On-line Opportunities for Your Lab
is, depending on how you look at it, either a growing opportunity for the optical industry or just another hurdle in the future. Many would argue that
patients are best prescribed and fitted by ECP’s, but consumers are increasingly more comfortable making purchases on-line. On-line retailers have
made significant gains in selling Rx eyewear over the web; shipped directly to the customer. Some traditional retailers have seized upon this
opportunity and added web sales as a means of augmenting their traditional sales and providing an information resource for customers.
In its recently published 2009 Vision Council Internet Influence Report, The Vision Council found that use of the Internet for Rx eyeglasses
shopping increased from 7.8 percent in 2007 to 14.2 percent in 2009. Of the respondents to the survey, 22 percent who purchased Rx eyewear and
used the Internet in the process made the actual purchase on-line. On-line eyewear purchases will continue to grow and become a significant
means by which the population fills their eyewear needs.
Lab owners, as well as domestic suppliers, may want to consider getting involved with their ECP customers to assist them in developing an on-line
presence. Many of those who make a purchase on-line may not return to the traditional channel for future eyewear purchases. Labs can provide
advanced service to their customers by hosting sites for ECPs where patients can schedule appointments and get information about the latest in
eye care and product availability. Labs can be the back office and provide fulfillment services for on-line ordering and the virtual storefront
where an ECPs patients can shop and purchase on-line. What domestic production lacks in cost savings may be made up with quality, timely delivery
and extended service. This may further strengthen the relationship between the ECP and their patients, and ultimately strengthen the relationship
between the ECP and your business.—Jason A. Meyer, Managing Director,
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
Labapalooza Celebrates VM's Top Labs, LabTalk's Website of the Year Awards
Jobson’s annual celebration of optical labs, returned to Las Vegas during Vision Expo West featuring live music,
cocktails, and a preview of Vision Monday’s 2010 Top Labs report, including the Top Labs ranking.
LabTalk magazine also presented its Optical Laboratory Web Site of the Year Award and
Trash to Treasure contest, in which lab personnel were invited to create artwork made from finishing pads. The awards were presented to a
packed room of optical laboratory personnel, vendors and sponsors of Labapalooza.
Schneider Optical Machines was the Title sponsor for the event. Shamir Insight, X-Cel Optical, Transitions Optical, Gerber Coburn,
Essilor, Santinelli International and Augen were Ultra sponsors.
The Precision Optical Group was the winner of the 11th annual Optical Laboratories Web Site of the Year Award. Katz & Klein, the
second place website, received the most popular votes.
For the complete list of LabTalk’s Web Site of the Year honorees, visit
Look for a complete list of the Top Lab honorees in the Oct. 25 print feature Vision Monday’s 2010 Top Labs report,
Midland Optical Hosts Open House, Receives Honors
hosted an open house September 23, 2010, at its newly-expanded facility in St. Louis, Mo. Over 175 people, representing 55 independent eye care
offices in the Missouri and Illinois area, attended the open house. The open house celebrated Midland Optical’s installation of the new $1.5 million
digital optical lens processing equipment. A surprise visitor to the Midland Optical open house was city alderman Joe Vaccaro, (above left) who
presented company president Matt Iovaldi, (above right) with a proclamation from Mayor Francis Slay and the city of St. Louis, officially declaring
September 24, 2010, Midland Optical day in St. Louis.
Plastic Plus Opens Seiko-Approved Coating Lab
the completion of a massive two-year rebuilding program, which included everything from equipment lines to the facility structure,
Plastic Plus in Toronto, Ontario, has transformed into one of the
most technically sophisticated and fully automated prescription labs in North America. The most recent phase of the Plastic Plus’ expansion was
completed in July when the company opened its own state-of-the-art, AR coating facility. The independent, Canadian-owned company, which already
holds the exclusive Canadian license for all Seiko Optical lens products, is the first, and currently the only “Seiko Optical-Approved” coating
facility in North America.
Robertson Optical Provides Services at S.C. Health Fair
Robertson Optical Laboratories of
Columbia and Greenville, S.C. volunteered their services at the eyeglass fitting area of SC Mission 2010, a health fair held in early August which
consisted of a host of organizations providing healthcare, dental and vision screenings to uninsured persons. More than 1200 people registered and
over 800 patient charts were scanned. This was the first year that vision screenings and eyeglass fittings were provided, which were coordinated by
the SC Optometric Physicians Association and Robertson Optical.
Pictured here, front left is Christie Truett of Greenville, S.C. trying on a pair of glasses as Larry Patton, sales manager of Robertson
Optical of Columbia, advises. At back, on the right, sales rep Kimberly Griffin of Robertson Optical of Columbia, consults another participant.
Plans are now underway for the same event to be held next year.
Going Digital: Cherry Optical
After immersing himself in digital lens processing the past several years, Adam Cherry, vice president of Cherry Optical, an
independent wholesale lab in Green Bay, Wisc., has learned to admire both the precision and the power of the technology.
“Running this type of equipment in a digital lab is like owning an Italian sportscar,” he said, referring to the Schneider
Optical Machines’ CB Bond blocker, HSC Smart A generator and CCP Swift polisher Cherry Optical purchased when it went digital two years
ago. He emphasized that achieving high performance levels is only possible by rigorously maintaining and calibrating the equipment.
“You better know what you’re getting into as far as taking care of it properly to keep it running well. That’s been a big
Cherry Optical’s introduction to digital surfacing was actually its first experience with any type of surfacing. Consequently, the
lab did not have any established manufacturing procedures in place.
