In the competitive eye care industry, practices are constantly looking to get an edge over their competition. For increasing numbers of dispensaries, a viable option is to bring lens finishing in house. We sat down with our resident edger expert, Fred Payne, to discuss some of the benefits of adding finishing equipment to an office.
Why would a practice want to add an edging system to their office?
Finishing equipment can have a positive impact on a practice’s bottom line. Aside from eliminating edging charges from their wholesale lab bill, it also removes the increasing costs of add-ons such as polished edges, tinting, scratch resistant coatings, and UV protection. Moreover, the shipping charges of sending frames off to a wholesale lab disappear.
In-house finishing also gives the dispensing optician complete control over job prioritization. When there’s no need to ship frames back and forth, a pair of “uncut” lenses usually arrive the day after they are ordered. Additionally, nothing can compromise the efficiency and quality of eyewear when it is all under your own roof.
What about the cost of the equipment and training?
While new finishing equipment can be expensive, one can save quite a bit by purchasing a refurbished edging system. At VSI, we calculate that only one job a day will pay for the equipment. Plus, our refurbishment process is so extensive that you can’t even tell that the unit isn’t new. As for training, modern patternless edging systems are very user friendly and VSI offers free installation and training on every unit. We also offer free lifetime phone support if any questions do arise.
How does the patient benefit from their doctor having lens finishing equipment in house?
Perhaps the biggest advantage of having an edging system is the increased customer service offered to patients. Having an edger on premises allows the practice to offer an array of new services: immediate dispensing of eyeglasses to patients who have a “stock” lens prescription, edge down of patient’s old lenses to new smaller frames, the option of patients keeping their own eyeglasses while their replacement lenses are on order.
Do you have any advice to doctors that are considering purchasing an edging system?
Do your homework and make sure you’re buying from a company you trust. You can save a lot by purchasing pre-owned equipment, but make sure you buy from someone that offers a warranty. Also make sure the seller has a service department that can fully service your edging equipment and support that warranty.