Planmeca,Roselle, Ill, has turned to contracts with the US government andmilitary to expand the market for its dental and orthodontic equipment.In March, Planmeca completed its contract with the US Air Forceto supply its ProMax X-Ray units to all the Air Force’s base clinics. The company has been in thegovernment market since 2004.

According to Michelle Bottino, Planmeca’s direct sales manager, sellingto the government is different from selling to individual dentists."With private practice you have one doctor who makes a decision on howhe or she wants to spend their own hard-earned money," Bottino says."With the government, there are many hands in the pot and everyone hastheir own idea of what is best, so I often have to talk to 10 people inthe same clinic before a decision is made, especially for Veteran’sAdministration or Indian Health Service clinics."

Planmeca has a Federal Supply Schedule that allows the government topurchase directly from the company at previously negotiated prices,which are lower than the company’s commercial price. The company alsohas an agreement with the VA Healthcare system to provide an additionaldiscount to VA facilities when they purchase ProMax units.

Other Planmeca contracts include a product evaluation agreement with theUS Army to test the ProMax 3D CBVT unit; joint ventures with Force3 toimplement the US Navy’s Digital Dental Implementation project and the USAir Guard’s Digital Dental Radiology Solution; and a joint venture withPatterson Dental for a US Coast Guard project. 

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