Expecting More From Labs
The wholesale “labscape” has changed dramatically in recent years. Widespread consolidation, significant advances in spectacle lenses and lens processing, and the emergence of remote tracing, online ordering via web portals has brought new challenges and opportunities to optical lab owners and operators.
Just as importantly, the constant introduction of new products and technologies, particularly in the area of ophthalmic lenses and lens treatments, has profoundly impacted the way eyecare professionals interact with their labs. Today, doctors and dispensers need easy access to the latest information about how to merchandise and dispense new lens products. They want rapid Rx service, including the ability to instantly check the status of any job in progress. Along with that, they want the best selection of products, the best quality workmanship and top notch service, and they want it all at competitive prices.
Suppliers are also asking more of their labs. Many manufacturers want greater support for their products and are seeking more responsiveness and a deeper level of commitment from the labs that process and distribute them. Faced with heightened expectations from both customers and vendors, many labs are upgrading their operations and improving their performance in order to remain competitive and profitable. Many labs, for example, are producing more Rx jobs today than a year ago using the same number of employees. That points to the fact the labs are becoming more efficient by automating their production processes as well as their order entry process. This trend, while not new, seems to be accelerating.
Consequently, the performance bar is being raised for all labs, both wholesale and retail. Lab owners and operators who understand this and realize what they need to do to upgrade and enhance their lab’s service will be the ones who will rise to the top.
—Andrew Karp, email@example.com