Ocean Optics
A Monthly Update for Optical Laboratory Owners and Managers September 2008

Made possible by an unrestricted grant from Ocean Optics.

New Products
 
Operating Strategies
Bob Niemiec

Bob Niemiec










Budgeting Versus Planning

Now that we've entered the fall season, many businesses are beginning what is commonly known as the “annual planning process.” For some lab owners or managers, this means determining which edgers are going to be replaced in the coming year and budgeting for some rearrangement costs to accommodate the new equipment.

Budget Planning

This short-term, “let's buy a few pieces of new equipment” approach to capital planning may fill in a number on your controller's spreadsheet, but it can ultimately be costly. Suppose you've purchased equipment that doesn't fit your long-term needs. The result could disrupt your production and cost money to relocate and reposition equipment. Maybe you've wrapped conveyors around equipment that is too difficult to move, or sub-optimize the product flow through the shop for the same reason.

Once the justification for automating your lab has been made, it is critical to control how the automation is implemented. Automating a facility is a dynamic process in which conditions change and new information is gathered. Plans are made and then reassessed.

While a one-year time horizon may satisfy some needs, I would suggest that a truly successful operations plan is one that takes a longer view. Every industry is somewhat different in this respect. The planning horizon of semiconductor manufacturers which have to invest billions in chip manufacturing plants with a product life cycle of a few years is different than an aircraft manufacturer which is different than an auto parts manufacturer. Product life cycles, levels of investment and the competitive landscape are just a few of the factors which determine the appropriate planning time horizon. For optical manufacturing, given these factors and the pace of technological change, a planning horizon of at least three years is appropriate. Developing a three-year plan which is reviewed and updated annually as part of the “annual planning process” forces you to think about how the external environment may impact your business and how you will need to act to successfully respond to the changing landscape.

The difference between a three-year plan and three one-year plans or budgets can be significant in terms of avoiding some of the waste and suboptimization alluded to earlier. While a sound operational planning process, when done correctly, is not as easy to do as conventional “budgeting,” the longer term positive effects provide a tremendous return on the time invested.

—Bob Niemiec is president of Optinova Solutions, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in operations improvement, new technology assessment and mergers and acquisitions, primarily in the optical industry. An optical industry veteran, he has held senior level positions in manufacturing and distribution with large optical retailers and manufacturers. He can be reached at rn.optinovasolutions@yahoo.com.

 
Tech Talk

Developing Hand Edging Skills, Part 2

One of the most important skills needed in hand-edging is “touch.” Operators need to know the amount of pressure to place on the lens and wheel in order to accomplish the desired task. The amount of pressure differs by lens shape and material. Too much pressure can cause the wheel to cut too far into the lens, moving the bevel, ruining the edge or even compromising the shape. Too little pressure, of course, and you are not getting the desired cut.

Edger
















The only way to acquire or develop “touch” is through trial and error, veteran dispensers say. Some suggest practicing hand-edging on previously used lenses or lenses “spoiled” in other parts of the finishing process.

Once you have started to hand-edge a lens, you should finish the job in one cycle. Don't keep starting and stopping or pulling the lens away from the wheel; you'll forget where you've left off and miss a spot. Also, follow the shape and contour of the lens shape. Don't alter the shape of the lens on the handstone unless you are re-sizing the lens.

In terms of working with specific jobs, hand-edging do's and don'ts vary from lens to lens. With glass lenses, for instance, “touch” is particularly important. Too much pressure on the edge of a glass lens can cause it to chip, spoiling the lens and, sometimes, clogging up the handstone. With polycarbonate, most opticians/lab techs hand-edge dry. Because of the material's soft nature, wet-cut edging poly can be messy because of the additional swarf (handstone wheels, by the way, must be kept clean for optimum cutting).

When hand edging polarized lenses, be careful not to place the groove too close to the back of a lens. With the groove close to the back, the wearer can almost see around the polarized filter, resulting in a white spot once the lens is fit into the frame.

Read “Developing Hand Edging Skills, Part 1.”

 
HR Corner

10 Tips for Working With Family Members

family

Working with members of your family has the potential to be a very trying, sticky and challenging situation. It can bring out the best in you and your relatives—and also the worst in your working relationships. It can cause you to minimize or overlook errors or omissions that your relative commits, or it can make you excessively critical of their work.

