Vision Monday


The Lab Watch: The Interdependence Between Labs and ECPs

By Staff
Thursday, January 11, 2018 11:28 AM
Wholesale laboratories are constantly reinventing themselves. Whether your lab is installing the latest lens processing machinery, updating its lens calculation software or adding a rapid delivery service, change is the norm. Yet the interdependence between labs and the eyecare professionals they serve remains constant. The simple reason is that most ECPs continue to rely on labs to provide them with prescription lenses and advice on how to select and dispense them. As lenses grow increasingly sophisticated and the amount of lens products continues to multiply, the symbiotic relationship between labs and ECPs has developed too.

20/20’s annual Wholesale Lab Usage Survey illuminates how this essential partnership is evolving. The following topline data and charts offer useful information that can serve as a benchmark for gauging how your practice utilizes the many products and services offered by their lab (or labs, in some cases).

Topline Analysis

  • Forty-two percent expect to do more business with wholesale labs in the coming year.

  • The factors that were rated “very important” in selecting a wholesale lab are based on the quality of services more so than the characteristics of the labs themselves (e.g., ownership).

  • The factors in selecting a lab considered very important by most are lens surfacing quality (94 percent), lens finishing quality (92 percent) and lens coating quality (90 percent).

  • The majority of locations purchase surfaced lenses (93 percent) and safety glasses (78 percent) from their primary lab.

  • The services provided most often by the respondent’s primary lab were lens product information (99 percent), technical support (97 percent) and online ordering (96 percent).

20/20’s Wholesale Lab Usage Survey 2017 was conducted during June 2017 by Jobson Optical Research’s in-house research staff. The sample of 265 respondents was derived from the proprietary Jobson Optical Research Database.

The 2017 survey was conducted online, and only eyecare professionals at independent locations (one, two or three affiliated practices) who use a wholesale lab for processing lenses or providing other eyewear products and services were qualified to complete the survey. Respondents to the survey were entered in a sweepstakes to win a $200 gift card.

Three years of data is shown for trending purposes.

–Andrew Karp

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