A Monthly Briefing for Optical Lab Owners and Managers

- March 2017 -

Dollars & Sense

Make What You Say Pay

Lab Notes

New Products


Dollars & Sense

Know the Difference between Edutainment and Productive Training

By Evan Hackel

Let’s look at two professional trainers—let’s call them Joan and Jack.

Both Jack and Joan are energetic trainers who get their audiences laughing quickly. They will both do whatever it takes—using props or asking trainees to do silly things—to illustrate a concept or get their trainees excited and engaged. And when trainees leave at the end of the day, they feel energized and happy.

But there are significant differences between them. A few weeks after training is over, the performance of the people who trained with Joan has really improved. The performance of the people who trained with Jack hasn’t. They quickly went back to “business as usual.”

In other words, Jack’s training is edutainment. Joan’s isn’t, because it gets results. And that is true, even though someone who peeked into either of their training rooms wouldn’t notice much difference.

How Can You Avoid Wasting Money on Frivolous Training? The first step is understanding that although good training is often entertaining, it is not entertainment. In other words, training is supposed to achieve demonstrable results, not just make people laugh or enjoy themselves. The wrong kind of training can be called edutainment. It’s entertaining, and it does well on the “smile sheet,” but doesn’t actually have long impactful results.

Here are some steps that can help assure that your trainers and your training program reach that goal:

  • Think of training as a strong combination of education, engagement, and use: Training must educate by teaching skills, transferring knowledge, cultivating attitudes and hitting other specific targets. But training that is purely educational doesn’t get results. That is why training must present information in ways that are engaging, interactive and require the learner to think and use the information learned.
  • Apply the VAK Attack model to increase learning: VAK stands for the three ways that people learn, and your live training should make use of all three. Visual learning happens when people watch materials that can include videos, PowerPoints, charts, and other visual elements. Auditory learning happens when people learn by listening to people who might be other trainees, compelling trainers, visitors and others. And Kinesthetic learning happens when people get out of their seats and move around as they take part in work simulations, games, and other meaningful exercises.
  • If you’re hiring an outside trainer, speak with other organizations where he or she has worked: When you do, ask for specifics about what the training accomplished. Did average sales orders increase by a certain percentage? Did customers report measurably higher levels of satisfaction when they were polled? Did thefts and losses decrease by a certain significant percentage when training was completed? Remember to look for hard data about results. Statements like “We loved Paul’s training!” might be nice, but they don’t tell you much about whether Paul’s training was worth the money it cost.
  • Define outcomes and make sure your trainer can reach them: Do you want your salespeople to contact 25 percent more new prospects? Do you want the people who deliver and install appliances for your store to give true “white glove” treatment to customers? Or do you want your hotel front-desk staff to delight guests with exceptional service? Your trainer should explain his or her plans to break those processes down into individual steps and address them directly through training.
  • Help your trainer know who your trainees are: A good trainer will want to know about their trainees’ ages, prior experience, educational level, current jobs, and all other factors that can be leveraged to engage them more fully in training. A concerned trainer will also want to be aware of any factors that might cause them not to engage.
  • Work with your trainer to develop meaningful metrics: If you work together to define what you will measure after training is completed, chances are good that your training will accomplish much more, because its goals are well-defined.
  • Monitor sessions and make sure that training stays on track: If you are a company training director or a member of senior management, you might not want to attend sessions, because your presence could put a damper on trainees’ ability to relax and learn. If that is the case, ask a few trainees to check in with you at lunchtime or other breakpoints to tell you whether the trainer is hitting the benchmarks you created. If not, a quick check-in with the trainer can often get things back on track and avoid wasting time and money.

It’s All About Getting Your Money’s Worth and Getting Results: If you are a training director who wants to record serious results from serious training, it’s important to work closely with professional trainers who don’t only entertain, but educate. That’s the difference between training that’s frivolous and training that offers a good ROI.

Evan Hackel is CEO of Tortal Training, a firm that specializes in developing and implementing interactive training solutions for companies in all sectors. Evan created the concept of Ingaged Leadership and is Principal and Founder of Ingage Consulting, a consulting firm headquartered in Woburn, Massachusetts. To learn more about Ingage Consulting and Evan’s book Ingaging Leadership, visit



Lab Notes

Safilo Introduces New Sunlenses


Safilo Group, the Italian Eyewear creator, has acquired Lenti, the sunlenses manufacturer based in Bergamo and its line of “Made in Italy” state-of-the-art lenses.

The company’s continuous commitment to sun lens innovation, research and development has led to the creation of exclusively aesthetic lens designs combined with unique craftsmanship capabilities. The mirroring treatment consists of a very thin, almost transparent metal layer which coats the lens’ surface, applied using a high-vacuum technique known as PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition). Mirroring can achieve either one or multiple colors thanks to the advanced multi-layer coating process, which consists in depositing a sequence from two up to as many as eight layers, allowing extraordinary multi-colored and iridescent effects to be obtained. Shaded lenses colorization is obtained either by mixing dyes with the base material or by dipping the lenses in a colored solution several times to vary the intensity of the desired color.

Safilo’s continuous research to achieve perfect vision has led to the development of technical lenses with the highest degree of sunray protection, offering an extraordinary instant experience for an enhanced color perception and the highest protection.

