BIOLASE Inc. is a medical device company that develops, manufactures, markets, and sells laser systems to dental clinics. Its solutions enable clinicians to repair and restore patients’ dental conditions, reducing pain and anxiety in the process.
The company is in the business of providing state of the art technology. So, taking and transmitting customer orders using pen and paper didn’t align with the innovative image BIOLASE wanted to convey.
Additionally, the company’s field sales people and executives were already using their mobile phones to get work done, said Robert Malak, the company’s manager of financial planning and analysis (FP&A). Unfortunately, the spreadsheets that Malak (who also helps with sales operations such as prospecting, reporting, and tracking) created didn’t render properly and were hard to read on their mobile phones.
It was clear that BIOLASE needed a more efficient, high tech, and mobile-friendly solution. The company found that in AppSheet.
“A friend of mine recommended AppSheet,” Malak said. “Using AppSheet, anybody can develop an app and potentially replace their spreadsheets with it.”
BIOLASE has only two full-time IT team members, and they didn’t have time to work on apps, so Malak took on that job himself during evenings and weekends.
“It ended up kind of being a fun thing,” he said, “so I didn’t mind putting in the extra hours just to see where we could take the technology.”
To date, Malak has created a handful of apps using the AppSheet platform.
One of those apps is an order-taking app. It prevents sales reps in the field from having to write out customer orders, and then send them in using dental office fax machines.
“We were looking for a way to do orders remotely instead of the old pen and paper way,” he said. “We were in 2017 at the time. And decided that we should have technology working for us, because we are selling technology.”
Malak built the BIOLASE order app with AppSheet’s no code development platform. That app now shows all of the BIOLASE products and connects with the tax service provider BIOLASE uses to access the needed tax information. It’s also integrated with the Square Credit Card app, so BIOLASE can accept full or partial payments at the time of the sale.
AppSheet also enables BIOLASE leadership to easily review data on their mobile devices. “If you’re in the FP&A field and you’re still sending only spreadsheets out, technology is moving fast enough to the point where nobody wants to look at those spreadsheets all the time when they’re mobile,” said Malak. “Our CFO is out on the road all the time, and he wants to pull them up on his phone.”
“If you can figure out a way to translate that data into something that looks good on a mobile phone,” Malak added, “you’re going to advance yourself, your company, and your career.”