Lab Advisor
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A MONTHLY BRIEFING FOR OPTICAL LABORATORY OWNERS AND MANAGERS

January 2010

Dollars and Sense

Don’t Fail to Plan

Many of us make resolutions this time of year. We vow to get in shape, quit smoking, spend more time with family, get our finances in order and lose holiday pounds. Through we resolve to make these changes, few of us actually follow through. The reason is our failure to make a plan.

Don't Fail to PlanThe same scenario plays out in business. Have you established a plan to achieve your goals for the new year?

Many of the past Dollars & Sense articles have dealt with the budgeting and planning process can be found in the Lab Advisor archive (see link above), but here is a quick review. 1) Compare most recent results to historical results; 2) set sales goals for the next year; 3) develop a sales and marketing plan designed to achieve those sales goals; 4) develop a budget for the plan; 5) implement the plan; 6) review interim results against the budget and make adjustments to the plan if necessary.

Budgeting and planning often begin in the last quarter before the next year. If you haven’t made a plan for this year yet, it is not too late, but get started before your resolutions become just ideals you wish you could achieve.

—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.

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Lab Notes

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POG Fights Cancer with CouragePOG Fights Cancer With Courage Coating

Precision Optical Group Labs (P.O.G.) is launching a new marketing initiative aimed at fighting cancer. The Creston, Iowa-based wholesale lab is contributing two dollars to the American Cancer Society for each pair of lenses made with its proprietary Courage Coating.

Courage Coating is available with or with out anti-reflective coating. Each order of Courage Coating is delivered with a cleaning cloth, authenticity card and a Courage to Fight Cancer bracelet.

P.O.G. Labs is the only authorized distributor of Courage Coating.

Provow, Robinson Join Robertson Optical Laboratories

Provow, Robinson Join Robertson Optical LaboratoriesDavid Provow, a 22-year optical industry veteran, has joined Robertson Optical Laboratories of Columbia, S.C. as lab manager. He is the former director of lab harmonization of Carl Zeiss Vision, where he was in charge of standardizing the processes for 17 North American and 10 South American labs. Part of his role was to identify and implement best practices in the labs. Prior to Zeiss, he was chief operating officer of Rodenstock, North America.

Provow, Robinson Join Robertson Optical LaboratoriesLou Robinson has started as a new sales representative for Robertson Optical Laboratories of Atlanta, Ga., serving central and northern Florida. Robinson’s optical career spans four decades. Most recently, he worked for Apex Optical Laboratories of Orlando. Fla. Prior to Apex, he was an independent sales rep with May Optical and Rally Optical.

Jeffrey KoshOptical Lab Veteran Jeffrey Kosh Dies

Optical lab industry veteran Jeffrey Kosh passed away in Weston, Fla. on Dec. 11 after a bout with pneumonia and subsequent complications. He was 56 years old and lived in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Kosh and his brother Stuart were owners of Kosh Ophthalmic, a wholesale laboratory in Pompano Beach, Fla. The laboratory was founded in New York in 1925 by Kosh grandfather, Louis Herman Kosh and his brother, Abe. It was later owned and operated by Louis’s son, Allen Kosh, who was Jeffrey and Stuart’s father. The lab is currently owned by Essilor.

Kosh was a past president of the Optical Laboratories Association. Like his father, he was a longtime member of the American National Standards Institute committees that set performance standards for ophthalmic products.

Kosh is survived by his wife Mindy, two step-children, his brother Stuart and his mother.

Plunkett Optical Adds Crizal Technology

Essilor of America recently completed the technology transfer of its patented Crizal process at Fort Smith, Arkansas-based Plunkett Optical. With access to Essilor’s Crizal EXT technology, Plunkett can now fully manufacture Crizal lenses, including Crizal, Crizal AlizĂ© and the new Crizal AvancĂ© lenses with Scotchgard Protector.

