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LAB ADVISOR Archives | Subscribe to LAB ADVISOR | LabTalk

A Monthly Briefing for Optical Lab Owners and Managers

- July 2016 -

Dollars & Sense

Make What You Say Pay

Lab Notes

New Products

Spotlight

Dollars & Sense

Is This Seat Taken?

Michael Karlsrud

Two months ago I referred to a concept from Good to Great, by Jim Collins about buses. Asking the question, “Do you have the right people on the bus?”  Meaning, do you have the right people in your organization. The second question is, “Are they in the right seat on your bus?”

Finding employees with all the skills, attributes and attitude required to run a business is becoming harder to find.  The millennial generation is particularly challenging to baby-boomer managers who are trying to figure out how to get and keep them engaged.  In a recent survey conducted by Vistage Worldwide with small to mid-sized business, 34 percent of CEO’s said recruiting and retaining staff are the most significant challenges currently facing their businesses, more than twice that of the next most cited issues—too slow growth (15%) and economic uncertainty (15%).

Over the last few years as our business environment has changed and evolved, the margin for error has tightened. Compound this pressure of tightened margins with finding good employees has put many labs at risk for sustainability or future growth.  This issue may become the greatest challenge you face in the years to come. 

Evaluate your hiring process and how it has evolved over the years. Are you ratcheting it down or up? Are you searching for the best candidate and staying ahead of the curve or are you lagging and waiting to hire someone just in time?  The Gallup organization has found that the conventional selection processes of employees is a big contributor to inefficiencies in productivity. We often are settling for candidates and not going through the rigors to make sure they have the right skills, talents and experience to perform the role at the level required. Much worse, we often will promote people from within because they seemingly deserve it, rather than they have the talent for it. Experience and skills are important, but people’s talents—the naturally recurring patterns in the ways they think, feel, and behave—are predictors of where they will perform the best. 

Talent determines what seat people take on your bus. Knowledge, experience, and skills develop our talents, but unless we possess the right innate talents of our job, no amount of training or experience will matter. For too long companies have wasted time, energy and resources hiring the wrong people and then attempting to train them to be who they are not.

Nothing fixes a wrong pick.

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!

No One is Naturally Boring

Anne Miller

No one wakes up wanting to be a boring presenter. Yet, many come across just that way: monotone, low energy, with deadly dull content. There is no excuse for any of these presentation failings, and feedback, like “Be more interesting, Harry!" or “Be more enthusiastic, Susan!” usually do not solve the problem.  Here are 2 concrete tips to get presentations to move from boring to boffo.

Add “Color” to Lose the Monotone

 "Color" is any story, example, metaphor, or analogy that you use to illustrate or reinforce your information. Color works because when you insert any of these techniques into your presentation, your intonation and body language automatically change. Prove this for yourself. Record yourself presenting straight information. Then, record yourself again including an example, metaphor, story, or analogy.  See how quickly your monotone changes to a livelier delivery.

Think “Sports” to Boost Energy What sport do you play or engage in? Tennis, swimming, running, baseball?  In all those activities, think about your energy level once you are involved. It goes up. All of you is in motion (your hands, your eyes, your feet, your body). You are more alert to everything that is happening around you. The same is true in presenting; it is like a sport. It isn’t about just reciting the information you have. It is about being totally involved in a communication activity with a group at a higher energy level than the one you might use talking to one person standing next to you. You want to be totally focused on your audience. The “finish line” or “first base” is your intention to have them “get” the value or importance of what you are saying.  With that intention in mind, your delivery skills (hands, eyes, body, voice) automatically becomes livelier. Practice in front of a mirror with that intention and the level of energy you bring to a sport and notice the positive energy that comes across.

There are other tips and things to do to ensure you keep attention in a presentation, but these are two good places to start.  You may not always control the outcome of your presentation, but you can always control how you come across as a presenter.

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

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Lab Notes

Satisloh North American Headquarters Expand — Again

Staff

Satisloh North America continues expanding their headquarters, based in Germantown, Wisconsin. The company recently completed a 13,000 square foot addition to their warehouse as well as moving their training Academy into space vacated by another tenant. Constant growth: the company has been in Germantown, Wisconsin for 23 years and expanded their headquarters’ footprint six times – or on average every 4.5 years.  The company’s training program, Satisloh Academy, now has 12,000 square feet of private training space for attendees that travel to Germantown. “Our Academy has its own practical lab for hands-on training with the appropriate machines and tools – they aren’t just looking at screen shots or manuals – they’re putting their hands inside a machine and learning – that’s invaluable,” said Pete Lothes, Satisloh President/CEO. Lothes continued: “We believe that quality training is essential to a lab’s success. And that for the best training possible, operators should come here, to a facility specifically designed for training, without the distractions of their job, and without interrupting the operation’s normal production environment. We’ve found students learn a lot from each other, swapping experiences.”

Optima Relocates to Dallas Headquarters

Staff

Optima, a PFO Global brand, is pleased to announce the relocation of their Connecticut facilities to the national headquarters located in Dallas, Texas.  This move will allow for the continued growth of the Optima product line, while increasing efficiency for shipping and ordering processes. Long time Optima team member Lu Bai will be relocating to join the Texas based team continuing her work with the company. Matt Marks remains responsible for Optima ordering, customer service, and technical information.