As a result of the knowledge and closeness you have with this other person, you may find it difficult to be rational, logical, accurate or fair with your thoughts, feelings and behaviors when it comes to interacting with that person. Your relationship with them—both at work and in your personal life—may suffer.

So how do you begin to correct the situation?

1. Approach the other person and acknowledge that the current relationship isn't working optimally, that something is either "too right" or "too wrong," too positive or too negative.

2. Discuss the impact your behaviors or attitudes are having on other employees and the business.

3. Agree to meet together or with an experienced, neutral, and objective colleague or external consultant.

4. Agree that you're going to work together to improve and maximize the current relationship for your own sake as well as the sake of the business.

5. Agree that you want to work toward making the working atmosphere more professional and less personal. You have to agree not to allow your personal feelings, either positive or negative, enter into the workplace.

6. Clarify the specific goals each of you agrees to meet so that behaviors and attitudes are directed toward meeting business goals. Ensure that any statement of goals you create is specific, can be measured and assessed, and can be successfully achieved.

7. Make sure that your roles are carefully, objectively, rationally and completely described to ensure full clarity by all individuals for all roles. This is an especially critical step because it's very common that working relationships fall apart when this step has not been taken. When employees at any level are confused about “who is responsible for what,” conflict and misunderstandings result, and productivity, employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction all decrease.

8. Clarify the work processes that will be used on a daily basis: the process for making decisions, including who can make what kind of decisions, who is involved in these steps, and how decisions are to be made (by an individual, a pair or small group).

9. Build trust. Start by
acknowledging the current situation. You will be appreciated and valued for discussing a topic that others know about but are reluctant to bring up. Make sure that others can trust what you're saying and doing by backing up your thoughts and actions with clarity and explanations. Ensure that you have the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform at a high level. If you do not, get training, find a mentor, or redesign your tasks and responsibilities to align them with what you do best. Nothing destroys trust faster than incompetence. Trust is potentially the strongest element in any relationship. Without it, organizations fall apart.

10. The final step involves showing the positive quality of interpersonal relationships. Just because you're related to someone does not mean you need to love them or worship them, especially on the job. Nor does it mean that the business is an area for working out family problems. What is required is that you demonstrate respect for other people, especially your relatives. You need not be fawning or ostentatious with your praise or criticism of them, but you do need to be professional and appropriate, whatever the true nature of your feelings and attitudes toward others, especially family.

Portions of this article were adapted from Shonk's Work in Groups which is now out of print.

Hedley Lawson brings over 25 years of optical industry experience to Jobson Medical LLC. For over 10 years, he has been a contributing editor to VM, most recently as writer of the monthly column “Business Essentials.” He is the Contributing Editor of VM's E-Newsletter Business Essentials.

 

 

Compass

Assessing Financial Performance,
Part 5

Most if not all large companies go through the budgeting process on at least an annual basis and review their budgets against actual performance. Sustained measurement of historical financial performance along with planning for the future can only improve the company’s chances of success. Success even in the face of fierce competition from larger better funded competitors.

Accurate planning for the future requires management to work with each of the departments of the organization in order to create a “roadmap” for action. Additionally, working as an organization has the benefit of gaining input from all levels within the company, building a team effort toward developing and attaining the business' goals.

The budgeting cycle begins months before the beginning of the next fiscal year. It starts with creating a monthly sales forecast for the next fiscal year based upon historical monthly results. Management must work with the sales team of the firm to set realistic goals for the firm’s growth. From the sales budget, management needs to make realistic estimates on what expenses will be involved in attaining the goals in the sales budget. Often, sales budget expectations are changed substantially when reviewing the expenses associated with the marketing the sales plan. Once adjustments are to the financial plan, it can serve as a roadmap.

The roadmap then needs to tie into the capital and cash flow budgets, which deal with the balances recorded on the balance sheet accounts and the sources and uses of the company’s funds. The capital budget requires management to work with production and plan for the purchase of new equipment, facilities, and major repairs in order to support the goals set out in the sales budget.

