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Dollars & Sense
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Cultivate Raving Fans Not Customers

The difference between customers and raving fans, according to author Ken Blanchard, is doing something one percent better today than you did yesterday.

Often times I am asked how does a company or organization begin to change its culture for success in the future? There is no doubt that differentiation in today’s market is the “name of the game” and service is a game changer. Inevitably, they expect a long drawn out response that will require a major investment in time, energy and money. In reality, it is much simpler than that. To start, evaluate the three main touch points that a customer has with your organization (just three- no more- or nothing will get done) and take a look at each step of the process from a customer’s perspective. Next, take any feedback you have had over the years from customers and add that into your evaluation. Finally, look at ways that will either “WOW!” your customers by providing more than they expect, or making the new process so simple that it becomes a game changer!

With any change comes pain. It is a natural part of the process , but DON’T let that stop you from doing what needs to be done. When the new process is in place, work it for a week and then improve upon it by just one percent each day. It may sound crazy, but at the end of a month you will have improved your customer experience by 20 percent.

There is a fine line between customers and raving fans. In the end, it’s a pretty fine line.

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. or


DAC Vision

Lab Notes

DigiCON is Back!

Schneider is holding their second U.S. Digital Conference DigiCON at their facility in Dallas, Texas, on April 17 – 20th. Classes, workshops, troubleshooting and new product information will be presented over the three day event, ending with a golf scramble on Saturday. Attendees will learn about Schneider’s existing equipment in special process and machinery workshops as well as in troubleshooting classes. At a digital optimization class, attendees will have expert input on how to boost their lab’s productivity. Taking a look into the future of lens production, attendees will be privy to Schneider’s newest innovation, the Modulo Line including the LMS Modulo system that seamlessly interacts with the cognitive machines. Attendees will also see the “DSC Prolab System” the new surfacing center including an outstanding new blocking and coating solution. Register online at or call 972-247-4000 for more information.

California Optical Laboratory Association Spring Meeting

The California Optical Laboratory Association (COLA) is holding its spring meeting on April 25 and 26th at the Temecula Creek Inn, in Temecula, California. Now that COLA is part of The Vision Council, fees have been waived to attend this year’s event. The event kicks off with a golf outing at noon on the 25th, followed by a cocktail reception at 6 pm and then the COLA President’s Dinner and West Coast Good Fellow Award at 7 pm. Workshops begin the next day at 8:30 with an update on The Vision Council, The Lab Division, and COLA presented by Mike Daley and Raanan Naftalovich. Other workshops include:

• Regulatory/ Industry Standard Update—Special focus on California Proposition 65 and what it means for Optical Labs.
• California Optical Market Update – Which Optical Products are selling in the Golden State?
• Networking Lunch.
• What ECPs expect from their Labs and impact of Health Care reform on that decision.
• Panel Discussion—What are you doing to successfully address the upcoming Challenges and Opportunities? From a Retail, Independent, Corporate, and Managed Vision Care, and Optical Lab Perspective.
To make your hotel accommodations at the Temecula Creek Inn please call the hotel at 877.517.1823 and ask for the Calif. Optical Lab Assoc. room block/rate of $109 plus tax per night. Please contact Phil Epperson at [email protected] with any questions.

“Think Outside the Box Edge” Rimless Eyewear Contest

As part of their 40th Anniversary celebration, Santinelli International is holding a “Think Outside the Box Edge” Rimless Eyewear Contest. The company is asking their ME Lens Edger clients to create and submit a pair of highly imaginative rimless eyewear using the edger’s innovative Design Cut technology. Winning entries will be displayed at the company’s Vision Expo West booth in October and on the company’s Facebook page.
“We know that so many of our clients are incredibly creative and love having the opportunity to be ‘designers’ with their ME edgers. Now they can share their creations with the industry by being a part of our celebratory contest!” said Gerard Santinelli, president and CEO.
In addition to having bragging rights and their eyewear on display, 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize winners will receive $500, $250 and $100, respectively, toward any purchase within Santinelli International’s ever-expanding product line. To enter the contest, visit:

Save the Dates…Slugfest is Coming

The SatisLoh User Group Fest (S.L.U.G.Fest) event is planned for June 20 – 22nd, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This year’s event is all about helping Satisloh clients provide a differentiated service level to their customers. Speed and accuracy win the race. SlugFest attendees will:
• See 10 new Satisloh Technologies in person
• Enjoy an evening at Milwaukee’s own new Harley-Davidson Museum
• Get hands-on processing experience
• Learn how to increase uptime with preventive maintenance.
Registration details are coming soon.


