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Thread: Essilor's new Pal exclusive to Vision Source

  1. #26
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    So

    So, even though every manufacturer does 'white boxing", Essilor is particularly guilty because of the way they do it?

    Sounds like someone couldn't get a Varilux listing so the best they can do is bash them for it.

  2. #27
    OptiBoard Professional bren_03825's Avatar
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    Just a Thought

    It's kinda weird, but It seems the gist of this thread is that Essilor, like any company I know out there, is out to make money. And people don't like it. Hmmmm, follow up question, why does ANYBODY go into business? Now a neat thing is that since we order and produce the product for the consumer, and can order from any lab we do business with, and I have yet to see in 16 years, even 1 lab that only deals with 1 manufacturer, who cares what essilor, shamir, rodenstock, zeiss, hoya, etc do? Talk to your patient, find out what they need, and make their business with you the best it could ever be, and maybe you will be the one doing more business than your competitors, because you are better. That seems to have ALWAYS worked for me, no matter where I have been.
    Brendan :cheers:

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    That's what we need Brendan, more attitude like that. Great stuff. Would you like to move where its warmer? I know several places that would welcome you!

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    sub specie aeternitas Pete Hanlin's Avatar
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    A little clarification...

    Since there has been so much discussion in this thread regarding the nature of TruClear and VISO, perhaps some clarification is in order.

    First, TruClear is not a remarked Varilux Physio, Ovation, or any other lens. It is a unique design created at the request of Vision Source!, which represents a large group of private-practice ODs.

    Private label products are common in all kinds of retail environments. The purpose being to provide a product to a user who wants to protect a segment of their business. In this case, Vision Source! members want a PAL offering unique to their practices, which cannot be price-shopped at a retailer (or even other practices). Vision Source! owns the brands TruClear and VISO, and Essilor manufactures the lenses for them.

    Concerning the Essilor-is-not-your-friend allegation, I would posit that Essilor has more of an interest in the private practice segment of our market than any other ophthalmic manufacturer producing lenses. After all, ophthalmic products and services are the sole source of income for Essilor. By far, the most profitable segment of those products & services is represented by private practice Optometry and Ophthalmology. Therefore, Essilor loses money every time a patient decides to leave a private practice to shop at a retailer- which is precisely why Essilor invests more resources into R&D of ophthalmic products, education for the market, and advertising to consumers than any other lens manufacturer.

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicko View Post
    So, even though every manufacturer does 'white boxing", Essilor is particularly guilty because of the way they do it?

    Sounds like someone couldn't get a Varilux listing so the best they can do is bash them for it.
    Essilor is guilty because it is successful and big. If Zeiss, Shamir, Younger or whoever was this big this board would bash them too.

  6. #31
    Guerrilla Optician OptiBoard Bronze Supporter Framebender's Avatar
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    I could be wrong . . . .

    but I actually believe that Hoya is more a friend to independants since they don't sell to the chains.

    Again, I could be wrong, but that is my understanding.

    :cheers:
    Days where my gratitude exceed my expectations are very good days!

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    Uh, that's a negative Framebender. There is not a lens vendor in the world that does not sell to retail in some way, shape or form.

  8. #33
    The Man, The Myth, The Legend OptiBoard Gold Supporter Fezz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicko View Post
    There is not a lens vendor in the world that does not sell to retail in some way, shape or form.
    Could you fill those of us who are not educated on this (me), in?

    I know that Shamir sells to one of Canada's largest chains. Any other examples?

    Thanks for shedding some light on this.

  9. #34
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    Thanks for the verification Fezz. I could name several more instances inclusive of just about every vendor, but that really wasn't the point of my post. When painting someone with a brush, you simply have to use the same brush for everyone. Of course everyone is entitled to their views, but politicizing on inaccurate or incomplete information is rampant on this forum. The fact that people may take this information to heart and form an uneducated opinion is distressing to me. That's why I applauded Bren's post. Our goal should be to help the patient as best as we can using our experience on products that work based on performance and not a "he said, she said" argument.

    That's really it....We should strive to remain ethical above all and a lot of bashing that goes on here transends the fine line of competitiveness versus misinformation.

