A greater number of suppliers are working with optometrists to offer complete frame and lens packages. Rodenstock is one of them. Brisbane optometrist Zeinab Khalil chose to team up with the iconic German brand to create a ‘store in store’ concept at her new Morningside practice.
Eyedeal Optometrist was opened in January 2006 by Zeinab Khalil, a graduate of Queensland University of Technology (QUT). The practice operated from Colmslie Plaza, a small mall in Morningside. In 2012 Zeinab purchased a block of land on busy Wynnum Rd in Morningside with a view to building and re-locating her practice. The entire process took three years and involved many meetings with Brisbane City Council, architects, interior designers, builders and shop fitters.
Ms. Khalil reflected “it was an enjoyable but back breaking journey. The result is that we now have an amazing building only 7km from the Brisbane CBD which provides the people of Brisbane a holistic experience combining a great retail environment with an eclectic range of frames, state of the art equipment and exceptional customer service”.
As the planning progressed, Ms. Khalil knew she needed to differentiate her practice from the others in the area and while the unique exterior and interior design went a long way in this regard, she wanted more. She needed a product supplier who had quality products, competitive pricing and service levels to match the product quality. Ms. Khalil also wanted to minimise both stock levels and the number of suppliers she dealt with.
Enter Rodenstock Australia
While Rodenstock has had a presence in Australia for many years, National Sales Managers Colette Kinsella and Ulli Hentschel, both well-known and respected industry names, have breathed fresh life into this German optics company. Rodenstock CEO and Chairman of the Board Oliver Kastalio articulated the company’s offering well during an interview with mivision at ODMA 2015 when he said: “We have an integrated product and service offering that addresses our Australian customers’ needs. At Rodenstock we call this our System of Better Vision.” What Mr. Kastalio is referring to is that Rodenstock is the only supplier in Australia offering quality German designed and engineered lenses and frames from a single source. Rodenstock worked with Zeinab to develop the ‘store in store’ concept that highlights Rodenstock while maintaining the importance of the optometrist. Eyedeal Optometrist is now able to offer their patients an integrated frame lens solution, German quality product and a one week turn around for standard product. Additionally, the practice does not need to hold inventory – just display stock – which means never running out of best sellers. Finally, there is no need for a tracer as the lens supplier is also the frame supplier and they have unfettered access to all frame specifications at their factory.
Showcasing the Dream
ODMA 2015 coincided closely with the opening of the new practice and offered the perfect opportunity to showcase Ms. Khalil’s dream to the industry. Speaking at the ODMA launch Ms. Khalil said of the co-operation with Rodenstock, “I am very thankful to the Rodenstock team and especially Tim McCann, Senta Smak, Niki Peaper and Colette Kinsella. They have been very enthusiastic and supportive throughout the whole process”.
Tim McCann, Rodenstock General Manager addressed 80 or so guests at the opening and said “we do plan to roll this model out to other practices but only on a limited scale. Rodenstock has no interest in being the largest volume supplier to the Australia market. We simply want to be the best”.
Michael Jacobs is a business consultant and columnist for mivision. He was the former Chief Executive Officer of Eyecare Plus for 10 years until early 2015.