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    Taking stock of inventory control

    Case study highlights how outsourcing partnership may optimize dispensary management, patient conversion rate

    Take-home message: Despite growing profits over a decade, an ophthalmic practice’s optical dispensary profits were not growing along the same curve. This case study highlights how an optical dispensary inventory management firm may be able to identify strategies to boost capture-rate underperformance.



    In the decade that Lynne Luster has been practice manager at Microsurgical Eye Consultants, Peabody, MA, the group’s profits have grown each year under her watch.

    The downside? The practice’s optical dispensary profits were not growing along the same curve as the overall practice—which meant a decreased rate of eyecare patients being converted into eyewear customers.

    One factor in this decreased conversion rate, Luster suspected, could be inadequate optical dispensary inventory management. Specifically, she found that sales representatives and other vendors were bringing in frames in a disorganized, non-strategic fashion.

    Luster saw the need to corral this, but the more-pressing duties of managing a growing eyecare practice did not afford the time needed to optimize optical dispensary profits. Doing so would have been, essentially, a second full-time job.

    Over the decade of Luster’s tenure, the practice seemingly had outgrown one manager’s ability to oversee both practice and optical. She could do both, but couldn’t do both effectively enough to maximize overall profits.

    It became obvious to Luster that the practice would be best served by engaging an optical dispensary management firm (Vision Associates Inc.).

    “We saw outsourcing not only as a means to gain expertise in inventory control, but also to provide hands-on management that I was stretched too thin to effectively provide,” she said.

    The firm’s customizable, often turnkey optical dispensary management and consulting services allow eyecare practices to maintain ownership and control of their dispensaries while relieving them of the time and effort involved in their everyday operation.

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