    Thanks

  10. #35
    Professional Rabble-Rouser OptiBoard Bronze Supporter hipoptical's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florida Optician View Post
    Bottom line in my opinion-Essilor is really really good at marketing and we can only hope that independents will wake up and realize that if they truly want to be different than everyone else -they will look into the numerous other great progressive lens on the market.

    :cheers:
    Problem is, most want to be different- JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE! They HAVE to be "an exclusive, certified, bona fide, registered, one-of-a-kind" Varilux office, just like every other office out there. That way they can say "You can't just get this lens anywhere.... only every independent, chain, or online optical dispensary offers this." Smart customers respond "Where can I NOT get it?"
    "Well, you can't get it at the grocery store, Walgreen's, CVS, Toys R Us, or Starbuck's. So, you see, it's a VERY exclusive product, only available to those who sell eyeglasses and are willing to part with excessive money for old technology."

    By-the-way...
    I've got a computer for sale. In 1998 it was among the best you could get. Only $799 (monitor not included, does come with printer). Pentium II, Windows 98, upgraded to 64m RAM. I know all you Varilux pushers out there must be foaming at the mouth for this deal! Once I sort through all the PMs I'll sell it to the highest bidder over my offer.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Hanlin View Post

    Concerning the Essilor-is-not-your-friend allegation, I would posit that Essilor has more of an interest in the private practice segment of our market than any other ophthalmic manufacturer producing lenses. After all, ophthalmic products and services are the sole source of income for Essilor. By far, the most profitable segment of those products & services is represented by private practice Optometry and Ophthalmology. Therefore, Essilor loses money every time a patient decides to leave a private practice to shop at a retailer- which is precisely why Essilor invests more resources into R&D of ophthalmic products, education for the market, and advertising to consumers than any other lens manufacturer.
    Pete,
    I agree that Essilor has a large interest in private practice but lets not forget that Essilor has their hands in just about every avenue of the optical market. Lenses, coatings, labs, equipment, software, retail stores, etc.

    Also, don't forget that when Essilor and the other manufacturers make deals with retail chains it typically means that there is a lower price for the lenses, coatings, etc. that the private practice built a market for (do they get a thank you?) and the retail chains can then sell for lower than private practice or make deals. The retail chains have size and can control operating costs well due to their scale but to give them an unfair advantage over the segment you used to build your market is shameful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrctx View Post
    Pete,
    I agree that Essilor has a large interest in private practice but lets not forget that Essilor has their hands in just about every avenue of the optical market. Lenses, coatings, labs, equipment, software, retail stores, etc.
    Essilor does not own retail stores.

    Also, we should not forget about Stock Club and RX Club that sell independents Essilor products at almost next to nothing, probably cheaper than the chains.

  13. #38
    Optical Clairvoyant OptiBoard Bronze Supporter Andrew Weiss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Hanlin View Post
    First, TruClear is not a remarked Varilux Physio, Ovation, or any other lens. It is a unique design created at the request of Vision Source!, which represents a large group of private-practice ODs.
    Thanks for the clarification, Pete. I admit I was skeptical that a company as big as Essilor would design an entirely new progressive for a specific, niched retail market like Vision Source ODs. I'll be trying out a TrueClear HD in a couple of weeks; I'll post my review.
    Andrew

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    This is soooo true! So many optometrists and optical wholesalers just go with the flow and do what they are told to do. I was very impressed with all of the replys I read concerning Essilor. It is sad that the rich get richer and the poor poorer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by optical geek View Post
    This is soooo true! So many optometrists and optical wholesalers just go with the flow and do what they are told to do. I was very impressed with all of the replys I read concerning Essilor. It is sad that the rich get richer and the poor poorer.
    To be honest, I keep aware of many labs in Canada and many different products. I have talked to reps from other big companies, and no one addresses my problems and helps me out more than Essilor. We keep hearing people talk about how good of a marketer Essilor is. Now these people use the term in a negative way, because the real definition of "marketing" is not well known. So lets grab some of the real terms for marketing.