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Focus On

Robert WestlakeRobert Westlake @ Harbor Optical

In 1997 Harbor Optical opened its doors in Traverse City, Michigan with the goal of becoming one of the nation's premiere optical labs. As an independent lab, Harbor Optical has seen continued growth and become a trusted resource and business partner to many eyecare professionals. Much of this progress reflects the leadership of director of operations, Robert Westlake.

As part of the initial Harbor Optical team, Westlake was responsible for building the lab structure and setting up equipment while lab president Geff Heidbrink traveled the territory to build a customer base. Today, Westlake runs the lab operations, including manufacturing, personal management, equipment and material purchases. He also is involved in Harbor’s sales and marketing initiatives.

“From the beginning we have strived to create a culture that helps our people be the best they can be both personally and professionally,” said Westlake.

A typical day in Westlake’s schedule is hardly routine. His time is utilized by helping solve difficult prescriptions or recommending products to be used in special circumstances. Other days Westlake can be found troubleshooting equipment problems or personnel issues, planning new programs or lab procedures.

“The only typical thing is there are never enough hours in a day,” said Westlake.

Westlake started his career in the optical industry at American Optical in the mid-1970s. As his career progressed, Westlake held several management positions that took him around Michigan and to Iowa before settling with his family in Traverse City.—Amanda Barry


LabTalk Spotlight   January 2010

Jan/Feb LabTalkThe Digital Surfacing Explosion: How This Big Bang Can Benefit Your Lab
Two decades ago, the World Wide Web was merely a great idea that held much promise. Since its debut in 1991, however, the Internet has virtually exploded—proving to be the greatest telecommunication breakthrough since the telephone. Today, we all know the Web is now an indispensable tool for education, business and entertainment.

An equally stunning breakthrough is at work today in the optical lens world—digitally surfaced lenses. This technology is taking the industry by storm, with more and more labs adopting digital surfacing hardware every day.

“The transition can best be described as an explosion,” said Ian Gregg, director of surfacing products for Satisloh North America. “I think labs are looking at the lessons of AR and realizing that they need to get in the game, or risk being further marginalized in the market.”

Kurt Atchison, president of Schneider Optical Machines agrees wholeheartedly. “The rapid move to digital surfacing platforms is spreading like wildfire,” he said. “Labs are either already doing it or deciding when they will do it. I think they see the push and know they’re no longer a guinea-pig lab.”

“With proven success out there, now is the time to adopt the technology while it’s still on a strong growth curve and more profitable than ever—not unlike AR coating or polycarbonate production phases were in the past. A lot of people think they waited too long to jump into AR coating. By the time they were in and good at it, the competition had outrun them. Most labs realize that free-form will grow faster than AR ever did. Just as importantly, digital surfacing generators can help labs make progressives—as well as all production on digital lines. In terms of benefits, it’s a double-whammy.”

To learn five trends in digital surfacing that could influence your decision to add free-form to your menu of services, log onto www.labtalkonline.com where you will find The Digital Surfacing Explosion, listed under the Features section.

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Make What You Say, Pay!

Ants on the Picnic Table: What Buyers Know

Make What you Say, Pay!

Because of the Internet, our clients are likely to be very well informed about an intended purchase before they ever see or talk to a salesperson. (Just think what you did over the vacation when you bought your holiday presents or your latest tech gadget.) Whether clients are looking for new financial software, marketing services, graphic designers, or tech equipment, you can bet they have been all over the Web—like ants on a picnic table covered with spilled honey—comparing services, reading articles, and getting advice from chat groups and social media site friends. They do this to help them get smart about their intended purchase.

Pity the poor salesperson who thinks that he/she can then win business by simply identifying the buyer’s problem and wowing that buyer with a good solution-presentation. That approach is likely to generate tons of informed questions and objections from the buyer. Unanticipated by the salesperson, these questions and objections will cause a lot of embarrassing and counterproductive back-pedaling, ultimately lowering the chance of winning the business.

What to do?