DAC Vision

Focus On...

Vision Dynamics Lab, Largest Glass Lens Processor in U.S

Vision Dynamics Laboratory, a specialty lab processing glass lenses, is now the largest glass lens processor in the United States. Running over 500 glass jobs per day, their focus is on high-volume glass surfacing and finishing, which ensures that their products are a cost effective solution for labs looking to direct their resources to materials with greater demand. Vision Dynamics’ dedication to glass lens production allows improved worldwide sourcing of glass lens blanks and low prices on all major brands. Their lab maintains a large inventory in an array of products. Even specialty, X-ray, and industrial glass are no problem for their licensed and certified technicians.

“Our lab’s level of glass expertise and volume of work allow for economies of scale that in most cases make it more profitable for an average lab to outsource its glass work to us than to maintain internal glass capabilities,” said John Dippold, vice president of operations. “Our commitment to the category keeps us at the top of our game and our customers are very complimentary of our products,” added Dippold.

Vision Dynamics treats lab-to-lab business as a partnership. They utilize electronic lab links to process jobs quickly and accurately for enhanced lab service. Located in Louisville, KY near the main UPS shipping hub, prompt delivery time of orders is further assured. Vision Dynamics’ team strives for excellence in customer service, high-quality product, and prompt delivery of goods.

“Feedback from our customers on the service level and quality of our products has been outstanding,” shared Eric Lindquist, national sales manager. “Processing glass can be difficult; We offer an excellent solution for our customers and they appreciate it,” concluded Lindquist.


DAC Vision

LabTalk Spotlight

Be a Super Hero to Your Clients

By Judith Lee
Those days when you feel overburdened are usually the same days when customers call with a complicated Rx or an unusual lens issue. Don’t you wish you could just call a caped superhero to swoop in and help? The truth of the matter is that lens design and technology has taken so many leaps forward that there are lens problem solvers all around this industry. From lenses that reduce distortion, to lenses for specific tasks, to premium coatings that improve vision for driving or sports, there are very few problems that can’t be solved with the right lens or lens treatment. Now’s a great time to let your customers know about all the tools you have on hand to address their patients’ needs. Create a marketing piece entitled “The Problem Solver” to send to ECPs.

Here’s how to do it:
• Make a list of common needs or complaints of eyewear users (if you don’t know them offhand, call a few ECPs and ask).
• Gather product information and photos about lenses and treatments that you offer which address these needs (request this from lens vendors or go online to lens brand web sites).
• If your lab offers its own proprietary brand of progressive lenses, AR coating or other products, this is a great place to promote them.
• With the help of a local printer, create a nice-looking printed piece that lists the problems and shows the solution next to it.
• Make sure your lab logo and contact information are included.
• Send this one or two-page “cheat sheet” to the dispenser, so he or she can just look down the list and identify the solution to request from your lab.
• Also post this list on your web site in an easy-to-find place, and promote it on Facebook and other social media.
• Update your “Problem Solver” every six months or so.

To get you started, we contacted several ECPs, and asked them to list their patients’ pet peeves. To find out ECP pet peeves and possible solutions, read the rest of this article at


DAC Vision

Make What You Say, Pay!

Ask For Help

In the process of looking at two new business ideas, I have been reminded of the importance of reaching out to others for help and advice. Everyone I asked for input has been generous with their time and suggestions. I think the idea of asking for help, while not identical to my situation, is useful to remember in selling as well.

One client, let’s call him Ron, told me last week that his buying contact, Becca, at an ad agency called and said the agency’s client would not be fulfilling a previously agreed to contract. The companies had had a fine working relationship up to that point, so this unexpected change in direction was particularly upsetting. This salesperson brought in his manager, met with the ad agency contact and patiently reviewed the benefits of continuing to work together. All they got were unconvincing explanations about strategy changes.

Obviously something was going on, but Ron and his manager never thought to just be human and ask for help as in “Help us, Becca. We all know the value of working together, so that is not the issue, but something is clearly amiss. If your client suddenly stopped working with you, I am sure you would want to understand why. Please help us understand what is happening here.” When they ultimately did just that, they got their answer, figured out how to deal with the issue, and as important, kept their relationship intact.

