Optical labs can do more for ECPs than simply process lens jobs.
Whether you own a single practice or manage multiple offices, you have a partner that you might not have ever considered—your lab. The ECP/lab partnership is a simple one, where you and your lens supplier have the aligned goal of getting your patients to see well. This is true for both uncut and finishing lab facilities, regardless of size and/or volume.
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Precision Optical Products San Diego
The pace at which optical technology is evolving has never been faster than today. Innovations continue to raise the bar for the lenses we use, and being able to understand and explain the
merits of these technologies to patients is essential to providing quality opticianry care.
Laramy-K Optical is an Iowa-based, complete digital and traditional surfacing laboratory with in-house AR coating (it also provides glass lenses) that has set itself apart as a lens educator for
all ECPs. The lab’s website is packed with guides and tutorials for opticians to gain knowledge on a wide array of eyecare-related topics. The “OpenOptix” section of the site provides an
open source knowledge base, the purpose of which is to educate ECPs of all skill levels with many subsets in ocular anatomy, dispensing, low vision, and contact lenses. There is even a
free ABO study guide that is downloadable as a PDF and can be printed. According to Laramy-K, it remains the only exclusive uncut independent laboratory in the U.S.
WHO YOU GONNA CALL?
Partnering with a lab that has a resident lens guru on call can be the saving grace for any lens order. This person is a lens specialist who has seen it all when it comes to Rx issues, and
knows how to avoid remakes and can provide guidance for any optical lens situation. One lab that excels with this service is Sheridan Optical Co., Inc., located in Pitman, NJ. Ed Sheridan, a
multi-generation lens fabricator, is the go-to person for ECPs to call with their lens issues.
INCENTIVES AND SAVINGS
Savvy labs understand the value of helping ECPs build their practice while providing key cost savings. These labs might offer discounts on multiple-pair sales and prompt payment, as well
as incentives to upsell patients on AR, polarized, and photochromic options. Some even offer on-site luncheon seminars at a practice to help train staff on the latest and greatest lens
products that are on the market. Remember that your lab is your partner, so don’t hesitate to ask your representative if they participate in any incentive programs to help both of you build
Of course, getting jobs back quickly is an extremely important factor in choosing a lab, especially when confronted with a patient who’s going abroad for six months and needs five new pairs
of digital progressives with AR treatment tomorrow! In situations like this, the only chance an ECP has to make the sale is to work with a lens lab that also does its own AR treatments
in-house and offers same-day service. Schroeder Optical in Roanoke, VA, has been providing ECPs with quality lenses since 1972 and sets itself apart by focusing on personalized
service, maintaining an exceptional staff, and continuing to invest in new lens technology.
Nearby labs may provide fast turnaround for lens jobs, but it’s also wise to have a relationship with a distant laboratory, as well. For example, let’s say an East Coast ECP has a last-minute
lens sale at 4:59pm EST that needs to be completed by tomorrow and the local lab closes down for business at 5:00pm. If the ECP has an open account with a West Coast lab for
emergencies, the order can easily be sent overnight. Precision Optical Products San Diego is a West Coast optical lab that is open until 5:30pm PST (8:30pm EST) and offers overnight
delivery services. Another option is Santa Fe Lens in New Mexico, open six nights a week until 6:00pm MST (8:00pm EST). A patient-satisfaction move like this not only saves the day,
it also highlights a practice as an optical superhero.
Keep in mind that an optical lab can be more than just a step in producing eyewear, it can also be a beautiful partnership.
Francis Gimbel, Jr. is a licensed optician and owner of Gimbel Eye Associates in Wayne, PA.
WHERE TO FIND IT:
Laramy-K Optical 800-525-1274 • laramyk.com
Precision Optical Products San Diego 866-472-4436 • popsandiego.com
Santa Fe Lens (a division of Acoma Optical, Inc.) 505-473-5367 • santafelens.com
Schroeder Optical 540-345-6736 • schroederoptical.com
Sheridan Optical Co., Inc. 800-704-1375 • sheridanoptical.com