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A MONTHLY BRIEFING FOR OPTICAL LABORATORY OWNERS AND MANAGERS December 2013


Dollars & Sense
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Are We Using Our Time Wisely

No one has enough time to get it all done.   Are we using our time wisely?

Take for instance sales and marketing functions.   Marketing spends all of their time generating interest, building the brand image and getting “leads” for sales people to qualify and sell.   Most lead generating companies value a qualified lead turned over to sales at $100 per lead (the amount of money spent to generate and qualify the lead to date.)   According to Phil Fernandez and his book “Revenue Disruption” 94% of all marketing qualified leads will never be closed by sales people.  

Sobering number and seems like a waste of time, don’t you think?

How is it so few get closed?   The answer maybe that sales people have become more “service representatives” instead of “sales representatives.”   We may be talking to our customers, but we are we able to have the conversation we want to have with them?   For example, if an average sales call lasts 15 minutes and we are taking up the first 10 talking about remakes, redo’s, warranty, service levels, etc., when is there time to sell anything?

You’re not alone. Fifty-two percent of all sales representatives in the United States did not achieve their sales quotas in 2010.  

How you can get more time in a sales persons day, try this simple exercise.   Apply the 80/20 rule to your sales and customer list.   Rank by sales all your customers.   Find the point where 80 percent of your sales are covered and see how many customers contribute to the 80 percent.   Draw a line.   Take the number of customers above the line and add another 30 percent to the list. Draw a second line.   What is above the line protect, what is below the line cover by an inside sales team or place on an extended call cycle.   Use the time now available to prospect and open new accounts from the leads marketing provides.   Seldom if ever do “C” accounts become “B” and “B’s” become “A’s.”

The biggest impact we can make on increasing revenue and becoming a more efficient sales and marketing team is work together.   Each has a critical function to play and they must join forces to work smarter and then harder.

Michael Karlsrud is the owner and CEO of 6 Calls, a tele-services company that serves the optical industry with its two divisions; Telecare and Business-to-Business.   www.karlsrudcompany.com

 

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Lab Notes

2013 Transitions Lab of the Year Finalists

The U.S. Transitions Lab of the Year title has been awarded annually since 1991 to an independent lab demonstrating a strong commitment to supporting Transitions Optical and its products and programs. Winners of the award are inducted into the Heritage Lab Ambassador’s Club, which provides rewards including marketing support and strategic business consultation. The 2013 finalists include:

  • Diversified Ophthalmics – the 2012 winner and a three-time finalist. Diversified Ophthalmics is an employee-owned lab headquartered in Cincinnati. Established in 1977, the lab serves as a single-source supplier for ophthalmic products/services in all 50 states.
  • Optical Prescription Lab (OPL) – the 2011 winner and a four-time finalist. Since 1977, OPL has operated as a family-owned lab headquartered in Pelham, Alabama. Today, OPL provides premium optical products to eye care professionals throughout the southeast.
  • Three Rivers Optical - a previous winner of the Transitions Lab of the Year award. Since its beginnings in 1969, Three Rivers Optical has operated as a family business. The lab occupies a 30,000 square foot, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in suburban Pittsburgh.

Barnett & Ramel Optical Lose Two of their Own

Frank Besch, 54, president and CEO of Barnett & Ramel Optical, Omaha, Nebraska and lab manager, George Trobaugh, 59, were killed in an auto accident on November 21st.   Services were held on Tuesday, November 26th at Reichmuth Funeral Home.

“My heart goes out to Sandy, Frank’s wife and to Frank’s parents. Many of you know Keith Besch, Frank’s father from his many years in the industry,” said Dana Weeks, Optical Services International.

 

California Green Chemistry Initiative

On October 1, 2013 California implemented a law whereby companies that manufacture certain consumer products may have to review whether they can make those products safer by using different, less toxic or nontoxic ingredients. Starting in April 2014, California – through its California Safer Consumer Products Law, also known as the Green Chemistry Initiative – will be identifying classes of consumer products and directing manufacturers of those products to look to reformulate them using green chemistry.

