A Message from Steve Baker, President, Eyefinity:
Were you as surprised as I was when you flipped the calendar to December 1? Really—already? The old saying, “Where does the time go?” is now more evident than ever. We live in fast and turbulent times, and our industry reflects this.
Think of the industry changes we’ve witnessed in just the last 12 months, in areas such as healthcare reform and the economy. I’m sure that you have examples of turbulent change relevant to your business. Did a new competitor open in your town? Did you have a significant change in your staff? Did you add an associate or expand your business to an additional location?
Change is a part of our lives, now and forever. For us to flourish together, we must be good at adapting to change. Actually, for us to flourish together, we must exploit change to the betterment of our businesses.
I speak to practices across the country and watch the optical and related industries very carefully. My crystal ball says that in 2012 we must find opportunities in these areas of rapid change:
Optical retailers are getting bigger, stronger, and faster. Their own economic and ownership structure produces a strong appetite for growth not unlike many other industries. This means that consumers at large, and your patients in particular, will be sought after. Key aspects of your business, such as your value proposition and the patient experience, are critical now more than ever.
Consumers and the Internet
Remember when online appointment scheduling was something new and innovative? Facebook and Twitter are now commonplace. Text-messaging is fast becoming a dominant form of communication. Your patients could be searching for you right now on Yelp. Consumers are moving in droves to purchase optical products like sunwear and eyewear on the Internet. Make no mistake—the future success stories in optometry will be those that embrace the Internet with all of its risks and challenges.
The Velocity of Healthcare
There’s substantial change happening in the healthcare industry. Healthcare reform and the economic stimulus package for electronic medical records lead the way in terms of rampant change. Remember when “meaningful use” meant that you got your money’s worth out of a product? These changes were significant but they were not alone; 5010 compliance, ICD-10, and other regulations have also affected you and your staff.
These areas of change don’t frighten us at Eyefinity—they motivate us! We’re investing heavily to bring you products and services to help you exploit change. New products such as eWebExtra Patient Center, eyeVantage, and Eyeconic are designed for your success. We’re investing in virtual try-on technologies and other areas of web-enabled technology to help you be a star and serve your patients in these emerging areas of demand. And we continue to tirelessly monitor related industries and emerging technologies to bring you the very best.
As we close the year, I want to personally thank you for your business. It’s something we never take for granted, and something that we’re always thankful for. My hope is that we continue to please you with our products and services and together will exploit turbulent change for the better.
My very best holiday wishes to you and your families,