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A MONTHLY BRIEFING FOR OPTICAL LABORATORY OWNERS AND MANAGERS

June 2010

Dollars and Sense

Taking Emotion Out of Valuing Your Business

Dollars and SenseThe most frequent question I hear from new contacts is, what is my business worth? In determining the fair market value of business, many factors must be considered. While we’ve described valuation considerations in past articles, the comment, “I’ve got to have this much for my business” is not a relevant factor for determining fair value. It may be worth considering in as much as a threshold for a seller’s willingness to sell, but not the careful consideration buyers should give to submitting a fair and reasonable offer. To think of it another way, nobody would seriously consider purchasing a car, home, or any other costly asset if the “must have” price for the asset was higher than the market value. The buyer would simply keep looking.

Often in the optical industry, small business owners started and grew their businesses to their present size. They’ve invested more than just time and money to nurture and build a life business. They frequently have a fond emotional connection to customers, employees, and vendors with whom they share memories. In determining valuation and best prospects for a sale, a business owner must look past personal feelings about the business and understand its current and future financial and operational prospects rather than relying on a “must have” amount. Memories hold a lot of value, and that’s why they can’t be bought or sold.—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 A. Meyer at jam@hpcpuckett.com.

Younger Optics

Lab Notes

Transitions

Nexus Showcases Digital Technology at Open House Event

On April 10, Nexus Vision Group, a coalition of independent labs, celebrated its expansion into digital lens processing with an open house event on April 10 at its 7,500 sq. ft. headquarters in the Optical Village near Columbus, Ohio. The event’s theme was how Nexus can support and enhance the independent wholesale lab with technology-based services.

Nexus Pictured here inspecting a Satisloh MagnaSpin 2SV coater at Nexus Vision’s open house are, left to right, Pete Mayrand, lab manager at Western Carolina Optical, Bruce Brady, executive director of Optical Synergies, and Juan Pesante, general lab manager of the Nexus Vision Group.

Superior Optical Lab Builds
Social Media Presence

Superior Optical Lab, which features many resources for its customers on its existing Web site, is embracing social media as a new form of outreach. The Ocean Springs, Miss.-based company is building its presence on Facebook.

Superior Optical Superior Lab’s regular Facebook page is where customers can catch up on photos of interest and general news about the lab. Friends of that page can also then be part of the Superior Optical Group page, which debuted in May. Members of that group will be able to access “client only” news as well as limited-time specials that will be offered exclusively through the group Page. A special promotion code will provide access to weekly discounts and offers.

Robertson Optical Dan Floyd Joins Robertson Optical

Veteran sales representative Dan Floyd recently joined the sales team of Robertson Optical Laboratories of Atlanta (Loganville) and is serving various territories in Georgia. He is a Georgia-licensed optician with 33 years of eyecare industry experience. Floyd’s most recent position was territorial sales manager of Hoya Vision America. He has also represented such companies as Ralph Lauren Polo.

POL POL Installs Crizal Technology In-House

Essilor of America recently completed the technology transfer of its patented Crizal process at Arden, North Carolina-based POL Optical Labs. With access to Essilor’s Crizal EXT technology, POL Optical Labs can now fully manufacture Crizal lenses at its Arden laboratory, including Crizal, Crizal AlizĂ© and Crizal AvancĂ© with Scotchgard Protector lenses.

POL Optical Lab’s new Crizal facility operates Essilor’s proprietary and patented equipment and process. A remote daily quality certification of the process has been set up with Essilor to ensure quality compliance and to guarantee consistency.

Precision Optical GroupPrecision Optical Group Expands Facilities

P.O.G. Labs recently purchased a neighboring commercial property just east of their current building in Creston, Iowa to accommodate their growing laboratory. The new building, which is connected by a walkway, will house the finishing department, some of the final inspection staff and the company’s accounting department. It adds an additional 3,200 sq. ft. to the production facility, bringing the lab’s total size to 18,200 sq. ft. A robotic shelving unit called a “Packmobile” (pictured above) which runs on an invisible track throughout the buildings helps ease the work flow.

DAC Vision
Focus On

Richard ChavisRichard Chavis of Wizard of Eyes

For more than 20 years, optician Richard Chavis has owned and operated the only independent optical retail shop with a complete plastic surfacing lab in Manhattan, New York. Wizard of Eyes Optical was opened in November of 1986 to serve the East Harlem community, with the goal of providing high quality, same-day eyeglasses.

Chavis relies on his experienced sales force, many whom have worked for Wizard of Eyes Optical for five to 20 years, to stand behind their guaranteed products and services. “We have the fully trained, experienced staff to guarantee the service we boast about. I stand behind my products and promise to give our customers nothing less than I would wear myself,” said Chavis, who is pictured above, right, with lab tech Carlos Suarez. As long as the customer arrives before 1 p.m., Chavis and his staff promise same-day delivery of eyeglasses on almost all Rxs.

Chavis starts his workdays early. Upon arriving, he begins taking all measurements, calibrates the Gerber Coburn SGX generator and sets up what needs to be ordered for the day. He stocks and orders contact lenses, answers the phones, and checks in with the doctor of the day.

“I love being an independent optician, making my own decisions and running to the pace of my own clock. I can focus fully on the things that need my attention,” said Chavis.

Reflecting on his career, Chavis noted that working with the state-of-the-art equipment such as a patternless edger and fully computerized surfacing system is a highlight. He envisions a future in which Wizard of Eyes Optical will continue to grow by means of its leading edge technology, allowing Charvis’ staff to take more of a role in managing day-to-day business.


