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Thread: Essilor's new Pal exclusive to Vision Source

  1. #51
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    It reads like hipo and fezz must do lunch together. I do agree with their opinions about comfort and essilor.

    Yes, the comfort has huge market share and is easy to dispense without many non-adapts but I think our industry is too lazy or too scared to dispense better lenses. It is much easier to say, "ms. Jones, your Rx has changed slightly and we will use the same lens design as last year since it has worked ok" then take her $$$. What should be done is to say, "ms. Jones, since we saw you last year there have been some tremendous improvements in lens design and performance." Then, give her a snipit of what to expect then tell her that there will be a slight adjustment period but after she will see better than before. I guess many are too scared of that, "I just can't get used to it."

    There are 250+ Pals in the US market and there must be no clear winner or winners with a number that high. How about that reasonably priced Image that always ends up at the top of Dr. Sheedy's list? It even has the best name for marketing. "Ms. Jones, how about a Younger Image for you this year?"

  2. #52
    The Man, The Myth, The Legend OptiBoard Gold Supporter Fezz's Avatar
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    You have a great IMAGE!

    JOptician-

    Very well said.


    Welcome!

    :cheers::cheers::cheers:

  3. #53
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    My friends on Optiboard are very mad, here!

    1.) Because we are being "marketed to" by lens companies instead of "partnered with". I understand the umbrage, there.

    Companies should be careful to have a two-tiered approach: one for the consumer (not to pick on Essilor, but let's use the Muenster-like "Laser surgery on a progressive" as a prime example), and one for the professional that can understand it (for example: "Varilux Physio's digital molding includes aberration control...Our patient preference data show 6/10 patients prefer it to our Panamic design...).

    A few links to white papers would be nice, to offset the eye candy in the professional journals.

    How about the proliferation of "fuzzy spherical optics picture" side-by-side with "crystal aberration-controlled" picture. Come on! We can all laugh at the low common denominator these ad companies target. Who approves this crap? Aim higher!

    2.) Because it is perceived that exclusive access to top-shelf designs by independents is an unwritten agreement in the industry...it keeps independents a step ahead of their competition.

    This is understandable, and I don't like losing an edge, either, but the advantage is being diminished every day as consolidation continues. I know ODs who hate Vistakon because of their cut-rate selling to Walmart, for example. Oakley wasn't exactly exclusive, what with being in every SGH on earth, but now the Pearly LC's will be stocking it for sure. "Official Dealer" rings a little hollow, now.

    Professionals have to have faith that it's the professional, not the product that will be the ultimate differentiator.

  4. #54
    Optical Clairvoyant OptiBoard Bronze Supporter Andrew Weiss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joptician View Post
    How about that reasonably priced Image that always ends up at the top of Dr. Sheedy's list? It even has the best name for marketing. "Ms. Jones, how about a Younger Image for you this year?"
    We used to use that years ago when Younger came out with its first blended bifocal -- called, simply, the "Younger Bifocal." "Ms. Jones, why not try a Younger Bifocal?" :D The company certainly has a great name for marketing to presbyopes!
    Andrew

    "One must remember that at the end of the road, there is a path" --- Fortune Cookie

  5. #55
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    Since it appears I am the only one to dispense the lens so far....

    From the looks of the discussion nobody will believe what I am saying, however, I have decided to make a futile remark about the lens....

    We have only dispensed one lens thus far, so it is far from a big sampling. First, some history on us, We are a VisonSource practice. Second, in the past we have prescribed very few of the Essilor products, we love Zeiss and get better results. We always try the new stuff that come out and always end up back w/ Zeiss.

    We want this lens to work for the obvious benefit of the exlusivity/price. However, we have been skeptical of Essilor's newer products.

    The patient we tried this on has tried physio, 360, and definityshort and didn't like them as much as older designs like ellipse and comfort. We put her in a GT2 10 days prior to the Truclear, she loved it and it was hands down better than her previous pair w/ the same Rx and frame. When she put on the Truclear, same frame, she handed us the GT2 and said we can keep them. It was instant satisfaction.

