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Thread: % of optical shops with own edger?

  1. #1
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    Post % of optical shops with own edger?

    hello guys, what do you think? what % of independent optical shops have their on edger?

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    Master OptiBoarder mike.elmes's Avatar
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    The smart ones do...tons of independents do because its faster and cheaper. Plus so many clients want to use their own frames.
    I have been an independent for 30 years had edgers the whole time...with a full range of stock a/r coated lenses
    I did sell my business to an optometrist and work for her now but would not change a thing!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike.elmes View Post
    The smart ones do...tons of independents do because its faster and cheaper. Plus so many clients want to use their own frames.
    I have been an independent for 30 years had edgers the whole time...with a full range of stock a/r coated lenses
    I did sell my business to an optometrist and work for her now but would not change a thing!
    thanks for your answer, and do you edge the free form progressive?

    regards

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    I dont see a way to survive without in office edging, especially with the wide range of stock lenses currently available.
    Most labs are averaging over $10 per job just to edge a zyl/metal frames not including the cost of shipping and if they use a stock lens, they'll still charge you full price.

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    Master OptiBoarder DanLiv's Avatar
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    I would off-hand guess maybe only 20% have edgers. In my area few optometry practices do. Edging in-house is really only a profit center if you do high volume and mostly FSV, which is more the retail optical niche. For lower volume higher revenue custom opticals who are doing more FFSV, saving that $10 a pair often isn't worth it. Monetarily, a lab guy edging 3 pairs an hour all day is doing little more than offsetting his wage. With proper staff, that time free from edging, lab work, maintenance, and cleaning can be spent being more profitable elsewhere.

    However there are service conveniences to having an edger that can be useful to a practice, if not profitable, like easy POFs, emergency pairs, and custom work if you have one that drills and facets.

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    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    Amen, DanLiv. I sure do like your takes on stuffs.

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    Master OptiBoarder AngeHamm's Avatar
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    Whatever the percentage is, it should be higher. In-office edging is a pure profit generator, particularly if you promote some self-pay stock SV packages.
    I'm Andrew Hamm and I approve this message.

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    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    I am ignorant, yes. But when you factor in the cost of the planning, equipment, square footage, labor, maintenance, and COGS, exactly how many does one need to break even, let alone make a decent profit on the endeavor?

    I know it makes sense in some situations, but with VCPs being so numerous (meaning: although you can opt out of using their labs, the patient and 3rd party reimbursement is capped) it seems like it would be a fairly high number of jobs to see the economy in doing it.

    What do I know?

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    My lab's edging fees are nominal (Zyl - no charge, metal under $3) and a large percentage of our SV lenses are FFSV. Edger doesn't make financial sense for us.

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    Master OptiBoarder optical24/7's Avatar
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    I paid for a brand new ME 1200 AND blocker in 1 and 1/2 years with the profit alone doing Chemistrie clips!

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    Master OptiBoarder DanLiv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canche View Post
    thanks for your answer, and do you edge the free form progressive?
    Yes. If you are investing in edging to reduce costs, edge EVERYTHING that will save you a few bucks. Yes you need to be extra careful with expensive lenses, but if you don't know how to edge them properly, you ought not be edging.
    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post
    But when you factor in the cost of the planning, equipment, square footage, labor, maintenance, and COGS, exactly how many does one need to break even, let alone make a decent profit on the endeavor?
    I knew we had a similar conversation recently drk https://www.optiboard.com/forums/sho...l=1#post569369

    In that thread you asked
    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post
    1. What about PALs and other specialty type lenses such as FFSV? That's half of what I do. 2. Aren't most practices at least 1/2 VCPs?
    Private pay, edge everything, even your high-end lenses. If the game is about squeezing out a few dollars, then volume is the only solution.
    Yes VCP will hurt your saving potential because you earn nothing edging surfaced jobs. If 50% of your work is VCP and 50% is surfaced, 25% of your potential pool of edging savings is eliminated right off.
    Of the remaining 75%, let's say you have an even 50/50 mix of multifocal/specialty and SV jobs. Of the SV jobs, say 75% of them are in FSV ranges. This breaks your edging-savings-eligible volume to: 28% stock FSV viable, 9% surfaced SV, and 38% surface multifocal/specialty. Let's say you save $10 edging a surfaced job, and let's be real rough and say you could save an average of $40 per FSV job. 47% of your jobs can save you $10, 28% can save you $40. That's an average savings of $16 per job edged.

    A skilled optician who is doing multiple things throughout the day while edging in the background might be able to edge a job in 20 minutes. At $20/hour, $26 with overhead, you spend $8 (30% of their hour) to save that $16, so your savings drops to $8 per job. $50,000 blocker and edger setup divided by $8 savings is 6,250 jobs, and remember only 75% of your volume is eligible for the savings, so really your practice needs to do 8,333 jobs before the investment is paid off.

    It will eventually pay off, but that's a LOT of time, effort, and commitment to the project to just eke out such low return. There are many customer service advantages and technical capabilities that come with a skilled technician and a good edger that you can market, leverage, and charge for greater profit than what you save. I would only recommend investing in edging if you really want to be an edging practice, not if you just want to cut costs. There are more effective ways to cut costs and drive revenue than spending your time and money edging.

    Quote Originally Posted by optical24/7 View Post
    I paid for a brand new ME 1200 AND blocker in 1 and 1/2 years with the profit alone doing Chemistrie clips!
    I'd love to know the math on that, you must do a ton of Chems! I have the ME 1200 and started doing them in-house 11 years ago and it was a big deal then because it was new and niche, and could only be done yourself of by sending to the Chemistrie lab. But now every lab makes chems. It's cheaper to do yourself, but only a bit, so it would just be another savings to factor in to the equation. I've personally stopped doing most chems in-house just because of the time-suck, rather pay the lab a bit more to have it done and do other things.

  12. #12
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    Well done! I feel like I should have paid you a consulting fee.

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    Master OptiBoarder optical24/7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanLiv View Post

    I'd love to know the math on that, you must do a ton of Chems! I have the ME 1200 and started doing them in-house 11 years ago and it was a big deal then because it was new and niche, and could only be done yourself of by sending to the Chemistrie lab. But now every lab makes chems. It's cheaper to do yourself, but only a bit, so it would just be another savings to factor in to the equation. I've personally stopped doing most chems in-house just because of the time-suck, rather pay the lab a bit more to have it done and do other things.
    We made 3 to 5 per day. Since you do some in house also, you know the material costs. When a patient didn’t want to invest in sunglasses or computer glasses, Chem clips were an easy sale. Just holding a +1.00 demo over their current glasses, they would want them before even hearing the price.

    I know you figure in labor costs on your summation, which is correct if you have little down time of employees. We always had down time with 3 opticians, not taking insurance or being a churn and burn location. Daily sales averaged 6k$/13 pair. We were able to spend a lot of time with each patient and still, most the time, someone wasn’t with a patient personally. There was plenty of dead time to run the edger. I paid the Opticians the same whether they were edging or sitting there, so I never tied “added labor costs” into the equation.

    We took no insurance so there’s that. And no, an edger isn’t right for every office. But in our situation it was more than worth it.

  14. #14
    Master OptiBoarder DanLiv's Avatar
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    Oh yeah optical24/7, you have the perfect environment for edging. Totally agree with that labor cost. If your staff have regular spare time, figure out what else can be done productively with that time. 3-5 chems per day is incredible. Yeah your math works!

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