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A MONTHLY BRIEFING FOR OPTICAL LABORATORY OWNERS AND MANAGERS

July 2010

Dollars and Sense

Leasing vs. Borrowing (Part 1)

Dollars and SenseA lot of new technologies have recently been introduced in our industry, such as anti-reflective coating, digital surfacing and robotic finishing. All of these represent the future of our industry and present us with even more opportunities to cut costs and provide more to customers. Anyone who makes a big investment must consider how to finance it. Two common ways of financing purchases are leasing and bank debt.

Bank debt is primarily borrowing a specific sum of money from a lending institution for a certain term, interest rate, and amount. If you have a strong balance sheet, good history and the bank determines that you are very likely to pay back the loan with no problem, bank debt is an excellent option and can cost less in finance costs than leasing. Also, with bank debt, you take ownership of the equipment subject to a lien until the debt is repaid. However, sometimes the bank may require additional collateral if it is determined that the debt is riskier for your firm, doesn’t understand the industry, or hasn’t had a long relationship with you.

Next month, in Part 2 of this series, we’ll discuss two basic forms of leases, capital and operating leases.—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.

Essilor

Lab Notes

Eurolens

Diversified Ophthalmics Presents Partner and Vendor Awards

Nexus Diversified Ophthalmics recently presented its first Vendor Partner of the Year Award 2010 to Transitions Optical. Transitions representative Alicia Sims received the award following her presentation at Diversified’s National Spring Sales Conference.

NexusDiversified Ophthalmics also recognized Tom Gardner of Signet Armorlite as its Vendor Representative of the Year 2010. In making the presentation, Cooke commented, “Tom’s singular dedication has made him an outstanding member of the team of more than 50 vendor reps who work with Diversified. Tom has not only spent a large part of his time co-traveling with the Diversified reps in his territory, he’s also taken additional time to assist in several projects and sales blitz’s with Diversified.”

At top, Diversified's COO, Ron Cooke, Jr. is pictured presenting Sims with her award, and at bottom, congratulating Gardner.

Integrity Optics Opens for Business

Superior OpticalIntegrity Optics, a new wholesale laboratory located in Midland, Texas, opened for business in January. Owned by partners Randy Cothren, and Jeff Carter, the new state-of-the-art lab has a start-up capacity of 150 jobs-per-shift of operation. The lab specializes in full service Rx work and free-form lens production with same day and next day service to the Texas and Southwest.

Integrity Optics owners Randy Cothren, left, and Jeff Carter proudly display their new Satisloh Compact Pro and ToroFlex digital surfacing production line.

POLSave the Date

Labapalooza 2010, Jobson’s celebration of optical labs, will return to International Vision Expo West on Thursday, Oct. 7. The event will feature the premier of Vision Monday’s 2010 Top Labs survey, LabTalk magazine’s Web Site of the Year awards, the Trash to Treasure contest and a rock song parody contest. Click here for more information.

Precision Optical GroupPrecision Optics Hosts Open House

Precision Optics, a regional, independent wholesale lab based in Richmond, Va., recently held an open house for its customers in conjunction with Younger Optics and REM Eyewear. Food, drink and live music set the stage for a casual evening of conversation.

Robert Lee and Joe Teghtmeyer from Younger Optics shared their insights about polarization technology and Younger’s Drivewear products, providing free fits for each client. Harold Kupper of REM highlighted the launch of Precision Optics’s new Value Package of lenses and frames featuring the REM Eyewear brand. Marlon Remick, of Norfolk Eye Physicians in Norfolk, Va. was the lucky winner of a Garmin portable navigation system generously supplied by Younger Optics.

Pictured at the event, left to right are: Frank Hicks, general manager/director of sales, Precision Optics; grand prize winner, Marlon Remick, Norfolk Eye Physicians; Robert Lee and Joe Teghtmeyer, Younger Optics.

Indianapolis Lab Featured in Business Journal

The Indianapolis Business Journal’s Web site, IBJ.com, recently published an article about local wholesale lab LensTech Optical, “Independent Optic Lab Fights Giants with Technology.” Click here to read the article.

DAC Vision
Focus On

Richard ChavisJudy Bruske of RD Cherry Optical

RD Cherry Optical, founded in 1977, is a family-owned independent optical laboratory located in Melvindale, in southeast Michigan. Judy Bruske joined the lab in January of 1994, working in the surface room. During the last 16 years, she has moved up in the laboratory taking on additional responsibilities, and in 2009 moved into her current position as customer service team leader.

Bruske said her fast paced, ever-changing days as team leader are very rewarding. She is in charge of overseeing the customer service department personnel, data entry and monthly reports, as well as being responsible for lens ordering. During an “average” day, Bruske helps customers on the phone, works with her team to make sure the daily reports are complete, handles faxes and does stock lens ordering. “No day is ever the same in the lab, and I enjoy it like that,” said Bruske.