It is not enough to roadmap the balance sheet and income statements, so a well balanced plan should also address the source and use of funds, which are vital to understanding the financial health of the business. The sources of funds represent the cash received by the company’s customers for sale of products and services, interest earned on bank accounts, and to a lesser extent, funds received for cooperative programs with vendors such as rebates and allowances. In a budget that is not balanced, it can also be sources of funds from capital contributions as well as company debt. Uses of funds represent cash spent for expenses, capital improvements, equipment purchases, taxes and the like. Maintaining a positive working cash flow (i.e. sources being greater than uses) in the near and long term is vital to maintaining the financial health of the firm. The source and use of the cash budget provides management a tool in managing the financial health of the company, as well as enabling them a device to help them make prudent choices respecting capital investment for future growth and profitability. Even the best of roadmaps must have the cash to implement and execute the plan

Read “Assessing Financial Performance, Part 4.”

Read “Assessing Financial Performance, Part 3.”

Read “Assessing Financial Performance, Part 2.”

Read “Assessing Financial Performance, Part 1.”

Jason Meyer—Jason A. Meyer is senior vice president, HPC Puckett & Company. Based in San Diego, Calif., HPC Puckett & Company specializes in mergers and acquisitions of wholesale optical laboratories. You can send comments or questions about this article or any other Dollars & Sense articles to Jason Meyer at jam@hpcpuckett.com.

Ocean Optics
 

Gerber Coburn

Fabricating a Ben Franklin With Special Prism Requirements

RxFiles

An account ordered a Ben Franklin for a patient who needed a multifocal Rx with prism in the distance and not in the near. Our solutions was to fabricate a Ben Franklin executive style multifocal. This type of lens can be bifocal or trifocal.

To make this lens, the lab surfaces each component as single-vision and custom fabricates the multifocal or trifocal as needed by the customer.


Balester Optical eyes

Step 1

Step 2

lens prescription rx

Step 3

Step 4

Balester Optical Balester Optical

Step 5

Step 6


Step 1
Determine the mechanical center of the frame (half the B measurement) and seg placement. After determining the mechanical center, lay out the optical center on axis.

Here's a general rule of thumb for seg placement:

If the seg is below mechanical center
Dist = OC height will be online
Near = OC height is 5mm below the ledge

If the seg is above the mechanical center (such as in this example):
Dist = OC height will be 2 above the ledge
Near = OC height will be 5 below the ledge

Step 2
Put two layout lines on the lens. (See the yellow lines on the lens.)
Line 1 is to block the lens
Line 2 is to cut the excess lens off

Step 3
Block the lens on the mechanical center.

Step 4
Edge both lenses to the shape of the frame, depending on the eye. Run samples to make sure lenses are not twisted. Check cut and size of lens to make sure the fit in the frame will be tight and secure.

Run the bevel according to frame type:
Metal = V-Bevel
Zyl = V-Bevel
Nylor = Groove

A safety bevel needs to be applied by hand. Then, put an X on the lens to assure the proper cut.

Step 5
Cut the lenses in half on a diamond cutting wheel. Put a sticker on the good side of the lens to help prevent scratching or mishandling.

When edging the lens by hand, it is recommended to stop 1 to 2mm from the ledge. The excess will be taken off by a finer cutting wheel later in the process.

Use a finer cutting wheel to edge the rest of the lens down. During the process, repeatedly check the straightness of the lens to ensure one side is not edged down further than the other.

Step 6
The Finished Product.

—Matt Ontko, inventory control/order processing manager, Balester Optical, Wilke-Barre, Pa.

Ocean Optics
 

John Rodriguez of Express Lens Lab

John RodriguezJohn Rodriguez joined Express Lens Lab in October of 1993. As vice president of manufacturing for this San Diego, Calif. based laboratory, Rodriguez performs a variety of important tasks. In addition to overseeing all surface room personnel, equipment maintenance and daily operations, he is also responsible for the planning and execution of a program that donates prescription eyewear to orphaned children in Mexico.