Determine what your buyer knows about solving said problem before you even think of presenting your solution. Good questions to ask include:
-What has brought this situation about?
-Why are you interested in a change now?
-What options have you looked at?
-Which ones appeal to you? How do you see them helping address the situation?
-What would an ideal solution look like? Why?

The answers to these questions will help you craft a more responsive solution to your client’s needs and increase your chances for winning business.

Happy New Year to all.

Remember, people have limited time: Make What You Say Pay!

Anne Miller
Make What You Say, Pay!
www.annemiller.com.

New Products

iZon SL Polarized Lenses

iZon SL Polarized Lenses

Manufacturer: Ophthonix
Description:
Polarized “high-definition” lens
Features:
Wavefront-guided lens is customized to patient’s optical fingerprint, or iPrint, that contains all 2nd to 6th order aberrations of the eye measured by the Z-View Aberrometer. The iPrint, coupled with Ophthonix’s proprietary algorithm, is used to determine the best sphere-cylinder fit for the back surface of the new iZon SL Polarized Lens. Because lens is produced from the iPrint, it can address vision challenges associated with higher order aberrations of the eye in sunlight glare, even when horizontally reflected off any surface. Among these vision problems are difficulty seeing in reduced contrast conditions, general lack of clarity around images at a distance and even shadows or double images. Lens provides 100 percent UVA and UVB blocking. 1.60 index. Premium scratch resistant, AR and super-hydrophobic coatings are standard.
Availability: Gray and brown tints and can be ordered for both Single Vision and PAL wearers.
(760) 842-5740
www.izonlens.com

Purity Polish Pads

Purity Polish Pads

Manufacturer: Practical Systems Inc. (PSI)
Description:
Environmentally friendly polish pad
Features:
Uses natural rubber, less dyes and new manufacturing technologies that keep slurries cleaner and reduce polish carry out. High-density fibers keep the polish on the lens allowing cycle times to be reduced on all lens materials to five minutes. Five-minute cycle time maximizes throughput while maintaining superior surface quality. Light yellow color is a result of less dye that eliminates bleed off into the slurry. Precision, rayon fibers resist sheering, keeping slurries cleaner and extending polish life. Durable low-density, high strength textiles reduce polish carry out. Pad’s balanced foundation of strength and firmness makes for easy application and one-piece pad removal from the lap.
Availability: 7-petal and 16-petal configurations in both low and high tack adhesives.
(800) 237-8154
www.LookToPSI.com

Succeed & Supercede Internal Free-Form PALs in 1.74-index

Succeed & Supercede Internal Free-Form PALs in 1.74-index

Manufacturer: Seiko Optical Products of America
Description:
New 1.74-index material option for all Seiko free-form back-surface progressive lenses
Features:
1.74-index material creates cosmetically attractive, thin lenses. Patented 100 percent back-surface designs. Expands range of premium material options.
Availability: Wide choice of material and coating options, including 1.67, 1.60, polycarbonate, Trivex and plastic, in clear, polarized, and Transitions gray and brown. Compatible with high-quality, AR coatings. (800) 235-5367
www.seikoeyewear.com

SuperLite 1.60 and SuperLite 1.67 Ultra Wrap

SuperLite 1.60 and SuperLite 1.67 Ultra Wrap

Manufacturer: Shamir Insight
Description:
Optimized semi-finished, single vision high-index lens blanks for wrap frames
Features:
Can be used to grind either single vision lenses or make any Autograph II back-side progressive design. Updated back curve allows for wider range of prescriptions to fit wrap frames. Easily accommodates Rx range from +5.00 to -5.00D.
Availability:
Select base curves in Clear (HC/UC) and Transitions.
(877) 514-8330
www.shamirlens.com

Send us news about your lab's new products, services, special events, tech advances or personnel changes.

Andy Karp

Andrew Karp
Editor, Lab Advisor
akarp@jobson.com

 

Christie Walker

Christie Walker
Editor, LabTalk
cwalker@jobson.com

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