guidance, the company is seeing more customers realizing the true value of partnering with DenMat. Not only does the company offer a complete suite of solutions, but it also prides itself on its interpersonal, educated and passionate employees.
“Our employees work tirelessly to help dentists achieve best outcomes,” Dave explains, “through our unique offerings, including Lumineers, the Smile Discovery Program, dental laboratory services, and a full-suite of restorative products.”
But it goes deeper than that. Employees particularly like Dave because he recognizes that the company’s success is dependent on them and each other. This synergistic approach means Dave takes time to talk to employees and encourages an ongoing, open dialogue. As an example of this, every Friday, Dave meets with a given department’s employees for what has been coined “Donuts with Dave.” During this informal gathering, Dave’s goal is to find out and hear what’s going on; learn what frustrations and victories are being experienced; and just listen to employees.
This unique approach to leadership stems from Dave’s awareness of the many intricacies of running a business—and from his storied background in the dental industry. Having worked exclusively in dental his entire career, Dave’s extensive experience spans many roles within a handful of companies. From telesales and dental trade shows to territory sales, dental patient financing, and managing the dental implant division of a large company, Dave has experienced nearly every facet of the profession. He has hands-on knowledge of product procurement and management, manufacturing, sales, communications, and laboratory services. And while he’s tirelessly worked his way up, he’s never forgotten the importance of unity among employees. This is why Dave fosters a culture that prioritizes time spent with employees; every voice truly matters to him.
“Almost none of the best ideas within the company come from me,” Dave admits. Rather, he says, they come from employees. “The key is to realize everyone has good ideas. Small changes can have big impacts,” he says. “For example, our sales team has an incredible sense of what’s needed to advance our company’s goals and general mission because they get keen insight from our customers. This insight is what we use to shape bigger and better ideas.”
Adding to this, Dave shares, “The most fulfilling aspect of my job is taking care of employees and helping them grow their careers. When I first started at DenMat, one thing that struck me was how many employees have had long-lasting careers with the company. I feel an incredible sense of responsibility to take care of them.”
The ability to care for DenMat employees is strong, as the company’s professional products and laboratory services continue to grow. This provides opportunity to hire more employees, promote employees within the organization, and make decisions that benefit company infrastructure. “This is a great thing to be able to do,” Dave remarks.
As DenMat continues its revival, Dave says the company is focused on a few core trends and innovations. The most obvious is the increased penetration of the dental service organization (DSO)-provider model, which impacts communication between dentists and manufacturers. Also worth noting is the increased use of online ecommerce. To meet increased demand for an online click-to-cart model, the company recently redesigned and upgraded its website and also offers to dentists a webstore for easy online shopping.
Another trend to watch, Dave shares, is the quest for the next greatest restorative material/product. “There is a lot of buzz around bioactive and antimicrobial materials,” he states, adding, “There is a lot of work being done to find new products and validate claims.” Increased laser use and the increased efficiency provided by use of headlights are other notable developments the company has its sights set on.
As DenMat continues to make waves in the dental industry, Dave intends to uphold this key trait: Talk less and listen more. Through a collaborative approach, Dave is helping position DenMat as a company that takes feedback, both from internal and external relationships, and acts on it for the greater good.