Pictured here, at Cherry Optical in Green Bay, Wisconsin are, left to right, Kurt Atchison of Schneider Optical Machinery, Joe Cherry,
Lynn Cherry and Adam Cherry. At right is the lab’s new Schneider HSC Smart A generator.
here to read more about Cherry Optical and other labs that are “going digital” in Vision Monday’s Special
Report: Digital Immersion.
LabTalk Spotlight October 2010
You Sink or Swim with Automation and Robotics?
By Judith Lee
Not too far downstream, automation and robotics will comprise a technological life raft that will make all the difference
between “sink or swim” for optical labs.
Already, labs that have invested in automation have seen a pay off in improved output and quality, streamlined workflow, and a more
skilled workforce. Most importantly, these labs believe they have a significant edge on their less-automated competitors. The consensus
is that automated and robotic equipment will become a “business essential” such as a telephone, computer and lab management system.
To find out more on how your peers feel about automation and robotics, log onto
and go to the Features section where you will find this complete article.
Turn Presentations into Conversations
Buyers are on overload with PowerPoint presentations. Once novel, they are now largely too long, too wordy, boring and typically delivered as monologues.
It is time to replace “Show and Tell” with “Engage and Involve.” Here are five ways to do that...
1. Avoid the word “presentation.” It turns listeners off (“Another presentation? Just what I need in my busy day!”).
The word sends people into a passive mode. It also tends to separate you psychologically from your listener. Instead, use language like,
“In our discussion today, we will look at...” “In our meeting today, we’ll be covering...” Your inclusive plural pronoun and
characterization of the get together instantly set the expectation for interaction.
2. Ask questions. After each logical block of information, stop and get a reaction. “How does this sound?” “Is this what you
were expecting?” “Thoughts? Reactions?” “How would you use this?” “This is how we see X. What’s been your
3. Invite them to choose. Services and ideas generally include various options. Rather than you, the speaker, describing these options in
the order you wish, it is more meaningful and engaging to say to your listener, “Scan your eye down this list of options. Which one(s) do
you want to know about first?” Your listener has to think, speak, and is suddenly, and naturally, in a dialogue with you.
4. Get them to imagine. As you are explaining the different features of your offering or idea, help them see themselves using your services
or products. For example, say, “Imagine how this would affect your...” “Think how you would use the money you save on...
elsewhere.” As you describe how you work with clients, casually ask, “Who on your team would be involved?” Make your listeners
active participants in your presentation.
5. Remember, “Less is more.” Only show slides that truly illustrate a point and which lend themselves to discussion: graphs, charts,
diagrams, images, examples. Keep the detailed explanations in an Appendix. It is easy to engage around a visual. It is virtually impossible
to engage around text. Old Chinese proverb: “I tell you, you forget. I show you, you remember. I involve you, you understand.” The
best presenters play at the “show and involve” levels, not at the “tell” level. The more your presentation becomes a
conversation, the greater the odds for getting agreement.
©2010, Anne Miller, author, “Metaphorically Selling”
Trinity Spacia High Definition Progressive Lens
Manufacturer: Augen Optics
Description: Relaunch of Augen’s PAL for active presbyopes who rely primarily on expansive distance and mid-range vision.
Features: Wide, spacious distance area, extra-wide intermediate corridor (9mm) and moderate near vision. Made with Augen High
Definition Lens aspheric/double aspheric technology, which provides wide, clear, natural vision for wearers with both low and high cylinder
prescriptions. Augen High Definition technology also features flatter base curves for all prescriptions, resulting in better cosmetics. Trinity
Spacia lenses are scratch coated and compatible with all hydrophobic, anti-reflective and mirror coatings.
Availability: Trivex material in 3.50D and 5.00D bases and +1.00 to +3.00 add powers.
Oakley True Digital
Description: High-wrap Rx sports lenses
Features: Dual Peripheral Technology minimizes distortion in the periphery. Digitally tailored for each specific frame and individual
prescription, offering the level of visual clarity, acuity and fidelity that athletes and sports enthusiasts need to maximize their performance,
according to Oakley. Central view offers wide fields of vision for crisp, clear detailed vision; low prism imbalance in mid-periphery for
better large image recognition; low unwanted astigmatism in far periphery for better motion detection.
Availability: Single vision and progressive. Minimum fitting height for progressive is 15mm. Clear, sun non-polar,
sun non-polar Iridium, polarized, polar Iridium, Transitions and Transitions Iridium.
identity Swiss Design Free-Form Lenses
Manufacturer: Pro Fit Optix
Description: General purpose progressive
Features: Backside optimized progressive design offers optimal sight in all distances; 98 percent of participants in the
user acceptance test adapted to the lenses very easily, even first time presbyopes.
Availability:Three corridor lengths and three lifestyle designs: Standard, Office, and Outdoor.
SE-9090 Supra Industrial Lens Edger
Distributor: Santinelli International
Description: Upgraded version of company’s SE-9090 industrial edger
Features: The addition of newly-developed, pin-point accurate grooving technology, allows production of quality finished,
grooved lenses with exclusive Crystal Cut high-luster polish quality and polish safety bevel. The unit incorporates an enhanced Central Processing
Unit (CPU) for faster, high-volume lens processing. Its industrial-design elements promise greater durability and longer, unproblematic ownership,
resulting in cost savings for labs. Self-calibration ensures optimum performance, deriving from the unit’s
“built-in engineer.” The result is perfect bevel placement, exceptional accuracy and a “jewel-like” finish on every lens,
every material, every shape for every frame, according to Santinelli.
(800) 644-EDGE (3343)
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