Blog
Blog
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Blog
IDOC actively shares industry-focused articles, blog posts, podcasts, videos and other thought leadership with our members and other optometric practitioners. Below, you will find links to our growing library of educational materials and multi-media assets written and created by IDOC's team of seasoned industry experts.
Susan Daly | 4/13/2018
DATA IN THE OPTICAL INDUSTRY

Numbers don’t lie. A fact I am reminded of every time I step on the scale. Those ten little digits twixt naught and nine are our friends. And, like any good friend, we may not always like what they say, but they always tell us the truth.

 I haven’t always been friends with data. Both of my parents are math teachers, but I only took one math course in college. I answered one question on the final, wrong by the way, the Professor gave me a “C” as a favor and asked me not to retake the course. He didn’t ever want to see me again. The feeling was mutual.

 I didn’t come to love business math until I owned a business. That’s how it goes with learning. It very often comes late and not nearly as swift as would be most helpful. The isolation of the independent meant that industry benchmarks and quantitative comparisons reached me as a trickle. By the time I found a new way to evaluate my performance, the opportunity had been living in my business for too many years.

 How do we use data, and numbers, to identify opportunities in the independent before the opportunity becomes a problem? Start by looking at where you are today. We won’t know what data is important to us until we know what data is available to us.

 Inventory -- Display Capacity – Understock -- Annual Frame Sales -- Turn Rate -- Per Patient Revenue -- Frame Capture Rate -- AR% -- New Patient Ratio -- Patient-Owned Frame % -- $200+ Frames Sold List % -- Eyewear % of Gross Revenue -- 3rd Party Collections / Exam -- 3rd Party Optical Rev / Exam -- 3rd Party % of New Patient Exams -- Total Revenue by day of the week -- Rev / Exam by day of the week -- Optical Rev / Exam by day of the week --- not to mention the important things like Gross Revenue – COGS – Labor -- Net Revenue – and Net Profit!

Phew. Right?! And that’s just looking at your practice. Then, we have to benchmark ourselves by size, by region, and nationally.

Once you know where you are today, there are two ways, okay three, to go about attacking change in these metrics.

The Socialist

Identify our key performance indicators, those metrics we believe are under-performing, and we believe could lead to an exponentially larger ROI if they were to improve. Have everyone in the practice start working on those metrics at the same time. Growth is, after all, a group effort, and moves most quickly when everyone is swimming in the same direction. When things do improve, celebrate as a team, creating culture as well as profits.

The Capitalist

The “every man for himself” policy, but not nearly as harsh as it sounds. With this approach, we allow the team to work on individual metrics independently. Let each person choose what interests them most, and what they believe they can affect. Allow each person to “own” the success or failure of that piece of the business. Time and time again, ownership of the outcome has been a proven driving factor for engagement. Have the team report back the learnings from things they’ve tried to educate the rest of the practice. This is a habit that is foreign to the vast majority of people, but the theory goes, you really know it when you can teach it.

The Eff-thist

That’s when you just down give a damn anymore. Confronted with the myriad ways we need to improve, it is easy to throw in the towel and not change anything. Conversely, we can also gather a staff meeting, when we probably haven’t had one in years, and shout down from our high horse, things need to improve! The implication being you, as a Manager, are not happy, and everyone is going to lose their jobs. Hardly an atmosphere that breeds success wouldn’t you say?

It doesn’t matter which approach you choose, things will change. You will come to love or loath math and the metrics it represents, or you will ignore it entirely. Things will either improve, or get worse, but over time things will change whether we focus on them or not. By focusing on our 10 little friends, we find that the pace and the trajectory of change is firmly in our control. The difference between the Activist and the Eff-thist will be whether you deserve to be profitable, or your patients are doing you a favor.

If you’ve been in practice for any amount of time, you’ll deserve a “C” in something. So, will you take the class again with a different instructor, or give up entirely? That’s where IDOC and Optical Consulting can help.

I’ve seen the data, so if you need me, I’ll be at the gym, torturing my abs instead of my metaphors.

 

Susan Daly
Associate Director, Optical Strategy & Development
After attending Philadelphia College of Textiles and Sciences, Susan studied branding abroad at the University of Westminster and earned her bachelor’s degree in Fashion Merchandising Management from the Fashion Institute of Technology. She spent the first part of her career working with large retailers before shifting her focus to eyewear, serving as the Regional Trainer for Solstice Sunglasses and Buyer for Cohen’s Fashion Optical. Susan started her own business in 2009 and sold it in 2016 to return to Connecticut and begin serving IDOC members as the Optical Management Consultant then Manager of Strategic Partnerships. Susan works closely with the industry’s largest and most influential frame manufacturers to provide value and service to the independent where they need it most.
 LinkedIn
Trending Blogs
 
 

10/5/2021 | Author: Ximara Vega

How often do you think about your experiences as a consumer? What comes to mind when you reflect on positive interactions? How about negative? I don’t know about you, but for me the negative experiences are much more vivid. Many of those interactions occurred with someone who was well... Read more


9/30/2021 | Author: Amy Alvarez

When I was a retail manager, this would happen to me often. An employee would tell me they didn’t complete an important assigned task, or they would call out for their shift. And I could see it from both sides. They had a lot of conflicting responsibilities that day and yet, this task would... Read more


6/23/2021 | Author: Ximara Vega

School has ended and most of the world has opened back up. Many people I know have multiple weekend getaways, road trips and vacations scheduled because they are making up for lost time. You know what that means? We are surrounded by opportunities to sell sun!!!! The only problem is not... Read more


6/14/2021 | Author: Amy Alvarez

If you are recruiting staff for your practice, you are probably experiencing hiring woes. Some are new - it is a tight job market. Not everyone is able to go back to work depending on their individual circumstances and some employers need more employees than before to meet their current... Read more


5/5/2021 | Author: Nathan Hayes

With the spike in patient demand following the COVID-19 Pandemic, many owners are actively recruiting associate ODs to help carry their increased demand. And any owner looking to hire an associate right now knows that the market is tight.

My feeling is we have an outright shortage of... Read more


3/30/2021 | Author: Geronda Wollack

Managing your staff can be challenging! Am I right? Or am I right? Now, managing your staff and feeling confident with whether you are being compliant poses a different level of challenges. I will share a story to illustrate this challenge.

I had a consult with an Office Manager who... Read more


3/30/2021 | Author: Amy Alvarez

Signed into law on March 11th, 2021, The American Rescue Plan Act offers an extension to Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This provision added additional reasons the leave can be used as well as increasing the cap on eligible compensation for a tax credit.

FFCRA... Read more


3/12/2021 | Author: Ximara Vega

What should a practice do when they have lingering product? Well, 1st we have to identify what lingering product is. In my world, lingering product includes all frames that have been sitting on the shelf for a minimum of 6 months. I like to evaluate product every quarter to identify... Read more


2/22/2021 | Author: Amy Alvarez

Maybe you’ve experienced some unpleasant events in your practice that you didn’t have a policy to cover, or you team is large enough that you vacation policy isn’t working anymore. Maybe you have never liked you scheduling and time management policy but do not know how to go about changing it.... Read more


1/14/2021 | Author: Ximara Vega

Every year people tend to make goals for the upcoming new year. Somehow a new year inspires others to reinvent themselves in some way and like most initiatives, they lose their luster after a few weeks. I was supposed have rock hard abs like 3 years in a row. If ever... Read more

© 2021 IDOC. All Rights Reserved