The Vision Council and its Government & Regulatory Affairs team will continue to monitor the roll-out of this law and will inform members once the initial list of priority products has been issued. For more information about the Green Chemistry Initiative and how it works, as well as a list of substances of high concern to members of The Vision Council, go to www.TheVisionCouncil.com .

Sustainability Committee has a Home at www.thevisioncouncil.org

Now Vision Council member companies have a place to share ideas on environmental improvements, efficiencies, and cost savings, at the new portal on TheVisionCouncil.org Website.

The Sustainability Committee began as a task force reporting jointly to the Lens Division and the Lens Processing Technology Division five years ago in an effort to help members look for opportunities to reduce waste and increase energy efficiency while improving service to the end customer. Today, the group has grown to include 30 members of The Vision Council, representing various facets of the industry, including equipment manufacturers, lens manufacturers, raw materials manufacturers, wholesale labs and large retailers.

All members are encouraged to log-in and review the documents sharing our members' best "green" practices and areas for improvement within our industry. Recent topics of discussion have included water conservation, parts recycling, motion sensors, lens box recycling and swarf recycling. For more information, please contact Michael Vitale, The Vision Council's Lens Division Liaison, at mvitale@thevisioncouncil.org or visit the Sustainability Committee section of The Vision Council’s Website at www.thevisioncouncil.org .

Three Carl Zeiss Vision Labs Achieve ISO 9001 Quality Management Certification

Three Carl Zeiss Vision labs meet international business standard for providing quality products and services to customers. The ISO 9001 Quality Management Certification was earned by Carl Zeiss Vision-Virginia (Chester); Carl Zeiss Vision-Kentucky (Hebron); Carl Zeiss Vision-Northwest (Clackamas)

The evaluation was completed by the independent certification company UL DQS, and consists of a four-step process: planning, implementation, results and analysis, and improvements. ISO 9001 is the internationally recognized standard for the quality management of business. According to www.iso.org, “The standard is based on a number of quality management principles including a strong customer focus, the motivation…of top management, the process approach and continual improvement.” Certification demonstrates the existence of an effective Quality Management System (QMS) that satisfies the rigors of an independent, external audit. Quality objectives are continuously updated and displayed on flat panel screens in common areas for all personnel to see. Extensive use of bar coding allows detailed tracking of all production activities and test/inspection results.

 

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Focus On...

Brian Boddy and Acoma Optical, Inc.

By Judith Lee

It’s clear that Brian Boddy isn’t in it just for the glory. It’s also a fact that he’s the author of a new optical rule named The Boddy Formula.

“As I traveled around the country, I kept hearing that digital lenses were a problem for low-powered hyperopes and emerging presbyopes. I wondered why. In our own stores, I took examples and tested them,” said Boddy, the owner of Acoma Optical, Inc., a retail optical store and designer lens lab in Santa Fe, NM.

Boddy found that the problem came from lenses that had become too flat as lens fabricators applied Vogel’s Rule; he subsequently created The Boddy Formula to help the optical lab.*

Why would an optical retailer, which fabricates its own jobs want to help optical wholesalers? Because Boddy has the optical business in his blood. His parents founded Acoma Optical, and operated it as a wholesale lab before becoming retailers.

The Boddy Formula took its author about two months to work out, and he did it the old-fashioned way, on an Excel spreadsheet that included the full range of optical corrections. Boddy then submitted his work to the American Board of Opticianry to achieve his “Masters in Ophthalmic Optics” (ABOM) designation. After about four months of testing The Boddy Formula, the ABO granted Boddy his ABOM.

Going the “extra mile” is a way of life at Acoma, which promises quality, one-hour service, value and impeccable accuracy in lenses. Automation enabled Boddy to reduce his lab staff by nearly half, while at the same time increasing speed and efficiency. An early adopter of digital lens technology, Boddy believes it has been integral to Acoma’s continued success.

“Imagine a shoe store offering one shoe that everyone should wear. That’s ridiculous. But that’s what the optical business is expected to do. Digital free-form empowers us to customize every pair of lenses, to make lenses that truly perform for the individual,” Boddy said.

