Ophthalmic Lenses

Establish a Relationship with a Digital Lab for Quality & Consistency

By Tim Delworth, ABO

Nov. 4, 2015


Establishing a strong working relationship with a digital lab ensures consistent quality for your patients, giving your practice a track record patients can trust and refer others to try.


EVALUATE CUSTOMER SERVICE. Look for a lab with ability to turn around quality digital progressives in competitive time frame.
ASSESS COST EFFECTIVENESS. If a lab provides extras like free shipping labels, it can save up to $10 a day in shipping fees.
TRAIN STAFF TO WORK WITH LAB. The lab should provide live or remote presentations and online materials for staff to reference on the back-end and when working with patients.

Digital free-form lenses are the premium option you can provide for patients that they can’t get online, so ensuring you have a digital lab to work with that you trust, and have a strong relationship with, is essential. My practice has built such a relationship with ABB OPTICAL GROUP’s Digital Eye Lab.

Without Digital Eye Lab, we could provide similar digitally fabricated products, but our service level wouldn’t be as high. We have developed a relationship with Digital Eye Lab that allows us to deliver quality digital free-form progressive glasses promptly to our patients. This has meant repeat customers for our practice.

Look for High Level of Customer Service

Digital Eye Lab is an independent free-form laboratory that cares about providing superior products with great customer service. They have an efficient online ordering system, which makes it easy for our staff to quickly place lens orders. We’re also able to use the online feature to track our orders as they are processed through the lab. Once it’s processed we can track the delivery of our package. You are not just another office to Digital Eye Lab; they have the best interest in providing quality product and service to your practice, so you can be successful.
Digital Eye Lab delivers a quick turn around on jobs. Generally, if we order stock or uncut lenses by noon, we get the job the next day.
Earlier this year, our office decided to make the transition from offering all progressive lenses to just digital free-form progressives. We decided to go with digital free-form progressives across the board because we felt that was what the industry was leaning toward. Why offer your customers old technology, when, for about $30 more out of pocket, they can get into digital free-form progressive lenses customized for their specific prescription?
We started to do our research to find a lab that could meet our expectations for digital free-form progressive eyewear, which was hard because we have extremely high expectations. Digital Eye Lab offered us superior products with great pricing and fantastic customer service.

Gauge Patient Feedback to Digital Lenses

Patients tell us the clarity and improved field of vision is astonishing! We have had no push back from patients on pricing of their lenses because they are seeing the difference from their old lenses. We are able to offer our patients a superior product at an affordable price.
In addition, patients are always amazed by quick turnaround. For example, last week I had a patient in the office who ordered a digital free-form progressive with Transitions. I was able to provide them with the finished product in less than 24 hours. The patient was extremely happy with the fast service our office was able to provide.
Since we started with Digital Eye Lab they have become a VSP-enabled laboratory. By sending our VSP jobs to Digital Eye Lab, we receive them significantly faster than we were from our previous VSP lab. With Digital Eye Lab it generally takes between 3-5 days, which is noticeably faster than the 7-10 days we were experiencing. Not only have we noticed the increased speed of delivery, but so have our patients!

Assess Cost Effectiveness

As existing customers of ABB OPTICAL GROUP, there are no additional expenses in using Digital Eye Lab compared to our previous lab. There are other benefits that we’ve been able to take advantage of as well, such as receiving one statement, consolidated shipping and working with the integrated sales team. Additionally, the provided shipping labels make it extremely easy to send frames and sunglasses to Digital Eye Lab on a daily basis.

See If Lab Is Approved By Insurance Most Patients Use

We were happy with the quality and service we were receiving for our non-VSP work, so using Digital Eye Lab for our VSP needs was a no brainer! Our staff is pleased with the fast turnaround time, and our patients are pleased with our continued commitment to service and quality.

Train Staff to Work Digital Lab

As we made our transition to working closer with Digital Eye Lab, they offered us PowerPoint presentations on products, along with pamphlets for our patients and reference materials for our staff. The Digital Eye Lab sales staff is eager to answer any questions that you may have about the products. I speak with our Eyewear Specialist at least once a month; sometimes going over monthly reports, other times talking about new products that are available. He is a great resource for our office. Additionally, the technical support and customer service staff at Digital Eye Lab is also available to help us, which makes a huge difference when servicing our patients.

Tim Delworth, ABO, is the optical manager with Berlin Optical Expressions in Berlin, Vt. To contact: tim@oeberlin.com

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