Shamir Debuts Rapid Service Lab Concept to Service Local ECPs

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PHILADELPHIA—In an effort to help local eyecare professionals compete with online eyewear vendors, Shamir has developed a new approach to providing prescription laboratory service that is predicated on delivering lenses in three hours or less.

“Our concept is to provide unprecedented fast service, using local, high quality production,” explained Hilaire van der Veen, the Shamir executive who serves chief operating officer of the new lab venture, known as InoTime. “Patients don’t like shopping for glasses, then walking out without their purchase and getting it six days later. We want to change and make it easy for them.”

InoTime’s approach involves setting up small, low volume labs in local markets that are specially equipped to process lenses faster than conventional labs. Satisloh is equipping the labs with generators, edgers and coating equipment that have a small footprint but are designed for fast throughput. InoTime is using bicycle messengers to deliver the finished glasses to the ECP’s office, or, if the ECP prefers, to the patient.

InoTime promotes itself to consumers through the local eyecare practices and optical retail locations it services, as well as through social media. “We’ll give the customers the address so they can go to the ECP’s office, and the ECPs website can serve as a gateway to the Inotime site,” said van der Veen. Consumers can use InoTime’s smartphone app to track the progress of their glasses, which InoTime promises to deliver in two to three hours.

After testing the InoTime concept in Israel, where Shamir is based, the company opened its first U.S. InoTime lab last month in Philadelphia. It is currently servicing about 60 eyecare practices and retail locations in the city. Shamir intends to expand to other markets across the U.S., but is sticking to the East Coast during the company’s start-up phase, according to van der Veen, who is pictured at InoTime’s Philadelpha lab along with Satisloh’s Larry Clarke (center) and InoTime CEO Danny Sisso, right.

“Our goal is to create a worldwide brand for this product, like Apple or Starbucks,” he told VMail.