By Sam Morgenstern, FNAO, FOAA
The right practice management system support tool can help you track–and make the most of–your frames inventory. Boost efficiency immediately with this tool.
A practice management system can help you with many aspects of your office’s operations, but one place most of these systems struggle is in managing the inventory of your optical shop. Fortunately, new tools are available that give your practice management system just the booster shot it needs to effectively track and further crunch the numbers in your optical dispensary. What does that add up to? More accurate management of your frame board. Here is how my practice uses one such tool from Frames Data—SPEX UPC–to more effectively manage our optical inventory.
Loads Directly Into Practice Management System
SPEX UPC is frame information that loads directly into practice management software, drastically reducing the time spent on inventory management. Because the data is not manually-entered, costly data entry errors are virtually eliminated. You can use SPEX UPC to get the full benefit of your technology investment: set retail rates automatically, scan new frames directly into inventory and automate insurance forms.
A screen shot of the Officemate software in the screen that loads the SPEX UPC into its system. This allows the user to select data from specific frame manufacturers to load into their practice management system.
One Place to Find Comprehensive Info on Frames
I currently run three dispensaries, and instead of all of the vendors that I would have to deal with and catalogs that I would have to keep or different sites I would have to visit, I can now go to one web site (Frames Data) which will tell me everything we need to know about the frames we sell. I use this Frames Data web site with patients so they can browse all the different frames available for them to purchase. It’s great that I now have an additional tool, in SPEX UPC, to help me funnel the latest, and most up-to-date information on frames inventory into my practice management system.
Download All Necessary Information Into Practice Management System
We buy a high volume of frames, but SPEX UPC makes it easy to download all of the frame information I need into my POS system. This allows me to easily set frame retail prices up based on the wholesale prices available on the SPEX UPC disc, have access to UPC codes for barcode scanning and easily print labels for new frames.
Help Achieve Budgeted Cost of Goods
One of the greatest ways SPEX UPC aids our optical shop is by providing the list price (wholesale price), so I can easily implement a formula to make sure we are pricing all frames with an appropriate markup. Since the prices are all provided on the Frames Data SPEX UPC disc, I no longer have to hand calculate or hand enter the prices for the frames, but let my POS system do all of the work.
Can Do It Yourself; No IT Specialist Required
I get the SPEX UPC disc the second week of every month, and then insert the disc into my computer to download the Frame Data information into my practice management system, and 10 minutes later, all frames inventory information is up to date in our practice management system.
How Do You Use SPEX UPC Day-to-Day in Practice?
Here is how my use of SPEX UPC plays out in the day-to-day work of our office: A frame rep will come into my practice with whom I would place an order. The frame rep will then e-mail me a copy of the order. I then give the order to a staff member in charge of marking up frames. That staff member then goes into SPEX UPC and downloads the information from that order so all of the frame information is already in our system, so when the frames come in two days later they don’t sit around. We can get them right out upon arrival in our office. They are ready to go.
We have nine computers in our office that run our practice management software using SPEX UPC. We plan on adding a tablet to the office which also will run our practice management system and make use of SPEX UPC.
Compile Analytical Reports
All reports I run are based on data from SPEX. If I am doing a physical inventory, it gives me information on how many pieces of frames I have in my practice and gives me the wholesale price (from SPEX), so I can ensure inventory levels and pricing are correct.
Value of a Digital Inventory
The lack of paper makes it great! Once you get the data you can figure it out easily. I take all the figures from each location and list it by vendor and then brand within each vendor. I figure how many of each I have in physical inventory then I figure out how many of each brand I have sold in the past year. I then look to see how much inventory turnover I have so I know what to reorder and what is selling best, and what is not.
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