Polarized Lenses allow wearers to enjoy bright colors with no glare and distortion-free vision, providing unique benefits: glare-free vision, clear contrasts, natural colors, reduced eye fatigue and 100% UV protection. Red HD Lenses, currently available on Carrera sunglasses, upgrade the polarization benefits: their particular color boasts a high-contrast and anti-reflection treatment, which allows colors to be seen in a much more vivid way thanks to a careful study on the spectrum curve. This particular color filters the blue light to convey eye relaxation and ultimately prevent eye aging. Chromapop Lenses, currently featured on Smith sunglasses, filter light at two specific wavelengths to eliminate color confusion to the brain while providing a sharper, easier and faster visual experience. The result is an upgraded vision solution that offers instant advantage and higher confidence especially for sport performance.

For more information:



Primary Eyecare Network Offering Center for Paraoptomeric Education Workshops in May and July

ABB Optical

Primary Eyecare Network (PEN), a division of ABB OPTICAL GROUP, is offering its annual Center for Paraoptometric Education (CPE) workshops May 10-12 and July 10-12.

The intensive, hands-on, comprehensive workshops are designed to help new optical staff master the skills they need to succeed in private practice. Led by American Board of Opticianry certified optician and certified paraoptometric Mary Schmidt, the workshops will cover fundamental optics; prescription verification and troubleshooting; lens types and materials; frames, including styling, adjusting and repairs; selling skills, and more.

Both workshops will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the PEN Education Center, 1750 N. Loop Road, Suite 150, in Alameda.

The cost to attend a workshop is $520 for PEN members and $675 for non-members. Breakfast is included. To register or for more information, visit or e-mail [email protected].

Founded in 1984 by a group of private optometrists, Primary Eyecare Network is a division of ABB OPTICAL GROUP focused on enhancing the independent professional optometrist's ability to compete in a rapidly changing marketplace. This includes providing favorable purchasing arrangements, business management and marketing support, quality educational programs for practitioners and staff, medical billing services, and other custom support services provided by PEN's knowledgeable and experienced staff.


New Products

Satisloh Introduces Digi-Pro Polish

Satisloh’s new Digi-Pro polish is specifically engineered for the company’s Multi-FLEX and Duo-FLEX digital polishers, using a unique particle shape and hardness to provide increased stock removal and product life. Digi-Pro can be used on all organic lens materials and in any available digital polishing system.

“With traditional systems, labs could tweak things—changing their process as they went along—to achieve the surfaces they wanted,” said Steve Schneider, Satisloh VP, Aftermarket Products/Sales. “Digital polishers are sophisticated and make tremendous demands from the polish and with minimal hands-on operator intervention. So, to maximize equipment performance and surface quality, polishes specially formulated for digital polishing are key for production success in labs today.”

According to Satisloh, Digi-Pro’s viscosity offers consistent flow rates that are key to lens surface quality while its suspension provides consistent results and makes clean up easy. Its frost-resistant chemistry prevents product damage, saving money. It is available in two convenient sizes: one gallon and five gallon pails.

For more information:

National Optronics Introduces QM-X3 Tabletop Edger

For the inaugural product kick off of their new Quality Manufacturing (QM) series, National Optronics utilized their almost 40 years of edging and finishing experience to develop and build the new QM-X3 edger. Unlike other tabletop edgers, it features the engineering and cutting-edge technology used in industrial edgers, but at a price point normally associated with tabletops--setting a new standard for both productivity, robustness and price.

“This is a real breakthrough in all aspects of edging: speed, reliability, quality, accuracy and features,” said Kevin Paddy, Director-Finishing, National Optronics. “Add the QM-X3’s ability to process complex shapes such as partially shelved lenses as well as its optional variable angle drilling and you have an edger that bridges the gap between large 5-axis edgers and compact 3-axis tabletops.”

According to the company, the QM-X3 is 20-30 percent faster than other tabletop edgers because of its high speed linear axis drives and an innovative, sophisticated mechanical design that eliminates unnecessary movements. This new design not only makes it faster, but also improves motion stability, cutting accuracy, and tolerance--all combining to produce an excellent edge quality. Its tool features a unique dual diamond blade design--drastically increasing tool life while substantially lowering the cost per edge. The industrial design of the edger includes direct drive motors for highest precision and robustness, advanced electronics for faster processing speeds and a high speed, high torque spindle drive capable of over 30,000 RPM.

Don’t let its robustness and feature-rich construction mislead you; the QM-X3 is a perfect fit for both ECPs and wholesale labs. And its capabilities, small footprint and price point make it ideal for any edging application,” said Paddy.

The QM-X3 continues National Optronics’ tradition of green, dry edging--but with a twist: an option of removing the vacuum. Eliminating the vacuum reduces both energy consumption and noise. A disposable bag collects lens debris from the chamber, which just falls into it. The bag is easily removed for simple, environmentally safe disposal. An easy-to-use remote diagnostics function connects the QM-X3 to the internet for the most current software updates and gives National Optronics technicians access to quickly resolve any issues for streamlined support. Like all National Optronics equipment, the QM-X3 is built in the US. The new edger will make its North American debut at Vision Expo East in March.

For more information:



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].

Copyright © 2019 LabTalk. All rights reserved.

Lab Advisor is published by Jobson Healthcare Information LLC, 395 Hudson Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10014.

To subscribe to other JHI newsletters or to manage your subscription, click here.

To change your email address, reply to this email. Write "change of address" in the subject line.
Make sure to provide us your old and new address.

To ensure delivery, please be sure to add [email protected] to your address book or safe senders list.

Click here if you do not want to receive future emails from Lab Advisor.