Every year Express Lens Lab and Sharp Rees Stealy Medical Group send seven optometrists and ten opticians to provide comprehensive eye examinations and dispense eyewear to children at an orphanage called Lirio de los Valles. Hospital Infantil de las Californias, a children's hospital located in Tijuana, Mexico, donates their space for this event. The program takes place each summer on two different dates. The first date involves getting the orphans to the hospital for their eye examinations, followed by selecting a frame of their choice. The second date takes place about one month later, and the completed eyewear is dispensed to the children.

“Each year our program gets bigger and bigger,” said Rodriguez. Last year, Rodriguez and his team provided eye exams for 71 children, 32 of which had an extreme need for prescription eyeglasses. “We are helping each of these children by diagnosing any possible eye disease as well as correcting their vision. Good vision is the key to future success.”

Rodriguez has been instrumental in earning support for the event from two key sponsors. Sharp Reese Stealy Medical Group donates the time and efforts of their optometrists and opticians. Express Lens Lab donates the labor and part of the materials to fabricate the actual eyeglass lenses. In addition, Rodriguez helps with dispensing eyewear and provides translation services for the children. “When I dispense the new eyewear to the children, I tell them that if they use their glasses to see well and do well in school, they can become successful and prosperous individuals,” he said. “I joke with them about when the teacher finishes a lesson and asks, 'See what I mean?' and now they can!”

Rodriguez's favorite part about coordinating this program is watching a child who has never worn glasses put them on for the first time and gain the ability to see the world in a while new light. “Coming from Mexico myself, I have an extreme appreciation for the needs of these children. I believe giving not only my time, but the labor and eyewear for this charity is extremely worthwhile.”

Express Lens Lab has been fully supportive of Rodriguez's efforts. He believes participation in this program shows the lab is willing to help out in the community, both domestically and internationally. This charity has also been beneficial for the lab's company culture. “It boosts our employee morale and motivation to know we are willing to help those less fortunate than us, both here in the U.S. and across the border,” he remarked.—Samantha Toth

Ocean Optics
 

Turning Trash to Treasure

Turn your used finishing pads into treasure when you enter the Trash to Treasure Finishing Pad Art Contest. Create a work of art—a two dimensional “painting” or a three dimensional “sculpture”—from your used blocking pads and you could win up to $500.

Mr. Wilson

DAC Vision, the originators of the finish pad art contest, is teaming up with LabTalk magazine and Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics to expand the art competition for 2008. Prizes include:

  • 1st Place — $500 American Express Card

  • 2nd Place — $250 American Express Card

  • 3rd Place — $125 American Express Card

  • Honorable Mention — One roll of SecurEdge Finishing Pads
    (Winner's choice of shape.)

To enter a piece of art, package up the creation and mail to: Jobson Medical Information, Attention: Finishing Pad Art, 100 Avenue of the Americas, 9th Floor, New York, New York, 10013, by the Octoberth 15, 2008 deadline.

All artwork will be photographed in the Jobson studio for judging and then displayed at a special event to take place at Vision Expo West, where the winners will be announced. Photos of the winning entries will also be published in the November/December issue of LabTalk.

Alan Yuster

Alan Yuster

ProFit Optix Debuts First 'Virtual Lab'— ProFit Optix, a Boca Raton-based optical technology startup company, is emerging with a new line of value-priced, free-form progressive lenses sourced through an alternative distribution system that lets eyecare professionals take advantage of lower manufacturing and distribution costs.

Positioning itself as a “virtual lab,” the five-month-old company eschews the bricks and mortar infrastructure of conventional optical laboratories in favor of a streamlined, vertically integrated business model. Using proprietary software, international manufacturing partners, an online ordering system and value pricing, ProFit claims it can cut turnaround time on Rx orders and deliver quality progressive lenses to eyecare practitioners at significantly lower costs than its competitors.

Profit Optics

“Our mission statement 'Our vision is value,' explains what ProFit Optix is all about,” said Alan Yuster, an optical industry veteran who serves as ProFit’s chief operating officer and is a partner in the company. We're delivering premium free-form PALs to the U.S. market at a cost that is 30 to 40 percent lower than most currently available free-form designs.”

ProFit offers a choice of four free-form progressive designs: Calligraphy, a top performing adjustable corridor lens; Bravo, a one-fit lens; Architect, an office/work lens; and Kidz, for children. A wide range of lens indexes, coatings, and photochromic and polarized lens materials is available.“These are internationally recognized designs from major international lens companies that have licensed our factory partners to use their formulations and some of the manufacturing processes,” said Yuster.

