A Monthly Briefing for Optical Lab Owners and Managers

- December 2016 -

Dollars & Sense

Make What You Say Pay

Lab Notes

New Products


Make What You Say, Pay!

Stand and Command

By Anne Miller

To sit or stand during a presentation is the question. If you ever had any doubts about that, you should have been with me recently when I was coaching a tech pro on his skills.  Sitting down he was a disaster. Standing up, he became an entirely different person! Here are 5 reasons why it is better to stand for a presentation than sit—even if you are presenting to only one or two people.

1. Client Connection Improves

When you sit and present from a computer, you tend to bury yourself in your computer. When you  stand and present content from a large screen, you tend to look at your audience more, so that they feel you care about them.

If at some point you want to have a discussion with your listener(s), just sit down and the focus will shift from the screen to them. When the discussion winds down, stand and continue your presentation.

2. Delivery Improves

As my client said, “Standing, I felt like I had more energy.” When you sit at your computer, whatever energy you have tends to direct itself inward and, frankly, settle into your butt. Your hands rarely move except to switch slides or to move a mouse around. So, what your listener gets is a disembodied voice coming from behind a screen. When  you stand, you gesture naturally and your voice tends to become less monotone and more varied, all of which makes you a more interesting presenter.

3. Personal Credibility and Authority Improve

Because your eye contact is better, your physical delivery skills are better and your energy is higher, you tend to increase in “gravitas” as well. You look and sound more authoritative and more trustworthy.

4. Confidence Improves

Because of the above,  listeners pay attention and respond to you with positive body language -- a sure signal to you that you are succeeding. Watch your confidence soar!

5. Business Gets Done More Quickly

Strong delivery skills alone will not seal your deal, but strong delivery skills and professional presence will strengthen your message and are a good formula for success. 

So,to the question whether to stand or sit during a presentation, when there is a choice,  choose to stand.


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



Lab Notes

Satisloh Signs Agreement with Weima

Staff Reports

Satisloh has signed an exclusive worldwide distributor agreement with Germany’s Weima GmbH, bringing their 30 years of proven briquetting technology to the ophthalmic manufacturing market.

“This is a tremendous match and a win for ophthalmic labs. Combining Bazell Technologies’ coolant management expertise with Weima’s vast briquetting experience provides unrivaled swarf management solutions for the industry. Weima’s briquetter technology is unequaled – compressing lab waste at a volume of 20:1,” said Larry Clarke, Satisloh AG, President & COO. “This relationship will greatly simplify labs’ waste disposal.”

The Weima Group has installed over 30,000 machines worldwide designed for an extensive range of shredding and briquetting applications with customers in the plastic, wood, metal, and other recycling industries. Weima briquetters press swarf into small, compressed briquettes without using any glues or adhesives. The briquetter can be integrated with existing Bazell coolant management systems.

Briquetting waste materials can reduce volume by up to 95%, providing considerable saving of disposal, transport, and storage costs.

“We are excited that our knowledge and experience can benefit another industry. We look forward to working with Bazell Technologies and Satisloh – leaders in ophthalmic lens manufacturing solutions,” said Martin Friz, Managing Partner, Weima.

“As the ophthalmic industry turns its attention to better managing swarf and its disposal, we’re proud to offer them proven solutions,” said Paul Dick, Managing Director, Bazell Technologies.

Vision Ease Launches Redesigned Web Site

Staff Reports

Vision Ease has launched a newly revamped This redesigned website offers a responsive design, easy navigation, and enhanced tools and search functions that are designed to exemplify the company’s brand strategy and fully support its customers to allow for an individualized website experience. 

The site's refreshed and simplified look, combined with enhanced content, improved search functionality, and optimization for all devices allows Vision Ease customers to better interact with and do business with the brand. 

“Our new website reinforces our brand strategy that focuses on our commitment to our customers and dedication to understanding the unique needs of the consumers they serve,” said Jay Lusignan, Marketing Communications Manager at Vision Ease. “The redesign makes it easier for customers to access the information they need and enhances our ability to connect with the industry through our digital channels in a way that we haven’t been able to do on the old site."

The new website features streamlined access to numerous former domains into one single site. Additionally, the site features instant access to tools, resources and materials for customers that include sales and marketing support materials such as point of purchase displays, brochures and technical specifications.

“The updates to our new website support our brand mission and allow us to continue to build our customer relationships in a world that is ever trending digital.” said Susie Clark, Digital Marketing Manager. “The new website redesign is the foundation to building meaningful dialogue and interaction that’s only available in the digital space."

