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A MONTHLY BRIEFING FOR OPTICAL LABORATORY OWNERS AND MANAGERS October 2013


Dollars & Sense
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Schedule Your Success

Don’t be a quitter. It’s easy to quit and frankly we often quit too soon. Take heed, stay in the game longer than you think you should.

The American Marketing Association conducted a survey years ago that still holds true today, the average sale is closed on the sixth call; most sales people quite on the fourth. To put this into perspective, if your sales representatives are on a four-week call cycle, the work you begin today will not be seen in an order for another 6 months! An eight-week cycle will see results in about a years’ time.

As leaders in companies we often forget the time and investment required to land a new account. In most companies, you will have $500 of investment per prospect before they give you one dollar of business. Assuming you have qualified your lead as a good candidate for your business, it’s worth the wait and investment. However, we must always guard against getting two-thirds to the goal, being discouraged and quitting on our prospect.

They haven’t quit on us. They just may not be ready to buy from us yet.

Encourage each sales person to schedule calls out six to eight months, and hold them accountable to make each call. Statistically, they should win more then they lose. But don’t let them quit calling. Each time they do it’s about $320 of investment being flushed. If you do that five times a week it will add up to real money, real quick. Instead, encourage, coach and be supportive of their efforts. What should make you scared? If you are not prospecting today how are you going to keep your growth engine running? You are already six months behind.

 

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Lab Notes

Vision-Ease Lens Hosted ECPs and Labs at Training Event

More than 120 professionals including approximately 65 lab owners/managers attended the fourth annual VELA Forum held this past August at Secrets Wild Orchid in Montego Bay, Jamaica. VEL’s customers attending the event came from 16 countries across North and Latin Americas for education and training on business growth and strategy. In order to earn the right to attend, customers worked with their VEL sales representative to set and meet business growth goals. Program highlights included sales trainer and strategist Victor Anotonio and branding strategists Alex Aldas, Christopher Durham and Derrick Dye. VEL’s director of marketing Barry Resnik shared marketing strategies and trends for business, and customers were given updates by Vision-Ease on its lens products and coatings, and optical industry trends.

“VELA Forum is a time when we get to meet our domestic and international customers face to face, have some fun and give them tools to continue their business success,” said Scott Schaller, vice president of worldwide sales and marketing at VEL. “This year’s event focused on strategy, as a strong, clear strategic vision is key to business and sales growth. We look forward to seeing our attendees reach their goals in the coming years with the insights learned at VELA Forum.”

Satisloh Relocates North American Headquarters

Satisloh moved their North American Headquarters to a substantially larger facility in late August. Still centrally located in the Milwaukee suburb Germantown, the North American group employs more than 160 people. The company celebrated the official opening of its new 45,000 square foot corporate offices with a ribbon-cutting ceremony for staff and local dignitaries. CEO Larry Clarke and CFO Gregg Gerschke cut the ribbon to mark the occasion. Employees and their families came together for a dinner and tour of the offices and had the opportunity to make their own Rx glasses on an OBM Micro-Lab—a fully-integrated production line in Satisloh’s on-site customer training center.
 
“We’ve experienced such rapid growth in the last few years that even parking spots were at a premium,” said Larry Clarke, president & CEO, Satisloh. “Our Midwest location is a definite asset for our customer base; we coordinate and ship equipment, parts, and consumables for three divisions: Satisloh North America, National Optronics, and Essilor Instruments USA.”
 
Future plans for the new location include a new state-of-the art training center slated for February 2014. Satisloh’s phone number remains the same 800-866-5640. Their mailing new address is: Suite 200, 13131 Bradley Way, Germantown, WI 53022.

Kodak and Signet Armorlite Renew Licensing Agreement

Signet Armorlite recently renewed their 17-year licensing agreement with Eastman Kodak Company. As Kodak moves forward, it has restated its commitment to delivering imaging innovation with superior color quality based on its history of imaging and color science technology. In alignment with Kodak, Signet Armorlite offers KODAK Lenses with digital lens technology that focuses on color enhancement and contrast sensitivity. The new “See the Colors of Life” campaign launched at Vision Expo West will bring awareness of how significant color vision is in daily life.

“For the last twenty years, Kodak and Signet Armorlite have shared a goal of providing quality products and technology innovation to their respective customers,” states Brad Staley, president of Signet Armorlite, Inc. “The renewal of our contract with Kodak signals nothing but great success for both companies going forward.”
For more information about Signet Armorlite and KODAK Lenses, please visit their Website at www.signetarmorlite.com.

 

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Focus On...

