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LAB ADVISOR Archives | Subscribe to LAB ADVISOR | LabTalk

A Monthly Briefing for Optical Lab Owners and Managers

- March 2016 -

Dollars & Sense

Make What You Say Pay

Lab Notes

New Products

Spotlight

Dollars & Sense

Strategic Partnerships

Michael Karlsrud

Creating strategic partnerships is not a new concept to our industry. You’ve seen these partnerships over the years from buying groups, doctor association groups, to laboratories supporting each other and sharing technologies. But have you thought about creating a strategic partnership with your customers?

We are watching our customer, the eye care professional, enduring the greatest assault on their profession and business that they have ever endured.  Managed care is controlling their choices, patient base, materials and income.  Online competition is nipping at their heels as millennials take their PDs and Rxs and head to their computers to buy the latest and greatest in the world’s marketplace. Finally, they are threatened by a new experience driven by technology—the online refraction and the “doc-in-the-box” kiosk concepts.

While we sit in the safety of our laboratories grinding lenses and thinking those issues are for them to figure out, remember—we are all in this together.  If the doctor is losing patients to greater access to refraction and more and more Rxs are being filled by online sources, this will have a direct impact on your business. We are just one step removed from the exam lane.

So what are you doing to help them stay in business and keep more patients in their offices?  Have you thought about establishing a strategic partnership with your doctors to come up with a plan to sell more eyewear to wayward millennials who are tempted to buy online?

Your doctor might be looking for you to call a meeting and layout a partnership plan to weather the storm.  Are there things you can do to help them become more competitive?  Can you source new technologies and bring them to the ECP to open new revenue streams? Can you help them differentiate their offices by creating a unique product or service that overwhelms a sliver of the market with remarkability?

Strategic partnerships are not just in the horizon of where your lab plays in the market.  You need to play a role in the entire vertical supply chain as well.

Go out and have a conversation with your doctors—business owner to business owner.  Talk about the issues that he or she is facing and create a partnership to solve them.  Think out of the box.  Challenge traditional thought.  Be willing to fail faster and learn quicker.  Do it together and be committed to each other’s success.

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!

Aim for the Experience

Anne Miller

Services and products by and large are very similar.  Attention spans are short.  So, the closer you can give people as much of the experience of what you are describing, the more likely they are to become excited about your offers.

Reciting facts, features and figures falls flat (“We provide multi-faceted, integrated systems to improve your business.”). Showing pictures helps (“A picture is worth, etc.”); But involvement resonates!

5 Ways to Involve 
There are many ways to involve people in your presentation, whatever its format. Here are five:

  1. Ask questions that get listeners to speculate: How do you see this working in your company? Who would benefit most from this?

  2. Make listeners part of the presentation: Let them choose from a series of options which one  you will talk about, or, let them give you fill-ins for a demo.

  3. Reference examples, stories from their world that they can relate to.

  4. Use metaphors and analogies to help them “see” in their world the point you are making (“It’s just like…)

  5. Turn on their internal  mental movie with phrases like “Imagine the following…” or “Think about how you felt when…”

The best presenters master the art of "Presentation as Experience." To do this yourself, constantly be asking yourself: What is my point? How, how can I help listeners see what I’m saying? and finally, how can I involve them? When you do this, your presentations become a shared experience that can thrill listeners into working with you.  

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

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Lab Notes

Updated Prop 65 Guide for Ophthalmic Suppliers

Staff

Proposition ("Prop") 65, known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, sets out environmental regulations regarding toxic chemical substances that businesses are subject to when they sell merchandise in that State. Certain segments of the California marketplace have been targeted for enforcement, including eyewear cases, chains, plano sunglasses and over-the-counter reading glasses. In addition, we believe that the enforcers may target other segments of our industry. To keep Vision Council members up to date on issues related to Prop 65, The Vision Council has updated this guide to ensure that steps can be taken by the membership to avoid Prop 65 compliance issues. Vision Council members can visit The Vision Council's Website to learn more about California Prop 65, and contact Rick Van Arnam, The Vision Council Regulatory Council, or Jason McElvaney, The Vision Council Government and Regulatory Affairs Liaison, with any questions. Updates will be distributed to members of The Vision Council as more information becomes available.