To view the new website, visit

Schneider DigiCON 2017 Dates Announced

Staff Reports

Schneider is proud to announce the dates for its next DigiCON US event to be held in Frisco, Texas, May 10-12, 2017. This will be its biggest DigiCON event ever, highlighted by fantastic new technology around this year’s theme: Eye on the Ball. The event offers learning, networking and a look into the future of lens processing from the industry’s leading innovator. Look for your invitations and registration opportunity soon.

With the theme of “Eye on the Ball”, we focus on the latest innovations from the world leader in technology for the labs- while introducing a very special new system that allows you to get more out of your existing equipment! Join us Wednesday evening for a welcome reception followed by the program that takes place Thursday and Friday. On Thursday evening, we will host a special networking event that includes cocktails and dinner along with an opportunity to play ball on a professional field while taking your swings against professional pitchers- for those willing. Perfect for athletes or the rest of us who are sure we could’ve been a great one!

This exciting two-day program will focus on a systems approach with Modulo as a highlight. Along with Modulo, you’ll see the world premiere of tremendous new machines and technology. Total process control along with new green-focused processes will be on display.

Always a must-attend seminar, the ‘Digital Surfacing Troubleshooting’ class is back with new and updated information to help you get the most from your processes. Just take the short ride to the Embassy Suites Convention Center and you’re in the center of everything. Schneider will take care of transportation to tour our new facility and see amazing new technology while you’re there. Everything else is walking distance. Enhancing your existing technology, new technology for 2017 and a look to the future of lens processing from the innovation leader will make DigiCON 2017 the most valuable conference of the year.

Transitions Optical Announces 2016 Transitions Innovation Award Finalists

Staff Reports

Transitions Optical, Inc. has named the finalists for its annual Transitions Innovation Awards program, which recognizes both individuals and companies for their innovative efforts to support the Transitions® brand over the past year. The finalists will be honored during Transitions Academy 2017, where the winners will be announced. 

“This year’s finalist list is made up of talented and passionate individuals and organizations who are working every day to improve the lives of their patients and customers,” said Jose Alves, general manager, Americas, Transitions Optical. “We are incredibly honored that these finalists choose to make the Transitions® brand an important part of their business and we look forward to showcasing their efforts at this year’s Academy.”

The Transitions Brand Ambassador award celebrates an individual who best showcases their dedication to being an influential advocate of the Transitions brand. The 2016 finalists include:

The Best in Growth Achievement title is awarded to an individual or company that has demonstrated a strong commitment to Transitions Optical and photochromic growth. The 2016 finalists include:

The Best in Training award celebrates an individual, company or educator that has shown creativity in developing or offering training and education opportunities that include dispensing photochromic lenses, the Transitions brand or Transitions® family of products. The 2016 finalists include:

Best in Marketing honors an individual or company for their creative and strategic marketing tactics to effectively promote the Transitions brand or Transitions family of products among customers or within their communities. The 2016 finalists include:

The Best in Patient Experience award is presented to an individual or company for developing a forward-thinking approach to consistently dispense Transitions lens products to meet individual patient needs. The 2016 finalists include:



Seiko Appoints Scott as GM

Staff Reports

HOYA Vision Care, announced the appointment of Bruce Scott as General Manager of Seiko Optical of America. Scott brings more than 25 years of industry experience to Seiko Optical. In his previous role as Regional Vice President with Essilor, he directed all aspects of major business divisions, including sales to multiple channels, business and customer development, product and sales marketing, customer service and manufacturing excellence.

“Bruce’s extensive knowledge of operations, customer service, sales and product development make him a perfect fit for Seiko and Hoya product distribution business,” said Barney Dougher, President of HOYA Vision Care, Americas. . He continued, “As a leader, Bruce grew revenue and found efficiencies in his business units. He is also a person that nurtures future organizational leaders. His ability to develop talent will be critical as we continue to grow.”

Scott will be leading Seiko Optical of America, which also represents the Hoya brands with a focus on the wholesale and retail sectors of the industry, and he noted, “I’m very excited about the future of the Seiko brand in the North American market. The opportunity to grow Seiko through valued partnerships and superior products is tremendous and we look forward to continued success.” Bruce holds a Bachelors of Business Management from Oklahoma Christian University. At the beginning of his optical career he helped build a large national retail chain. Bruce has also participated in the Vision Council’s Executive Summit and Optical Laboratory Division.


Focus On...


Robert Minardi

In any optical lab, regardless of size or output, there are two mechanisms always intertwined: optics and manufacturing. As eyewear professionals, we sometimes tend to neglect some of the manufacturing principles that are the foundation of producing great quality eyewear quickly and efficiently. Here are three powerful, but sometimes overlooked, concepts your lab shouldn’t ignore.

