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Dollars & Sense
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The World is Your Market

There have been many changes that have occurred in the world of sales and marketing over the last five years. At a recent convention of marketers the keynote speaker exclaimed, “Everything you knew about marketing in the last 30 years is irrelevant today!” I was thrilled to hear that because I realized how much I didn’t have to un-learn about marketing!

John Wanamaker, the department store pioneer said “Half my advertising budget is wasted. Trouble is, I don’t know which half.” Nearly one hundred years later, I heard the exact same comment from someone who was questioning whether or not they should invest in marketing.

When asked to work with smaller laboratories I now ask a couple of simple questions. Are you looking for quick sales or do you want to develop your brand? Second, the growth you are looking for, is it from new customer acquisitions, or from your current customer base? Finally, how long do you want to invest in this effort?

If the answer to the above questions is something along the line of increasing sales in the next three months from new customers, I’ll pass. There is no such thing as “quick sales” in the market today. Growing sales in 2013 is all about growing mind-share and market-share or sales, follows. You can’t get sales if no one knows who you are and what you represent. To compete, grow and survive, you will need to market and you need to develop and invest in your brand for the long haul.

The new techniques of marketing affordably offers you the world as your market and the only limitation to what part of the world will be yours is your own imagination.

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


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Lab Notes

HITECH Final Rule Released

In a recent bulletin provided by Reed Smith, the Optical Lab Division's retained legal firm, it was announced that the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) final rule (the "Final Rule") has been released, which finalizes regulations under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The HITECH Final Rule alert can be found here. The Final Rule requires that Business Associates comply with the Security Rule and aspects of the Privacy Rule. The definition of "Business Associate" is also expanded and includes subcontractors of Business Associates who have access to Protected Health Information (PHI), as well as subcontractors of subcontractors and so on. Subcontractors will be regulated in the same manner as a Business Associate, and will be directly liable for HIPAA infractions. Covered Entities (labs that electronically submit claims for payment to insurance providers), which utilize lab management software are likely to be affected, as well as their Business Associates (vendors). Vision Council members, including Lab Division members with questions pertaining to this issue should contact Greg Jacobs of Reed Smith LLP at [email protected].com.

Nearly Half of U.S. Adults Do Not Protect Their Eyes from UV Radiation

Despite the damaging effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation to eyes and vision, 40 percent of U.S. adults do not wear sunglasses while outdoors, and nearly half of drivers do not protect their eyes on the road, according to a new consumer media report by The Vision Council. Copies of The Big Picture: Eye Protection is Always in Season were issued to consumer health and lifestyle reporters nationwide this week, in an ongoing effort to increase public understanding of UV radiation and its harmful effects on vision health. To learn more about The Vision Council's UV-protection campaign, or to download a copy of The Big Picture: Eye Protection is Always in Season, visit The Vision Council online at

Optical Lab Division Celebrates One-Year Anniversary

In January, the Optical Lab Division marketing taskforce worked alongside The Vision Council's marketing and communications department to develop a one-year "Anniversary Package" for its members. The package, which was mailed to nearly 450 division members in March, was created to show the progress of the newly formed division, and communicate the results of the Steering Committee's strategic planning session this past summer. The mailing included a Letter of Thanks from Susie Lesher and Mike Daley, an Anniversary Booklet that provided a look back at what the division has accomplished since the merger in 2012, Optical Lab Division T-shirts and a copy of The Vision Council's 2012 Annual Report. All components were shipped in one special branded package to the CEO/president of each division member company.

Progressive Identifier Book is Now Available

The 2013 Progressive Identifier Book is now available. The books have a cover price of $59.95, but are available to member companies at no cost. Widely sought after by eyecare professionals and labs, the first 20,000 copies have left the warehouse to fill requests. Data collection for the 2014 Progressive Identifier Book began this month and can be done any time a new lens design is introduced, a change in material availability or lenses discontinued from production. This fall, we will compile data for publication of the next edition. Please call 800-477-5652, or contact Carmen Sevilla, Optical Lab Division membership and programs director at 703-548-3513 or [email protected] with your request for copies.

Santinelli Helps Build Another Habitat for Humanity Home

For the second year in a row, associates of Santinelli International put on their overalls and picked up their tools to build a Habitat for Humanity home for a family in need on Long Island, NY. In addition to donating their personal time, sweat and muscle, the company and its associates contributed toward the funds needed for building materials. Business colleagues, personal friends and family members of company associates all helped to reach the $2,500 goal.
“Adding new philanthropic organizations to our company’s roster has been a focus of ours over the past few years. Habitat for Humanity has been a great addition – painting and swinging hammers together further bonds our team!” said Gerard Santinelli, company president & CEO.


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Focus On...

