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A Monthly Briefing for Optical Lab Owners and Managers

- November 2015 -

Dollars & Sense

Make What You Say Pay

Lab Notes

New Products


Dollars & Sense

Time to Evaluate

Michael Karlsrud

It’s that time again.  The air is cold, jobs are coming in as patients spend their flex dollars, and we’re pondering another year gone by.  But are we really?

Do you actually have the time to evaluate your business?  Have you actually sat back and took the time to reflect on what went right and wrong over this past year?  Are you busy putting together plans for next year or are you in the lab blocking lenses?

Over the last few years I have been blessed to speak in front of many laboratory groups across the country.  After each presentation there is an invitation from the sponsoring organization for follow up on the ideas shared, suggestions given, and the commitments to implement them.  Amazingly, or not—few ideas ever make it from the meeting back to the laboratory.  It begs the question “Are we too busy working in our business to work on our business?

The optical industry is at sea, facing a headwind and the water is rolling. Navigating these waters will require a plan.  It doesn’t need to be elaborate, but it does need to exist and your entire team needs to know about it. The best time to develop that plan is in the relatively calm waters of this year.  Once the plan has been made, make sure your team knows how you are going to take charge of next year and make the plan happen.  Don’t keep them in the dark.  You can’t do it alone and frankly, why would you?

A goal without a plan is just a wish. 

Take a moment this week and next and stop working in your business and focus on your business.  Make plans, budgets and search for opportunities to improve.  Look for new services you can add to your mix of current offerings.  Find the one thing you want to be known for in just a sliver of the market, and overwhelm it with excellence.  Commit to do something to become visible to the rest of the market.

This is some of the most important work we can do in business.  Removing ourselves from the owner/entrepreneur and becoming objective about what we need to do is hard and vital work.  It also pays great dividends and makes complete dollars and sense.

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!

Do You Know What’s Scarier Than a Black Cat?

Ann Miller

Presenters who do any of the following 10 things:

• Don’t prepare for a meeting (Who? What message? What content? Why? What outcome?)

• Give canned pitches and expect to win business.

• Engage in monologues rather than conversations 

• Miss listener cues

• Fail to involve

• Fear going off script

• Give clinically correct, but boring, data dumps

• Ignore importance of examples, stories, and metaphors to shape thinking & simplify complexity

• Show visuals that confuse rather than illuminate a point

• Undercut their authority & credibility with poor delivery (low energy, non-words, poor eye contact, etc.)

Einstein said, “One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.”

Are you or your team doing any of these things over and over again and “scaring” listeners? If so, now is the time to chase away those presentation-killing goblins and replace them with smarter strategies and skills.

Anne Miller

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


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Lab Notes

Santinelli Associates Build Fifth Habitat for Humanity Home


The associates at Santinelli International are at it again, participating in their 5th Habitat for Humanity Home Build Not only did the associates open up their tool chests, they also opened up their wallets to provide necessary funds required for building materials needed on site at the Long Island, NY home. Thanks to the company, business colleagues, personal friends and family members, Santinelli International was able to reach their goal!

“Habitat for Humanity has become a heartwarming tradition here at Santinelli International. Getting a chance to help families live a more comfortable life is something the team looks forward to this time of the year.” said Gerard Santinelli, company president & CEO. “In a day where the world paces incredibly fast and is so goal oriented, it is nice to take the time to donate our time and our skills to a great cause.”

HOYA Acquires Optics Plus In Buffalo, NY Market


HOYA Vision Care aquired Optics Plus near Buffalo, NY. “When we seek out new lab partners we are looking beyond manufacturing competence. We are really seeking like-minded people who share our values and the values of independent practices such as long-term relationships, offering more choices, and protecting the value of the brand,” said Barney Dougher, president of HOYA Vision Care, North America.

HOYA’s support of independent practices rings loud and clear with their commitment to service accounts locally. In addition to local territory managers, operations at the new facility will be headed by Mr. Forrest Reukauf.  Stated Reukauf, “We are excited to grow the HOYA brand in the Buffalo market. The independent practices here will appreciate the technology edge that HOYA product will bring to their business as well as the values we all share in support of independent practices.”

Industries for the Blind Produces Eyewear for Veterans Hospitals


Winston-Salem Industries for the Blind, a nonprofit group that employs 290 blind individuals in the Triad, has nearly doubled the production space within its optical laboratory in the Twin City and added six local employees to help it fulfill a $1.7 million contract from the U.S. Department of Veterans.

Under the contract, the group will produce eyeglasses for four Veterans Administration hospitals in Orlando, Fla. IFB produces eyeglasses for a total of 34 VA hospitals in several states. The Winston-Salem optical lab makes about 1,000 pairs of eyeglasses per day. The six new jobs in the optical laboratory bring the total number of blind workers up to 37. They perform tasks such as polishing and shaping lenses. Kelly also said the optical lab is staffed by a sighted staff of about 30 to inspect the eyeglasses and perform tasks such as data entry. IFB employs a total of 460 employees who are blind across the country. The nonprofit group was founded in 1936 to provide employment opportunities to the blind and visually impaired.


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New Products

New HPE-810 Patternless Edger

Coburn Technologies’ new HPE-810 Edger is designed to be more efficient utilizing better graphics and processing times. Detailed images of bevel/groove positions provide the user with a more accurate look while faster processing signifies the ability to modify the next job while a current job is under way.  Coburn is currently taking orders and customer shipments have begun. Information is available from Coburn online at www.coburntechnologies.com, or call 1-800-COBURN-1 for pricing and additional details.

Specialty Tool for Barrel Aligning

When temples flop on their frame, you need a special tool to grab each wing of the barrel, straighten and align it, and then set the proper distance between wings.  The NEW Barrel Aligning Plier from Western Optical Supply is the perfect tool for this adjustment. In moments you can reset the proper alignment and spacing to reassemble the frame so the temple has a good tight fit.  For additional information contact Western Optical at 800.423.3294 or www.westernoptical.com.

Relief for Driver Stress in Low-Light Conditions

For people who want to optimize their vision behind the wheel, ZEISS has developed DriveSafe. Available in progressive and single vision designs, DriveSafe lenses offer excellent all-day performance while specifically addressing the needs of drivers. ZEISS DriveSafe lenses are the product of extensive research into the visual challenges of driving. ZEISS also worked with a leading headlight manufacturer to determine the best coating to reduce glare from modern headlights, resulting in DuraVision DriveSafe AR coating. For more information visit www.zeiss.com/lenses.


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It’s Time for Labs to Step UP…Their Online Presence Now

Cathy Ives

“We don't do that.” “Our customers don't care.” “Who has time?” “It's too expensive.” These are frequent remarks I hear as to why a lab's Website has not been updated and why participation in any Social Media platform has been relegated to back burners and/or not kept up-to-date. As much as I understand the hassle, the time and the expense, it’s time for labs to step up their online presence.

There are several reasons for this:

1. Your customers are there.

2. The lab business is increasingly more competitive.

3. Your reps need it.

4. Your customers and future customers are looking for solutions and resources ONLINE.

5. It helps to get found in search engines (very important).

6. All optical professionals need to work together to bring the consumer back to brick and mortar shopping.

Your Website and Social Media are top marketing tools and will continue to gain in importance in the future. Increasingly, Websites and social media will become the source of communication and knowledge for everyone.

Learn how labs are using social media and their Website to connect with their customers by reading the entire article at http://www.labtalkonline.com/


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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