I am an OD in the NY region and I certainly understand how the reduced payroll situation affects all associates. It also affects ODs as well.
When there is reduced payroll, the workload for the associates increases, which can lead to errors due to being overworked or decreased job satisfaction. Of course, with reduced payroll the associate has fewer hours to work. That increases the liklihood of Sears Optical losing that trained associate to a competitor that appreciates them more.
With less availabilty of associates to assist the OD with various office duties, there will be a time when even the Sears lease "independent Doctors of Optometry" will become an "upset Sears OD" also.
Another issue that is truly bothering me is the near bullying that we ODs are receiving from Corporate to provide Sunday Doctor hours. As a Lease Doctor, there is no mention that I must provide any hours other than the ones that were agreed to in the lease agreement. How can Sears ODs (or any other Lux OD for that matter) consider themselves "independent" if Corporate can place such pressure on the OD? I already provide Saturday hours and there is no need or demand for Sunday Doctor hours.
The OD is an integral part of the "consultative selling" idea. ODs make suggestions to the patient that directly influences the purchase decisions of the patient consumer. A disgruntled may feel that being consultative is not necessary and merely give the patient their Rx with no recommendations. Or, if the patient's Rx has very little change, the OD may tell the patient that no change in prescription is necessary. If a patient asks about sun protection, I'll recommend Transitions instead of a prescription pair of Polarized sunglasses (less multiples?!). If a patient asks what to clean their glasses with, I'll tell them to use rubbing alcohol (much cheaper than that lens cleaner which is basically the same thing - even on AR!)
How is it that Sears Optical Corporate has the nerve to increase the price of their crappy frames by a huge percentage, remove the availability of the breakage protection plan, and then reduce payroll? To top it all off, requiring Sears "independent Doctors of Optometry" to work on Sundays is an outrage.
ODs and associates work as a team to "keep the business moving." Isn't that the essence of the motto "Together We Rock!" and "No Boundaries"? I can see that there are no boundaries to the steps that Lux Corporate will take to upset not only their faithful associates but their Lease Docs as well.
I am sure that there are other ODs out there that are not pleased. Please share your thoughts.
Ok, first LUX does not care about the script writter. Sunday, Monday, they dont care because you are there to write a script.
Optometrist are a commodity just like CL's. You use them and you toss them. Dont think for a minute that wether you are employed, a sub lease or any type of independent, that they would break their backs for you.
Secondly, raise your fees! How is it that you help save sight, yes help "save sight" and your exam, which is meant to discover glaucoma and cataracts, is almost the cost to add tint to a lens!
ALL doctors get reimbursed LESS than the cost of an AR coating. Don't you think the discovery of an eye problem is worth more than that?
The only reason LUX doesn't care about ODs in general is that there are too many of us to go around. Imagine, going into your local mall. How many opticals are there on average? Proababy five or so. I would venture to guess that at least half of the opticals in any given mall are LUX branded opticals. Exam fees between the LUX opticals are within a few bucks of each other (hence there is little to differentiate one OD from another).
The only way to correct this problem of OD oversupply is for schools to graduate fewer students or for ODs simply to walk out and become truly independent.
LUX needs its associated ODs more than the ODs need to be associated with LUX.
I have raised my fees. Out of all the Sears ODs in the NY metro area, only two have made any increases in their fees. It is pathetic.
One thing though with raising fees. If the OD raises them too much, LUX Corporate won't renew the lease. It's just that simple. They have the last say. Period.
Don't get me started on the AR Coating. It is an inferior product that comes off or scratches easily, and they have the nerve to compare it to a Crizal product. EZClear is garbage
While that may sound like a good idea, it most likely would be an exercise in futility. Besides, since the Sears Optical would also most likely benefit from the purchase of spectactles or contact lenses based upon the prescription that I release, shouldn't LUX also contribute for the said advertising?
Are there any Sears ODs having at least a moderately filled schedule book these days? I can barely justify coming in at all.
Where oh where has the advertising gone. Oh where, oh where could it be?
The holiday season does begin after Thanksgiving, but the optical industry historically goes dead once back to school ends. Sept through mid Dec have been the lowest business months for the 10 years I've been with Pearle (I also managed a Sears Optical in the middle there for a couple years).
Actually, I am at my Sears location less than full time. I do have my own practice at another location and have been involved in practice settings involving an optical for sometime. I don't expect Lux to hand feed me with a spoon, but there should be some reasonable expectation for proper marketing. There must be money available, especially when you consider the reduced payroll in may locations and the recent price increases in frames and lenses.
Why should I take responsibility for low exam counts? I have made attempts at increasing return patients with recall cards and adjusting my office hours accordingly. I understand that this is generally considered the slow time of year, but it has been slow for me for at least 2 months. This is also the case for other ODs in the region. The holiday season starts generally after Thanksgiving, as I recall, and not 2 months ago. Lux needs to take responsibilty for not marketing properly or ODs will pick up and leave. Plain and simple. The next batch of newly graduated ODs will then take our place and feel deceived in time.
Marketing should be the responsibility of the corporation. Why should it be the responsibility of the associates? Don't they have more than enough to do as it is?
I fully agree, we do need more marketing, especially in the lean months of Sept to Jan which we have not had, which is why we need to do what we can at store level. As little as the marketing is, it's far more than we had under Cole. I hadn't seen TV adverts for Sears Optical in years until Lux bought us. My store hasn't hit goal in several months, but I'm in relatively good standing with my higher-ups because it's known that I'm pushing the envelope, recommending the premium product (I happen to think the EZ Clean AR is the most interesting advancement to come down the pike in a long time) and calling local independents and asking for referrals. The private practice docs in the area know me and refer exams when they are full or, until our lab shut down, someone needed glasses ASAP. Point is, the business sucks for everyone right now, it's the nature of our business to die before and during the holidays. Better days are on the horizon as people start cashing in on thier flex spending plans.
My guess is you're at Sears Optical to begin with because you don't wish to have to do anything but see patients, otherwise you'd be private practice. You expect Lux to hold your hand and feed you with a spoon. You need to take some responsibilty for low exam counts.
Question: Why should any associate or OD partner up with another LUX brand to share ideas to increase sales or exams when that is the job of jux corporate? Aren't associates already overworked with the reduction of payroll hours? I am an OD at a Sears store with consistently high multi', ARs, and high SARs, but there is one critical problem - LOW PATIENT FLOW. LUX needs to increase advertising and truly market SEARS Optical properly.
Yeah, That's brilliant! Tell the general Public that the company sucks so they won't shop there! Those customers will run straight to Pearle or Lenscrafters to buy thier glasses instead! That'll show Sears Optical's Corporate Big Wigs! Get real. Quit sniveling and suck it up.
The fact of the matter is if you go over grid on hours, you better make damn sure you are trying to increase sales. If you are partnering with your regional and letting him/her know that you are partnering with other Lux brands to share ideas on best practices to create incremental sales and increase exams, and if you are offering phenomenal customer service, reporting good KPIs or SARs or whatever Sears calls thier goals for Multi's and AR, I find it hard to believe that you will be chastised for going a bit over on hours (unless of course, you are scheduling to meet employee needs rather than business needs). Try it.