For independent ODs, there is room for growth in the US ophthalmic frame market, according to The Vision Council’s October 2013 Vision Care Market Quarterly Overview. Independent practices with three or fewer locations accounted for 50.8 percent of the $8.85 billion US ophthalmic frame market. Optical chains such as LensCrafters, Pearle and EyeMasters accounted for 27.8 percent while mass merchants like WalMart, Target and Costco accounted for 11.2 percent and 4.5 percent stemmed from department stores.
Let’s really drill down on frame board management. Here are the 20 key business decisions you need to make in setting up your frame board for maximum performance.
1) How many frames?
2) How have I positioned the practice?
3) What frame mix is best for how I have positioned the practice?
4) How do I best price my frames to give patients good value and make a reasonable profit?
5) How many frame vendors do I need for my frame board?
6) Which frame vendors do I choose?
7) How can I best use technology to help me manage the frame board?
8) How do I best manage the frame buying process?
9) Do I sell off the board or order from the board?
10) How can I effectively manage multiple-pair sales?
11) Should I run sales campaigns in the optical (eg: “clearance”)?
12) What is the best way to manage shipping costs?
13) How can I partner with frame companies and their representatives to maximize sales?
14) What is the best vendor agreement to have?
15) What is the best way to train my optical staff to maximize their frame selling effectiveness?
16) What point of purchase and internal marketing materials are needed?
17) What is the best way to effectively merchandise product in the optical?
18) Should I utilize a system where I put all frames into one of the following four categories: dogs, question marks, stars and cash cows?
19) How often should I review the entire process of frame board management?
20) Other than Review of Optometric Business, what other resources can help me manage the frame board?
Your action plan for this week is to answer these 20 questions. Then, have a staff meeting and find out your staff’s answers to these questions. Now that you have answers, consult with your frame reps–a valuable, underutilized resource in most practices–to create an action plan to set up your optical for success.