David Winkler describes his purchase of Stern Weber dental units and the service received from RPA Dental.
Around four years ago, while visiting the Malo Clinics in Lisbon, I had the opportunity to carry out a number of surgical procedures using the Stern Weber line of dental units. The Malo Clinics (now Malo Dental) have installed several hundred Stern Weber units in Portugal alone. Most of their 80-plus international affiliates have converted (when necessary) their existing units to the Stern Weber line.
Due to various circumstances beyond our control (including a burst pipe resulting in water damage to the entire ground floor of our building), we needed to purchase a couple of new units for Castle View Dental, as well as replacing the flooring and some partition walls. Having had very good experiences with the units in Portugal, I decided to explore the possibilities of Stern Weber equipment in the UK. I contacted the manufacturers in Italy to be told that that RPA was the UK distributors for Stern Weber. I had never heard of RPA, and had never run across them at any of the national dental exhibitions.
I called the company head office based up north in the Manchester area and spoke with Pete Higson; I explained that I was looking for some new Stern Weber units. But I had some concerns about dealing with a supplier a good distance away from Windsor. Personal service, quick and efficient on-going support, maintenance plans, etc are of paramount importance to me.
I was really pleased to learn that RPA Dental have a sales and service centre in central London. I asked for names of fellow colleagues who RPA have dealt with in the past, and permission to call them. All the feedback I received was overwhelmingly positive. Based on that, I asked Pete if he could drop by Windsor for a chat about what our needs were and how RPA could accommodate us.
Pete proved to be totally down to earth, open and friendly without any trace of ‘salesman’ about him. He was attentive, wanting to fully understand what our needs were, what our expectations were, and was interested in hearing about our ‘history’ in dentistry in order to better understand our background in the profession. Pete did a comprehensive survey of the existing physical plant, as well as meeting most of the staff. He listened to their opinions as to what could be beneficial in connection with various components of the new equipment we were contemplating.
Design and delivery
Within a couple of days, we received detailed drawings and specifications for the proposed equipment. I was pleasantly surprised when I realised that Pete suggested a slightly less expensive model than originally contemplated. He felt that it would better suit my requirements. This reinforced my initial impression of the company being less sales minded and more people minded.
Financing and delivery dates were agreed, RPA working closely with our local contractor, and they scheduled work so that disruption in the practice was kept to an absolute minimum.
RPA’s team (again, based evidently around a number of family members and long-term employees) were always punctual, friendly and efficient; ensuring that the entire staff of Castle View Dental were able to continue with their work.
Once finished with the work, RPA’s engagement wasn’t finished. There was a lot of hand-holding to ensure that we were comfortable with all of the possibilities the new equipment provided. Telephone calls were answered immediately and we were walked through any problems we encountered; usually stemming from the fact that we were too lazy to read any of the instructions! When necessary, Jamie (Pete’s brother-in-law) who is charge of the service team, would come by himself and solve our problems.
I asked about the possibility of RPA taking care of our existing equipment; as one of the suction motors had been having problems for quite a while. Instead of ‘selling’ us a new one, which I had expected, they were able to have it serviced, replacing some parts, and have it functioning like new. We have subsequently arranged a full service/maintenance agreement.
It’s been a breath of fresh air working with ‘people’ rather than anonymous corporations. You know who is on the other end of the phone and don’t get passed along a line of employees who don’t know you – a rarity these days. I’m happy that I was able to stumble upon this gem of a family who I know are always there for us, so thank you to RPA for retaining all these old-world values.
RPA Dental Equipment has a 45-year heritage of supplying first-class equipment, products and engineering services to the dental community. For more information call 0800 0933975, email [email protected] or visit www.rpadental.com.