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Advantages of Using a Wholesale Optical Laboratory

May 20, 2008
Using a wholesale optical laboratory is becoming more popular among independent opticians. Choosing the right manufacturer is important for both the health and success of an independent optician's practice.

Learning about how other opticians select their wholesale laboratories and understanding which questions to ask can greatly help an optician decide which manufacturer is best for their practice.

The increasing popularity of using a wholesale optical laboratory as a source for both frame and contact lenses is demonstrated by a 2004 survey report on the 2020mag website. Of the 221 vision care facilities polled by the survey, 82% stated that they purchased products or services from a wholesale lab.

One possible reason for this dramatic interest is that such labs offer a wide variety of services in addition to their eye care products. These services include educational programs, technical support, online ordering and remote tracing.

One important consideration in choosing a wholesaler is the quality of the lenses which they produce. There are several points to keep in mind when investigating the quality of a lens.

One important issue is whether or not the lab is capable of manufacturing the most up-to-date technologies. For example, can the manufacturer produce silicon hydro gel contact lenses which provide comfort while allowing six times more oxygen to reach the eye than previous contact lens designs?

Another important consideration is the quality of the anti-reflective coated lenses offered. Anti-reflective coating makes use of a series of metal oxide layers to increase the lens's ability to improve vision, reduce eyestrain and enhance an individual's cosmetic appearance. Indeed, the 2004 survey stated that 76% of the eye care professionals polled stated that the quality of the anti-reflective coating brand was either an extremely or a very important consideration in choosing a lab.

Another significant issue determining the quality of a lens is the techniques used to manufacture and inspect the lens. The way in which a frame is drilled and mounted during the manufacturing process not only impacts the quality, but also the time and expense of production.

The nature of the remote tracer (a device which is able to outline the inner border of a frame as well as to describe the size and shape of the lens) may also be an important consideration for many independent opticians. Indeed, 81% of those polled by the 2020mag survey stated that they have in fact sent frame tracing data over the Web.

The Internet is also becoming a popular method for ordering eye care products from wholesale manufacturers. While the 2004 survey found that 65% of eye care professionals have ordered products over the phone, and that 58% of eye care professionals have ordered products via fax, many labs have found that the interest in ordering products over the Internet is rapidly growing.

Wholesale optical laboratories are able to yield several potential benefits to independent opticians. They are able to provide quality products at affordable prices as well as offering valuable services including product support and education of emerging technologies.
About the Author
Independent vision care providers need an trustworthy contact lens manufacturer to offer advanced, quality lenses to their customers. For a wholesale optical lab to partner with you, eye care professionals should visit National Optical Co. online at http://www.nationalopticalco.com/.
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