IN GOOD HANDS
ALL THE FIXINS
Western Optical’s Universal Nut and Screw Grabber
PARTS AND PARCEL
Frame repair parts by OptiSource
DAC Vision supplies
Repair parts by Hilco
It’s important to have a host of small supplies on hand so you can offer quick repairs on patients’ eyewear.
As both an ECP and a business owner, you spend a lot of time looking at the big picture: “How much money are we making?”, “What is the status of our insurance claims?”, “Did the jobs arrive from the lab today?”, etc. You also notice when you’re running low on popular frames and lenses (if you process lenses in-house). One important aspect of running an eyecare practice that may be easy to overlook, however, is your inventory of small optical supplies. It’s a good idea to keep a wide assortment of them at your disposal.
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
Breakage and repairs: They’re a fact of life for an ECP. You need to make sure you have the tools to fix eyewear problems on the spot, such as broken temple screws, or to make adjustments when a patient first tries on her new glasses. In every ECP’s toolkit, you should find screwdrivers, temple screws, files, nosepads, pliers, extractors, tweezers, and more. Companies such as Dynamic Labs, Inc., Lab-Tech, Inc., and Western Optical Supply, Inc. have vast catalogs of the supplies you’ll need at your work desk so your patients will walk out happy (meaning they’ll also be walking back in the next time they need new glasses).
PARTS AND LABOR
Sometimes, the problem is bigger than a simple broken screw. Significantly damaged frames may require the replacement of one or more parts, including hinges and temples. Keep a robust supply of spare parts that can return the patient’s eyewear to a state of adequate function, if not as good as new. A well-organized supply of male and female solder hinges, hidden hinges, hinge screws, nosepad arms, side shield rivets, bushings, caps, nuts, washers, and temple arms and tips suited for plastic frames can turn you into a lifesaver (and will also lead to word-of-mouth recommendations to patients’ families and friends). Look to companies like Hilco, OptiSource, Santinelli International, Inc., and Vigor Optical for the hardware necessary to deal with these inevitable repairs.
If you surface or finish lenses in-house, you’ve got another whole category of supplies you’ll need to produce quality vision products. Beyond keeping a large inventory of demo lenses from various manufacturers, and depending on the lens-processing equipment you use, you may require a whole array of tape, pads, alloy, chemicals, crystals, filaments, dyes, and more for blocking, surfacing, polishing, tinting, coating, and edging. Optical lab supply manufacturer DAC Vision sells lab consumable supplies to ECPs through its DAC Edge™ online store (dacedge.com).
Phew! That’s certainly a lot of paraphernalia to keep an optical practice running, and that doesn’t even touch all the everyday, non-optical supplies you need in stock (hand soap, paper products, pens, etc.)! But once you’ve got a full inventory of these goods at your disposal, no patient issue will ever have you come up “empty handed.”
Steve Curry is Senior Editor of VCPN.
WHERE TO FIND IT:
DAC Vision 800-800-1550 • dactechnologies.com
Dynamic Labs, Inc. 888-339-6264 • dynamiclabs.net
OptiSource International 800-OPTISOURCE • 1-800-optisource.com
Santinelli International, Inc. 800-644-3343 • santinelli.com
Vigor Optical (A Division of Grobet USA) 800-847-4188 • vigoroptical.com
Western Optical Supply, Inc. 800-423-3294 • westernoptical.com