TIPS ON KEEPING FINISHING WORK IN-HOUSE

By Julie Bos

As we all know, many optical shops and physician’s offices have their own finishing labs, which can support much of their regular business. Yet even in these situations, there’s still a role for wholesale laboratories to play. If you’d like to continue supporting small optical shops who have their own finishing labs, here are several tips we learned from our three source labs:

  • Become their supplier. Make it known that you’re happy to supply them with uncut lenses. This may save them time and trouble, while ensuring that your relationship stays intact.
  • Be the expert on difficult jobs. Encourage them to use your lab for difficult jobs that can’t be finished on their existing machinery. Many customers that do their own edging primarily do it on common frame types, which leaves an opportunity for your lab to step in for complex ones, like specialty frames, complicated edge types and bevel placements.
  • Poise yourself as their “backup” lab. Let them know you can process all their finishing work when their equipment is down or when their staff is ill or on vacation. This can give great assurance to smaller optical labs who have little buffer in their schedule and their staff list.
  • Stay in touch. When an optical shop or physician’s office lab decides not to stick with edging, they’ll be looking for an outsource partner to take on that finishing work.
  • Ensure that your quality stays top-notch. It’s always important to keep turn times low and make sure that lens quality stays consistently at its best.
  • Check your price points. Monitor your pricing to ensure it stays competitive with other area labs, to keep these smaller labs from looking elsewhere.
  • Invest in the latest machinery. By having more sophisticated edging capabilities than what’s being used in small optical shops is key to filling in the gaps and recapturing some of this business.

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Labtalk-November/December 2017