LabTalk Spotlight   June 2010

June 2010Are You Finished With Finish Blockers?
By Christie Walker


According to some lab technicians, the finish blocking area is a problem area with the most breakage and requiring the most skilled labor. If there is a problem here, you’ve just ruined/wasted all the time and effort and material used to bring the lens to this point.

Basically there are two options when it comes to finish blocking, manual and automated, with a third option—a single lens block carrier—looming on the horizon.

If you really want to know how finish blocking is actually performed in an optical laboratory, though you need to get into the trenches, get a little polish on your sleeve and ask a lab guy or gal. Log onto www.labtalkonline.com and go to the Features section to find out what your peers have to say on the subject of finish blockers.

SightNation
Make What You Say, Pay!

Persuasion Power

Make What you Say, Pay!

How versatile are you in persuasion strategies? If you are like most people, your default strategy is to convince through reason, a perfectly good strategy. However, if that is the only arrow in your influence quiver, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage. Here are five additional ways to get others to take action...

1. Paint possibility pictures: Imagine what this will be like when you can access the data in less than a minute! All it will take for you to get that is a two-hour training session. When can you attend?
2. Ask questions: What is it costing you in terms of time and money with the slower service? Would you like to see faster response times? Would you be willing to try X?
3. Praise: You are so good at organizing projects. The job you did last week was brilliant. So, I would like to put you on this project as well.
4. Authority: The guidelines say these are the forms that have to be filled out. Can you get them back to us by next week?
5. Trade: If you can increase your commitment to six programs then, we can give you your first choice of dates for the programs. Can you do that?

These are not either/or strategies. They can be used separately or together, depending on the situation. Observe your kids. They are natural born persuasion strategists! They use these approaches all the time and usually in combination to get what they want:
“Imagine how good you'll feel when I go to the party looking so pretty in my new dress!” “Do you want me to be the only one at the party in last year's style?” “You are so understanding. You always help me. So, I know you'll understand why I need that new dress for the party.” “All my friends are wearing this.” “If you get me this dress just this once, I will clean up my room every day and be in bed by 10:30 every night.”

Have an upcoming meeting with colleagues, clients, children, or spouses? Don’t be a one-note persuader. Take a tip from your kids and come armed with more than one strategy to get what you want.—Anne Miller

©2010, Anne Miller, author, “Metaphorically Selling”
www.annemiller.com.

New Products

Seiko Surmount

Seiko Surmount

Manufacturer: Seiko Optical Products of America
Description:
Ultra thin progressive lenses. Progressive lens wearers with high power prescriptions, especially those with high cylinder or add power will find Seiko Surmount to be cosmetically-attractive as well as easy to wear and use.
Features:
First lens in the U.S. market to incorporate recently patented advancements in internal free-form design that allow Seiko to process a convex surface on the concave side of the lens. As a result, Surmount lenses can be produced on lower base curves than before, resulting in much flatter, more cosmetically appealing lenses. As seen above, Surmount, right, is up to 25 percent flatter than competitive back-surface PAL.

Seiko Surmount also features automatic variable inset based on patient distance Rx and PD that permits customized alignment of the intermediate and reading area. The design further uses advanced aspheric compensation throughout the entire lens to optimize the Rx for the as-worn position (measured power will vary from the prescribed power in both the distance and near portions). Multi-polar astigmatic correction reduces the need for head movement and increases wearer comfort.
Availability: Wide variety of materials and coating options, including polarized, 1.74 index and Transitions lenses.
(800) 235-5367
www.seikoeyewear.com

Nuvo

Nuvo

Manufacturer: Dynamic Laboratories
Description:
Slip- and twist-resistant blocking pad
Features:
Slightly thinner material minimizes twisting. The material, which is softer as well, improves the pad’s performance by filling the gaps between the lens and the block, resulting in better “wet-out” or greater surface area adhesion between the pad and the lens. It also absorbs some of the initial impact shock that is created when the lens makes contact with the grinding wheel. Nuvo also utilizes an entirely new adhesive that offers the best possible grip to minimize slippage, yet still deblocks easily and cleanly, leaving behind virtually no residue.
Availability: Rolls of 1,000 or 2,000 pads
(888) 339-6264
www.dynamiclabs.net

Axiom

Axiom

Manufacturer: National Optronics
Description:
Versatile, accurate, high speed table top generator
Features: Provides complete lens processing, including generating, cribbing and pin-beveling in one process step. Generates all organic materials using dry cut technology. Advanced tooling options and an upgraded processor offer rapid generating speeds—more than 30 percent faster than its forerunner, the 2G. Integrated smart software provides directional assistance so unexperienced employees can easily operate it. Worker friendly touch-screen procedures, maintenance and parts manuals are easily accessed. Smart software also suggests the best lap for minimizing waste as well as cutting time. Processes plastic or foam laps to match any surfaceable lens curve. Broad power range production capability—able to cut curves from +6 to -30 diopters—produces exceptional surface quality and at a lower tool cost per surface than most table top generators, according to the manufacturer.
(800) 247-9796
www.nationaloptronics.com

#3009F Budgetool

#3009F Budgetool

Manufacturer: Western Optical Supply (WOS)
Description:
Foam Grip Wide Jaw Angling Plier
Features:
Smaller grip and same construction of Western’s heavier duty tools. Foam grip wide jaw angling plier is for adjusting pantoscopic tilt and temple angles on all types of frames. Opens extra wide to accommodate large temples and hinges. Recessed hole in each jaw protects hinge screw.
(800) 423-3294
www.westernoptical.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

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