Richard’s View – Technology

As the technology that we use in everyday life gets more and more complicated the chances of something not going entirely as expected get greater and greater so it’s hardly surprising when things don’t always work out exactly as planned. The clever thing is to try and make sure that when something, inevitably, does go wrong then systems are in place to catch the error before it becomes a major problem.

One of my occupations, away from examining eyes, is to help an independent opticians’ business support group with their benchmarking. This involves collecting business data from the members and comparing it in an anonymous way so that while no practice need be afraid of giving away sensitive data to competitors they can still all see how they are doing when compared to each other. Occasionally this has shown up glaring inefficiencies in a practice, inefficiencies of which they were previously totally unaware.  At the extreme this could make the difference between survival and closure. A possibility that is all too likely in this world of big corporate opticians who can use massive resources to pay for huge advertising campaigns, way beyond the reach of the average independent.

You may have noticed an advert from one of the big opticians which goes on about their super new way of measuring you up for your glasses and how accurate it is. I thought you might be interested to know that it’s only new to their stores – we’ve been using the same system (a slightly more advanced one in many ways) since we built it into our shop refit 5 years ago. It really annoys me when I see an advert that claims something as new or as special when we’ve been doing just that same thing for ages. Dolland & Aitchison (now part of another big company) once advertised that adjustments were free in their shops for their customers – as I’m sure you know all independents have been adjusting glasses free as part of their service to their patients since the year dot.

Having examined someone’s eyes then they often need to have glasses and, in some parts of the world, that can be a problem – which is where Vision Aid Overseas comes in. They really do help their clients in parts of Africa get the glasses they need and that’s why we keep on collecting your old glasses to send to them – keep up the good work.

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