Chitwood Optical and Rick Chitwood

By Judith Lee

In a business climate where bigger is always considered better, Chitwood Optical is going rogue. With a staff of just five and his hands on every part of the lab’s production, owner Rick Chitwood insists he is staying small – and that is best.

“When we say we take a personal interest in every order that is the literal truth. I check every job in, and I check every job out,” Chitwood said.

Not that Chitwood claims to do it all. He gives a great deal of credit to his employees, all of whom have eight or more years of experience with the Fayetteville, Ark. lab.

“We do not like employee turnover here. Our people are heavily cross-trained and highly skilled. I believe in being kind to your employees, let them have a bad day once in a while – not that they do that very often,” Chitwood said.

This skilled team inspects each order as it comes in, looking for “ambiguous stuff.”

“Maybe we’ll catch a Transitions exec bifocals – it’s not available, like a purple dog. We’ll catch a poor choice of material and frame size, ‘red flag’ fitting heights. If a progressive lens order does not specify design, we go back and look at the design the customer wore before. If they’re happy, we keep them that way. All of this reduces or eliminates remakes. Personal attention makes the process run faster and smoother than automation ever could,” Chitwood said.

With ample access to free-form and AR vendors, the lab relies on a three-day turnaround that enables Chitwood Optical to get the finished product to the consumer in five days to a week. Chitwood believes this close-knit team paying attention to detail not only flies in the face of the current business climate, it beats the big guys in customer satisfaction and loyalty.

“We look at every job three times before it goes out the door. We try to take the gray area out of ANSI standards. Consumers are picky; we want the job to go out right the first time. Automated labs do not do as much personal inspection,” Chitwood said. “Here, the old-fashioned high standard is applied every day.”

 

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LabTalk Spotlight

YOU and LMS: Looking for Long-Term Love

By Judith Lee
 
When you consider the cost, the operational impact, and the overreaching effect on a lab’s future, your choice of a Laboratory Management System (LMS) looks more like choosing a spouse than a software system.

“A full LMS software package is a long-term relationship, and it’s important to determine the best possible partner for your business,” noted Bruce Krymow, director, marketing and operations for Optivision, Inc. “In the context of our industry, there are only a few LMS providers in the entire world and really are no others internationally that provide such systems commercially.”

Some of the current options for optical lab LMS systems include:

CC Systems Lab Management Software (Labzilla) www.opticalonline.com
Digital Vision, Inc. www.thedvi.com
OMICS www.omics.com
Optifacts, Inc. www.optifacts.com
Optivision, Inc. www.optivision.com
Ocuco www.ocuco.us
Optical Lab Software Solutions www.optiutive.com (Website says “Coming 2013”)
Vision Star Laboratory Management System www.visionstarllc.com

Optifacts, OMICS, VisionStar, Visual Lab Pro and the brand new soon-to-be released Optuitive lab software are all part of "Optical Lab Software Solutions" the group of lab software systems owned by Essilor. DVI and Optivision are wholly-owned U.S –located and operated companies with complete LMS solutions for optical labs, while CC Systems is a Canadian company.

“The field has grown as the optical laboratory industry recognized and adopted automation in various aspects of their operations,” observed Patrick Broe of Ocuco, a 17-year veteran of the optical software and LMS business.
As labs automate and add conveyors, there needs to be a central brain running the show. Selecting a new LMS vendor is like undergoing brain surgery, so picking wisely can be a “life or death” decision. Labs that are looking to switch out their LMS system are in the same position.

To narrow the field and help sort out the best LMS partner for your lab, read the rest of this article, which includes 20 questions to ask an LMS vendor. Go to www.LabTalkOnline.com and click on this feature on the home page.

 

DAC Vision

Make What You Say, Pay!

The Winning Formula


Strong Content + Passionate Delivery + Strong Visuals = Success!

If one of these is off, then like a show that doesn’t quite make it, your presentation won’t quite work either. You may not be “thrown off the air,” or asked to leave someone’s office, but it is unlikely you will win any Emmys, i.e., get you what you want.

The Effects on Listeners of Different “Content/Delivery/Visuals” Combinations

Weak Content + Passionate Delivery + Strong Visuals = Unpersuasive!
If you have passionate delivery and wonderful visuals, but your content is either irrelevant, not engaging, or both, then people will love what you did (“You were terrific!”), but they won’t buy or act on your advice because you were all style and no substance.

Weak Delivery + Strong Content + Strong Visuals = Boring!
When you are deadly dull or appear disinterested, your audience will find it difficult to pay attention for any length of time and, worse, they will begin to suspect the veracity of what you are saying.