    I don't know if this will hold true for others, but we have no hesitation trying it on a few more patients. In the past with Essilors other "better than everything" designs we never had such a quick decisive response.

    In regards to how this was pitched to us prior to the release. We were told that there was a big fight w/in Essilors ranks about not putting the Verilux name on this lens. The marketing people saw the benefit of giving the lens to VS and the engineers were too proud to give it away. As usual, the marketing people won and this lens is now owned by VS. My understanding is that it was not developed for VS, but developed for Verilux and given to VS. I don't know if anybody will know for sure, but I dont think they could have developed this lens in the amount of time between when the VS managment went to France and when it was announced. That is my speculation.

  6. #56
    Optical Clairvoyant OptiBoard Bronze Supporter Andrew Weiss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcwest94 View Post
    In regards to how this was pitched to us prior to the release. We were told that there was a big fight w/in Essilors ranks about not putting the Verilux name on this lens. The marketing people saw the benefit of giving the lens to VS and the engineers were too proud to give it away. As usual, the marketing people won and this lens is now owned by VS. My understanding is that it was not developed for VS, but developed for Verilux and given to VS. I don't know if anybody will know for sure, but I dont think they could have developed this lens in the amount of time between when the VS managment went to France and when it was announced. That is my speculation.
    OK, folks, my VS TruClear HD arrived this morning and I'm wearing it. It's a very nice lens, my hat's off to Essilor on this one. Distance peripheral is clean, intermediate zone is decently wide, reading area is good, optics are clear and stable, peripheral astigmatism is handled reasonably well. No obvious anomolies. I'd say it's a good overall lens.

    As to what Dr. West reports: that is what our OD told me also -- that this was a design Essilor had already done, had already made the molds for, but had shelved for some reason. He also said the same thing about the fight within Essilor about giving up this design to VisionSource. It's a good story. But, just for fun, I also looked at the general lens design and just for fun compared it to an Accolade Freedom I have waiting here. Different Rxs, but they look very similar.

    So I wonder: is the TruClear HD really an Accolade Freedom under a different name? ;) Whatever it is, it's a very good lens. I'll know more about whether I'll recommend it to our patients after the weekend.
    Last edited by Andrew Weiss; 06-29-2007 at 11:24 AM. Reason: spelling error
    Andrew

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  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Weiss View Post
    that this was a design Essilor had already done, had already made the molds for, but had shelved for some reason. So I wonder: is the TruClear HD really an Accolade Freedom under a different name? ;) Whatever it is, it's a very good lens. I'll know more about whether I'll recommend it to our patients after the weekend.
    Manufacturers claim that it costs millions to develop a new lens. I don't disagree. Do you think they designed a lens just for Vision Source? No way, too expensive.
    When they decided on the Physio design after doing subjective test fittings on thousands of people, what do you think happened to the 2nd place lens design? What happened to the 3rd place design? Fourth? Shamir sells theirs to other lens manufacturers.
    Wal-Mart has one of those lenses from Essilor. I don't know if it's exclusive though.
    I wonder what Vision Source paid? I wonder what Wal-Mart paid. My guess on the later is $0.

  8. #58
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    Wal-Mart has lenses from everyone. At least Essilor renames it so us independents look to carry different products.

  9. #59
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    I am curious about the markings on the VS/Essilor lens. What identifying marks are they using?

  10. #60
    Rising Star melvilletim's Avatar
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    so far so good

    I have ordered 3 so far of the HD type. they are using VS as the identifier. so far great response, just like Zeiss Individual, only cheaper to purchase. My high cyl pt liked them hands down compared to the gt2 in the same frame and rx. We tested them for a friend of the practice. So far, Definity-No good, Varilux Ellipse- O.K., GT2 great, and the truclear HD was so good she handed me back her GT2 and said I can keep them. She loved the lens that much. Pt is -1.25 -3.00 with a +2.25 add. BTW I am NOT a varilux fan, having dispensed Zeiss for 7 years.

