Gathering centralized stocking and dispensing data allows you to manage your contact lens inventory to meet patient needs while minimizing costly overstocking. Apply data to formulate a plan to purchase products with proven ROI, then train your staff to sell properly and make patient re-ordering easy.
Contact lens fitting and dispensing can be a profitable specialty–provided you get the right mix of contact lens brands and powers, and limit overstocks. You can achieve this by centralizing data on your contact lens inventory purchases and sales and conducting an analysis on which mixes of brands and powers deliver the greatest return on your investment.
Managing your contact lens inventory is hard if you don’t know exactly what you purchased, how much, at what price and how much of it sold and at what price it sold. As a busy OD and practice leader, it is hard to aggregate all that data. One way to simplify this task is to use a company like ABB CONCISE, which enables us to buy from one central source that keeps data on all our purchases while also tracking our office’s contact lens buying trends. An ABB CONCISE rep merges the data from all of the manufacturers’ products purchased through them in a report called the Business Review. The data can be used to invest only in the brands that you prescribe most often and to receive best pricing on inventory purchases.
Train to Sell: Use Reps to Educate Technicians on New Inventory
In addition to having the right mix of brands and powers and samples that are up-to-date, your inventory management isn’t complete until your staff understands how to move that inventory. To sell the inventory, they must understand it, which is where the vendor reps come in. Reps explain their brands’ newest products, including the advantages of each contact lens. An ABB CONCISE rep also explains to staff how rebates for buying annual supplies work, so that staff, in turn, can fully explain to patients the cost savings on an annual supply. Using ABB CONCISE’s Price Monitor helps show patients our contact lenses are competitively priced with online retailers.
Make Patient Re-Ordering Easy: Enable Ordering from Your Web Site
Inventory management starts in your office, but today it needs to also extend online. You can use ABB CONCISE’s yourlens.com to allow patients to order contact lenses directly from your web site. You can place an “ORDER CONTACTS” button prominently on your home page. When patients click that, they are taken to an online ordering page operated by ABB CONCISE, but which is branded and styled to look like any other page of our web site (so patients don’t know they have technically left your site to order). You can discount contact lenses purchased from your site to give patients an incentive to order online rather than through your office, as it costs you no staff time for them to order online. At the end of every month you will receive a check from ABB CONCISE for the contact lenses your patients purchased.
Show Patients How to Purchase Online
Since it is more economical for you to have patients order online, you should always mention the online ordering option to contact lens patients before handing them off to your optical.