By Margery Weinstein
Review of Optometric Business
Dec. 15, 2021
Frame inventory is the greatest overhead expense for most practices. The typical high frame inventory investment cost cuts into optical profitability, and ties up money that could be used for other purposes that benefit patients and practice.
The good news is there is now a comprehensive optical management system, Twelve84, that does not tie up practice money on frames while waiting for inventory to sell.
Brianna Rhue, OD, FAAO, of West Broward Eyecare Associates in Tamarac, Fla., shared with ROB the tremendous difference to the patient experience and profitability that Twelve84 is making.
Dr. Rhue: “We have been using Twelve84 for four months, and we have already seen a significant improvement in our capture rate for patients that are on a budget. One of the main differences we have seen is the ease of use in explaining to the patient the package deal by utilizing nice frames that are part of a cohesive brand versus something the patient knows we are trying to get rid of and discounting heavily.
In our first four months we added over $7,500 dollars in revenue and also did not tie up any cash flow in inventory because of the unique business model Twelve84 makes possible. This profited us over $5,000 dollars and kept the top sellers on the board, which has helped substantially with frame board management and keeping the inventory fresh for patients.”
ROB: What do patients think of Twelve84?
Dr. Rhue: “We are now able to serve all of our patients to the best of our ability by providing a quality product even when patients are on a beer budget, but want champagne. The selection is always fresh and we are never missing anything from our board. It has been a win-win for our patients and our office.”
ROB: How does Twelve84 make optical operations easier for you and your staff?
Dr. Rhue: “Frame inventory management has always been a tough one for our office, and can easily get away from us. It is managed by our opticians, and like most opticals, the frame rep will meet with the opticians for an hour, the opticians will pick what they think they will sell, which gets on the board. We then sell our top sellers within the first two weeks, which are not immediately replaced, and then our board has the frames that are not going to turn and we find ourselves in a horrible cycle.
With Twelve84, we have 80 frames that are part of a collection that stay on the board at all times with no holes. The opticians sell the frame, order it from Twelve84, their lab makes the lenses and use a frame stocked there, and ship it back to us with nice branding and packaging. We dispense it to the patient without having to take the frame off of our board. This not only frees up a significant amount of cash flow, but keeps our top sellers in stock, so we are not missing out on opportunities for patients.
Not only does Twelve84 free up time for my staff, but it opened my eyes to the problem we were having managing our number one source of income with frame board management and how poorly we were handling this in our office.
In addition, Twelve84 makes it easy for us to continue using our in-house edger. If we still want to edge in-house for a patient’s vision plan benefit we can still do so. We order the frame from Twelve84, and are still able to use our in-house edger.
The Twelve84 products and package deals have also made it easier for our opticians to present eyewear options to patients. Picking out a frame and showing lens options to patients has become very complex. The easy pricing with Twelve84, which is fully transparent, has sped up this process for both the patient and the staff, and has made it easier to buy from us.
ROB: How much money has Twelve84 freed up?
Dr. Rhue: Deciding not to tie up $150,000-$200,000 in cash on products we are hoping will sell was a no-brainer. In less than one month with Twelve84 we were able to pay for this service and found a hidden gem for not only our patients, but our pocketbooks.