VITA North America began as Vident in 1984 as the brainchild of three gentlemen from a dental company called Unitek: Wayne Whitehill, who was the executive vice president, Ray Morrow, the director of research and engineering, and Vern Hale, the product manager for lab products.
|The dental laboratory industry represents a significant segment of the overall dental industry; lab work consists of producing crowns, bridges, partial and complete dentures and other appliances for utilization by dentists in their treatment of patients. Unitek wanted this business on a global scale, and when they approached VITA about going worldwide with lab products, VITA, who had long-standing agreements with international distributors, declined.
Wayne, Ray and Vern stepped in and created Vident to represent the VITA product line in the United States. They had all three worked with VITA in one capacity or another and knew “Consul Rauter,” the owner of VITA, quite well. (Note: VITA is still owned by the Rauter family, and is managed by Consul Rauter’s son, Henry.)
Three months later, in October 1984, VITA North America, formally known as Vident, opened up shop in Baldwin Park, California. The office building was 18,000 square feet and they had no idea what to do with the huge amount of space, so they put up a wall and used only 9,000 square feet. First year sales for Vident were nearly $3 million and, more importantly, they were turning a profit. Less than three years later, after substantial growth, they took the wall down.
From the beginning, Vident was formed around the idea of teamwork; the first Vident product catalog was designed on Ray’s personal computer. When shipments arrived from VITA, Wayne, Ray and Vern were on the dock unloading boxes and labeling products.
1995 was a strong turning point. Vident entered into the Canadian market with the introduction of Vident Canada. Technical sales representatives now cover every Canadian province, from BC to Newfoundland. Strong growth in 1995 also required Vident to move from Baldwin Park to a larger facility in Brea, California. The Brea facility covers 31,000 square feet and allows Vident to better serve its customers through more efficient phone and computer inventory/ordering systems. Importantly, the educational facility was dramatically expanded to include two training labs, conference rooms and a classroom, all with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment.
In 2004, VITA North America (Vident) celebrated its twenty-year anniversary. The key to success has been the internationally recognized VITA line of restorative products, including the VITA Classical Shade Guide, VITA System 3D-Master Shade Guide, Vitapan Denture Teeth, VMK, Omega and VM Porcelains, Vacumat Furnaces, VITABLOCS and the In-Ceram all-ceramic system.
Now, more than ever, technical education continues to be an extremely important aspect of our business growth. Demand for all types of courses, from multi-day denture and porcelain courses to evening 3D-Master shade-taking lectures, is increasing steadily. In 2012, VITA North America (Vident) started a two-day series of courses around the country that alllows attendees to choose their own path of training. Technical education on-site at laboratories is also very popular and upholds the VITA North America vision of providing the best training and support possible.
In 2005, VITA North America (Vident) became an employee-owned company offering employees the opportunity to become part of the growth and prosperity of VITA North America. Our success depends on our teamwork and positive attitude. The Employee Stock Ownership Plan covers eligible employees who have completed 1,000 hours of service during the Plan Year. After one year of service, employees are awarded VITA North America stock and become fully vested after a 7-year period.
VITA North America now has a roster of nearly 70 employees led by President Matt O’Connell. The roster includes a bustling customer service team, an in-house marketing department, technical product managers, a full staff of accountants, outside technical sales representatives, certified dental technicians, a human resources division and a hardworking team of distribution and shipping personnel.
VITA North America has experienced strong growth at a phenomenal rate, increasing sales more than 8 times over the last twenty years. As we continue to grow we hold true to Wayne, Ray and Vern’s founding principles of providing innovative products combined with excellent education, technical assistance and teamwork.
|At VITA North America, we have a new culture book that contains our core beliefs and values as well as provides the foundation of how we make our decisions, all with the goal of satisfying our customers. It contains our main ideals like Honesty and Integrity, Trust, Anticipating Customer Needs, Educational Leadership and more.
We take our culture very seriously and look forward to demonstrating our devotion to you and our core beliefs every day. You can access a downloadable PDF VITA North America Culture Book.