Live WebinarDiabetes and Oral Disease
26 Sep 2019, 08:00 PM EST (New York)
Ira Lamster DDS, MMSc, Editor-in-Chief
Mr. McDonough, could you tell us a bit about your background in the dental industry?
I’ve been in the dental business for quite a long time now. My father was the original founder of a company called Gendex Corporation, which was founded in 1983 when he and some of his partners acquired the dental radiographic division of General Electric. I was in college at the time, but joined the company soon after I got out of school and stayed with it for a number of years.
We built the business significantly, grew very rapidly, took it public and ultimately sold it to Dentsply Sirona. I stayed there, running what became the Gendex division of the company for about a year, and then left and started my own company, Progeny Dental, which was also in the dental imaging business.
We started Progeny from scratch, built the company up over time and ended up selling it a few years ago. After the sale, I had a noncompete clause that had to run out, so I took a little time off. However, in the meantime, I was in conversation with Planmeca about possibilities with them. Luckily for me, those talks eventually advanced and I was able to join the company in this role.
You’ve been President of Planmeca USA for more than six months now. How has your tenure been to this point?
It has been great! It’s been a big learning experience for me. There’s a lot to learn about the company and its products and technology, but I’m fully enjoying that part. I’ve also found Planmeca to be a great company from a cultural perspective and a really good fit for me. We have a great team and I just have so much respect and admiration for the company and all that it has accomplished, so it has really been a lot of fun and an honor to be a part of it.
What factors initially drew you to Planmeca as a company?
Well—and I often tell people this—Planmeca often came up when we would go through our strategic planning process at my former company Progeny. We would look at our competitors and analyze them and literally held Planmeca up as the gold standard in the industry. We really felt they always offered the best products, had great technology and just did a super job in the marketplace. We competed against them, of course, but really had nothing but admiration. I’ve always had great respect for the company and its continuity of ownership—with Heikki Kyöstilä founding Planmeca all the way back in 1971 and still leading it today. It was just always a very interesting company to me.
The U.S. obviously means a great deal to Planmeca. What plans do you have for the U.S. market?
We have some very ambitious goals for the U.S. We’ve just gone through our initial planning process for the coming years and the team and I decided to set some bold goals. We’re actually looking to double the size of our business in the next five years, which means that we have to grow on average about 15 percent annually during that time. That’s something we’re very excited about and we feel we’ve got great potential to increase sales through various approaches.
Planmeca introduced several new products at the International Dental Show in Cologne. Which one of these products seems most exciting to you?
I love all the new products. I think one of the best things for a company is when there are new products introduced. It always brings a lot of energy into the company. Our new 3-D printer Planmeca Creo C5 has already generated a lot of really positive feedback and excitement in the market. I think it’s a well-designed product at a great price point. It has some unique features and is very simple to use.