Taking stock of inventory control
Case study highlights how outsourcing partnership may optimize dispensary management, patient conversion rate
In a nutshell, the dispensary needed more places for patients to receive service. Among the action points:
· The resulting collaborative redesign added dispensing stations and, to service them, even upped staff.
· Mentorship and instillation of best practices were also incorporated to further streamline and enhance the dispensary.
· The initial problem of non-strategic frame buying was solved with an inventory customized to the patient base.
· The final touch was an enhanced internal marketing program.
The firm provided “our staff with enlightening education regarding the latest eyewear technology, and also incorporated incentives for opticians and sales staff alike,” Luster said.
“We no longer have stale inventory taking up precious space on our frames board,” said Luster, noting that the firm also helped set price point and discounting strategies that led to a significant increase on average sales.
In the first 6 months working with the optical dispensary management firm, the practice’s optical sales increased by 10%. By its third year, the practice realized a 15% increase in average sales—a figure that points to its improved inventory management. And so far in 2016, sales are up nearly 10% over this point last year.
The dispensary is now far more representative of a growing, thriving business, Luster noted.
“Our practice has 10 physicians servicing about 200 patients per day,” she said.
Under that level of business, when considering whether to partner with an optical dispensary management firm, Luster offered this advice: “Practice managers should ask themselves whether it’s feasible to give 100% to [the] ophthalmology practice while still optimizing an optical dispensary.”