Essilor IDD Names 2015 Award Winners

Staff

Essilor of America announced the winners of its Independent Distribution Division (IDD) Annual Laboratory Awards. The awards recognize independent distributors, who have exceeded expectations and achieved top sales performance in both sales and unit growth within specific Essilor product categories. The awards ceremony, held at Essilor’s National Sales Meeting, recognized outstanding achievements in the following categories:

Essilor Transitions Award of Excellence, Superior Optical Lab; Essilor Xperio UVTM Award of Excellence, Luzerne Optical Laboratories, Ltd.; Crizal Award of Excellence, US Optical; Varilux Award of Excellence, Cherry Optical, Inc.; X-Cel Outstanding Achievement Award, US Optical; Essilor IDD Managed Care Lab of the Year, VSPOne Optical Technology Centers; and Essilor IDD Lab of the Year, IcareLabs.

Optical Laboratory Pioneer Robert E. Duffens Passed Away

Staff

Robert Duffens, Topeka, Kansas, passed away on February 23 at age 92. Duffens devoted over 40 years to Duffens Optical and Duffens Contact Lens companies. He was both an inventor and innovator in the optical industry. Duffens served as president of the Optical Wholesalers Association and was inducted as a charter member of the Optical Pioneers.

In addition to his business efforts, he was an active philanthropist, supporting many causes including Washburn University where he received an Honorary Doctor of Commerce. Duffens is survived by his wife Melva Jean Duffens, sons Gary Duffens (Mary) of Highlands Ranch, Colo. and Greg Duffens (Jane) of Topeka, his daughter Carol Puckett (Thomas) of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., four grandchildren and nine great grand-children, and his devoted Shih-Tzu, Jake. Funeral services were held at March 4 at Mount Hope Cemetery & Funeral Chapel, Topeka, Kansas.  To leave a message for the family online, visit www.PenwellGabelTopeka.com.

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New Products

Precision Optical Group Launches New Free Form HD Lens!

The Precision Optical Group (P.O.G.) launched a new HD free form lenses. Offering wider viewing areas, superior image sharpness and maximum focus potential; the innovative P.O.G. HD is excellent for both single vision and progressive wearers. Pristine focus and edge-to edge clarity meld with added usable periphery - balanced to any frame style - regardless of required prescription. The all-new P.O.G. HD Lens is unmatched for comfort and affordability. For more information on this brand new lens, visit our Website at www.poglabs.com or call our sales department at 1-800-497-9239 ext. 4.

“Gem Cut” Compliments Line of Natural and “JPP Gold” Turning Tools

Jeanie Premium Products is offering the new “Gem Cut” Turning Tool to complement their large family of high-quality diamond tools. The Gem Cut provides precise cuts, extended tool life and the same benefits as a natural diamond but with more consistency in the quality and number of cuts for the end user. This item along with their natural diamond and JP Gold Diamond cover all the individual lab preferences. The Jeanie Gem Cut is a stocked item and available for immediate shipping. Relapping services are also available. For more information visit www.jeaniediamondtoolling.com.

Transitions Lenses Help Protect Against Harmful Blue Light

All Transitions lenses help protect against harmful blue light everywhere you need it. Indoors, Transitions lenses help protect eyes against harmful blue light emitted by artificial sources such as digital devices and LED lights. Outdoors, they help provide extra protection from the sun by shielding eyes from glare, intense harmful blue light and UV rays. Transitions Signature VII lenses help protect your eyes from blue light everywhere you need it by blocking at least 20 percent of the harmful blue light indoors, which is up to two times more than standard clear lenses and they block over 85 percent outdoors. For more information visit www.Transitions.com.

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Spotlight

Consider House-Branded AR to “Hit One Out of the Park”

Judith Lee

If AR coating was a sport, you could say that “house” brands offer optical labs the home team advantage. Coating manufacturers and labs that offer a private-brand AR coating say it lets you control the price, availability, quality and simplicity of ordering for your customers. There is a comfort level that comes with ownership, and this breeds confidence.

“By offering their in-house AR coating, labs can be confident in delivering consistent, premium quality products that can help bring along higher success rates and increased growth potential,” noted Arman Bernardi, Ph.D.,president and CEO of iCoat, a leading AR coating manufacturer. “If done correctly, an in-house AR manufacturing process will become a profitable extension to the lab’s current operations.”

Because the lab can exercise more control over the private branded coatings they can offer faster turnaround times in the lab, said Norm Kester of Quantum Innovations, Inc., which has set up private-branded AR in 64 locations.

“A private-branded AR is often the more meaningful brand to the lab, which translates into more stringent quality controls as this is the coating that bears the lab's name.  There is more ‘skin in the game’ for the private branded product,” Kester added.

Lab owners who have taken the plunge into offering private-branded AR coatings say customers appreciate having a house-brand option.

Find out more about the benefits of offering a house-branded AR to your customers 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.

Copyright © 2014 LabTalk. All rights reserved. Read more at LabTalkOnline.com/LabAdvisor

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