Optical Software Shares a Clear Vision
Celebrating 10 years with Wal-Mart Optical Labs
Moncton, NB Canada – February 24, 2004 - Optical Software Inc., (OSI) a leading software provider for the optical industry, is proud to recognize their 10th anniversary in alliance with Wal-Mart Optical Labs. OSI provides Wal-Mart with software and consulting management solutions for their optical laboratories located throughout the United States.

OSI and Wal-Mart Optical Labs began working together in early 1994. Wal-Mart had two optical laboratories processing around 650 jobs per day for their optical retail chain. With aggressive plans for the future, they searched for a software provider that could offer essential lab management functionality with the flexibility to customize and meet their unique software requirements. OSI was a rising software company with a suitable lab management package, OMICS, and a specialty niche for developing highly flexible solutions.

“Its amazing to reminisce about the early days of our relationship,” comments Terry Hurd, Founder of OSI and OMICS. “We’ve both developed in so many remarkable ways. I remember when they broke the 1000 jobs per day mark sometime in ‘95. I was onsite when it happened. They made me do the “Wal-Mart Squiggly”!” recalls Hurd.

Today, 10 years later, both companies have realized significant growth. The Wal-Mart Lab network now consists of four “mega” labs processing in excess of 100,000 jobs per week for more than 2300 retail stores and is ranked among the nation’s top optical companies. OSI has secured its status in the industry as well, now regarded as a premier software provider and technology partner for some very distinguished optical companies with several hundred clients worldwide.

“Our relationship with Wal-Mart has helped strengthen our company in many ways”, says Rod McKiel, President for OSI. “We are proud to be associated with a company whose commitment to perfecting every process in the lab is unwavering. Working with Wal-Mart’s team has been very influential in terms of advancing our products and services in order to meet the needs of the ever changing optical marketplace”, adds McKiel.

The longstanding relationship between OSI and Wal-Mart has fostered excellence through innovation and service. “Our collaborative efforts to improve the entire lab operation have been very successful”, explains Jeff Grumbling, Director of Labs for Wal-Mart. With a common objective to focus on producing premium quality eyewear, efficiency and productivity gains, minimize production steps, and reduce costs, the 10 year alliance has resulted in a first-class solution for laboratory management.

Keeping with their corporate wide philosophy to provide consumers with quality goods at every day low prices, Wal-Mart relies on OSI to support their strict quality assurance guidelines. With OMICS playing a critical role in almost every part of the production process, OSI continually analyzes OMICS to ensure only the finest quality lens is produced consistently day in and day out. OSI has also established a first-class service program for Wal-Mart labs with a dedicated team of experts who provide support and consulting on a 24/7 basis. “Over the years OSI has been very accommodating and have supported us through tremendous growth during a time of many significant changes in our business”, says Jeff Grumbling.

It’s no secret Wal-Mart thrives on cutting edge technology. They understand premium quality eyewear can’t be produced with inadequate manufacturing equipment. Many suppliers seek out available opportunities to have Wal-Mart beta test their new lab equipment. “Wal-Mart demands the best - the best products, the best service, the best equipment, the best everything!” explains John Greco, Senior Technical Consultant, Special Accounts, for OSI. “The device has to meet Wal-Mart’s yield and production expectations to stay in the game”, adds Greco. Wal-Mart’s commitment to evaluating ultra-modern innovations furthers OSI’s efforts in keeping OMICS well advanced in device interfacing technology. OMICS interfaces with virtually all standard laboratory production equipment, and several pieces of equipment that are not specific to the optical industry such as devices for packaging, mass-shipping, inventory storage, and routing work. “Working with Wal-Mart gives us an advantage when it comes to machine technology because we are able to pre-certify many machines before they hit the open market.” says Pat Gauvin, Senior Developer and Device Specialist for OSI. Last summer, an Equipment Interface Certification Program was introduced at the 2003 Wal-Mart Equipment Supplier Technology Summit where Wal-Mart encouraged suppliers to adopt the program in order to further relations between all parties.

Heading into 2004, the alliance remains strong between OSI and Wal-Mart Optical Labs. They share a clear vision for the coming year with several new initiatives underway.

Optical Software Inc. is a leading software provider for the eye care industry with comprehensive management solutions for surfacing laboratories, finishing laboratories, remote tracing and ordering, interfaces with retail applications, custom designed systems, consulting services and advanced training programs. Our flagship product is OMICS, a wholesale lab management solution that encompasses all aspects of the wholesale production process. For more information on our products and services please contact us by Phone: 506-857-1707, e-mail: sales@omics.com or visit www.omics.com