Going forward, he is clear-eyed about the challenges faced by independent optical labs. Along with adopting digital free-form to create a high-quality house brand of lenses, Boddy advises lab owners to also take a step back in time.

“The niche is service, world-class service. The labs have to get out there, meet with the retailers and train their employees,” Boddy said. “Then clearly communicate that you offer what matters to doctors – a high-quality house brand and a strong strategic partner.”

*Vogels rule does not factor the segment being ground into the backside of a lens which could cause bi-convex lenses below the seg line and lenses that are ground too flat. The Boddy Formula takes all aspects of the lens prescription into account and creates a better lens by incorporating all aspects of the prescription into the base curve selection.  

 

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LabTalk Spotlight

CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE

By Kurt Gardner

It’s hard to forget the hours spent reading those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books growing up. You could read the same story a few times and just by changing one choice along the way, the outcome was completely different. The same can be true in optics.

Imagine all these years’ later, independent lab owners would be getting to make the same kinds of choices, and instead of choosing the end of a child’s story, they get to take the reins on a tale far more important, the course of the optical industry as a whole

What Digital Processing Means to a Brand
With the new influx of digital processing technology we are seeing a shift in where the market is heading. The brand of the lens in the frame simply doesn’t matter as much as how the patient sees. Labs and the ECP took note that once lens blanks are out of the box, no one knows who designed it. With the era of control by the lens caster ending, independent labs now have the ability to customize their portfolio of products based on their customers’ needs while remaining competitive with the highest quality standards and great customer care.

The Branded Lenses Say “We’re Better”
Sure they do, wouldn’t you if that brand was all you had? The truth is in the math, and no matter if a lens is designed in Europe, the Middle East, or Mars, the same laws and rules regarding how light bends apply no matter who is writing the code and deciding the direction of the designs. Consistently we see private label designs meeting and exceeding the prior expectations and experiences delivered from their branded alternatives. Of course don’t take my word for it, ask those independent labs who have adopted a self-branded approach how their own design has been a winning proposition for all involved from the patient to the lab. By branding yourself, with your lab’s own designs, quality, and customer relationships, your brand becomes your main growth point in your business. This allows labs to escape from being the middle man for someone else, and that’s something that cannot be taken away from lab owners and ECPs.

To Read More…Go to www.LabTalkOnline.com and click on this article from the main menu.

 

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Make What You Say, Pay!

The 7 Causes of Highly Ineffective “Tellers”

I have always believed that no one wakes up every day to deliberately fail. People do what they do because they think that is the best way to it or they only know one way to do something.   They believe it is right to focus on their product or service. These are the likely causes behind such counterproductive thinking:

•They want to show how knowledgeable they are about their product/service

•They were told by their superiors to talk up the various features of that product/service.

•They are very enthusiastic about what they are selling and, like showing a picture of their children or pet, they want to tell you everything about them.

•They are new and feel safe sticking to explaining memorized facts about the product/services.

•They think the facts/features speak for themselves, so it seems right to flood the buyer with as many of them as possible.

•They feel rushed for time and compelled to spit out everything you ever wanted to know about their offer

•They are in checklist mode.

The 3 Habits of Highly Effective Sellers

•The best salespeople know how to be “good dates or lunch time companions.”   They are always thinking of their buyer. Everything they say about their product or service is attached to a benefit or value to the buyer.

•They use balancing statements and “you” language. If you eavesdropped on them, you would hear phrasing along the lines of “we have…which means you get…”   “It does… so you save…” “We can…so you will be able to…” “It takes only (time period)…which means you can…” “One of the things that you will particularly like is…because you will be able to…”

•They are in relevance mode.

Teller or Seller?
Tape yourself talking about your product or service to a specific prospect. Play it back. Answer these questions.

•Is your focus on the buyer or on what you are selling?

•Are you using “We have” language or “You get” language?

•Are you in checklist or relevance mode?

Adjust your focus and language accordingly and enjoy the results beginning with your very next sales call.