    “The process of planning and executing the conception, pricing promotion and distribution of ideas, goods and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational goals.”
    (Goodyear, 1996 page 106 taken from The American Marketing Association, nc)


    “A social and managerial process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating and exchanging products and values with others.”
    (Kotler, Armstrong, and Cunningham, 2002 page 6)


    Marketing is an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating, and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders.
    (The American Marketing Association, 2004)


    Now these are three terms that have evolved with time. The first one is the oldest, and the last one is the most recent. These are the real terms for marketing, not what is usually spat at on this board. I would say that Essilor does successfully fit the role between the second and third definition.
    Last edited by For-Life; 06-21-2007 at 07:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Hanlin View Post
    Since there has been so much discussion in this thread regarding the nature of TruClear and VISO, perhaps some clarification is in order.

    First, TruClear is not a remarked Varilux Physio, Ovation, or any other lens. It is a unique design created at the request of Vision Source!, which represents a large group of private-practice ODs.

    Private label products are common in all kinds of retail environments. The purpose being to provide a product to a user who wants to protect a segment of their business. In this case, Vision Source! members want a PAL offering unique to their practices, which cannot be price-shopped at a retailer (or even other practices). Vision Source! owns the brands TruClear and VISO, and Essilor manufactures the lenses for them.

    Concerning the Essilor-is-not-your-friend allegation, I would posit that Essilor has more of an interest in the private practice segment of our market than any other ophthalmic manufacturer producing lenses. After all, ophthalmic products and services are the sole source of income for Essilor. By far, the most profitable segment of those products & services is represented by private practice Optometry and Ophthalmology. Therefore, Essilor loses money every time a patient decides to leave a private practice to shop at a retailer- which is precisely why Essilor invests more resources into R&D of ophthalmic products, education for the market, and advertising to consumers than any other lens manufacturer.
    OK, I "believe" you... Essilor would never do anything except what is best for me... You're absolutely.....
    WAIT A MINUTE! I can't be hypnotized that easily. You'll have to do better than that to convince me. Something like... use actual facts and proof, maybe. If so many independents feel like I do, then one of these days your company is going to have to realize that if we're not right, then the image you project through your business practices does not match your stated company position. In other words, you say one thing, but do something completely different. Example from another company: I was in a meeting with Signet Armorlite along with a hundred others or so, when the president and vice-pres. both said that they will NEVER get into the lab business, they support the independent lab, and will NEVER get into the lab business. Less than two years later they were open for business, and going directly to retailers, for much less than most labs could offer. The Evil Empire is no different, except for doing similar things on a broader scale. You say that when a patient goes to the retailer, Essilor loses? How so? Stuff-Mart sells Varilux, Natural, Ovation, Nikon, etc., and so does just about every other chain retailer out there. Essilor has packaged product specifically for LC before. So please, if you're going to join the discussion, at least offer some proof to your position, instead of towing the old company line. It's getting old, really...

  17. #42
    Optical Clairvoyant OptiBoard Bronze Supporter Andrew Weiss's Avatar
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    Hey, isn't this thread supposed to be about the Essilor/VS progressive?

    Pete, what I am concerned about is the increasing homogenization of the industry. The more independent labs are bought out by Essilor, the more diversity in management structure and perspective we lose, not to mention the more capital gets held in fewer and fewer hands.

    Many of us don't see hegemony in our industry -- whether it's by Essilor, or Zeiss/Sola, or anyone else -- as a good thing. So there are many of us, myself included, who would prefer to support independent labs, not just other independent retail opticians. I think if you look deeply into the "I hate Essilor" posts, you'll find that perspective in there.

    Hey, isn't this thread supposed to be about the Essilor/VS progressive?;)
    Andrew

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    Inspired by one of Optiboard's finer coming-of-age threads...

    1.) These business practices is hardly unique to Essilor. We can name multiple optical industry companies that private label, obfuscate, vertically integrate, etc. Really, those who "can", "do". Let's lose our naiivete: no optical corporation is "for independents"...it's a small-guy's marketing position. They're all about money, of course. They're not us.

    2.) In contrast, one of, if not the, most important jobs we do as professionals is to understand and analyze optical products and bring them to our patients with confidence and expertise. We operate under another principle as professionals: we are advocates and care-takers. It's a more noble calling than we realize. We're not them.