Task saturation is a term used in aviation. It’s defined as having too much to do, without enough time, tools or resources to do it. Basically, if a fighter pilot has too many little tasks to do, they lose focus on much more important things like their altitude. Task Saturation can cost a pilot their life. Is it costing you money? Have you been noticing breakage for really simple mistakes? For instance, jobs that are loaded on the wrong edger or routed to the wrong areas? Do you constantly tell your techs to just “pay attention”? It may not be their fault. They may be task saturated. There’s a great article on the Psychology Today website that recites some neuroscience that shows our brain don’t multitask task like we think, or at all. The site also provides a simple, yet clever, demonstration of this.

Dr. Joann Deak, author of “Your Fantastic Elastic Brain” has some interesting insight into this topic. She claims, “When you try to multitask, in the short-term, it doubles the amount of time it takes to do a task and it usually, at least, doubles the number of mistakes.”

If you’re attributing a lot of breakage to your staff not paying attention, you may need to make some adjustments. The first thing to do is make a list of every task someone performs.

Trust me, it adds up really fast. Then evaluate. How many tasks are they performing that can cause a breakage? If it’s more than one or two, can you give one task to someone else with less on their plate? Can you sequence the tasks such
that it makes it easier to remember the critical stuff?

If they’re making errors related to misreading paperwork or job routing, have them circle the items they need to check
with a colored pen to help them keep focus. Each operator has their own color that never changes. Yes, it may take an
extra second or two, but if it’s a high breakage or critical area, the payoff will be worth it.

Always stay conscious of how many tasks each staff member must perform in a given hour. This is biology, to overlook it is a big mistake.

Have you ever heard someone say “I was in the zone!”? In psychology it’s known as “Flow” and it’s defined as: The
mental state of operation, in which a person performing an activity, is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus. That’s a very good place for your staff to be. Are you doing everything you can to make sure they get to a state of flow and stay there?

Flow killers:

Repeated stopping and starting: A state of flow can be reached in about 15 minutes, and it takes another 15 if it’s broken.

Unclear process methods: You can’t have your staff just making it up as they go along.

Low energy environment: If you’re not excited to tackle the tasks at hand, why would your staff be?

Flow facilitators:

No interruptions: How many times an hour do your techs have to stop what they’re doing? Do they say “I’d get much
more done if I didn’t have to _____________!” Listen to them, they’re probably right.

Precisely defined processes: Everyone must know exactly what to do and how to do it. Make some rock solid Standard
Operating Procedures (SOP’s) and Work Instructions to reduce variation in your process.

Energy: Don’t walk around like a Grumpy Gus! Your energy, positive or negative, has a corresponding effect on your staff.

Humans are, for the most part, visual learners. In a study by the 3M corporation, research concluded that visual information processes 60,000 times faster than text. Up to 90 percent of the information we absorb in a given day is visual and the other four senses share the remaining 10 percent. Take advantage of this!

Out of the following two examples, which do you think will prevent more breakage?

It’s tempting to throw this alert together in three minutes because you have things to do, but it’s really not very useful. The operator will read it once and then disregard it. I’ve seen an entire wall full of alerts and notices just like this. They had a big bold heading with a puny 20-point font and no picture or color.

In the bottom example, it’s very clear as to which way is correct. 

When loading the engraver make sure the alloy indent is facing forward.
If it's facing backward, the lens will be engraved upside down.

Also, notice how the word “forward” is used in both examples. You don’t want to use the word “backward” because that’s the situation you don’t want to happen. Even the incorrect example, reinforces the correct way to load the job. Also, notice the change in angle from the correct and incorrect way. Make the correct example from the angle they’ll see it at. The incorrect example should be a different angle and perspective. Don’t make two nearly identical photographs for them to choose from. It’s a subtle detail, but aids in the alert's effectiveness. The picture should do most of the talking anyway, so use as few words as possible.

The words are necessary to get the initial message across. After the first time the operator reads it, they disregard the
text anyway, so make the picture count! Don’t be lazy with your signage. It’s one of the most powerful tools at your disposal. A good sign should stream the critical information into your operator’s brains instantaneously with no conscious thought. Also, vertical field of vision is approximately 60 degrees up and 75 degrees down, so it’s better to mount it a little low than too high. Another tip is to place your signs in plastic documents sleeves to keep them looking fresh longer. Some sleeves even come with magnetic strips already on them; making it easy to stick them to machines and steel beams.

The Japanese have a principle called kaizen. It infers “change for the better” or “continuous improvement.”

It’s a powerful message for a tiny word. With a little effort, these tips you can ensure kaizen in your lab.

Robert Minardi, ABOC, has been in manufacturing for almost 25 years. He’s a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt with a background in quality control.


Brian Dunleavy, Editor, LabTalk/LabAdvisor

Brian is the Editor of LabTalk. He covers wholesale laboratories, lab systems, other ECP news and features/coverage. Contact Brian at [email protected].

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