10 Reasons to Change Who You Buy Lenses From Now
1. Your bottom line. Buy highest quality digital lenses at lower prices.
2. Proven Independent labs. No retail arm. Proven Digital technology.
3. Shared Goals = True Partnership of your practice, the lab & Dr’s Choice.
4. Superior marketing with digital technology, delivered via apps, a great reading
card telling the Dr’s Choice story, and BOGO “Buy One Give One” program.
5. Superior dispensing via digital tools you pay small monthly fees for.
6. Dr’s Choice is an independent “OD only” brand. A sustainable strategy.
7. The full line of Rodenstock lenses are available. The benefit is Rodenstock Quality, German Engineering, but now made in Canada so great pricing.
8. We also now offer the full line of Hoya Lens Designs, made in Calgary for Dr’s Choice and Dr’s Choice designs by Hoya and IOT with Hoya coatings
9. Dr’s Choice offers multiple lens designs, multiple labs, plus the ease of dealing with a SPOC – Single Point of Contact for superior service. 1
0.With Essilor taking over Luxottica, the marketplace shift is now clear to see.
Dr’s Choice: A Timely Concept for Independent Optometry
At EyeXperts we are committed to provide clients with veri>iable facts on lenses; “insider information” NOT sales spin. Think the science you know about optics of the eye. Would it not be great to know the same type of information about the digital lenses you sell (and are sold to you)? Here is a sample of the information EyeXperts provides clients.
Free-Form and Digital – Beyond the Smoke and Mirrors!
The lens technology used by all major lens manufacturers has evolved since the first progressive designs of 1970. Today, marketing departments are very creative, but don’t explain the science. This may help drive profits, how do OD’s get unbiased information on digital free form designs? Your lensometer? Not so much. So how can an independent OD control quality if our normal lensometers no longer work?
Aberrometer based lens mappers, like the Visionix X40 are available.
We Partner in the prescribing and production process with key labs, you can really understand the difference between lens design A, B, or C. And the difference between lens coating X, Y or Z. A joint venture with any lab with world class manufacturing technology is possible.
The lab needs volume. If you know the science, you will learn to buy the right coating, NOT a warranty that costs ten times more! With the facts, you make better purchase decisions. Know the science of why to recommend specific lenses.
EyeXperts brings an innovative approach to the Lab/Dr relationship. With Dr’s Choice Brand and shared knowledge it is possible to “Stop Selling: Start Partnering.”
EyeXperts brings a new structure replacing old commission selling systems with a high value Brand/Consultation process. If labs know their volumes, accurate projections of the manufacturing volumes allow OD’s to obtain their own branded product of the highest quality, with an incredibly low Cost of Goods. Your patients get better prices on great optical technology. A new and better way to buy and sell lenses. A great example is with the dispensing tools on the iPad platform including the Optikam. Another is camber lens technology. Know the science, buy smarter.
Details, Details, Details:
1. This new process is called consulting, not selling in the traditional sense. 2. We measure patient satisfaction. Our focus is on the patient’s experience. 3. Your office and a certified Lab work together driving waste from the system. 4. Doing all this we build a genuine eyecare brand; Dr’s Choice. Our Brand.
The tragedy of the commons is an economics theory by Garrett Hardin, according to which individuals, acting independently and rationally according to each one's self interest, behave contrary to the whole group's long-term best interests by depleting some common resource. The concept is often cited in connection with sustainable development, meshing economic growth and environmental protection, as well as in the debate over global warming. "Commons" can include the atmosphere, oceans, rivers, fish stocks, national parks and any other shared resource. The tragedy of the commons has particular relevance in analyzing behaviour in fields from optical lenses to economics, evolutionary psychology, anthropology, game theory, politics, taxation, and sociology. Some also see the "tragedy" as an example of emergent behaviour, the outcome of individual interactions in a complex system. Let’s look at a classic tragedy of the commons in the business of wholesale labs and independent OD’s.
