Hoya to Close Indiana Safety Rx Eyewear Lab

By Staff
Tuesday, August 13, 2019 12:10 AM PLYMOUTH, Ind.—Hoya Optical Labs of America, a unit of Hoya Vision Care North America, plans to close its safety prescription eyewear lab here, a move that will impact 83 employees. In an Aug. 6 letter, Bruce Scott, general manager and vice president of Hoya’s Global Safety Division, informed the Indiana Department of Workforce Development that Hoya will shut down the lab in phases, beginning Oct. 4, 2019. “The plant closure will be complete as of March 2, 2020. We expect it to proceed gradually and in phases as work is transferred to other Hoya locations,” Scott said in the letter.

Essilor Expands its Footprint in Europe and Latin America

By Staff
Tuesday, February 12, 2019 12:21 AM CHARENTON-LE-PONT, France—Essilor International, an EssilorLuxottica (Reuters: ESLX.PA) subsidiary, announced that it has completed four transactions worldwide, representing combined full-year revenue of around €48 million. Essilor is expanding its footprint in Europe through an agreement to acquire 100 percent of Brille24 GmbH, a leading online retailer of optical products in Germany with annual revenue of nearly €25 million. The acquisition of Brille24 is subject to approval of the German competition authority (Bundeskartellamt). The deal will speed up the development of “a drive-to-store model that gives consumers access to the latest digital technologies combined with the expertise of independent opticians,” Essilor said in a statement.

Precision Optical Group Purchases Precise Optical

By Staff
Wednesday, January 30, 2019 12:24 AM CRESTON, Iowa—Precision Optical Group, based here, (POG) has acquired Precise Optical, a full service laboratory located in San Angelo, Texas. Details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Lab Execs Address Implications of New Technology in the Modern Lab

By Staff
Monday, October 22, 2018 12:00 AM LAS VEGAS—Owners and executives from both large and small labs, addressed concerns, opportunities and the effects of emerging technology at The Modern Lab – Propelling Optical’s Smart Lab Era, hosted by Vision Monday and Lab Talk.

Rx for Success

By Andrew Karp and Jeff Hopkins
Monday, September 17, 2018 12:30 AM NEW YORK—In today’s ultra-competitive service economy, the pressure to deliver products and services when, where and how consumers want them—the so-called “Amazon effect”—impacts all suppliers. Eyecare professionals and optical retailers are feeling the heat, and so are the labs they depend on.

Automation Provides a Platform for Innovation

By Andrew Karp
Monday, September 17, 2018 12:29 AM Optical labs became increasingly automated in the latter part of the 20th century, thanks to the spread of computer controlled machines, advances in lab software and a streamlined approach to production that eliminated steps in the manufacturing process.

Suppliers Help Labs Meet the New Service Mandate

By Andrew Karp
Monday, September 17, 2018 12:28 AM “The Amazon effect has been growing rapidly in the optical lab industry. As we’ve modernized equipment and processes, the demands grow, not only for quality but also speed and transparency. We’ve enabled a more demanding consumer by providing them faster turnaround of very sophisticated lens products. This overall improvement and modernization has helped us grow the industry.

LMS Puts Lab Managers in Control

By Andrew Karp
Monday, September 17, 2018 12:27 AM All labs, no matter how big or small, depend on a Lab Management System (LMS). LMS software enables managers to control Rx processing, accounts receivable, inventory management, order tracking and sorting, production and interface with laboratory equipment.

How Digital Lens Processing ‘Democratized’ the PAL Business

By Andrew Karp
Monday, September 17, 2018 12:26 AM Bob Niemiec is a keen observer of the optical lab industry, having managed labs for major retail and managed care companies during the course of his career. Now working as a consultant, Niemiec offered his perspective on how digital spectacle lens surfacing and automated finishing processes have reshaped the lab business.

Coburn Technologies: Hearing the Voice of the Customer, Large and Small

By Andrew Karp
Monday, September 17, 2018 12:25 AM NEW YORK—For Alex Incera, president of Coburn Technologies, the process of innovation begins with the voice of the customer. “They’ll talk about things like serviceability—the ability to extract data and the ability to incorporate that data into their own systems and reporting.” From there, Coburn extrapolates from the need to “deliver the tools that the customer may never have even envisioned when they made the initial request.”

Independents Differentiate Themselves With Specialties

By Andrew Karp
Monday, September 17, 2018 12:24 AM A common strategy for labs seeking to differentiate themselves from competitors is offering specialized products and services. The advent of new technologies and the creation of new product categories has created opportunities for labs to distinguish themselves while developing profitable niches. Two labs that have successfully pursued this approach are Rochester Optical in Rochester, N.Y., which produces prescription inserts for smart glasses, and Vision Dynamics in Louisville, Ky., which specializes in glass lenses.

Strengthening Supply Chains and Creating New Business Models

By Andrew Karp
Monday, September 17, 2018 12:24 AM The consolidation of the wholesale lab sector in the 1990s and 2000s by vertically integrated suppliers created powerful lab networks while thinning the ranks of independent labs. In the past decade, optical labs have faced rising capital equipment and labor costs. Those factors, plus the pressure to process high volumes of work for managed vision care customers, have pushed labs to improve supply chain efficiencies and, in some cases, develop more streamlined business models.

New Study Provides SWOT Analysis for Labs

By Andrew Karp
Monday, September 17, 2018 12:23 AM NEW YORK—Jobson Optical Research and the Vision Council’s Lab Division conducted an online survey in August, 2018 to gain an understanding of how optical laboratory executives view the current business climate for labs, and how well they think their company is prepared to meet the challenges and opportunities they encounter in today’s optical market.

Independents Differentiate Themselves With Specialties

By Andrew Karp
Monday, September 17, 2018 12:21 AM A common strategy for labs seeking to differentiate themselves from competitors is offering specialized products and services. The advent of new technologies and the creation of new product categories has created opportunities for labs to distinguish themselves while developing profitable niches. Two labs that have successfully pursued this approach are Rochester Optical in Rochester, N.Y., which produces prescription inserts for smart glasses, and Vision Dynamics in Louisville, Ky., which specializes in glass lenses.

The New Generation of Lab Start-Ups: Technology Meets Tradition

By Andrew Karp
Monday, September 17, 2018 12:20 AM Just a few years ago, when all lab news seemed to be about expanding corporate networks and consolidation, the idea of new independent startup labs might have seemed like a pipe dream. But it was a dream shared by a number of industry veterans, and for some, it has become a reality. And while innovation and technology are a key to their business model, they are creating a future for the independent optical lab through an appreciation of—and even a nostalgia for—its past.