    3.) As businesspeople ourselves, though, let's look out for our own interests: quality, price, availability. I think I cite John's here: "It's the art of buying, not selling". What he means is that we have to cut our own "good deals" and add the fruit of our negotiations/shopping to our bottom lines. No margin, no mission. We do have that in common with them.

    Reflect: what is your mission? How can you partner with entities with different or antithetical missions to achieve yours?

  19. #44
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter Judy Canty's Avatar
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    Well put!
    "Jargon is the last refuge of the scoundrel." --Roger Ebert

  20. #45
    sub specie aeternitas Pete Hanlin's Avatar
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    Very well put indeed...

    Regarding the consolidation of the laboratory business, it should probably be noted that the US market is sort of "odd." In most markets, the laboratories are owned primarily by manufacturers. In fact, that was also the case in the US- until AO and B&L lab networks were divided up (which gave rise to a number of the independent laboratories currently out there).

    One could ask if "being like the rest of the world" is really the way to go... Well, if you consider premium products a good thing (i.e., patients wearing PALs and/or AR), the answer would have to be "yes" (based on the fact that penetration of PALs and ARs are higher in most of these other markets).

    Essilor has a new division I really like- Partner Laboratories. Essilor purchases an interest in the laboratory- but the laboratory owner retains an interest as well. The result is the laboratory receives access to Essilor resources and efficiencies, which provides ECPs with the type and feel of the services to which they are accustomed. Most of the laboratories being added to the Essilor network are now partner laboratories.

    As for private practitioners and manufacturers, as was so well noted it all comes down to the objectives of each business. Essilor is not in competition with the private practice eye care provider (ECP) in any way, shape, or form. In fact, given the "push" nature of the eyewear market, Essilor relies on their relationship with the private ECP to recommend and deliver their product- just as the practitioner relies on Essilor and other manufacturers to provide new technologies & products. (Souring that relationship is the interest of our competitors, which explains a lot of what you read on this forum.)

    As for that computer from 1998- if it is still outperforming computers built by other vendors today (and Varilux Comfort continues to outperform "new" competitive designs), I suppose I would look to buy a new version of the same model! Fourteen years after launch, Varilux Comfort is still the world's most prescribed PALs. Its not the marketing (our marketing folks are good, but they're not that good). When Varilux Comfort launched, Essilor was NOT the world's largest supplier of PALs- by far. Varilux Comfort gained market share simply because it has a patented design which out-performs other PAL designs. ECPs who were used to 10-20% non-adapts started fitting Varilux Comfort and realized it was simply a better design.

  21. #46
    The Man, The Myth, The Legend OptiBoard Gold Supporter Fezz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Hanlin View Post
    Varilux Comfort gained market share simply because it has a patented design which out-performs other PAL designs.

    This is a very interesting statement. I want everybody to re-read that above statement.


    Ok....now lets look into that a little more.

    1.) "out-performs other PAL designs" -- says who?

    2.) What other PAL designs does it outperform.

    3.) Does it "out-perform" just in its overall quality? Or does it "out-perform" do to sales.

    4.) How many of Essilors other PAL designs does it "out-perform"?

    5.) I just re-read one of Dr. Sheedy's progressive lens reports. I think Dr. Sheedy has provided a valuable measurement of progressives and the overall ratings. I find it almost amusing how few PAL designs that Varilux Comfort doesn't "out-perform".

    6.) I wonder if its really just the Marketing BS that "out-performs" other PALs?


    Pete also makes the statement that the "Varilux Comfort is still the world's most prescribed PALS"

    Should one then conclude, by the above statement, that all of Essilors PAL designs since the introduction of the Varilux Comfort, are no better than a outdated Varilux Comfort design?

    How are we to believe the BS that Essilor continues to spew about how much better, fantastic, life altering, and great all of their newer PALS are? After all, a fourteen or whatever year old lens design "out-performs other PALS designs"!

    Cut the Bull Puckey.

    I could go on, but I am afraid that I will not be nearly as controlled and nice if I continue.
    Last edited by Fezz; 06-26-2007 at 07:15 PM.