“ProFit has contracted with several major lens manufacturers to market their products as well. At press time, ProFit's list of approved suppliers and brands included Carl Zeiss Vision's AO Easy HD, SOLA HDV, SOLAOne HD, SOLA Compact Ultra HD, Carl Zeiss Individual and Individual Short; Excelite’s F-16 and F-18; Rodenstock's Multigressiv MyView; Signet Armorlite's Kodak Unique and Rodenstock's Impression. ProFit expects to add other manufacturer's products soon,” Yuster said.

ProFit also has signed distribution agreements with a number of major U.S. buying groups, including Block Buying Group, Premiere Vision, The Buyers Edge, The Alliance, Optical Resources, Combine Optical Group, Alfred J. Villavecchia Buying Group, Padro F. Corp. and Optical Synergies.

Although ProFit is competing with conventional wholesale labs, it also hopes to do business with labs that want to offer free-form lenses but do not want to invest in free-form surfacing equipment. The company has hired a national sales manager, Glenna Glenn, and a regional sales manager, Tom Lyon, who will work with wholesale labs.

Pech Optical Helps Iowa Flood Victims—Pech Optical has recently shown what their motto, “Where quality and friendly service go hand in hand,” really means.

Perch Optical

Mother Nature left her mark in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on June 15 as flood waters surrounded I-380 and forced many residents and business owners to evacuate.

As numerous cities and towns throughout the Midwest began their long road to recovery after being torn apart by Mother Nature, the Sioux City-based lab has been there to lend a helping hand. Perhaps the most devastating of events was the Iowa Flood of 2008, which caused countless numbers of home and business owners’ belongings to be destroyed or swept away by the high waters.

With little time to prepare for evacuation, many victims lost essential items needed for day-to-day living, including their eyewear. Pech Optical responded by donating new pairs of eyewear to these victims to accommodate their loss. A number of laboratories were also affected when this historical disaster left their equipment damaged and useless. Pech Optical, understanding the importance of reliable equipment, quickly donated replacements so labs could continue to provide needed optical products.

Pech Optical employees also took it upon themselves to make sure victims of other disasters were supported in their time of need as well. Free eyewear was extended to those in need and monetary donations were collected for the Mid-America Council after the Little Sioux Scout Ranch was upturned by an EF-3 tornado on June 11, 2008. Four scouts were killed and many others injured when their shelter buildings, a mere fifty miles south of Pech Optical, were diminished to piles of rubble.

“As a result of these devastations, Pech Optical has finalized our decision to forgo the 2008 Vision Expo West Exhibition and reallocate funds into further donations for victims,” said Bob Pech, CEO. “Apologies are extended for any inconveniences this absence may cause; however, we believe you will understand and support the reasoning behind our decision. Pech Optical does plan on attending next year’s exhibition in full force, so we hope to see you then.”

VSP Lab Chief Conner to Retire—VSP announced that Bill Conner, president of its laboratory division, will retire on December 31, 2008. Conner joined VSP in 1973, became vice president of ophthalmic services in 1991 and president of the laboratory division in 2005. He oversees 400 employees and three laboratories located in Sacramento, Calif., Columbus, Ohio and Lewisville, Texas that together, produce more than 800,000 pairs of prescription eyewear a year.

Bill Conner

Bill Conner

“I am proud to have been a part of more than three decades of transformational growth at VSP,” said Conner. “We have matured from a regional player, to a national presence and most recently expanded our passion for eyecare to a global scale.”

“Bill has been instrumental in developing and growing VSP's labs throughout his 35 years at VSP,” said Rob Lynch, president and CEO of VSP. “I want to thank him for his commitment to innovation and service excellence, which set the stage for continued success.”

Don Oakley has been named president of ophthalmic operations, which will oversee VSP's laboratory division following Conner's retirement.

Three Managers Take New Roles at 21st Century Optics—Ralph Woythaler, CEO of 21st Century Optics in Long Island City, N.Y. recently announced several changes in the company's management team.

21 Century Optics

Jesse Martin and Robert Woythaler.

