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LAB ADVISOR Archives | Subscribe to LAB ADVISOR | LabTalk

A Monthly Briefing for Optical Lab Owners and Managers

- April 2015 -

Dollars & Sense

Make What You Say Pay

Lab Notes

New Products

Spotlight

Dollars & Sense

It’s Time to Double Down

Michael Karlsrud

Horst Schulze, the former chief of Ritz-Carlson came out of retirement in 2008 to launch a luxury brand of small hotels.  2008 may seem like a while ago, but it was the beginning of the end to the most prosperous periods of time in the U.S. economy.   When asked about starting a new company in a recession he responded this way: “I will not accept the explanation of a recession negatively affecting the new business.  There are still people traveling.  We just have to get them to stay in our hotel.”

Over this past year there was a seismic rift in the laboratory business where roughly 20 percent of business was shifted from independent labs towards large corporate ones. As a result, the normal reaction was, and often is: Cut! Cut! Cut!  Cost cutting may be necessary, but don’t let it prevent you from focusing on the future of the new reality you face.  Double down on sales and get the top line growing again.

“Sales cures all ills.” Market like you’ve never marketed before! 

Experts recommend spending three percent of your top line dollars on marketing.  On a million dollar business, thirty thousand sounds like a lot of money with no guarantee of a return.  And there won’t be.  Do it anyway.  As lab owners we often forget that we have enjoyed the luxury of growing our business from the grass roots level.  There were “territories” or “geographies” that you controlled and knew everyone in that area.  Today, nothing could be further from that old reality.  People have changed. Competition is global. Fewer people know you are out here.  You need to tell them.

Don’t accept the recession or the change in vision care plan mandates as negatively impacting your business.  People still need glasses made.  You just need to get them to send them to you.

Good Selling.

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

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Make What You Say, Pay!

Are You Good at Herding Cats?

Anne Miller

If you could follow around a group of outstanding salespeople and presenters with a camera over a long period of time, you would discover practices common to them all. These skills would likely range from small behaviors, like how they greet someone to broader skills, like how they link features to value in presentations.  But, what would their “herding cats” behaviors be?

This “herding cats” phrase comes from an article by NY Times columnist David Brooks, writing about Doug Lemov, managing director of “Teach Like a Champion.”

“In part," writes Brooks, "Lemov is talking about the skill of ‘herding cats.’ The master of cat herding senses when attention is about to wander, knows how fast to move a diverse group, senses the rhythm between lecturing and class participation, varies the emotional tone. This is a performance skill that surely is relevant beyond education.”

In Sales, Demos, & Presentations
Brooks is right. These sensitivity and situational skills extend way beyond the classroom. They are critical in selling, presenting, marriage, parenting, negotiating, consulting, managing, leading---any interaction where influence and persuasion are involved.

In sales, “herding cats” includes: 

• Being really present with, and responsive to, prospects and clients: listening, focus, attention

• Having the courage to ask questions for clarity, understanding, and inconsistencies

• Being sufficiently mindful and flexible to respond to both listener interest and fatigue

• Reading and responding to another person’s time and information preferences, and

• Using the best language that resonates with listeners: specific words, phrases, metaphors, & analogies

Technology makes us more efficient and productive and that is certainly good. It would be hard to find too many people who would want to go back to electric typewriters and white-out . But technology will never replace those invisible “herding cats” skills that build relationships and smooth the way to long-term agreement and business.

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

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Lab Notes

Co-Founder of Perferx Optical Dies at 79

Staff

John Lawrence Enright, the co-founder of Perferx Optical Co. Inc, in Pittsfield, died Sunday, March 22nd at 79 years old. John and his late wife, Beverly Wasuk Enright, founded Perferx Optical in 1974. At the time of his death, he was still serving as the lab’s executive adviser. Enright had been inducted into the Optical Hall of Fame in 2007.

New President at Satisloh North America

Staff

Peter Lothes is named Satisloh North America’s new president. Lothes replaces Larry Clarke, who was appointed president and COO of Satisloh AG last fall and relocated to Switzerland. Most recently Lothes was Essilor’s vice president of national labs and vice president of operations for both ELOA and Partner Labs. He was responsible for Essilor’s five largest production labs in the U.S. and Mexico. Lothes will be responsible for leading all sales and operations for Satisloh in the U.S. and Canada.

“I’m excited to join the Satisloh team. Our primary focus will always be meeting our customers’ needs – which include exceptional customer service, improving lab efficiencies, and superior technical solutions. At the end of the day, with our technology and support, we want to help our customers serve their customers better,” said Lothes.

