Practice ManagementTechnology

LensCrafters Closing Local Labs: The Era of 1-Hour Specs Dead?

This week we saw a flurry of reports throughout many regions of the US that LensCrafters is shuttering their local labs, and will now rely on large, centralized labs to service their corporate stores.

With many stores already lacking an in-house lab, and now with local options disappearing, does this mean that the era of “1-hour lenses”, or “same-day lenses” has come to a close?

Amazon has proven that people are willing to wait up to 2 days if the price and product is right. That very model is killing traditional retailers across the US (including many of the malls where LensCrafters tend to be located!)

So perhaps this speaks more to a changing retail environment than anything else.

Will this change impact your practice? Weigh in!

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Dr. Faive Kovalis, Striving to be the “Zappos” of your Optical [#R049]

In this Radio Show, we interview Dr. Faive Kovalis, the founder of

The company provides an online site for eye care professionals to directly order frames and lenses WITHOUT the need for sales rep visits or ‘boots on the ground’. This removes a great deal of cost.

Using Zappos as a model, docs can go to the web site, order product that they want to evaluate, and return any product they don’t want in a pre-paid box.

We get into:

  • The history of SmartOD — Why it was founded
  • How the SmartOD business model keeps costs low and improves profit margins for docs on frames and lenses
  • How Dr. Kovalis and SmartOD have incorporated feedback from members as the company has evolved
  • How the “force of habit” in purchasing is preventing docs from saving money in their opticals
  • Updates on the latest frame lines that they now carry
  • How docs can get started with SmartOD.

If you have any questions for Dr. Kovalis, please post them here!

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Reducing Optical Costs: Talking with Dr. Dan Dieterichs [#R029]

In this show, private practitioner Dr. Dan Dieterichs stops by to talk to us about reducing costs of goods sold in the optical.

We explore “Dental Envy“, Independent Practitioner Associations, and talk about the new, and how buying frames factory-direct can lower the cost of goods in your optical.

Leave feedback for Dan in this thread!

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Building and Running a Profitable Optical with Jay Binkowitz [#R019]

Noted consultant and creator of the EDGE system, Jay Binkowitz stops by to chat with us about the basics of running a profitable optical.

We touch on several points, including:

  • OD/Optician Partnerships
  • Maintaining profitability in an era of vision care plans
  • How much space an optical should take up
  • Board management
  • How often one should renovate
  • To edge, or not to edge!

Whether you are just getting out of school & setting up an optical for the first time, or have been through it before, Jay offers lots of practical tips.

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