By Thomas Tomasik, OD
April 29, 2015
Carefully tracking your inventory is key to finding the most profitable mix of products to invest in, and identifying where your sales strategy could use improvement.
TRACK CL INVENTORY ORDERING PATTERNS. See which contact lenses you are prescribing and selling the most, then adjust inventory orders quarterly.
SEE HOW MANY DIRECT SHIPMENTS OF CLs. See how your practice compares to others in CLs shipped directly to patients; better educate patients to choose this option.
USE BENCHMARKS TO COMPARE YOUR PRACTICE TO OTHERS.If your practice falls below benchmarks for premium products, work with staff to identify ways to help your patients get the best.
Knowing which contact lenses and ophthalmic lenses sell the most, and how much, is a key to profitability. My practice does this with help from ABB OPTICAL GROUP’s Business Review, a break down of the contact lenses and ophthalmic lenses sold in my practice, and how our sales levels compare to that of other practices. The Business Review allows us to make changes in the way we educate patients, and in which inventory we invest in, to improve the services we provide.
Track CL Inventory Ordering Patterns
It’s important to have constant visibility on the buying patterns of my practice. The Business Review provides me those crucial insights into my practice on a quarterly basis. With assistance from my ABB OPTICAL GROUP account manager, we can make necessary adjustments to modify my ordering, and the focus of our staff, based on our interpretation of those insights.
In our practice, we maintain an inventory of two-week and one-day contact lenses, which we adjust at the beginning of every quarter, depending on what my quarterly Business Review tells us about my prescribing patterns and our patients’ buying patterns.
For example, if a two-week lens didn’t sell well last quarter, we might reduce the parameter spread of our stock of those lenses.
I’m increasingly prescribing and selling one-day contact lenses. I am able to use the Business Review to incrementally adjust two-week contact lens inventory downward while still having enough in stock for the patients who still wear them.
The Business Review also provides information about the cost of the inventory I purchase, so I can look at that, and say that, for instance, that in 2013, I purchased $9,000 dollars worth of one-day contact lenses, versus 2014, in which I purchased $12,000 dollars worth. That represents a 25 percent increase in one-day contact lens inventory spending.
Learn How Many CLs Shipped Directly to Patients
The Business Review also lets me see how many contact lenses were shipped to our office for patient pick up, and how many were shipped directly to patients compared to other practices. It is more convenient for patients, and more efficient for our practice, for contact lenses to be shipped directly to patients, so if I see that we aren’t shipping as many supplies of contact lenses directly to patients’ homes as other practices, I know that we need to do a better job educating patients that the direct-to-home shipping option exists.
Set Spectacle Lens Benchmarks
Along with contact lens inventory, the Business Review shows me where I can improve in sales of ophthalmic lenses. For example, we are shown the percentage of all the lenses we’ve sold that included an anti-reflective treatment and Transitions, and then how our percentages of these lens treatments compare to the percentages sold in 500 other practices.
What’s more, the Business Review lets us know which kind of AR lens is selling best for us. We always give patients a “better and best” choice in ophthalmic lenses with AR, so if I see that many patients are opting for the “better” option, rather than “best” option, my opticians and I can strategize how to better educate patients about the benefits of the “best” option.
Review & Set Benchmarks in Staff Meetings
Once a month, I meet with our staff to go over the number of products sold in contact lenses and in spectacle lenses. The optician(s) discuss with the whole group ways to improve selling the lenses we are falling short on. The contact lens technician talks about the types of contact lenses our patients are most commonly wearing, how we can educate even more patients about the benefits of these contact lenses and why purchasing an annual supply is worthwhile. Based on the numbers of products sold, and the observations of the optician and contact lens technician, I can then set sales goals to increase the number of premium ophthalmic lenses and one-day contact lenses sold.