Essilor buys Coastal (Clearly Contact Lens) for $430 Million
Essilor is a global vertically integrated company with sales of 8 Billion (Ca $). Since 2004, Essilor purchased over 20 ophthalmic labs in Canada. In the same time period, Essilor purchased labs around the world in all markets. Essilor is the primary supplier to big box optical retailers; Lux retail, Costco etc. Essilor owns or controls the majority of ophthalmic labs in Canada under various names including; Nikon, Cascade, K&W, Riverside, Ocean and of course Essilor. Essilor owns framesdirect.com, coastal.com, eyebuydirect.com & a major owner of VisionWeb. Essilor owns 100% of Transitions, plus equipment makers Satisloh & Dac Vision. Essilor owns Kodak Vision Centres, 300+ retail stores in the UK, rapidly growing. Essilor owns many software vision companies including OMICS & Visioffice. Essilor owns good technology, is professionally ran, and earns about 12% profit EBITA. Essilor stock is up 100% in last 6 years, but was down 3% a week after coastal purchase. NDA agreements on the CCL purchase were signed months prior, clearly well planned. Senior top sales people linked to Essilor were already working for CCL in 2012.
Gerry Leinweber in 2014 completed a resources, processes & values (RPV) analysis. It showed the pattern of Essilor’s business: purchase market share. Essilor is a lens manufacturing company with direct to consumer advertising. Essilor is well versed in web commerce, B2B and B2C. The cost to sell to independent OD’s vs Chains (sales reps) is at least 15% of net sales. Essilor has been selling online to consumers for many years. It is not new, nor will it stop. The reason is simple, online sales are growing. Gerry predicts in 2010 Essilor will buy into retail in North America.
January, 2017. Essilor purchases Luxottica. No merger. The head office will be in France and Luxottica was delisted in Milan. Essilor will continue to be listed in Paris. OD’s finally appreciate that by selling Lux frames or Essilor lenses, that each time they do, another brick is laid to build a Lenscrafters or Pearl Optical next door. That's just reality. When you support your key competitors with wholesale purchases.
So, how do we avoid the tragedy of the commons for independent Optometry?
1. BE BRAND SMART. What this means is you really must spend the time to understand the science of Branding. A good place to start is Duane Knapp’s book BrandStrategy. The bottom line is brands matter a lot for certain products and have virtually no power in other product lines. For example in eye wear, Brands matter most with frames as they are fashion, not so much for contact lenses, and virtually not at all with ophthalmic lenses and ophthalmic medications. Need to prove this statement to yourself? Imagine if your cardiologist recommended a new medication for you. Would you really say; “Oh no, I prefer the old brand” or would you try the new meds and monitor closely for any possible side effects? The vast majority of patients recognize a Dr’s recommendation if a pharmaceutical Rx or an Optical Rx is involved.
2. FOLLOW THE CASH. For years, EyeXpert’s founder Gerry Leinweber has been tracking the industry ownership with a paper called; “Who Really Owns What.” This paper has chronicled the buying up of market by various companies. Two stand out. Luxottica and Essilor. Indeed the reason Gerry so accurately predicted Essilor going into retail was by tracking the financial performance of each company.
3. WHERE YOU BUY AND WHO YOU BUY FROM MATTERS. Not only do you fund your real retail competitor when you use Essilor as your lab, BUT far more importantly your detailed sales data is known by a very formidable competitor. Think about that for just a moment and think about how important the privacy of business data is to any successful business. If you expect a large company like Essilor to play fair, you don’t understand big business. They can and will use every advantage they can when competing for market share. Yes, for your market share.
4. IT IS NOT TOO LATE. The window is still open, but it won’t be letting in any fresh air unless more and more independent practices build brands that they will not have to compete with. There are options, yet only a few independents exist, but the best option is to use a Dr’s only brand. A genuine brand that was built for independent OD’s by independent OD’s. And a brand that incorporates the latest lens technology. That brand is Dr’s Choice. It is a genuine brand built on a “social investment” concept like Tom’s Shoes. It is a great brand, and allows for a unique marketing opportunity that ads on TV or the web cannot overcome. Do good and do well by using Dr’s Choice as your private label brand, the one you recommend.