Optical Synergies Holds Annual Meeting

Staff

Optical Synergies, a group of independent optical laboratories and integrated retailers, held their annual member-vendor meeting at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort in Clearwater Beach. According to Jim Misco, Group Director for Optical Synergies, “This was definitely one of our strongest meetings, relative to the breadth of topics discussed and the number of members and vendors participating.”

James Kovacs, attorney with The Law Offices of David Balto, consulting on the formation of a new coalition of independents, update Optical Synergies members on the coalition’s progress. Brian Reuwer, from the AOA, gave members an update on the progress of states that are passing legislation to level the playing field and eliminate the anti-competitive conduct by managed vision care plans. Barbara Vitchus, general manager of Global Optics announced the formation of an agreement that would give Optical Synergies members the ability to order lenses from the Global warehouse in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

 

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New Products

Abrasive Resistant Coatings from HCoating

HCoating introduces their latest abrasion-resistant coating for ophthalmic lenses, HCoating-AB. HCoating-AB is a UV-curable super-hard coating and serves as a perfect base for AR coatings. HCoating-AB was formulated as a result of Arotek's continued Intra-Molecular Altering (IMA) technology development. IMA is an alteration of molecular design within a chemical to produce the desired and stabilized structure and viscosity. HCoating-AB further enhances the properties of non-tintable hard coating and offers the best adhesion, abrasion resistance, and AR compatibility. It adheres well to all kinds of lenses including CR-39, Polycarbonate, Trivex, 1.56, and High Index up to index 1.74. The Bayer ratio after AR is close to thermally cured hard coatings. For more information, please visit www.hcoating.com.

Mingyue Optical Introduces Super Flex to the U.S. Len Market

Mingyue Optical first introduced Super Flex lenses in 2006 after developing the unique monomer with KOC Korea and patenting the new design. The Super Flex is currently available in 1.56 and 1.60 index lenses.  The 1.56 SUPER FLEX has an ABBE value of 44, GRAVITY of 1.16, UV400, and Tensile strength of 900NT. The 1.60 SUPER FLEX has an ABBE value of 41, GRAVITY of 1.28, UV400, and a Tensile strength of 950NT. Both the 1.56 and the 1.60 SUPER FLEX lenses are easy to edge and drill, tintable, and available in both finished and semi-finished single vision blanks. For more information contact Edward Ding at Edward@mingyue.com

 

 

 

 

Satisloh’s Alloy Replacement Technology (ART) on the Rise

After introducing a green alternative to the traditional alloy blocking process in 2014, Satisloh expanded its portfolio of blocking and deblocking machines and was honored with Germany’s Federal Ecodesign Award.  Alloy Replacement Technology (ART) enables blocking and deblocking using solely synthetic materials. With ART, Satisloh offers an environmentally friendly alternative to the traditional ophthalmic blocking process that employs hazardous heavy metal alloy. ART utilizes a universal, reusable and recyclable plastic block piece and a UV-curable adhesive, also protecting the lens front. This new, ecological, cutting-edge technology protects the environment as well as staff. For more information visit www.Satisloh.com or call your Satisloh sales rep.

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Spotlight

From Ugly Duckling to a Swan of Benefits

Judith Lee

You might call anti-reflective (AR) coating the ugly duckling of the optical industry. Once a product that caused irritating delivery delays, was inconsistent in quality and fraught with durability issues, today’s AR has developed into an elegant swan of consumer benefits.

“AR is a real enhancement in the practical use of eyeglasses. The wearer gets many benefits from lenses with AR from reduction of glare and reflections to more attractive cosmetics to better protection for the eyes,” noted Brian Peterson, director of coating for Satisloh. “Latest generation AR coatings have become more and more effective in providing these benefits.”

“Today, AR is a lens treatment not just a coating. Lenses with AR have properties that repel oil, water, dust and dirt. These properties help with scratch resistance and easier cleaning,” added Charlie Seidel, director, Lab Works Group, Coburn Technologies.

These industry experts and others say that AR represents an opportunity for both optical labs and dispensers to please eyewear consumers and gain their loyalty with a product that is the “real thing” – as well as enhances revenue on eyewear units.

Find out what’s new in AR processing by reading the entire article at http://www.labtalkonline.com

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Christie Walker, Editor, LabTalk/LabAdvisor

Christie is the Editor of LabTalk and a contributor to Vision Monday. She covers wholesale laboratories, lab systems, other ECP news and features/coverage. Contact Christie at cwalker@jobson.com.

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