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Relationship with Customer
With Dental Professionals
GC maintains close communication with clinicians, researchers and other professional practitioners of dental medicine. As part of this communication process we study, develop and provide samples of safer, better products while exchanging the latest academic and clinical information regarding dental care. We will continue to maintain close communication with dental professionals and thereby contribute to the development of dental products.
GC Membership Society
The "GC Membership Society", founded in 1956, is a member organization that provides information to dentists and dental technicians. The idea is to allow dental clinicians to share information with the dental material manufacturer and thus facilitate the development of new products and technologies based on our firmly held view that "in the new era, product research must be done hand in hand with the intended users of these products".
The GC Membership Society has grown from a circle of approximately 3,600 members to a large organization boasting around 43,000 members in 2007. Approximately 47% of all practicing dentists in Japan are members. Last year, in celebration of the GC Membership Society's fifty-first anniversary, we launched a new member organization for dental hygienists. With the organization we can interact with all dental professionals. We actively provide support for members regarding dental care, such as information on new products (brochures of new products before their release in the general market, product discount vouchers and quarterly-issued member journal); academic information (academic seminars, symposiums, GC Membership communities, and education on clinical techniques and dental clinic staff (GC Membership Society seminars).
The "GC Membership Society's Member Site" is a member-only site that features information, tools, materials and other contents that are useful in the clinical scene. The content can be viewed, practiced and utilized by members. The "GC Membership Society Internet News," which provides the latest academic information and product information in real time, is today accessed by nearly 10,000 members.
Second International Dental Symposium
Following the inaugural "International Dental Symposium" held in 1996 to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the GC Membership Society and the seventy-fifth anniversary of the company, in February 2006 we organized the "Second International Dental Symposium in Commemoration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the GC Membership Society" at Tokyo International Forum in Yurakucho. The two-day event was attended by a total of 14,965 dentists, dental technicians, dental hygienists, dental clinic staff and the general public.
The theme of the Second International Dental Symposium was "Future Prospects of Patient/Citizen-Centered Dentistry." At the opening ceremony, President Makoto Nakao said, "Believing in health and longevity supported by occlusion and mastication, and also in the roles played by eating and communication-two basic activities of man - as well as our physiological functions, we aspire to make the twenty-first century the 'Century of Health' by working together with dental professionals." Thereafter, Chairman Michéle Aerden of the FDI (FDI World Dental Federation) and President Takayuki Kuroda of the IADR (International Association for Dental Research) gave their messages.
At the GC Dental Show held concurrently with the symposium, we exhibited new products and conducted demonstrations in a manner allowing "visitors to take their time and thoroughly examine our new offerings and the hot products." We set up trial booths for brushing, mouth-washing and implantation, etc. We also held a seminar entitled "The Imaging Diagnosis of Implantation" and others. The show attracted approximately 3,800 visitors.
Third Citizen's Dental Awareness Survey
Following the first and second surveys in 2004 and 2005, we conducted a third survey to shed light on the awareness, requests and other comments that citizens have regarding dental care. We randomly sampled men and women of ages 15 through 79 in 47 prefectures across Japan, and asked questions by focusing on the relationships between "age, sex, postal code and other social factors" and "visit to a dentist and choice of paying by insurance or privately." We received replies from approximately 1,200 respondents. The tabulated results are presented as reference to member dentists of the "GC Membership Society."
MI Concept to Improve QOL of All People
At GC we instituted our unique MI (Minimal Intervention) concept in 2000 by rephrasing the original MI concept proposed by the FDI in 1999 and defining the three approaches of "Identify," "Prevention" and "Treatment & Control" to better fit the clinical situation in Japan. Since then, GC's MI concept has been at the basis of various products and information developed and disseminated by the company. Today, our MI concept is recognized in the dental community as an ideal framework for programs designed to treat dental caries. We are developing MI-related products to help all people maintain and improve their quality of life (QOL).
GC is also involved in the development of a full range of denture products and care products intended to improve the QOL for senior citizens, whose population is growing in today's super-aging society.
