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HomeminewsOptipro Plan to Help Non-Aligned Independents

Optipro Plan to Help Non-Aligned Independents

Optipro Australia has announced a dramatic change to its membership plan with the introduction of a non-shareholder membership that will allow optometrists to join the national buying group without incurring any upfront expenses.

Optipro Managing Director George Nasser said the second tier membership scheme, introduced on 1 December, is designed to introduce more optometrists to the benefits of being aligned to the strength of a buying group, without having to pay any upfront or ongoing fees.

According to an investigative report in last month’s mivision magazine (Nov 11 Issue 63) Optipro optometrists account for one per cent of total optical doors – and have a similar market share.

The mivision investigation showed that the three optometry buying groups – Provision, Eyecare Plus and Optipro – have a combined total of 18 per cent of optical doors, and about 15 per cent of total market share. By contrast, unaligned independents, accounting for 44 per cent of total optical doors, have just 23.7 per cent of total market share, prompting many industry commentators to suggest that more independents need to turn to the buying group model to survive.

This makes the transaction much simpler for our members

Mr. Nasser said about six months ago he decided he needed to add a second tier to his single tier membership structure which required a AUD$3,000 upfront fee and share allocation.

“We have 30 members who took up the shares and a lot of others who expressed interest but found the process too onerous,” Mr. Nasser said.

“The great thing about the second tier for members is that doesn’t require a financial commitment and optometrists still get the benefits of being aligned to a buying group.”

Under the new plan, optometrists will sign a one-page agreement to join the Optipro group as non-shareholders and will start to receive group buying advantages straight away.

Mr. Nasser said interest in the new membership plan is already high, with Optipro anticipating at least 50 new members to sign up within the next year.

He said he expects non-shareholder members, over time, will see the profit potential in being a shareholder and convert to a tier one membership plan.

Mr. Nasser said the company had also streamlined its service fee structure. Instead of passing on the full discount negotiated with suppliers and charging a monthly service fee, Optipro would instead charge its suppliers a margin based on sales to members.

“This makes the transaction much simpler for our members,” Mr. Nasser said.

For more information contact Margaret Crosbie on 02 9748 8830 or [email protected]