Jesse Martin joins the company as director of customer care. Martin has an extensive optical background which includes both retail and lab experience and is an ABO certified optician. Her most recent position was at the prestigious Naval Ophthalmic Support facility in Yorktown, Va.

Martin will be taking over the duties of Robert Woythaler, who was recently named vice-president of operations.

“Jesse's addition will allow me to work more closely with Robert to help me manage the company in my new role as president,” said Barney Woythaler.

Martin's plans for her customer care team include ongoing training in optics.

Precision Expands Lens Offering with Jai Kudo and Hoya Products— Precision Optical Group of Creston, Iowa is teaming up with Jai Kudo of London to offer their latest freeform back-surfaced progressive lens.

“Our customers will recognize Jai Kudo for its frame line,” said Shannon Waigand, Precision's director of sales and marketing said. “Together, we offer a lens available in three different corridor lengths and all ranges of materials, including Hi-Index 1.74. There are very few distributors in the U.S., so it's an exciting addition to our current freeform offering.” Precision Optical Group has also recently become an authorized Hoya distributor.

“We are really excited to be able to expand our inventory to include a wide range of Hoya lenses,” said Waigand. “As one of Vision Monday's Top 25 Independent Labs, Precision Optical Group is committed to offering lenses from all of the major manufacturers. We are especially proud to be able to make this premium brand available to our customers at such a great price.”

LensTech Signs With VSP; Move and Expansion Planned—LensTech Optical Laboratory of Greenwood Ind., was recently listed as a VSP contract lab. To accomodate the rapid growth, the lab is moving by early November to an 8,000 sq. ft. facility with first right of refusal on another 4,000. sq. ft.

“This expansion allows LensTech to address much needed AR coating facility and exand into digital surfacing and freeforms,” according to Bill Harding, who owns the lab in Greg Dallas and Greg Kyle. All three are industry veterans who collectively bring more than 90 years of experience to the business.

“LensTech joined Global Optics in 2006, expanding the range of products offered to the ECP. VSP adds another piece to the puzzle in serving the ECP with independant labs flexibility and resources,” said Harding.

iCoat Launches New Web Site—iCoat Company of Santa Fe Springs, Calif., recently announced launch a new Web site: www.icoatcompany.com. With a broad compilation of information about its products and services, and pages of educational material, iCoat's Web site is a comprehensive repository of information relating to optical coatings and services.

icoat

www.icoatcompany.com is a contemporary easy to use web portal for all information on iCoat, and its products and services. The Web site offers specific educational information, quick access to collateral and sales support materials, information on promotions and discounts, the latest news and event information, and various useful links to other optical Web sites.

Augen Digital Easyform Generator

Augen Digital Easyform Generator

Manufacturer: Augen Optics
Description: Affordable free-form lens processor
Features: Computerized five-axis surface generator produces premium lenses in an efficient process that saves both time and material. Compact, modular unit allows labs to make modest investment in free-form processing and expand capacity as business grows. According to Augen, the EasyForm Generator can produce any lens design that can be mathematically rendered, including Augen Centurion Series Aspheric/Double Aspheric Single-Vision and Centurion Series Progressive and Short-Corridor Progressive designs.
(866) 284-3611
www.augenoptics.com

 
Optivision

Optivision Lab Management System

Supplier: Optivision
Description: New Windows-based version of Optivision Laboratory Management System
Features: Taking advantage of the user-friendliness, speed and other feature-rich functionality of the Windows operating system, Optivision's powerful lab software properties promote accurate job entry and automated lens processing for wholesale or retail surfacing, finishing and AR labs of any size. From precise surfacing calculations, machine interfacing and lens manufacturing through complete job flow tracking, inventory control and lab business information management, the system can be tailored to suit the way each lab conducts business.
(800) 795-9927
www.optivision.com

