Ophthalmic Lenses

How We Saved $3,000 in Lab Fees & Generated Over $250K in Profits

Blake Kuzniar, a Certified ParaOptometric Technician, who has helped reduce lab costs. "She is cross trained in all departments in our office. She's a Rock Star!" says Dr. Cargo.

Blake Kuzniar, a Certified Para-optometric Technician, standing alongside the edger that has done so much to reduce lab costs and increase profitability in Dr. Cargo’s office.

Changing how fast glasses are ready and how profitable they are to your practice.

By Jonathan Cargo, OD

Nov. 15, 2023

When we first opened our practice cold we didn’t have enough sales to justify in-office edging, but our office grew and within a couple of years we were selling more than 150 pairs of glasses per month. We delayed purchasing an edger for several more years thinking that it wasn’t a critical need.

Here is how we optimized this purchase to transform our patient experience and profitability.

Faster Service While Cutting Costs

In-office edging allows us to provide faster service for our patients and reduces our costs. By not offering it, we were making our patients wait longer for their glasses and we had less profit margin. Patients, who needed a pair of glasses urgently because they broke or lost theirs, would be referred to other opticals, causing us to lose their business.

About five years ago, we added in-office edging to the office and trained all of our office staff to edge spectacles. We purchased a well-known product with a proven track record that was fully automated, making it simple for any person to use. We now edge almost all of our spectacle orders in the office.

We immediately realized quicker turnaround times from our lab. It also allowed us to provide new lenses for an existing frame without having to send in the patient’s glasses. Before, patients wouldn’t update their lenses or would go elsewhere if they wanted to keep their own frames.

Opportunity to Inventory Single-Vision Lenses

It also allowed us to stock an inventory of single-vision lenses and provide a value offering for patients. This is a high-margin offering that we offer as a complete frame and lens package for $99. It’s a great option for a back-up to contact lenses or for someone looking for a great deal. Within about 20 minutes we can provide patients with glasses to have them seeing better that day!

In-office edging allows us to provide faster service including same-day service on single-vision products. Patients also can reuse their existing frame with ease. Offering this service builds loyalty in our office, and gives patients a greater appreciation for our optical.

Offering in-office edging sets your office apart from other providers, and will allow you to grow your profits significantly. The newest systems are low-maintenance and can be easily taught to almost any member of your team.

Impact on Profitability:

We save thousands of dollars a month in edging fees alone. Our lab charges us $10 per job to edge the lenses. We typically sell more than 300 jobs a month, saving us more than $3,000 in lab fees each month. We have easily generated over $50,000 per year in savings and increased margins. Over the last five years, this has added up to over $250,000 in profits. I wished I had done this 10 years earlier.

Jonathan Cargo, OD, is the owner of Cargo Eye Care, a Vision Source practice in Irving, Texas. To contact him: drcargo@cargoeyecare.com 

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