High Touch Pays Off Even in a High Tech World
I think sometimes we get stuck in our roles as seller and buyer, consultant and client and think there is some trick we should know to get at the root of a problem. Instead, we need to remember that at the end of the day, business is still about people. People have fears, doubts, concerns, aspirations, wishes, wants, and needs. It is our job to make it easy for them to share what is really happening in a non-threatening, non-pressuring way so that, if the business can be saved, we are clear about the real issues.

A simple conversation would be to:
1. Acknowledge whatever is common between the two of you
2. Acknowledge that something seems to be amiss
3. Let them see the dilemma from your point of view by analogy to their world
4. Ask for help in understanding what the issues are
Be genuine. Be non-judgmental. Listen.

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

New Products

Newest Freeform Design from Shamir…Autograph III

Autograph III is the new and improved version of Shamir’s Autograph II. Using a generation of EyePoint Technology, lens can now be created to adjust to real world viewing. The goal of this new technology is to overcome the problem of different prescription-related viewing experiences through the same zone of the lens. Previously, each patient’s perceived viewing field was significantly different based on their prescription, although the lens design remained the same. EyePoint Technology III has effectively solved this problem, so both hyperopic and myopic patients experience similar viewing fields, by enabling the ability to provide a different lens design for the Hyperopic and Myopic patient. Shamir Autograph III is available in CR-39, SuperLite 1.60, SuperLite 1.67, SuperLite 1.74, Polycarbonate, DLC Trivex, and NXT and in 11mm, 13mm, 15mm and 18mm fitting heights. For more information contact Shamir at 877-514-8330 or visit their Web site at

Crizal Kids UV Lenses

Essilor has combined the impact resistance of Airwear polycarbonate with the UV protection and glare reduction of Crizal AR to create Crizal Kids UV lenses. The lens comes with an unlimited lens replacement for the lifetime of the prescription. Recommended for patients ages 5 to 12, Crizal Kids UV is available in single vision, in +6.00 to -6.00 sph, and up to -2.00cyl, with a maximum eye size of <49mm. To learn more visit .

New Lenses in the Thin&Lite and Transitions VI Lines

Now Thin&Lite 1.74 lens material from Essilor, is available in Transitions VI lenses in the following brands including Varilux Physio DRx, Essilor Digital single vision lenses, and Crizal. Thin&Lite 1.74 lenses are the thinnest and flattest lenses, ideal for patients with higher prescriptions who want to minimize lens thickness and weight. For more information contact Essilor at 1-800-Essilor.

Transitions Vantage Lenses Available in 1.67

Starting April 30th, Transitions Vantage lenses will be available in 1.67 high index material providing eye care professionals a variable polarization solution for patients with stronger prescriptions. Transitions Vantage lenses adjust to match the level of outdoor glare, which can vary as the day progresses and conditions change. For more information contact Transitions Optical at 1-800-533-2081.

New Lens Material

Tribrid, a new lens material from PPG Industries, merges elements of Trivex with traditional high-index technology to create a lens material suited to patients with higher prescriptions within the +/-3.oo to +/-7.00 diopters range. Tribrid material features optical clarity (Abbe number 41), lightweight comfort (density 1.23 grams per cubic centimenter), thinness (refractive index of 1.60), impact resistant (withstands more than 160 times the energy of the FDA drop ball test) and 100 percent UV protection.
“Tribrid material represents the next evolution in lens material technology,” said Christine Camsuzou, PPG general manager of optical materials. “It expands upon the foundation of Trivex material—clarity, light weight, strong and UV protection—and makes similar attributes available in a high-index lens to meet the everyday visual needs of patients with higher-prescription requirements.”
Tribrid lenses will be available in the summer of 2013 from X-Cel Optical in semi-finished single vision clear and Transitions lenses. Tribrid lenses are compatible with digital free-form processing and with anti-reflective coatings. For more information on Tribrid lenses visit or

Hi-vex (PU) Lens Qualifies as a High Impact Lens Material

Colts Laboratories has tested and concluded that Conant Hi-vex (PU) lenses do comply with tests performed for ANSI Z87.1-2010 High Impact Prescription Lenses Material Qualification. In addition the “1.56 Hi-Vex Hard Coat Resin Lens” has met all COLTS Laboratories requirements and has earned the Performance Seal.

“We are extremely pleased with the continued performance and quality benchmarks achieved with our Hi-Vex Lens material and will continue to maintain and add to its design portfolio” added Chris Landers, director of sales North America, Conant Optical. . For more information visit or contact Christopher Landers.



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Christie Walker

Christie Walker
Editor, LabTalk/LabAdvisor
[email protected]

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