Family Business: Lab Leadership Across Generations

By Jeff Hopkins / Contributing Editor
Thursday, February 18, 2021 12:30 AM The optical industry is often viewed as a family: it is relatively small, as industries go, and it often seems like everybody knows everyone else. But many optical businesses, including labs, are literally family affairs passed on from one generation to the next, creating a continuity of culture and customer relationships. To understand the attraction, advantages and the rewards of working in the family business, VM spoke to four lab leaders who are following in their parents’ footsteps and creating new ones of their own.

The Human Factor: Lab Functions That Resist Automation

By Jeff Hopkins / Contributing Editor
Thursday, February 18, 2021 12:29 AM The first two decades of the 21st century have seen many new developments and large investments in lab automation. Automating functions increases efficiency, reduces turnaround time and points of failure in lens fabrication and finishing, and almost everyone who knows the lab business would agree that the changes are for the best.

Start Me Up: What it Takes to Launch a New Rx Lab

By Jeff Hopkins, Contributing Editor
Tuesday, December 22, 2020 6:29 PM With the optical lab landscape seemingly dominated by manufacturers’ networks and a few large independent labs, you could be forgiven for thinking that there is no room in the market for new players. Yet optical veterans continue to find fertile ground for the establishment of new small independent labs, and success is following.

At Your Service

By Andrew Karp / Group Editor, Lenses & Technology and Jeff Hopkins / Contributing Editor
Monday, November 2, 2020 12:30 AM In the first days of the coronavirus pandemic, as states and municipalities began issuing shutdown orders, optical retailers and optometric practices across the country went into shock. With many offices closed and eyeglass shipments disrupted, the situation was chaotic. “When everyone literally had the rug pulled out from under them, no previous systems you had in place were going to be helpful when you’re winging it,” recalled optician Ruth Domber, who co-owns 10/10 Optics, a popular optical boutique and optometric practice in New York City.

Dynamic Demos

By Jeff Hopkins, Contributing Editor
Monday, November 12, 2018 12:30 AM Chances are you wouldn’t buy a house without seeing it in person. After all, you’re going to be spending a significant amount of time there. Yet most of us spend almost every waking hour “living” in our eyeglass lenses, but we don’t actually get to experience them until after we’ve purchased them. That’s the eternal problem of selling eyeglass lenses: you can tell patients that digital designs will work better than the standard designs they are wearing today, but how do you make them see the difference?

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.

Lesson Plans

By Jeff Hopkins
Monday, November 14, 2016 12:30 AM For the optical industry, continuing education isn’t just something you do on a weekend. It is a need that never goes away. Optical technologies change, new vision issues and clinical approaches emerge, and practices are always in search of ways to increase customer satisfaction and profitability.

Inside The Blue Boom

By Jeff Hopkins
Monday, April 11, 2016 12:33 AM Blue light is one of the most talked about vision care topics in recent years, both within and without the optical industry. Professional journals, trade publications and even consumer media are filled with articles about the potentially harmful effects of blue light on the eye, as well as its effect on sleep patterns, mood and overall wellness. VM spoke with nine ECPs who have made blue light management an important part of their patient care regimen.