Business has been mixed of late. That makes me think about a conversation I had with a doctor wanting to know how to build her business at all levels. In this case we spent some time about the back office and how the costs and advantages of in-office finishing can help improve both opticians and business.

I have always believed that great optician skills include the ability to finish eyewear. For me, that means the expertise developed by dotting, layout blocking, edging and glazing frames. There is an improved understanding of lenses, their prescriptions, lens styles, lens materials and treatments, and most importantly, how they will look in the frame the customer chose. During that process, the optician becomes innately familiar with the frame, its materials and construction, and that leads to better frame choices for both inventory and customer. This knowledge drives the best choice of lenses, better frames and overall, what’s possible regardless of whether lenses or frames are chosen first.

In-office finishing is a support platform for growth for 2017 just as adding instruments for the clinical side of the practice or developing a social media program to advertise the practice. When planning to visit Vision Expo and/or other meetings, ask yourself, what would in-office finishing do for our office and, if you now are finishing lenses in office, what upgrades to the system should/could be implemented? Make appointments to know more.

“MR Material” is the title of this month’s CE course written by this author. The MR series of high index materials from Mitsui Chemicals has delivered numerous opportunities for both optician and wearer. Share this in the office so that all understand why your lens suppliers choose the high index materials they do. Then learn how a combination of material characteristics creates a more merchandisable finished lens on which you can rely. To do that, develop a new set of words that better describe the underlying DNA of lenses and the materials they’re made from customer discussions. And if you do your own edging, you can really understand how these lens materials can transform the way that you use them to make money and best satisfy your customer.

Any comments or questions, please contact me.

Mark Mattison-Shupnick, ABOM