Bill Heffner (the other one) and FEA Industries

By Judith Lee

A couple of things to know about Bill Heffner, IV of FEA Industries:
1. Don’t call him “junior” (he prefers Other Bill)
2. Technology is more than a strategy for success, it runs in his blood.

Representing the third generation of his family in the optical business, Heffner officially joined the company in September 2009. “Unofficially, I'm not sure when I started, but I distinctly remember summers filled with 60-hour weeks of taping lenses in the lab,” Heffner said.

He works closely with his dad, Bill Heffner III, who founded FEA Industries and also grew up in his father’s optical laboratory. Both self-confessed “computer geeks,” the Bills write their own software. Other Bill carried this interest through his formal education, earning two Bachelor’s Degrees in information technology and in business administration, and a Master's Degree in software engineering. Heffner currently heads up both technology and marketing at FEA.

“We felt that with our philosophy of offering the best lens technology to our customers, the two areas are intermingled. As we don't have a traditional sales force, we're more focused on advertising via mail, e-mail, and web-based offers,” Heffner said.

The company’s most rapidly growing area is free-form lenses. Other Bill fills a hands-on R&D role: “For example, I've been able to make free-form lenses with -15.00 cylinder, and we've also just recently added a new 10mm fitting height progressive lens.”

On the marketing side, Heffner is creating easy-to-understand marketing pieces that eye care professionals can give to patients to explain what free-form is, and why the patient should want these lenses. Heffner said his proudest contribution is making the best lens technology available to ECPs at a price that enables multiple pair sales: “I want to make it easy for the ECP to sell two or three pairs of eyewear to every patient.”

In the past five years, FEA has acquired four Schneider free-form lines, an MEI block-less edger, a Syrus 1350 AR coating machine, two thermal dip coating machines, and three A&R Focovison lens inspection stations. Automation is key, but rather than reducing staff, FEA has more than doubled its workforce.

“Automation isn't about replacing workers, it's about improving efficiency. The automated machines allow us to produce a given job faster, which means jobs go out sooner, so customers are happier, so we get more work. As we get more work, we need more people to keep up with it,” Heffner said.

The investment in technology, equipment, and people have made affordably-priced free-form a reality. Now Heffner is working overtime to get the word out: “Educating both ECPs and the patient is the key to success with free-form. Especially with the prevalence of house-brand free-form like ours, it's up to the lab to provide the education to the ECP.”


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LabTalk Spotlight

Your Bill of Rights in an OSHA Inspection

By Ed Walsh

A workplace inspection by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) can result in substantial penalties where violations are found. Employers need to know their rights during an inspection, including the right to say “no” to an OSHA compliance officer (“inspector”) when he or she seeks to inspect a work place. The protocols to be followed by your company need to be established and understood by supervisory as well as non-supervisory employees ahead of time, and reinforced from time to time. All supervisory employees should be well versed in the company’s OSHA access policy and must have familiarity with OSHA regulations and the company’s programs for compliance. Non-supervisory employees should understand that they have no right to grant OSHA access and should refer any such attempt to management. They also should be briefed on their rights if interviewed by OSHA in the course of an inspection.

OSHA is likely to show up in one of four situations. In the order of priority that OSHA has given to them by OSHA, they are:

1. Imminent danger inspection, which arises out of a complaint about workplace conditions, often by a current or former employee.
2. Fatality/catastrophe inspection, which as the name implies, immediately follows a fatality or catastrophe (the latter defined as an accident causing five or more employees to be hospitalized) at the workplace.
3. Follow-up inspection, which occurs in connection with violations found during prior inspections.
4. Targeted or programmed inspections, which are planned inspections generally in high-hazard industries.

Of the four types of inspections, the second type is predictable and the third somewhat less so. The other two types are essentially random events and thus difficult to prepare for, thus reinforcing the need to have a policy in place in the event of such an inspection.

To learn more about what to expect from an OSHA visit and how to prepare, go to and click on the feature.


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Make What You Say, Pay!

The "Sticky Stuff" of Selling

“It’s the economy, stupid.” “Just do it!” “Ideas worth spreading.” We all know these as sound bites that capture a strategy (Clinton’s election slogan), a brand (Nike), a movement (the TED talks). If, in an age of information overload, sound bites are the “sticky stuff of marketing” because they are short, catchy, and memorable, what is the “sticky stuff of selling?” I am coining a new word to answer that question: “Picture-Bites”

Picture-Bites are particular kinds of sound bites. They carry within them an image and, since we humans are wired to respond instantly to images more than we are to facts and logical arguments, they are the best way to drive home your points and make them both meaningful and memorable. Think of a pile of facts and data explaining the budget deficit problem and then compare that to “fiscal cliff” as a description of those problems. Which has greater impact, greater grabbing power, and greater emotional resonance? Picture-Bites are any communication tool that creates an image in the mind of your listener: metaphors, analogies, stories used as metaphors, cartoon, or props. Picture Bites are powerful because they create common ground for understanding between you and your listener for what you are proposing, describing, or urging. People only understand something new when it is compared to something they already know.