  11. #61
    OptiBoard Apprentice Perry's Avatar
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    Progressive

    Alot of interesting disscussion here.

    One thing dispensers might want to consider is the fact that
    much of your sales V.S. included are to patients with vision
    insurance and you are payed at a dramatically different rate
    depending on which brand you fit.

    In some cases you get a lower fee for fitting lenses that cost
    you more. This will wreck your COG.

    Dig deep into your insurance manuals and you will discover
    which lenses to fit.

  12. #62
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    Does Vision Source sell to chains or independents?

  13. #63
    Professional Rabble-Rouser OptiBoard Bronze Supporter hipoptical's Avatar
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    Vision Source is a buying group.

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by hipoptical View Post
    Vision Source is a buying group.
    and the people who buy from Vision Source are independents or chains?

  15. #65
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    Vision Source is a buying group of retailers. Or, they are independent retail offices banded together as a group called Vision Source. They are large in number, 300+ and beat up all vendors kind of like what walmart does. I guess in reality, they are no better than Lenscrafters or Eyemasters when compared to the truly independent one office retailer. But, I'm sure you can sign up.

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by joptician View Post
    Vision Source is a buying group of retailers. Or, they are independent retail offices banded together as a group called Vision Source. They are large in number, 300+ and beat up all vendors kind of like what walmart does. I guess in reality, they are no better than Lenscrafters or Eyemasters when compared to the truly independent one office retailer. But, I'm sure you can sign up.
    But aren't all independents able to join? Are there any major negatives to joining like Davis Vision?

  17. #67
    Rising Star melvilletim's Avatar
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    vision source

    My reply to joptician is Vision Source is a Buying Group ONLY. My Doc is a true Independant as are most other VS Docs. For you to imply that we are ANYTHING like WalMart or L.C. shows your ignorance of what buying groups really are about. I apologise for being harsh, but having had worked at chain stores for 7 years I really need to clear the air about what vision source is. It is like Vision West in California. We get good pricing with select vendors due to the # of Independant O.D's affiliated with V.S.
    Last edited by melvilletim; 07-12-2007 at 01:45 PM. Reason: not finished-interrupted at office

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by melvilletim View Post
    My reply to joptician is Vision Source is a Buying Group ONLY. My Doc is a true Independant as are most other VS Docs. For you to imply that we are ANYTHING like WalMart or L.C. shows your ignorance of what buying groups really are about. I apologise for being harsh, but having had worked at chain stores for 7 years I really need to clear the air about what vision source is. It is like Vision West in California. We get good pricing with select vendors due to the # of Independant O.D's affiliated with V.S.
    Vision Source is a franchise system owned by TLC. There are about 3 to 4 OD's who are also major stock holders. They are not an insurance company.
    To say that Vision Source is like Lens Crafters or EyeMasters is not correct, but it is also not correct to say that VS is like Vision West. Vision West fees are completely different from Vision Source. Members of Vision Source are independent doctors who pay 4 to 6% of their gross revenue to belong to the group. When the doctor signs up with Vision Source they sign a franchise agreement and become a Vision Source doctor. VS offers a buying group component, but their pricing structure is much higher then standard buying groups. If your doctor is using Vision Source just for the cost savings then I would say the savings he is looking at the wrong source for that.
    For-Life, it basically boils down to this. If you are looking for savings on your purchases you should take a look at the traditional buying groups. Chances are you will find the savings similar and you won't have to pay the high price to join VS. You will only pay on the things you buy through the buying group. VS says they have a marketing piece where they market all of the VS doctors in your area together. They also have national meetings with plenty of education and team building. If shared marketing, education and team building are your thing then VS may fit that bill. It will be a hefty bill though. I believe you can get all of those pieces separate from VS and save a lot of money.

    Yes... I do run a buying group.