 
VFT-orbit

VFT-orbit

Manufacturer: Satisloh
Description: High-speed, compact generator
Features: Engineered for processing All-Format lenses, the VFT-orbit produces up to 100 lenses per hour in “cut to polish” mode and generates both conventional and free form surfaces, which is 15 to 25 percent faster than Satisloh’s VFT-ultra. It combines proven voice coil-actuated technology used in Satisloh’s VFT generating line with proprietary Circumvolution Technology—an innovative orbital aligned tool and axis layout. With this new tool arrangement, the VFT-orbit has a compact footprint (same size as the VPro); weighs 30 percent less than Satisloh's VFT-Ultra. The circular tool arrangement allows for smoother, faster transitions between processing steps, resulting in increased throughput while maintaining error-free surface geometry. The VFT-orbit will be available for delivery this fall.
(800) 866-5640
www.satisloh.com

 
Schneider Fusion Schneider Fusion

CB Fusion

Manufacturer: Schneider Optical Machines
Description: Blocking station designed with technical, environmental economical considerations in mind.
Features: New blocking material, Connex, replaces conventional alloy. Connex is an environmentally friendly, high-performance plastic that is economical, reusable and guarantees optimal mechanical stability of the blocked lens. CB Fusion uses Connex by fully supporting the lens area. Unwanted vibrations during surfacing are reduced. Benefits include high precision blocking; full-block support for maximal strength; recyclable blocking material for lower costs; no toxic waste, environmentally safe; easy process integration into existing surfacing lines; operator-friendly touch screen; interface to all existing lab server systems.
(972) 247-4000
www.schneider-om.com

 

3M Leap Pads Signet Armorlite

3M LEAP LSE Pads

Manufacturer/Distributor: 3M/Signet Armorlite
Description: These edging pads are the newest additions to Signet Armorlite array of 3M optical lab supplies.
Features: Specially formulated with an adhesive that adheres to hydrophobic, or anti-reflective, coated lenses to improve edging while maintaining axis stability.
Availability: 1,000-pad rolls. Choices include #1707, an 18mm oval shaped half-eye pad (same size/shape as 1696M LEAP III), and #1708, a 24mm round pad (same size/shape as 1695M LEAP III). Complimentary pads included with every pair of Kodak Unique digital lenses ordered with Kodak Clean’N’CleAR AR Coating. Samples available upon request.
(800) 759-0075
www.signetarmorlite.com

 
In This Edition...
DOLLARS & SENSE
Assessing Financial Performance, Part 5
THE RX FILES
Fabricating a Ben
Franklin With
Special Prism
Requirements
FOCUS ON…
John Rodriguez
of Express Lens Lab
NEWS TO USE
Turning Trash
to Treasure
LAB NOTES

ProFit Optix Debuts
First 'Virtual Lab'

Pech Optical Helps
Iowa Flood Victims

VSP Lab Chief
Conner to Retire

Three Managers Take
New Roles at 21st Century Optics

Precision Expands
Lens Offering with Jai Kudo and Hoya Products

LensTech Signs
With VSP; Move and
Expansion Planned

iCoat Launches
New Web Site

BUYING GROUP &
LAB ASSOCIATION
NEWS
OLA Opens Online
Access to Services

Global Adds Frame
Choices DVD to
Jumpstart Series
OPERATING STRATEGIES
Budgeting Versus Planning
TECH TALK
Developing Hand
Edging Skills, Part 2

check HR CORNER
10 Tips for Working With Family Members
 

Subscribe to Lab Advisor
The monthly update for Optical Laboratory Owners and Managers

Forward this issue of Lab Advisor to a friend or colleague

Print this issue of Lab Advisor

Stay on top of optical industry news!

Subscribe to our other
e-newsletters:
VMail Extra
Business Essentials

If you have lab news or want to share information about technical topics, please contact us.

Or contact
Andrew Karp,
Editor-in-Chief

Visit LabTalkonline.com for additional articles of interest about labs.

 
 
Ocean Optics
 
LabTalk Spotlight
September 2008

In LabTalk's cover story for Sept/Oct, “No More Spray & Pray — Educating Your Customers,” lab owners and managers share their methods of educating the eye care practitioner with LabTalk editor Christie Walker. Check out this excerpt:

“When deciding what type of educational programs to provide to your customers, there are a number of approaches you can take. Here are some of the questions to ask yourself before you get started.

  • What is the focus of your education? Product information, business skills, basic optometric knowledge for opticians?

  • Will you charge for your classes? Charging a nominal fee can create value for the education and training. ABO classes are often presented for a fee.

