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LAB ADVISOR Archives | Subscribe to LAB ADVISOR | LabTalk

A Monthly Briefing for Optical Lab Owners and Managers

- May 2015 -

Dollars & Sense

Make What You Say Pay

Lab Notes

New Products


Dollars & Sense

If You Want to Find Oil, You Have to Drill Some Wells

Michael Karlsrud

Everyone wants new customers.  Everyone wishes they had new opportunities for their products and services.  Everyone has great plans that live in their heads or on paper.  But if you want to find oil, you have to drill wells.

I am a firm believer in the concept of “failing forward fast.”  In other words, those that try and fail faster will move forward.  Those that never try to do anything that could possibly fail will stagnate.  Its time to “quit thinking” and “start doing.”

“We have a strategic plan.  It’s called doing things.” – Herb Kelleher, Southwest Airlines.

“Ready. Fire. Aim” – Ross Perot

“Intelligent people can always come up with intelligent reasons to do nothing.” –Scott Simon, NPR host

“You will miss 100% of the shots you never take.” – Wayne Gretzky, NHL great

In my working experience, no matter the industry or economic environment, one truism always succeeds: you have to let go of the fear of failure and do something. It’s when we as business owners turn inward and stop taking chances that we will see our dollars dwindle and others pass us by.

Take more chances.  Fail faster. Move forward.  Celebrate that with each failure there will be a kernel of success.  Do something this month that scares you.  Take a chance on a new idea, project or person.  Nothing needs to be forever.  Fail at something and learn from it.  Then, do it again next month. We call it being “experienced.” 

If you want to find oil, go drill some wells.  Most will come up dry.  Keep drilling just the same.

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!

How to Be Unique--When You're Not?

Anne Miller

How do you present yourself when, quite frankly, your service is similar to others?   My good biz pal and naming guru, Steve Rivkin, wrote an excellent article on how there is always a way to be unique. "There is no such thing as a commodity," Harvard Business School guru Ted Levitt once opined. "All goods and services can be differentiated." Even good old sodium chloride now comes in a mouth-watering variety of brand names.” 

Ask your clients what they like about your service or why they chose you over others and use what they say to help distinguish you in the marketplace. I did that years ago and one client said, “Other firms teach you eye contact and to wave your hands when you speak. YOU taught us how to think!”  And, ever since, I have used that to great success when clients ask me, “How are you different?”

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


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Lab Notes

Best Eco-Friendly Practices in Play Today

Julie Bos

There are a number of important reasons to “go green” with your business, but most come back to one simple equation—supply and demand. Our planet has a limited number of resources available, and more and more people using them up. As globalization continues to make the world smaller, preserving the world’s natural resources is the responsibility of every individual, both at work and at home.

Taking this philosophy to heart, many of today’s optical labs and equipment manufacturers are doing their part to go green. By creating a roadmap and taking incremental steps toward more eco-friendly practices, they are making a meaningful impact—on the environment, as well as their bottom line. Here’s a snapshot of some current activities in use by leaders in our field.

Maui Jim Makes Progress on Multiple Fronts: Waste Evacuation

Partnering with Bazell Technologies, Maui Jim designed and implemented a waste evacuation system that processes the lens waste remotely from the lab manufacturing area, where the fluids are separated from the solids. The fluids are cleaned and returned through an elevated plumbing system to the machines for reuse. Solids are transported via conveyor to a compression system where they are reduced in volume 20 to one. The solids are packed up by the company’s recycler, where at some point the waste is made into other products. Maui Jim also has a system in place to collect all waste produced through the edging system, which is also recycled.

Find out more green practices by reading the entire article at http://www.labtalkonline.com

COLA Breaks Attendance Records

Christie Walker

(Image: COLA2015.jpg)
The California Optical Lab Association Meeting was held April 23 - 24 April in Temecula, Calif., drawing over 100 lab and vendor attendees, a new record, for networking and education.  The two-day event started with a golf tournament followed by the Good Fellow and Vendor Appreciation Banquet. This year, Joe Maris of VSP was honored as the 2015 Good Fellow with the VSP team, pictured here, Brian Baxter, Lori McKenzie, Tom Brophy and Robert Lugibihl in attendance in his honor.  Day two focused on education with four topics covered before lunch: Prop 65, What it Means to You Now and Going Forward; Managed Vision Care—a West Coast Approach; Inside the Mind of the Young Optometrist; and Transforming Sacred Cows into Purple Cows.