Weak Visuals + Strong Content + Passionate Delivery = Overwhelming!
When visuals are weak, people stop listening to what you are saying because they can’t process what they are seeing and they tune out.

Get It Just Right!
Strong Content + Passionate Delivery + Strong Visuals = Success!
It does not matter what field you are in. When you work this formula effectively, you will delight your listeners and achieve your goals. When you are even slightly off on any of the factors in this formula, the opposite will happen.

Words Matter: Make What You Say Pay! ©2012 Anne Miller, author, “metaphorically Selling” www.annemiller.com

New Products

Brand New Photochromic Technology


On January 7, Transitions Optical will make available the latest in new photochromic technology, Transitions Signature VII with Chromea7. This new dye formulation allows the lens to be more reactive to indirect sunlight and reflected sunlight, becoming even darker on hot days. The new lens is more responsive in more situations, with testing taking place in more than 200 real life situations including varying temperatures, weather conditions, geographies, and light sources. Transitions Signature VII will be offered in gray and brown. The gray tint is more neutral than the Transitions VI gray, and the new brown is a true brown color, offering the best in contrast-enhancing color in an everyday lens. Key benefits of the new lens are: better darkness outdoors; improved responsiveness in more situations; speed of activation and fadeback as fast as Transitions VI; and excellent clarity indoors and at night. In wearer tests, Transitions Signature VII lenses were preferred two to one over Transitions VI lenses. Visit www.TransitionsSignature.com to learn more and to order a free launch kit.

New Edger from Briot USA


Briot USA launched their newest edger, Expression, at Vision Expo West in Las Vegas. Expression is a new all-in-one edging system featuring a series of upgrades while still offering an entry-level price point. This machine offers a new, comprehensive touch screen that can navigate all features with ease along with providing faster tracing, improved shape modification capabilities, and easy maintenance options. OMA connectivity, remote tracing, and the ability to receive updates through Briot TechSoft make Expression a machine that is efficient, easy, and affordable. For more information Briot at call 1-800-292-7468.

Two New Office Lenses


Shamir launched two new lenses for keeping the office in perfect focus; Shamir Computer and Shamir WorkSpace. The two new lenses are designed to provide patients with the perfect visual solution for their occupational environment and daily tasks. Shamir Computer has a wide field of near viewing with clear vision up to five feet—a far greater depth of field than offered by conventional reading lenses. The Shamir WorkSpace is the best solution when the priority focus is both mid-distance and near viewing. It’s near distance field of viewing is not as wide as the Shamir Computer, but its mid-distance is 10 feet instead of five. Shamir Computer and Shamir WorkSpace will be available in 14mm fitting heights in the following materials: 1.5 Hard Resin, DCL Trivex, 1.56, 1.58 Polycarbonate, and SuperLite 1.60. For more information contact Shamir at 877-514-8330 or visit their Website at www.Shamirlens.com.

New Low Cost Polishing Machine


The new Easy Twin CNC polishing machine from OptoTech is a low cost, two-spindle polisher for fine-polishing of ophthalmic lenses with progressive, custom made, spherical, atoric, toric, convex and concave surface geometries. It can be used for polishing both organic and silicate lenses. Two lenses are processed simultaneously even with different surface prescriptions with specifically assigned kinematics. Automatic tool change via two tool revolvers, each equipped with four polishing tools (OptoTech flex tools or flatback tools) and a fully-fledged CNC controller for freeform lens production (six CNC axes) make the Easy Twin truly easy. For more information visit the OptoTech Website at www.optotech.de or call (215) 679-2091.

New Plastic Photochromic Lens from Vision-Ease Lens


ChangeRx, the new plastic photochromic lens from Vision-Ease Lens offers an affordable, lightweight option with homogeneous “in mass” manufacturing for fast, uniform reactivity when exposed to UV light. Eleven percent lighter and more comfortable than standard hard resin lenses, ChangeRx lenses provide the optical performance of a 1.50 refractive index in hard resin material with specific gravity of 1.18 g/cc. They also provide 89.1 percent indoor light transmission and activate rapidly to ISO Sunglass Category 3 range. ChangeRx are available in semi-finished single vision, with gray and brown color options along with coated and uncoated availability. Future availability will include a general purpose (Novel) and a short corridor (Novella) progressive along with FSV with and without AR. For more information visit the Vision-Ease Website at www.vision-ease.com

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


Christie Walker

Christie Walker
Editor, LabTalk/LabAdvisor
cwalker@jobson.com

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

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