  22. #47
    The Man, The Myth, The Legend OptiBoard Gold Supporter Fezz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by optical geek View Post
    This is soooo true! So many optometrists and optical wholesalers just go with the flow and do what they are told to do. I was very impressed with all of the replys I read concerning Essilor. It is sad that the rich get richer and the poor poorer.


    Welcome to the mix Optical Geek. Jump on in...the waters fine!(although a bit muddy and polluted by all of this Big Boy BS being spewed about)

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    The Man, The Myth, The Legend OptiBoard Gold Supporter Fezz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Hanlin View Post
    Essilor relies on their relationship with the private ECP to recommend and deliver their product-.

    So that they can then undermine, undercut and stab said private ECP in the back, so they can afford to make "deals" with the very people that the private ECPs are trying to beat.

    What a total bunch of Big Business BS.

    Come on.....have some integrity.

    Do you really believe the words that you are typing?

    Do you honestly believe, that we should ...believe?

  24. #49
    Optical Clairvoyant OptiBoard Bronze Supporter Andrew Weiss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Hanlin View Post
    Varilux Comfort continues to outperform "new" competitive designs
    Like Fezz, I wonder how much of that statement is based on sales figures. If it is, I also wonder how many of those sales are the result of dispensers like me who keep the patient in the same design they've been wearing unless they complain about it . . .

    No doubt the Comfort was a great design in its day, and a good example of a lens that doesn't look as good in hard data as it performs in real life. But really, the Shamir Genesis has smoother and cleaner optics and has such a similar design to the Comfort ;), wouldn't it "outperform" even the Comfort if Shamir had the same marketing force that Essilor does?

    We can debate all day whether the Comfort's success is the result of superior design or superior marketing and probably get nowhere.

    And Pete, I agree with Fezz about the import of your statement about the Comfort in relation to Essilor's subsequent PALs: there's a clear implication that the Comfort is a better-received lens than Essilor's own Panamic, Ovation, Physio, and Accolade -- a statement with which I would, so far, agree.
    Andrew

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    Professional Rabble-Rouser OptiBoard Bronze Supporter hipoptical's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Hanlin View Post

    Essilor has a new division I really like- Partner Laboratories. Essilor purchases an interest in the laboratory- but the laboratory owner retains an interest as well. The result is the laboratory receives access to Essilor resources and efficiencies, which provides ECPs with the type and feel of the services to which they are accustomed.

    Essilor relies on their relationship with the private ECP to recommend and deliver their product... (Souring that relationship is the interest of our competitors, which explains a lot of what you read on this forum.)

    As for that computer from 1998- if it is still outperforming computers built by other vendors today (and Varilux Comfort continues to outperform "new" competitive designs), I suppose I would look to buy a new version of the same model! Fourteen years after launch, Varilux Comfort is still the world's most prescribed PALs. Its not the marketing (our marketing folks are good, but they're not that good). When Varilux Comfort launched, Essilor was NOT the world's largest supplier of PALs- by far. Varilux Comfort gained market share simply because it has a patented design which out-performs other PAL designs. ECPs who were used to 10-20% non-adapts started fitting Varilux Comfort and realized it was simply a better design.
    Are you admitting here that Essilor laboratories do not provide the type of services ECPs are accustomed to?

    I haven't seen any posts from your competitors on this thread. That just goes to show that you guys assume too much, and do not listen to the average Joe you claim to support.

    You know the old computer will not perform like new versions, and you REALLY know that the Comfort does not "outperform" new lens designs, either. Best selling does not mean best product. It only means that this industry is full of sheep, who follow blindly and do not have the interest, motivation, or whatever it takes to learn about new things and offer the "patient" what is best for their particular life-styles. (And where in this country is it lawful to "PRESCRIBE" a brand?) Essilor gained market share because you convinced the ECP that the chains couldn't get what they could offer... which brings us full-circle back to the original post. You no longer stand for what you claim to do. Any chain can get what I sell in an independent dispensary, and usually offer it for less.

    Thanks to Fezz and Andrew for contributing some reason to this insanity.

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