Top-of-the-line service, quality and support may be the cornerstones of K-Optical’s business, but it is the lab’s ability to foster strong partnerships that enable it to remain competitive in a fast-moving market.

“We’ve had staff members go in and work within the dispensary, either to train their people or to fill in if they happen to be short staffed,” says Don Kirman, owner of K-Optical, based in Hummelstown, Pa. “We have a variety of accounts and we try to partner with their individual needs, whatever that may be.”

Founded in 1979 and currently operating with 16 employees, K-Optical also utilizes the Internet and an extensive remote ordering system to offer greater convenience and better pricing to dispensaries. Online orders earn a discount and are easily tracked through a unique computer software program. “We were one of the early pioneers with remote ordering, but now anything having to do with the Internet is taking off. We’ve seen our Internet communication triple in the last year and a half. And it’s not just for placing orders. It’s for education and communication,” says Kirman.

As a member of the Optical Synergies lab group, K-Optical also has the opportunity to benefit from partnerships with other wholesale labs and suppliers. “We really rely on and partner well with other members of our group,” Kirman adds. “We have annual meetings and other networking opportunities throughout the year. And because we are not geographically close to each other, the members of our group are open about sharing information.” Relationships like this one go a long way toward ensuring that K-Optical is able to stay competitive in the changing environment of independent optical labs.  

 —Kristen Spina