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Dollars & Sense
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Guarding the Gold

Eighty percent of our business comes from 20 percent of our customers.   You’ve heard that before and probably brushed it off a few times.   Do yourself a favor this week and rank your customers.

Rank them in order of the total amount of business they give you annually, most to least.   Next, take 80 percent of your gross dollars and go down your list of customers until you find where the numbers meet.   Draw a line.   Now ask yourself what would happen if any of those customers above the line takes their business elsewhere?   Do you have a plan? Or are you flat-footed?   Research and my own personal experience have proven time and again it takes six to nine months to replace a lost account.

Here are three things to do this month. First, reach out directly to each one of the accounts above the line you have drawn.   This is called “guarding the gold.” If these customers are important to you, they will important to your competition as well.   Check in with them and make sure you are doing well in that account.

Second, take the time and ask them what products or services they outsource to other laboratories and why.   This may lead you to a conversation about where you are losing business but most importantly, who is sitting in the number two position in your account.  

Third, ask the very hard question “What can I do to be a better partner for you?” The answers may surprise you and I guarantee it will make you a stronger business partner because you asked and listened.   It’s never been a good idea to take for granted any customer relationship. Today, it’s imperative you don’t.

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

Free-Form Technology Now Available In-House at Rochester Optical

Rochester Optical now has HOYA iD Lifestyle & iQ Free-Form production in their facility.   Rochester Optical has been digitally processing lenses in-house since 2008.   Now with HOYA’s iD Lifestyle & iQ Free-Form technology, they can offer their customers even more options for their patients.   HOYA’s iD Lifestyle & iQ series of lenses incorporate advanced mathematical algorithms during the fabrication process of the lenses, which offers enhanced visual acuity, reduced distortion, and wider fields of vision. Rochester Optical is an independently owned and operated manufacturer and wholesaler of high quality fashion and military eye wear and lenses. For more information on Rochester Optical please visit them online at .

FEA Industries is Stepping Up Their Game

No keeping up with the “Jones” here. FEA has three new initiatives that will have other labs looking to keep up with them.   Glass Free-Form— FEA will be the first lab in the U.S.   to process glass free-form in house. This is going to be their current brand of free-form lenses, Eagle, available in a wide range of glass colors and materials. They will have 14 different progressive designs in glass, including hard and soft progressive designs, as well as computer/occupational lenses, driving progressives, and free-form single vision.

IOT/Younger Camber lenses—FEA will be one of the first labs authorized to offer the latest joint product from IOT and Younger Optics with free-form Camber technology. This combines a variable-front-surface lens blank with backside free-form technology. The lens blank is designed to be steeper at the bottom, to accommodate for ADD powers. This results in a progressive lens that is flatter for plus prescriptions, as well as a better-optimized reading zone.

Independence Tech—FEA is now offering a Blue-Light Anti-Reflective coating in addition to their line of in-house anti-reflective coatings, Independence. This is similar to the Crizal Prevencia and Hoya Recharge types of coatings. It comes with the standard life-time warranty that all of their Independence coatings share.

New VSP Lab in Folsom

VSP Optics is opening a new 80,000-square-foot optical laboratory in Folsom, Calif.   The new lab is expected to be operational by November 2014. The expansion came in response to the current facility reaching maximum capacity. The relocation and expansion plan will add 200-250 new union employees to VSPOne Sacramento’s employment rolls. In addition to the increased production capacity, the facility will have improved training rooms and other employee amenities. “As a leading employer in the Sacramento region, we are proud that growing our business also results in a 60 percent increase in job creation,” stated Dave Delle Donne, vice president of b usiness d evelopment, VSP Optics Group. “This initiative will enable VSPOne Sacramento to conduct all of its manufacturing operations under one roof while increasing efficiency and production capabilities using the newest state of the art equipment.”

New Free-Form Lab in Arizona

HOYA Vision Care opened their newest laboratory in Arizona.   The new free-form lab is located at 1635 West University Drive, Tempe, Arizona. A ribbon cutting ceremony and reception are planned for in late March. Current and prospective customers will be invited to partake in the festivities. In addition to local territory managers, operations at the new laboratory will be headed by general manager and 30-year optical veteran, Jody Jenne.

“We are all excited to be part of the HOYA team and have the ability to offer the latest technology to our customers and their patients,” said Jenne.


DAC Vision

Focus On...

Diversified Ophthalmics

By Judith Lee

In an industry that’s going in the direction of “bigger is better,” Matt Davis is a holdout for focusing on the individual.

“I have worked hard at encouraging more extensive use of individualized (or as-worn) lens design. I coordinate that focus with my role in partnering with ECP’s and their individual needs,” said Davis, manager of Diversified Ophthalmics’ Cincinnati lab operations. He added that digital lens processing and free-form design has refocused lens manufacturers on the individual needs of the customer’s customer. Diversified’s in-house premium AR also is an important part of the company’s strategy for pleasing customers and Davis has been involved in developing those products.

Of course, like lab managers everywhere, Davis juggles priorities day-to-day, and even minute-to-minute.

“I manage day-to-day lab processes including sales, employees, and profitability.   Customer and sales coordination and follow-up and new account strategies are an important part of my responsibilities. Another important part of my role with Diversified includes coordinating with our production facilities in Spokane, Salt Lake City, Milwaukee, Columbia (SC), and Houston,” Davis said.

Diversified is committed to redeployment and cross-training of employees for increased quality and efficiency.   Davis said he is on the lookout for team members who bring new skills to the business: “We are always in the market for well-qualified team members.”

As managed care evolves into a potent force in the marketplace, Davis guides the lab and sales team toward maintaining an “independent edge” with the use of state-of-the-art equipment and production techniques, employee skills and product knowledge.