  19. #69
    Optical Clairvoyant OptiBoard Bronze Supporter Andrew Weiss's Avatar
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    Ok, let's see if I can get this straight (since I work in a Vision Source office):

    1) Vision Source is a franchise of optometrists only. From what I understand, it's one of those groups where you can't just sign up, you have to be asked to join. VS has its own conferences; it gives its member-ODs opportunities to network with each other and gives those newer in practice the opportunity to hook up with a mentor.

    2) THERE IS NO PRICE FIXING! As the optician here, I work with the doc to set our lens and frame fees; they are not dictated by VS.

    3) To the best of my knowledge, VS doesn't act as "reseller" for special products like the VS progressive. As far as I know, you can't get the VS progressive unless you're a VS member office.

    4) The VS progressive has not been approved by VSP. My hunch is that they won't approve it because it's only available to VS member offices.

    I know there's at least one other VS doc in this thread, so please tell me if I've messed this up :)
    Andrew

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  20. #70
    Professional Rabble-Rouser OptiBoard Bronze Supporter hipoptical's Avatar
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    VS is a "Chain of Independents" :bbg:

  21. #71
    Optical Clairvoyant OptiBoard Bronze Supporter Andrew Weiss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hipoptical View Post
    VS is a "Chain of Independents" :bbg:
    Yep, with all the contradictions that implies
    Andrew

    "One must remember that at the end of the road, there is a path" --- Fortune Cookie

  22. #72
    OptiBoard Professional Christosfer's Avatar
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    Tru Clear HD

    Quote Originally Posted by nicko View Post
    Hate to ruin all the Essilor bashers fun, but the fact of the matter is that "white boxing" of product has been around for years. All, let me repeat, ALL lens manufacturers, have "white boxed" products for high volume customers. There are no good guy, bad guy scenarios here as it is just a fact of the normal supply and demand process and an integral part of being in a capalistic economy. It doesn't matter what the lens is; it doesn't matter who the customer is. If you go to any manufacturer and say, "I have the potential to give you "x" number of dollars in business for a private labeled product", the manufacturer will invaribly say yes. It would be financial suicide not to. If Essilor did not do it, there is a long line of manufacturers that would, inclusive of anyone you can think of.

    Trust me, manufacturers do not like to be leveraged like this either, but given a situation where the potential to lose much more than what is asked for...what would you do in this situation? Exactly...I thought so. After all, aren't third party programs putting you in the same situation?

    Well said. Go to Walgreens or target, the shelves are full of items with their own labels, while the brand name stuff sits right next to it made by the same people.
    As for the Tru clear lens, I have wondered the same things; is this thing a Physio? It is only available in cr-39 and Poly, so I have my doubts that it's an accolade. They just launched it in transitions, which, if it were a Physio they could have done right away.

    Don't let me stop the black helicopter talk though. God forbid us Opticians get bored with bending frames.
    Did you hear that Luxottica is buying Essilor, Zeiss, Shamir and Rodenstock? Supposed to go down with the next full moon. I'm gonna cobble a set of glasses in my garage, see ya later. :hammer:

  23. #73
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    don't care if essilor owns stores or not or in usa yet or not but what is connection to;
    Essilor OY in Finland, www.essilor.fi
    or
    Essilor AB Sweden, www.essilor.se

  24. #74
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Weiss View Post
    Considering that ELOA labs give VS doctors a big discount as well as an additional rebate, the "private label" progressives and A/R don't strike me as a major change . . .

    What concerns me is the subtle pressure that a private label product can create: to give the patient that lower-cost progressive even though one that costs us more may be better suited to the patient's Rx and needs.
    Its a slippery slope and if we go down it ourselves, are we any better than Walmart, Costco or LC? Its what they do.
    Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy ~Benjamin Franklin

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golfnorth View Post
    You guys should take some action and wane off Essilor's products if you don't like their business practices. They are not the only game in town although they would like to think so. I was at a conference recently and when asked by an Essilor lab rep why I wasn't giving them more business I told them that by me not giving them more business they could spend more time selling lenses to Walmart.
    Love it!
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