How Renaissance Electronic Services evolved from garage-based startup to tech pioneer
Silicon Valley may be the world’s tech capital, but Indianapolis continues to grow its tech presence every year, thanks to companies who have set up shop in Central Indiana and help evolve the state into a serious contender in the tech ecosystem.
Renaissance Electronic Services, a software company that provides solutions for the dental industry, is proud to be one of those companies. Renaissance launched in a garage in Martinsville, Indiana in 2002 with the goal to enable dental practices to run their businesses more efficiently and profitably through technology. Today, we process nearly 65 million claims annually across the United States and continue to experience continued growth year after year.
As we celebrate 15 years in business, we’d like to share our story of success. Learn how we launched and grew our company by finding a need in the marketplace, creating products that solve industry pain points, investing in business infrastructure, and adapting to customers’ needs.
Determining an Industry Need
Great business ideas don’t arrive on command. You must first identify a market challenge and then create a solution.
In 2002, we discovered that dental offices wanted to run more efficiently and needed a more cost-effective way to submit insurance claims. Dental offices had access to electronic claims, but less than a quarter of dental practices were using these services because the process was complicated and technology providers were not making improvements to ease the complications. At the time, innovation had stalled due to a lack of competition, since more than 90 percent of dental claims flowed through a single clearinghouse.
In response, we created products that made it easier for dentists to manage practices and cheaper to submit claims electronically. Now, more than 30,000 dentists leverage our products.
Creating Desirable Products
Businesses should create a product that customers are looking for and competitors can’t easily replicate. Our products not only meet an industry need but are also the following:
1. Affordable: It’s pricey for dental offices to submit insurance claims, with each claim costing an office on average 50 cents to process. We use a flat fee model and price our service affordably, which allows a practice to plan for their monthly expenses.
2. Easy-to-use: We provide easy-to-use products that work alongside the software dentists already use to run their practice to bring little to no disruption to their current workflows.
3. Require no contract: Clients can use our products risk-free since we do not require contracts or start-up fees.
4. Provide customer support: Excellent customer service has the potential to save $62 billion per year. Since we focus on creating value for our clients, our products come with technical support at no additional costs to our dentists—something that sets us apart from our competitors who often have additional fees associated with customer service.
Overcoming Growth Challenges
When you develop a product that fulfills an industry need, you can experience rapid growth, which is exactly what happened to us. We opened our first Indianapolis office three years after our founding and acquired our first company two years later. We had more than 10,000 customers by 2011 and processed $100 million in credit card transactions in 2015.
These opportunities were exciting, but also brought challenges that required us to invest heavily in new infrastructure to support product demand. Fortunately, the investment allowed us to scale our business and plan for future development.
Adapting to Customers’ Needs
The best way to gain a competitive advantage and develop better software is to listen to your customers. Ask them what’s working and what you could be doing better. This allows you to scrap what doesn’t work and invest in what’s profitable.
For instance, listening to our customers revealed they wanted a better way to send the electronic attachments sometimes needed in order for an insurance company to process a claim, such as x-rays. As a result, we made a conscious business decision to seek out a partnership with a would-be competitor with better capabilities in this specific area and to leverage their services to improve our product offering. This cost-effective decision allowed us to avoid building out our own infrastructure and allowed us to focus on other opportunities. Now, our customers will have the option to send both claims and attachments electronically for a flat rate, all within a single software platform, a process that is both easy and economical for our clients.
As we grow in the Indianapolis market, whether through new products, partnerships, or expansion, we’re proud to help advance Central Indiana as a tech community. Looking toward the future, we’ll continue to pursue our mission with enthusiasm, efficiency, and transparency.
About the Author
Eric Joseph is the president and CEO of Renaissance Electronic Services, a software company that provides electronic claims processing and credit card processing for dental offices. With nearly 15 years in the dental claims industry, Joseph has risen through the ranks at Renaissance Electronic Services from joining the team in 2004 as an intern to his current role leading the company.