ADO Practice Solutions
ADO Practice Solutions, founded in 1982, is a wholly owned unit of Walman, a 100-year-old independent family of optical businesses that is employee-owned and operated. ADO also sees itself as somewhat of a unique entity in the world of alliances and buying groups that are available to independent eyecare practices.
The philosophy and mission at ADO is to develop and provide programs and solutions that help independent OD practice owners succeed. ADO notes that is has more than 250 frame, contact lens, lab and other vendor partners that are set up to offer “maximum discounts” to members.
“We’re kind of the in-between because we started out as a traditional buying group, but transitioned ourselves to look and feel a lot more like an alliance,” ADO vice president and general manager Jobe Sellers told Vision Monday. “We kind of check mark all of the boxes of both sides of the [alliance/buying group continuum],” he added.
Yet, ADO said that it offers the best attributes of a traditional buying group. ADO has about 2,300 members across the nation, covering the gamut of the optical retail sector, from independent opticians, independent OD practices, combined OD/DO practices and both hospital and university systems, according to Sellers.
ADO, which also offers education, marketing services and rebates, among other services, is set up to consolidate all member purchases onto one monthly statement, which Sellers said greatly simplifies the accounts payable processes. “ADO provides the means to save businesses money and time so the practice can focus on the most important aspects of their business and enhance their services to their patients,” according to Sellers.
One of the primary goals of the organization is to increase the success and profitability of the independently owned practice through great service, competitive pricing, maximum vendor discounts and exclusive ADO benefits.
“We’re really focused on helping practices grow,” Sellers said. “We know that this is the most advantageous long-term benefit that we can help practices with. We do a really good job of helping practices save money and obtain the lowest cost of goods. But we also understand that growing the practice, growing the top line, and creating efficiencies are much more of a longer-term benefit for members.”
To provide a foundation for this success, ADO launched a comprehensive marketing program under the umbrella of the “DONE4YOU” banner. DONE4YOU is unique in the alliance marketplace, Sellers said, in that when a member takes advantage of the program “they gain access to our marketing team. We have hired and invested in a marketing team, including a marketing director with 19 years of experience in the marketing world to help franchise dental practices [and others]. We also have a graphic designer and we have marketing consultants,” he added.
Access to DONE4YOU is accomplished via a small, flat fee per month, Sellers said, and the members will have an opportunity to work with this marketing group to shape a program that matches the member’s marketing objectives, whether it’s improving capture rates, positioning itself as a contact lens specialist or promoting its dry eye treatment capabilities.
“Whatever their goal is, we help them develop a marketing plan and a strategy for that,” he said. “We also create and agree to a budget with them. From that point forward, and here’s where we differ, our team actually implements that marketing strategy for the practice.”
By providing support across all components of a marketing campaign—whether it involves print, radio, newspaper or in-house signage—the DONE4YOU team fully implements the program. “This allows the practice to fully engage, and to take full advantage of all the elements created for the marketing program,” Sellers said.
DONE4YOU was launched in 2017 and “is coming into its own this year,” Sellers said. “It’s really starting to grow and to become a significant part of our offering,” he added.