A Confused Mind Does Not Say Yes
I was reminded of this at a media exposition this morning. I stopped by the booth of one of the many, many advertising network companies that seek advertisers’ media budgets for online advertising. I asked the fellow manning the booth how his firm was different from others in his space. I was immediately hosed with a flood of features and benefits, which basically came down to the fact that his company has “quality” data to help advertisers best target customers online.

I countered with the observation that everyone says they have good data (who would say they had bad data???). He replied, “Oh, but our data is really quality data. We verify each user. The others don’t.”

Still trying to understand his network’s unique value, I said, “Oh, so you’re like American Express in the sense that American Express has real buying history data of all its cardholders. Is that what you mean by having quality data?”
“Absolutely,” he said, delighted that I finally understood (no thanks to him).

Lesson Learned
It is not the prospect’s job to figure out what we do or how we are unique. That is our job as communication professionals. This sales person was lucky that I stuck around to work out what he was selling. In our busy, A.D.D. world, most buyers don’t have the time or inclination to do that. We live in a visual world. Just look at how people love their online videos, Facebook pictures, and Pinterest. If we want to engage, persuade, and create change, we need to recognize and respect this neurological craving for images and master the art of speaking in Picture-Bites.

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

New Tracer from Santinelli

The LT-1200 Xtreme-D is a new generation display screen tracer from Santinelli International featuring high-curve frame trace capability with fully-automatic operation. The unit’s unique mechanical design includes a variable fulcrum stylus, which keeps the axis angle perpendicular to the frame at any curve. The LT-1200’s ability to reproduce optimal digitized frame data, regardless of frame curve, is achieved with highly sophisticated software that calculates the effect that the curve imparts on the frame size. For more information contact Santinelli at1-800-644-EDGE (3343) or visit their Website at

Premium-Flex XL Polishing Process

Satisloh has designed a new process to help labs reduce polishing costs. Their Premium-Flex XL process is the next generation of high-speed soft tool polishing that lasts more than twice as long. The new polishing process provides a significantly wider process window and requires less training and operator intervention. It utilizes new material technology for both the carrier and conforming foam. These new materials produce even better surface uniformity and design conformity. At the same time, Premium-Flex EX provides consistent results for the lowest cost per surface and extends overall cap life.

New Coating System from Power Vision

Power Vision introduces a new optical coating system for coating small batches of substrates with fast cycle times. Precision is an affordable system being manufactured by UK-based Power Vision Ltd. Special substrate tooling can be provided to maximise coating throughput and accommodate specific component types. The system incorporates a vacuum load lock for high throughput and low maintenance while maintaining vacuum conditions suitable for precise and high-quality deposition. Door-to-door time to deposit a typical 9 layer BBAR is approx. 20 minutes. For more information contact Power Vision at [email protected] or visit their Website at

Vision-Ease Lens Launches New Novel and Novella Lenses

Vision-Ease introduces Novel and Novella, new conventional front side progressives, whose advanced technology makes them as good as or better than many backside digital progressives across 80 percent of the Rx range. Characteristics include: wearer-validated, balanced designs; optimal viewing area placement for natural head and eye movement; corridor inset that varies by base curve for comfortable convergence and wide intermediate and near binocular viewing; diamond-turned metal tooling in the polycarbonate lines for precise design replication. With an 11 mm corridor and a 14 mm minimum fitting height, Novella lenses are the softest design available for smaller frame styles. New polycarbonate availability includes clear and LifeRx photochromic. Novella plastic will be released in clear and photochromic later this year. For more information visit the Vision-Ease Website at

HOYA Launches Hoyalux Array

Array lenses provide an adaptive design that is optimized for hyperopes, myopes, and astigmatics for superior ergonomics of near, mid and distance sight which delivers natural, comfortable viewing and head movement. Array benefits include: HOYA free-form backside surfacing technology on any single vision lens, in any material; optimized for individual prescription for greatest performance of the lens design; the widest viewing area for both myopic and hyperopic patients; sharp, clear images not distorted by elliptical errors from conventional surfacing; superior vision at all distances; and larger cut outs that make clear and sun options easier to order. The general patient benefit is that by having the lens design closer to the eye there will be a wider field of view at the intermediate and near distances. For more information visit Hoya’s Website at


Send us news about your lab's new products, services, special events, tech advances or personnel changes.

Christie Walker

Christie Walker
Editor, LabTalk/LabAdvisor
[email protected]

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