Four Ways to Attend Transitions Academy 2017

Staff

To meet demand and expand the audience of Transitions Academy attendees, Transitions Optical, Inc. is providing four ways for interested industry professionals to attend the 21st annual Transitions Academy, held January 29 – February 1, 2017 in Orlando. Industry professionals can earn invitations to attend Transitions Academy 2017 through four ways:  

1.         Become a Transitions Innovation Award Finalist – Open to optical industry professionals and educators; national and regional retailers; optical laboratories and independent eye care professionals and practices. Nominations for all Transitions Innovation Awards will be accepted online (at TransitionsPRO.com/Awards) from October 1 - 31, 2016.

2.         Attend as a Guest of Your Lens Supplier – Industry professionals should let their Transitions lens supplier know they would like to register for Transitions Academy.  Many lens suppliers are providing opportunities and promotions for customers to earn their way and attend as their guest.

3.         Become a Transitions Change Agent – Transitions Optical is recruiting eye care professionals who are millennials or serve many millennial patients to join its new industry group who are working together to change the conversations their peers and patients are having around Transitions lenses. Industry professionals interested in becoming a Transitions Change Agent can visit TransitionsPRO.com/ChangeAgent to apply.

4.         Request a Spot – Transitions is reserving spaces for interested industry professionals from North America. Those interested can request to attend at TransitionsAcademy.com, more details regarding cost and arrangements will be provided.

Satisloh N. America Begins New Canadian Fulfillment Relationship

Staff

Satisloh North America has partnered with third party logistics company, Icecorp, in Mississauga, Ontario for consumables inventory and fulfillment for their Canadian customers.

“We started with a small inventory space in Guelph six years ago, but as our consumable shipments to Canada increased, we realized we needed to expand our presence to keep up with that growth,” said Steve Schneider, vice president aftermarket products and sales. “This new arrangement not only doubles our inventory space, but also triples the number of staff picking orders.”

The new logistics facility will be used in combination with the North American headquarters for fulfilling core consumables orders. According to the company, the new arrangement provides a much larger window for order fulfillment. Orders will continue to be processed via the company’s customer service staff at 800-866-5640.

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New Products

Signature VII Flat Top 28 Bifocal Lenses in Brown

Transitions Signature VII Flat Top 28 polycarbonate composite lenses are now available in both gray and brown. Transitions Signature brown is the color of choice for many patients, both for fashion and to enhance contrast. Eight out of 10 patients prefer Transitions Signature lenses to clear lenses. Approximately one-in-five pairs of lenses sold today are segmented multi-focals, and a majority of those are bifocals. Transitions Signature polycarbonate composite flat top 28 lenses are now available in both gray and brown exclusively from Younger Optics. For more information visit www.youngeroptics.com/transitions.

New Photochromic Lens Technology From HOYA

HOYA Vision Care has launched Sensity in the U.S., a new brand-differentiating photochromic lens technology. Photochromic lens wearers are often disappointed with the inconsistency of lens activation and fade back performance at different times of the year. This is an issue particularly with people who live in distinctive four-season climates. Sensity has StablightTM Technology which ensures the lenses perform consistently in varying climates and temperatures. For more information visit www.sensitylenses.eu/en/Home

New Corning Clear 15

Thin, scratch-resistant glass is now available in the newest free-form designs from select U.S. distributors with the release of Corning Clear 15 glass. Corning Clear 15 glass is a standard index glass available as thin as 1.5 mm, with a high Abbe value, giving it better vision and optical clarity. Corning Clear 15 glass also has high chemical durability, making it more immune than plastic to household solvents or common cleaning formulas often used to clean lenses. For more information visit: www.corning.com/specialtyglass

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Spotlight

Learn How to Market Like a Rock Star

Joe Dysart

While YouTube has emerged as a marketing juggernaut for business, many optical labs are also discovering the free video-sharing service has scores of other uses; all of which are also free for the taking.

"Companies are always stunned by what the latest technology will enable us to accomplish," says Clint Herring, director, Hydraulic Studios (http://hydraulicnetworks.com/), which offers YouTube marketing clinics.

Indeed, social media like YouTube "is the fastest way to reach the greatest number of people," says Carrie Meyers, marketing manager, Pech Optical.

Adds Ryan Markey, president/CEO, My Friend's Lab: "It gives us a chance to be a part of a bigger conversation."  

Employee recruiting, client communications, product/service how-tos and dissemination of lab news are all increasing in popularity on YouTube, as businesses across the spectrum transform the medium into a Swiss Army Knife of business communications.

“If you’ve never visited the YouTube Web site, you’ve missed out on the hottest thing on the Internet today,” says Michael Miller, author of ‘YouTube for Business,’ an excellent guide. 

Unquestioningly, one of the major reasons labs and others are flocking to YouTube is its continued, unbridled popularity.  Just a blip on the Web’s radar a few years ago, the video-sharing service has rocketed to one of the most visited sites on the Internet.

Find out more ways of utilizing YouTube for your lab marketing needs 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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