Group Editor, lenses and technology
Transitions Optical is partnering with the American Optometric Association (AOA) for a "Read the Green Sweepstakes," designed to raise awareness of the importance of healthy sight for athletic performance, and to drive consumers to AOA member doctors' offices. Designed to appeal especially to golf enthusiasts, the sweepstakes—which runs Nov. 22 through Feb. 14, 2011—offers patients and eyecare professionals a chance to win golf-related prizes.
Consumers will be able to enter the sweepstakes by visiting the sweepstakes' website, readthegreen.com. Upon entry, they will be encouraged to visit their AOA OD for a validation code to enter for more significant prizes. When patients enter that validation code, the doctor will be entered to win a matching prize, including a trip to a 2011 major golf championship or the 2011 Transitions Championship, to be held next March in Tampa, Fla.
Peter Kehoe, OD, professional relations adviser for Transitions Optical said, "This promotion opens the doors for important patient dialogue about the critical role of comprehensive eye exams and protective eyewear to maximize visual performance for our passions and to help ensure a lifetime of healthy sight."
Transitions will promote the sweepstakes through a national advertising and public relations campaign. Participating doctors can also raise awareness by displaying complimentary promotional materials in their offices and by following tips on the promotion's website. Each AOA member doctor receives an activation kit in the mail the week of Nov. 15 with more details.
Noted Joe Ellis, OD, the AOA's president, "We are pleased to bring the Read the Green Sweepstakes exclusively to AOA doctors, who will be well positioned to counsel patients on their full eye health and vision needs."
"The collective efforts of all of us in the industry will help consumers connect healthy sight to optimal sports performance and an overall healthy lifestyle," said Connie Falvo, Transitions' director of external affairs.
Veteran wholesale lab executives Richard Cherry and Bob Carter of RD Cherry Optical recently opened Opti-Stock, a lens stockhouse in Lincoln Park, Mich. The new company, which is separate from RD Cherry, consists of a full-service warehouse offering a complete inventory of finished lenses including Essilor, Hoya, Seiko, SOLA, Shamir, Transitions, Gentex, Crizal, Crizal Alizé and Crizal Avance, according to Richard Cherry. He noted that Opti-Stock is also developing a frame line and a line of optical accessories. "We hope to be a one-stop shop for all finishing lab needs and retail products," he said.
The Opti-Stock warehouse is a newly remodeled 2,800 square foot facility located near I-75. Pictured in the warehouse are, left to right, co-owner Richard Cherry, customer service manager Jamie Rissane, operations manager Debbie Mullins, team leader Kara Collins and co-owner Bob Carter.
Carl Zeiss Vision announced that it has formed a partnership with Demandforce, a San Francisco-based software supplier, in order to provide eyecare professionals with Demandforce D3, "software-as-a-service application" designed to increase practice efficiency, improve customer relationships and drive success in the Internet economy, according to Zeiss.
Available through the Carl Zeiss Vision Rewards program, Demandforce D3, enables eyecare practitioners to use text messaging, email marketing and automated appointment reminders to communicate with patients. ECPs will also benefit from online profiles enhanced with consumer reviews, surveys and customized business data, Zeiss said.
"Carl Zeiss Vision Rewards allows us to extend our support to practices beyond offering the best in lenses, labs, coatings and equipment," said Heidi Noorany, Carl Zeiss Vision's director of market development. "Our goal is to help practices retain current patients and acquire new ones, which is why we have partnered with Demandforce. This relationship will bring eyecare practices the tools to communicate with consumers using email and text messaging, as well as enhance their online presence."
Practices leveraging the Demandforce platform can deliver targeted and segmented communications to patients via email and two-way text messaging, while also customizing messages to help reactivate lost patients, retain existing patients and reduce no shows, thus increasing the overall revenue for the practice, according to Zeiss. Demandforce will also help attract new patients through a unique data feed with 90+ leading Internet websites and search engines.
Santinelli International has recently enhanced its Web site with a "Live Tech Chat" option and other new features designed to provide clients with faster service and improved Web site navigation. By clicking the "Live Tech" button located on the company's Web site homepage, customers can access the instant message window and begin a live, one-on-one dialogue with one of Santinelli's certified technicians. "Live Tech Chat" is active during business hours. Telephone support remains an option, as does the Web site's FAQ section which features a growing number of videos "24/7."
"This technology gives our valued clients another source of obtaining accurate information when they have quick questions on parts, pricing and even crucial operational assistance, virtually instantly," said Matthew McKenna, Santinelli's vice president of client services. "We even have the ability to link documents, photos or videos which provides more detail and better clarification. 'Post-sale value' continues to be a top priority for the Client Services Division and we look forward to working closely with our clients to bring additional industry-leading programs throughout the coming months."