During her tenure at RD Cherry Optical, Bruske has been instrumental in the growth of the lab. She noted that the highlight of her career was when she was given the opportunity to become team leader. “We are passionate about working with our customers, and providing them with the best service and products is what I want to be doing for a long time,” said Bruske.—Amanda Barry


LabTalk Spotlight   June 2010

June 2010Building a House...Brand?
By Christie Walker & Ann Shanley, Polycore Optical USA


There are a number of reasons for creating a house brand for your optical laboratory: to build the image of your company as a trusted advisor with your customers; provide different, often more affordable options for your customers; increase profits through your branded product; and/or differentiation your lab from the lab down the street.

There are two main products—AR coatings and progressive lenses—that labs look to for creating house brands. Within the progressive category there are standard progressives and progressives created with free-form equipment, allowing new degrees of individualization. Other products to consider include polarized, photochromic, or sun lenses.

To learn about some of the challenges other labs have faced and how they have overcome them to varying degrees of success, log onto www.labtalkonline.com and go to the Features section where you will find this complete article.

Local Eye Site
Make What You Say, Pay!

Lighten Up

Make What you Say, Pay!

You have to admire Elena Kagan during her recent Senate Supreme Court justice confirmation hearing for her response to Senator Lindsey Graham’s annoying insistence on knowing where she was on Christmas Day...At first, seemingly confused by the odd question, she began to answer seriously.

Graham interrupted and repeated, “No. I just asked you where you were at on Christmas. Switching gears, Kagan replied, “You know, like all Jews, I was probably at a Chinese restaurant”—which caused the Senate Chamber to laugh and give her a round of applause. As the Washington Post noted, her response was “brilliant in its humor, timing, and the self-effacing manner in which it was delivered.”

In all the talk about how to succeed in business today, (appropriate) humor gets very short shrift. We live in tough times, stressful times. People like to—need to—laugh. If nothing else, it gets all those feel good endorphins jumping around inside them. Self-effacing, spontaneous humor is a welcome relief from what seems like deathlike intensity in business today. Moreover, even for just a moment, it endears you to your listeners. Nothing wrong with that. Former President Eisenhower put it well: A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done.—Anne Miller

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

New Products

New Varilux Comfort

New Varilux Comfort

Manufacturer: Essilor of America
Description:
Update of Essilor’s popular PAL
Features:
Shorter progression length for quicker access to reading area; 25 percent wider distance and near vision fields with reduced astigmatism in the intermediate zone. Reduced swim, improved performance for digital devices and activities, such as MP3 players, navigation tools, laptops and netbooks.
Availability: New Varilux Comfort, New Varilux Comfort Short and NewVarilux Comfort Enhanced lenses will be available in 1.50 Index Plastic, 1.50 Transitions VI Gray and Brown, Airwear Clear, and Airwear Transitions VI Gray and Brown. Beginning September 2010, New Varilux Comfort, New Varilux Comfort Short and New Varilux Comfort Enhanced lenses will be available in Thin&Lite 1.60 Clear, Thin&Lite 1.60 Transitions VI Gray and Brown, Thin&Lite 1.67 Clear and Thin&Lite 1.67 Transitions VI Gray & Brown.
800-ESSILOR (377-4567)
www.variluxusa.com

Eye-d

Eye-d

Manufacturer: Super Systems Optical Technologies
Description:
Progressive Lens Identifier
Features:
Easily identifies laser engravings on progressive lenses. Placing a lens between the light source and the magnifier will immediately make laser engravings visible. Eliminates errors in fitting progressive lenses by providing a clear view of the etchings. Identifies lens manufacturer, model, material and reference points. Inexpensively priced. LED light source for long life and low energy consumption.
Size: 3-3/4 inches wide by 5 inches deep by 9 inches high
Power: 110/220V
(800) 800-543-7376
www.superoptical.com

True Blue Fining Pad

True Blue Fining Pad

Manufacturer: Practical Systems Inc. (PSI)
Description:
One-step fining pad for polycarbonate lenses
Features: Aggressive abrasive allows for a two-minute cycle on polycarbonate while maximizing lens surface quality and reducing swarf build-up. (Results may vary from lab to lab and recommended cycle times may need to be adjusted to achieve required surface quality.) New backing material enables the abrasive to work more efficiently compensating for generator and tooling imperfections. True Blue can maximize production throughput and surface quality when used with PSI’s Maize HD polish pad and High Pro or PSI Lite 10 polish.
Availability:
Three-inch, seven-petal or 16-petal configuration for both bare tools and base pad systems
(800) 237-8154
www.LookToPSI.com

Helix

Helix

Manufacturer: National Optronics
Description:
Five-axis industrial edging center
Features:
More powerful, smaller and less expensive than competitive units. Designed for basic edging as well as complex processing. Five-axis technology enables extreme versatility through its variable angle processing for all edging functions, including beveling and drilling. Optional auto-loading feature. Ability to match nearly every frame or lens curve provides expanded process capabilities and improved accuracy and quality, according to National Optronics. Milling and shelving capability allows processing of otherwise non Rx-able fashionable sports frames such as Oakley, Adidas and Rudy Project.
(800) 247-9796
www.nationaloptronics.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.