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


 


New Products

The Next Generation of Blue Light Filter AR


HOYA’s Recharge was the first AR treatment to offer blue light filtering. In response to patient demands and environmental need, HOYA Vision Care launched their next generation of blue light filtering AR treatment- Recharge EX3TM AR treatment. The hazards associated with the High Energy Visible (HEV) Blue Light portion of the light spectrum are well documented. Blue light, including HEV Blue Light, is emitted from hand-held devices such as smart phones and tablets. HOYA’s Recharge EX3TM is an anti-reflective lens treatment that reflects the harmful Blue Light away from the eyes. The original Recharge product has been enhanced with scratch resistant properties to match HOYA’s Super Hi-Vision EX3 AR treatment with a Bayer rating higher than glass. In addition to the scratch resistance feature, the blue light filters have also been improved. For more information visit the HOYA Vision Website at www.hoyavision.com

AdvantEdge Premium Finishing Pads


The new AdvantEdge premium finishing pad from DAC Vision, is designed specifically for today’s lens materials and demanding AR applications. AdvantEdge advanced design foam was specifically engineered for optimal axis performance and conformability. Its innovative adhesive system and double tabs ensure a secure and uniform bond that easily removes providing blocking and de-blocking characteristics that improve efficiency and throughput. AdvantEdge   is offered in a large selection of shapes to match today’s block styles and sizes. For more information contact www.dacvision.com.

Clear N Dark Photochromic Lenses


Super Systems Conversion ‘Clear N Dark’ 1.56 photochromic lenses utilize automatic tint adjustment relative to ultraviolet ray exposure from the sun. Within seconds of stepping outside, the Conversion lenses will shift to a stylish true gray color while maintaining 100% UVA protection and consistent vision clarity. The Conversion ‘Clear N Darks’ are finished single vision lenses with a power range of -6 to +4 to a 2 cylinder. They also include an AR coating that improves the transparency of the lens while clear and also increase definition after adjusting to sunlight. The Conversion ‘Clear N Dark’ lenses are currently available in gray. A brown color is in development and is expected to be released in the near future. For more information visit the   Super Systems Optical Technologies’ Website at www.SuperOptical.com .

New Polishing Compound Digi-Sheen PRO


Digi-Sheen PRO is an advanced lens polishing compound, which has been specially engineered for conventional and digital lens polishing, provides better results and excellent surface finish on all lenses requiring back side hard coat and /or an anti-reflection application.

Key features of the new polish include: Formulation for use in both Digital and Conventional polishers; low-viscosity formulation with excellent suspension; non-corrosive formula for lower impact on equipment; superior removal rate on all lens materials for improved clarity. The new polish is ideal for use with most digital soft-tool laps including Coburn’s new HyperFlex ENDURO and CLARITY tools.

“Customers have asked for a more dependable solution for digital free-form polishing and we have worked to meet and hopefully surpass that need,” Dan Clarke, Product Development Manager for Coburn’s Lab Works division stated. Digi-Sheen PRO is available worldwide, and online for US customers at www.shopcoburn.com. For prices, package offers and additional process integration information, please contact the Coburn Lab Works division directly at (866-450-0412) or by calling Coburn’s main number (800-COBURN-1) and asking for Lab Works.

 


ZEISS Officelens


Combining flexibility for wearers with simplicity for dispensers, Carl Zeiss Vision introduced ZEISS Officelens, a new, customized task-specific lens that allows patients to choose the amount of working distance they need. The ZEISS Officelens   is designed with intermediate vision in the top part of the lens, allowing a spacious view of a digital screen with comfortable posture.   But unlike traditional computer-style lenses, ZEISS Officelens offers wearers a choice of three working distances to address differing workplace needs: ZEISS Officelens Book provides the widest possible fields of near vision and intermediate to a range of about three feet – enough to see reading material and a computer monitor; ZEISS Officelens Desk extends the intermediate range to about seven feet, for seeing the immediate workspace clearly; and ZEISS Officelens Room functions provides intermediate to about 14 feet, enough to for comfortable vision in meetings and when moving around the office.    Officelens is available in a full range of materials, including Hard Resin, Trivex, Polycarbonate, 1.60, 1.67 and 1.74.


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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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