Other website enhancements and additions include a new product pull-down menu bar in the top portion of the website and Static Footer Links. Both offer alternative ways for the website visitor to easily find the product or section they are searching for and improve upon traditional navigation standards.
Optimus, a Myrtle Beach, S.C.-based lens manufacturer, has named Mark Higgins as vice president of sales and marketing. Higgins, who is based in Denver, reports to Optimus president Sam Singleton, OD.
Higgins entered the optical industry in 1999 with a focus in lens technology and finishing equipment. He has worked for Hoya, Topcon and most recently Briot USA, where he served as a territory manager. Higgins' appointment comes at a key time for Optimus, which just released new digital lens products and a new lens material, TriLite.
#1 Starting with the design, there are several fundamentals a PAL must provide. The foundation of a great PAL design is built on four things: Natural Reading Posture, Proper Near-Zone Placement, Binocularity and Sharp Central Focus.
For more information, and to take this CE course online, visit www.2020mag.com
#2 In sunwear, Effective Solar Protection is critical. This is achieved best when a lens blocks everything that we know to be harmful: UVB, UVA, High Energy Visible Light (HEVL, also known as high-energy blue light), and may include a portion of the infrared, or heat spectrum.
For more information, and to take this CE course online, visit www.2020mag.com
Manufacturer: Western Optical Supply
Description: A compact case designed to comfortably hold six pliers, plenty of drivers and small parts.
Features: Made of sturdy canvas with a hand carrying strap. Measures approximately 13 ¾ inches wide by 12 inches high when open and only 3 ½ inches wide by 12 inches high when rolled closed.
Manufacturer: Practical Systems, Inc. (PSI)
Description: Digital lens polish
Features: Specifically formulated for digital/free-form polishers. Offers exceptional surface quality with reduced haze for brilliant, crystal-clear lenses. Production proven to last three to five times longer than other polishes currently being used in digital systems, according to PSI. This is due to its stabilized chemistry and alumina particle structure, resulting in substantial cost savings to the lab. Unique chemistry provides continuous machine cleaning during polishing. Non-corrosive formula will not degrade adhesive on the foam polish button or irritate operator's skin. Non-foaming, sheeting formula means there is no messy foam in the tank and the lenses and blocks are easy to clean. Unique suspension technology via steric repulsion keeps alumina particles from attaching to each other and forming a hard settle. Works on all plastic lens materials, including polycarbonate and Trivex.
Availability: one-gallon jugs (PSI part #3330G) and five-gallon pails (PSI part #3330P)
Manufacturer: Vision-Ease Lens
Description: Premium, semi-finished, single vision high-index option for those with direct surfacing capability
Features: The lenses combine thin, lightweight comfort with superior optics. Thindex 1.70 lenses are thinner and lighter than 1.67 lenses and rival 1.74 high index lenses for greater comfort in mid to stronger Rxs. Higher Abbe value than 1.67 and 1.74 results in less chromatic aberration. SuperHydro anti-reflective coating on the FSV offering allows lenses to transmit maximum light for sharper night vision and reduced glare, while offering effective liquid repellence, high abrasion resistance and anti-static properties. Oleophobic coating resists smudges and oil, making lenses easy to clean.
Availability: Base curves range from 0.50 to 8.50D; prescription range is -16.00 to +8.00D. Other Thindex options include A SFSV, A FSV SuperHydro AR and a Novella short corridor progressive.
Manufacturer: Essilor of America
Description: Personalized lenses incorporating measurements for pupillary distance, vertex distance, pantoscopic tilt, wrap angle and fitting height for superior visual performance
Features: Varilux Physio Enhanced Fit lenses offer all the benefits of Varilux Physio Enhanced lenses in addition to personalization. Lenses are optimized to assure optimal vision for each prescription and position of wear. Patient's Rx is adapted to provide wider fields of vision for myopes, softer power changes for hyperopes. Designed with W.A.V.E. Technology 2 to provide the sharp vision at all distances and in all light conditions – especially low light – as well as superior aberration control and a personalized near vision zone. This results in improved ease of transitions between vision zones and more natural vision, Essilor said.
Essilor Fit Single Vision lenses optimize each Rx for each position of wear to assure optimal vision. Designed with W.A.V.E. Technology: Wavefront Advanced Vision Enhancement providing clearer, sharper and brighter vision as well as enhanced colors and details.
ECPs can measure for these products by using the Visioffice System or a manual measuring device available through Varilux sales reps.
Manufacturer: Vigor Optical
Description: Comprehensive resource to tools and supplies for dispensers and lab technicians
Features: Of special interest is a new digital air frame warmer, expanded line of hinges for metal frames, and a new safety lens marking pliers.