Essilor has committed to strengthen its partnership with optometry practices and to help them grow by providing the differentiated products and services needed at every level of their business, from practice management systems and instruments through to frames and lenses.
Speaking with mivision, Essilor Chief Executive Officer Pierre Longerna said, “The market is growing and needs are changing. There have to be clear value propositions for different segments of the market.”
Acknowledging a relatively flat recent market, Mr Longerna said Essilor will help optometrists grow their business by innovating and introducing new technologies, as well as providing the systems, marketing and sales support services that practices need.
The market is growing and needs are changing
“Our focus is always on bringing vision to the market, so starting with the lens technology side, we are clarifying our position as the leader in innovation, and expanding lens offerings.”
He said the aim is to provide optometry practices with several ranges of lenses to cater to different markets.
He cited the Essilor owned lens company OSA as an example of this. The OSA business is committed to providing premium affordable products while continuing to provide the expertise of a small lab with local, friendly customer service. The business has gone through a transformation with a refreshed new look, and has launched an enhanced range to include the new NEVA coatings. In addition, the latest progressive lens launched last year, Intuitiv, has been well received, and was recently recognised as a finalist in the lens category in the ODMA Awards for Excellence.
Despite its corporate ownership, Mr Longerna said the OSA business, which was established in Australia over 20 years ago, retains a local feel thanks to its Australian lens laboratories and a team of long term sales representatives and customer service staff who are focussed on delivering a personalised service.
The OSA refresh and range expansion builds on the company’s long standing heritage, and its commitment to a more sustainable business. All marketing collateral has been designed and produced with the environment in mind, and the business will be working towards a more sustainable footprint focusing on minimising its impact on the environment.
EXPANDING BUSINESS SOLUTIONS
In addition to expanding its lens options and introducing frame partnerships with local companies, Essilor has expanded the instruments it has on offer. “Five years ago, our instruments were limited to edgers, but now we are providing practices with more comprehensive options by developing instruments for diagnosis, refraction and dispensing,” said Mr Longerna.
“We also know there is a clear demand in the market for practice management support so we are looking at how to evolve Sunix. In the short term, we will pay more attention to supporting the people who are using Sunix, and in the medium term, it will be upgraded with more functionality. Sunix is an independent company with a neutral platform and we are happy for it to connect practices with all the industry suppliers, not just Essilor suppliers,” he added.
By offering this diverse range of instruments, systems, products and services, Mr Longerna said the aim is to enable practice owners to pick and choose elements from Essilor’s offering, or partner with Essilor as their sole supplier.
“When you consider that the cornerstone of practice management is Sunix, then you add the instruments, the lenses, and frames from our frame partners, we are able to position Essilor as a global partner rather than just a lens supplier,” said Mr Longerna. “A practice can choose to power their practice with Essilor as a partner, or choose different break points – whether that is lenses, instruments or technology – to suit them,” he added.
Speaking of the 2018 Essilor Luxottica merger, Mr Longerna said that despite media focus on rifts in the upper echelons of leadership, there has been no negative impact on operations.
“What happened is what you would expect to happen when there is a combination of that size between two companies, but it didn’t have any impact on the operation, we have all observed it and it is behind us. We continue as two separate groups, and we don’t have any big announcements about anything that could change.
“Of course there are people working at a strategic level to better understand each business and generate discussion about what could be done for the market, but there is no urgency.
“For now, we are focussing on our customers and our business, and they are focussing on their business as well. If good opportunities arise, we would be stupid not to go after them, but there is nothing urgent on the horizon.”