Diversified Ophthalmics’ range of products includes frames, soft lenses, gas permeable lenses, equipment, solutions and supplies. As a single source distributor, the company is able to market each product according to its strengths and benefits for the customer.  

“Our in-house capabilities and partnering with our accounts are a continuing focus for us,” Davis said. “As a lab manager I regularly suggest that our marketing should continue to offer the lab products and services our customers tell us they want.   This approach mutually benefits our business as well as our accounts.”


DAC Vision

LabTalk Spotlight

Snow White and the Seven Reasons ECPs Select Lenses

By Judith Lee

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? When we asked eye care professionals (ECPs) to tell us which optical lens they like best, what we got back was more a reflection of the optical industry than a judgment on any particular product.

Faced with large competitors that keep growing bigger, shrinking margins, and choosy customers, ECPs are selecting lens products from companies that support independent practices. Like optical lab owners, they are looking for a partner that helps them succeed in their particular niche within the eyewear marketplace.

“We choose Zeiss lenses because we have a good relationship with the Zeiss lab that offers competitive pricing and excellent policies for us,” said John Seeger, optician and founder of

And of course, they want it all – because their customers want it all. ECPs told us they prefer lenses that provide great vision (especially for presbyopes), as well as choices in lens designs and materials, durability, and specialized performance for driving, sports and computer wear.

Find out seven reasons ECPs choose one lens over another by reading the entire article at — the newly redesigned LabTalk Web site.


DAC Vision

Make What You Say, Pay!

Make it Fun

(FunWaffle image)

How often do you try to persuade clients or colleagues to do something they should do, but don’t want to do?  We present facts. We cajole. We remind. And still nothing happens. Instead of continuing down the same fruitless, logical, left brain path to change minds, can you get the result you want with a little right brain humor? Here’s an example of how humor and/or fun can change behavior.

You’ve heard it said, “ Take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator and feel better.”  But few people actually follow that advice. By changing the experience of taking the stairs into something fun, it changed people’s behavior. Check out this video for inspiration on how changing the mundane into something fun make a difference and then think about how you can apply the “fun factor” to your business.

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

Premium Glass Progressive and Single Vision Free Form Lenses

The first premium glass progressive and single vision free-form lenses in the U.S. are now available from Luzerne Optical Laboratories. CrownView lenses have a soft progressive design with smooth power changes for effortless adaptation and increased patient comfort. CrownView progressive lenses offer the lowest minimum fitting height in glass progressive lenses and can accommodate smaller frames to decrease weight. These lenses are also available with Luzerne Optical’s in-house AR and mirror treatments as well as Zeiss Super ET & Zeiss Gold ET, Zeiss Cool Blue, Cool Silver and Cool Gold Mirrors. Lenses are available as uncut, edged, or mounted.   A lab-to-lab program is available and inquiries are welcome at [email protected]    

New Central Slurry System

PSI’s new 915 Central Slurry System is designed to consolidate slurry for digital processing. This 23-gallon capacity slurry system reduces the number of chillers and slurry tanks needed by half.   Designed with two pumps and a two-filter system, it handles high volumes of polish.   When used with a PSI 985 chiller, it will maintain polish at the optimum temperature for superior lens surface quality.   The 915 is one of three Central Slurry Systems offered by Practical Systems Inc for digital and conventional lens polishers. The 913 has an 11 gallon tank and the 911 is used in smaller labs with a five-gallon capacity. For more information on PSI’s Central Slurry Systems, contact PSI at 800-237-8154 or visit their Website at


New LMS System in the Cloud

Optical Lab Software Solutions, Inc. (OLSS), a leading software developer for optical laboratories, debuted OPTUITIVE,  a revolutionary cloud-based lab management software (LMS) with an exclusive Smart User Experience designed for maximum usability and performance. OPTUITIVE is the first LMS to be offered as a true HIPPA compliant software service in the cloud. OPTUITIVE is easily accessible using a Web browser and virtually any device, including smart phones and tablets. OPTUITIVE provides a secure high performance cloud-based infrastructure that delivers maximum efficiency, up and out scalability, and long term reliability. For more information call (336) 707-7542, e-mail [email protected] , or visit .

Bilingual Pocket Card for Transitions Signature VII

Small enough to fold in half and tuck into a pocket, the 5.5-by-7.5-inch card allows English-speaking eye care professionals to easily explain the new Transitions Signature adaptive lens technology to their Spanish-speaking patients. Patients can simply point out their preferences for everything from the color of their lenses; to additional lens features, such as anti-reflective coatings; to frame considerations. The new Transitions Signature bilingual pocket card is part of a series of bilingual resources and tools available through the Transitions Cultural Connections initiative. Labs can request printed copies of the new bilingual pocket card and other multicultural resources, free-of-charge, through the “My Practice” section of . Simply log-in using your Transitions online account (same username and password used for to view or download the guide.  

First Dual Aspheric FSV 1.60 Lens

Seiko Super 16 DA is the first dual aspheric finished single vision 1.60 lens. These new lenses utilize the latest in free-form technology to create the highest standard in terms of optical performance, thickness, lightness, and comfort. They are the perfect blend for high index cosmetics and value. Super 16 DA lenses are as thin as a comparable 1.67 lens because of the aspheric design being incorporated on both sides.   The Super 16 DA design includes a patented SEIKO-exclusive 10mm spherical fitting button in the lens center for instant patient accommodation. Now available with SEIKO premium SuperClean AR coating from Plano to -10.00 sphere out to a -2.00 cylinder. [Total Power -10.00] For more information visit the website at or call 800-235-5367.


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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