Lab Division Suite of Member Benefits

Christie Walker

The Vision Council’s Optical Lab Division brings expanded programs and sought after services to optical labs with an “Optical Lab Toolkit” of member benefits. The Toolkit includes multiple new program offerings as well as a refresh on many existing benefits, available in one centralized location for optimal benefit to member labs.  Highlights of these new program offerings include complimentary consulting services and employee training sessions, all developed for the needs and situations specific to optical labs.

These new benefits have been added to the growing list of programs The Vision Council provides to its members including optical market research data, government and regulatory affairs information, optical industry standards updates, consumer outreach programs, and a variety of consulting services.  The full list of programs and services can be found on The Vision Council’s Website: www.thevisioncouncil.org

Rimless Eyewear Contest Winners!

Christie Walker

Santinelli International brought back their “Think Outside the Box Edge” Rimless Eyewear Contest inviting ME-1000, ME-1200 and ME-900 edger clients to put on their creative hats while using their machine’s innovative Design Cut technology to create the most unique rimless eyewear. The company received an incredibly creative array of eyewear, ranging in themes from “Star Wars” to “Steampunk.” All entries reflected not only the amazing capabilities of the machine, but also the remarkable talent among their clients. Entries were displayed on the Santinelli International Facebook page, and winning entries were unveiled at the Santinelli Vision Expo East booth. In addition to bragging rights, first, second and third prize winners received vouchers to be used toward any purchase within their ever-expanding product line. To view all of the entries, visit: www.santinelli.com/rimlesscontest.

VSP Opens New Lab in Denver

Christie Walker

VSP Optics Group  is opening a new VSPOne Optical Technology Center in Denver, Colo. VSP said the new laboratory was established to help meet growing demand for its Unity Performance Optics products in the Southwest region. The Denver facility expands the VSPOne Optical Technology Center network to a total of 14 locations, including Baltimore, Charlotte, Columbus, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, Hawaii, Houston, New York, Olympia, Sacramento, San Diego, St. Cloud, and Tampa Bay.

“Thanks to our customers, Unity is the fastest growing ophthalmic lens brand in the optical industry,” said Dave Delle Donne, senior vice president of business development for VSP Optics Group. “Opening VSPOne Denver allows us to meet continued demand for Unity products and provide more regional access and service to our customers and the more than 1.6 million covered VSP lives in the region.”

The Denver facility is the second lab VSP has opened in the past six months.


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New Products

Compact Nano Line Brings Digital Surfacing to Smaller Labs

Schneider's new Nano surfacing line gives small labs access to digital surfacing technology for a very low investment without compromising quality or full-range capability. The Nano line is comprised of the HSC Nano generators and CCP Nano polisher.  Economically priced, the HSC Nano generator comes in two versions: HSC Nano X and HSC Nano XP. The CCP Nano polisher combines macro-driven polish results with best-in-practice technology. The unit handles up to 18 dpt curves, the highest range in the industry. Both the HSC and CCP Nano machines utilize a simple touch screen interface for easy operation of the intelligent processes.  For more information contact your Schneider sales rep.

Progressive Precision Family with Digital Inside Technology

Recognizing an unmet need among progressive wearers, ZEISS has introduced the Precision family of progressive lenses, with Digital Inside technology that reduces the symptoms of Digital Eye Strain for frequent users of smart phones, tablets, and other digital devices.  Digital Inside technology accounts for both the shorter reading distance and increased convergence, so wearers have a clear and comfortable view of a digital screen or a printed page. The new family includes ZEISS Precision Pure, ZEISS Precision Plus, ZEISS Precision Superb, with the upgraded ZEISS Individual 2 remaining the flagship ZEISS progressive. For more information visit www.zeiss.com/vision.

Transitions EXTRActive Available in New Materials

Transitions XTRActive gray lenses are now available in Varilux S designs in standard plastic 1.50, Airwear polycarbonate and Thin&Lite 1.67 lens materials.  Transitions XTRActive in brown will include Varilux S designs, Varilux DRx designs and Single Vision in Standard Plastic 1.50, Airwear polycarbonate and Thin&Lite 1.67. Transitions XTRActive lenses adapt throughout the day. While driving, the lenses achieve a shade of darkness behind the windshield to protect eyes. Indoors, a hint of tints helps protect eyes from fatigue and straining and of course, Transitions provide extra light protection even in the brightest sun. For more information on the new options available in the Transitions lens range, visit www.TransitionsPRO.com/XTRActive.


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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 [email protected].

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