With the General Public
With help from dental professionals, GC provides the general public with useful information to encourage dental and oral health. Our goal is to foster and entrench a new mindset for oral care so that all people can live in health and happiness.
"Citizen's Forum on Dental and Oral Health"
In February 2006 we co-sponsored four sessions of the Citizen's Forum on Dental and Oral Health (organized by the Tokyo Dental Association, with GC as a special sponsor) over two days during the Second International Dental Symposium as health education events with public participation.
During the forum, participants were given useful information on dental and oral health through fun-filled programs, including a healthy exercise session with instructor Hiromichi Sato, who is hugely popular among children for his appearance in a children's exercise program, and a tooth-brushing lesson by Dr. Nanae Kuraji, a dentist. The venue was packed to full capacity each day by about 2,800 parents and children.
Dental Information Booklet "Healthy Diamond" (In Japanese only)
In collaboration with Diamond Inc., the publisher of the business magazine Diamond Weekly, which provides economic, financial and corporate information, we published an information booklet for the general public called "Healthy Diamond." Two issues of the booklet were sent to subscribers of Diamond Weekly. The compact booklets are filled with information people should know about their teeth, with all topics explained in plain language in a manner anyone could understand. In the first issue, entitled "Periodontal Diseases and Health of the Whole Body" (December 2006), and the second issue entitled "The Importance of a Proper Bite" (September 2007), renowned dentists in their respective fields explain the relevant information in an easy-to-understand manner.
"Information on Dental and Oral Health" Page for Citizens (In Japanese only).
In 2006 we created the "Information on Dental and Oral Health" webpage on our Internet site as a visual source of information for the entire family. The page features information on periodontal diseases and implants, the correct way to brush your teeth, etc., in order to help the general public gain the correct understanding of dental and oral hygiene, and to foster and entrench a new mindset for oral health in Japan.
We also provide useful contents on the "Cavities" page, which is designed for use at home and primary schools as an educational material. The segment "Cavity Prevention for Parents and Children" talks about the characteristics of cavities in children, brushing technique for small children and other dental care information for parents. It also features games, visual storybooks and other interesting ideas designed to help children learn in a fun setting.
GC collaborates with local dental associations to participate in citizen's events, and also to visit schools and companies on a regular basis in order to give brushing classes and organize other educational programs.
GC products are delivered to dental professionals through the hands of special agents and dealers. So that our products will be used properly, we provide dealers with the correct medical techniques and detailed product information and also ask them to obtain feedback from customers.
"Dental College" is GC's original educational framework for dealers. The college consists of seminars to learn the basics of our products, as well as group training programs to support sales representatives. The group training program, held in Tokyo in 2004, had the participation of approximately 150 representatives from our special agents throughout Japan. In a special lecture organized as part of the program, the participants listened to case studies of successfully managed dental clinics, methods of instructing members of an organization, etc. At the group training program for dealers in 2006, over 100 participants attended a lecture entitled "Defensive and Offensive Selling" and took part in sales workshops. We also launched an e-learning site in July 2006. The number of registered users has already reached 310.
Consulting Sales Academy
We at GC want to answer the various requests (on esthetics, functionality, comfort, economy, etc.) from patients and meet the desires of dental clinics to improve the quality of life for their patients.
As part of the effort, we have organized the "Consulting Sales Academy" as a workshop curriculum to teach sales representatives the techniques of selling by providing solutions. The event gives dealers an opportunity to learn the management of dental clinics in order to meet the needs of patients.
We conducted a total of six Consulting Sales Academy events totaling more than 40 hours in February through November of 2001 (phase 1), which were attended by approximately 30 sales representatives from special agents across Japan. Inviting dental management consultants as lecturers, the academy touched on wide-ranging topics such as useful information on dental clinic management, management simulation, how to use business planning software, and practical information on cash-flow management.
These workshops are designed to foster sales representatives who can also work as consultants. In 2007 (phase 7), the academy was attended by approximately 700 people.