5. LEADERS ARE ACTING. Cudos to those leaders at CAO, in Ontario and Quebec who now officially no longer allow Essilor to sponsor events at their annual provincial meetings. The reasoning is sound from a regulatory perspective, but the business case is even stronger.
6. Learn Globally It is true Essilor (and now Luxottica that it owns) is a huge global company with a lot of financial and technical resources. The one thing they don’t have is the patient’s trust. The one thing Doctors have and the Dr’s Choice brand is built on is trust. Here’s 3 lessons I learned recently in Guatemala City from Visualiza.
7. We need to tell our story. “See & Give” is the motto of this clinic and I am stealing this motto for my Social Enterprise Company EyeXperts, for my offices in Red Deer & Sylvan Lake and all of you should too. Or figure out how to make the story of your practice simple but compelling. Because all of us do some work for free, (one example is Eye See I Learn), some for a subsidized rate (at below chair cost is what I do social services, Indian Affairs and any complex amblyopic child) and some which thank God we make enough profit on to pay our rent, our staff and ourselves. But we don’t tell our story well - rather we apologize for what we make. But they tell our story as they tell their story at Visualiza!
8. We need to be much better at the business of eyecare. I learned at Visualiza they have figured out to cut the costs of suppliers for Cataract Surgery to 1/50 of what supplies cost in Canada. And they get the same visual outcomes or better!!! As I learned exactly how they do this, I reflected on how many OD’s pay double or triple what the need to pay for digital lenses. Facts are facts, and in the cold world of business, in a global economy, you need to have products where you make a very healthy margin (yes 300% to 400%) if you are going to subsidize costs for a segment of society (kids and our poor in Canada) but most OD’s in Canada insist on paying huge amounts for equivalent product because someone else (Essilottica) make the 300 - 400% and by the way, learn about your market share when you buy from them.
9. We need to quit complaining about what is, and start creating what we want. They did this in Guatemala. Surely we can do this in Canada where we have a great group of people (OD’s are some of the nicest, honest people I know) who by being Canadians have already won the genetic lottery, the geographical lottery (winter kills the insects so we never see one case of River Blindness) and as we have just seen with the Trudeau government backing down on their very unfair tax proposals, (and as an Albertan this hurts me to say) the good government lottery. I personally make very good money treating glaucoma and I look forward to sharing this knowledge with all Canadian OD’s when my very talented colleague Dr. Jerry Rawal starts teaching some of the world’s best CE in Mobay in 2020. Yes JR long ago figured out how to make money on Glaucoma in ONTARIO. Stay tuned for more as CVCE evolves.
The link on YouTube is here: For the full story with subtitles. https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnzBnWWM8v0
For a shorter video in English watch this. It is a bit older but gives great background https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTVS1OlHlTE
10. THERE ARE SOLUTIONS, BUT ONLY If Independent OD’s stop building Essilor & Luxottica’s brands. BUILD OD only BRANDS. BUILD BRANDS THAT SUPPORT OD’s. THE TWO BEST EXAMPLES I KNOW: DR’S CHOICE & RODENSTOCK. HOYA AND ZEISS ARE ALSO GOOD LABS TO BUY FROM AS ARE THE LAST FEW INDEPENDENTS LIKE NOVA IN CALGARY. And finally, act sooner than later.
10. Differentiate or Die. It is an excellent retail strategy when so many optical retailers have offerings that look more and more of the same and the same. The easiest way to differentiate your dispensary is to sell a brand of lenses only available from Doctors. Dr’s Choice. Digitally Designed. Doctor Prescribed. Doctor Certified. And by the way, patients will love saving money and you will enjoy better profits.