  • Location—will you train them at their office or bring them to your lab. Combining a lab tour with lunch and education has worked for many labs.

  • Credit or no credit—Hawkins Optical offers six hours of ABO credit and feels this is a draw, while Toledo Optical offers no ABO credit, feeling the people who come are really there to learn not just to get a credit stamp.

  • One-on-one training or group functions and events—while both options bring value, there are benefits and downsides to each.”

This in-depth article contains detailed information on all aspects of processing Trivex such as this tip on blocking:

The old method of training, spray them with everything you've got then pray that it sticks, doesn't cut it anymore.

To read the entire article, log on to http://www.labtalkonline.com/ then under Features select the article “No More Spray & Pray — Educating Your Customers.”


Buying Group & Lab Association News

OLA Opens Online Access to Services—Optical Laboratories Association has opened online access to many OLA services through a new Web site feature, OLA Online.

“Members and exhibitors now have another choice of ways to do business with their association,” said OLA executive director Bob Dziuban, “through 24/7 online access via the OLA Web site. Phone, fax, and email will continue to be options; OLA Online adds an entirely new option.” OLA Online includes a store, meeting registration, and invoice payments. OLA Online can be used by anyone for those services available to all.

ola web site

The Online Store is available to both members and non-members, with discount pricing and 'bill-me-later' service available only to Members. Non-members are able to purchase with credit card payment through the secure, encrypted processing site.

Online meeting registration is available to members and exhibitors. Companies can use the list of their personnel in the OLA database, selecting the ones to register, saving a great amount of time compared to completing and sending paper forms.

“Access to open invoice records will be attractive to many Members,” said OLA membership manager Carmen Sevilla. A company can research, view, print, and pay their invoices at OLA Online, with no need to request copies and wait for them to arrive, and no need to call, fax, or mail payments. “We get calls, faxes, and emails every day—requests for invoice copies or submitting payments,” noted Sevilla. “Companies can now complete those much more quickly and on their own schedule. This gives Members more control.”

Access to OLA Online is via secure logon codes unique to each company. All of the online services provide immediate confirmation of the completed transactions, with a follow-up email confirmation as well. OLA is currently distributing customized communications to members, exhibitors, and past participants, confirming their secure logon codes.

Additional information and logon assistance is available by calling OLA at (800) 477-5652.

Global Adds Frame Choices DVD to Jumpstart Series— Global Optics in cooperation with Innereactive Media of Grand Rapids, Mich., recently released the fourth disc in the Jumpstart training series of DVDs. “Jumpstart 4: Identifying Frame Limitations” is designed to illustrate various aspects of a patient's prescription and how their prescription may affect their frame choice. Training topics include detailed information on frame and facial measurements, frame materials and styles, how to deal with challenging prescriptions and strategies for dispensing new eyewear.

Jump Start Series

Jumpstart 4 is not specific to one lens manufacturer and provides experienced optical professionals with insightful information on how to guide a patient to the best frame selection for their prescription. As in discs one through three, the Jumpstart 4 training CD-ROM also contains training videos, animated examples, illustrations, music, narration and more.

Jumpstart is a series of cohesive training tools for use by healthcare professionals in an optical environment. Disc one, “Jumpstart: Your Office,” is designed to train front office staff and familiarize them with optical terminology and procedures. Disc two, “Jumpstart: Progressive Lens Technology” provides in-depth information about progressive lenses and the benefits of dispensing premium progressive lenses in an optical office. Disc three, “Jumpstart: Identifying Visual Needs,” illustrates how practices can increase sales by successfully presenting supplemental eyewear. The Jumpstart training series is approved by the American Board of Opticianry for four hours of continuing education credits, or 16 CE hours for the completion of all four discs.

The Jumpstart series is available to professional optical practices and is exclusively distributed by members of Global Optics: Cherry Optical, CVO, Dietz Laboratories, e.magine Optical, Encore Optics, Expert Optics, Harbor Optical, Hirsch Optical Corporation, Icare Labs, Katz & Klein, Lenco, LensTech, Pech Optical, Professional Ophthalmic Labs, QC Optical, Rite Style Optical, Rooney Optical, Soderberg Optical, Toledo Optical and Walman Optical.