This is a sponsored post by RevolutionEHR, a supporter of NewGradOptometry & new graduate optometrists! 😎
In optometry school, we get excellent clinical education, but how many of us feel confident in our optical management skills?
How many of us are comfortable answering the following questions like:
- How many frames should you stock in your inventory?
- How do you track your best sellers and worst performers?
- How do you turn your optical into a revenue powerhouse?
RevolutionEHR has been an incredible tool for optical management at Triangle Visions Optometry, the private practice where I’m an associate doctor. From ordering, to inventory management and tracking jobs, RevolutionEHR is well equipped to handle the demands of a busy practice and a busy optical.
One of the biggest perks about RevolutionEHR is that it’s optometry specific, meaning that it was designed with our profession uniquely in mind. It’s also convenient for doctors that travel or that sometimes need to work from home because it’s a cloud based system, meaning you can access it anywhere you have an internet connection without having to go into the office to run reports or get the data you need to make informed decisions on managing your optical.
If you have the luxury of a morning dedicated away from patient care to run your business, you can do all the data mining you need in the comfort of your pajamas – the best way to make decisions in my opinion.
Making Your Inventory Customization Friendly
Managing your frame inventory can be a major headache when you're talking about hundreds or even thousands of frames.
RevolutionEHR pulls inventory data from FramesData.com which autopopulates all possible sizes and colors for every single frame you carry. That means you always know every possible size, shape, and color available for every frame in your inventory, without having to manually enter the information yourself.
It’s a huge time saver up front when inputting your inventory, and also saves times when answering patient questions about whether a frame they love comes in black and gold instead.
What happens when you need to find something specific that’s not on your frame board?
We all have patients who are somewhat special when it comes to their frames. RevolutionEHR makes searching for that perfect needle-in-a-haystack frame painless by allowing you to run customized searches of your inventory. When you initially upload your frame inventory, you can customize a specific description of all your frames that's searchable under the Physical Inventory tab.
This up front time saving tip saves you a ton of headache on the back end. Patient wants a purple cat eye? Type that in the inventory search and it will ping every frame in your inventory that you described as fitting that condition. Compare that to manually flipping through online pictures of every frame line you carry, and you can see this feature is a miracle worker.
RevolutionEHR can generate various reports that can assist in making decisions in your optical. Learn all about them in this video:
Making Inventory Decisions
How do you know what frames to keep and what frames to return or exchange?
RevolutionEHR’s robust inventory management system allows you to easily track your best and worst sellers, and helps you make informed decisions on purchasing and exchanges.
Goal One: Keep your best sellers on your frame board
If you have frames that sell again and again, each day you are waiting for your inventory to restock from the distributor is a day that frame can't sell.
RevolutionEHR makes it easy to know when it's time to reorder your best sellers. In your inventory tab you can set a minimum and maximum number of frames to have on hand for each frame in your optical, and a quick RevolutionEHR report will automatically tell you when it's time to purchase more when you fall to that minimum number.
For a best seller you may want to set your minimum at 2 so you’ll never run into a situation where your top selling frames are off the board.
Goal Two: Identify High and Low Performers
When it comes to core product, a turnover of 3-1 is ideal for a great performing frame.
That means in 1 year, you should sell that frame 3 times. RevolutionEHR makes it easy to run reports to see how many times every frame in your inventory has sold, so you can spot great performers and ones that just aren’t connecting.
You can also run averages for entire frame lines.
If a core product has an average turnover rate of less than 2-1 it is probably time to reconsider if that line is the right fit for your office. Luxury or specialty products won’t be expected to have turnover rates this high, so adjust expectations accordingly as you run reports on those products.
Goal Three: Make the Appropriate Changes
How long does a frame sit on your board before it sells?
This is crucial information in deciding which frames are working for you and which frames are duds in your optical.
RevolutionEHR’s age report shows you how long each frame in your current inventory has sat unsold on your boards, and it can track all the historical data for frames that have sold multiple times to calculate the average time you have it in office before it sells again.
This will help you maximize your buying decisions to stock frames that sell instead of sitting and collecting dust. When a frame rep comes in, those frames that have sat unsold for significant amounts of time are the ones you can quickly target to trade out for new product or more of your best sellers.
If an entire frame line is sitting on your boards for months at a time without selling, it’s time to re-evaluate how well that collection is connecting with your patient base.
Making Optical Orders Easy
RevolutionEHR has made managing your inventory easy with their integrated barcode and scanner system.
Every new frame entered into your inventory gets a unique barcode linked to your RevolutiuonEHR inventory. When it's time to enter a patient order, just scan the barcode on the frame and all frame data autopoluates into the patient’s order form. And it automatically pulls the frame you just sold from stock to seamlessly track inventory!
When placing optical orders, RevolutionEHR helps prevent simple errors with their automated alert system. Ordering a progressive but didn't enter the seg height? Your optician will see a warning message pop up any time they miss essential data that would have otherwise delayed the order and resulted in unprofessional call backs to the patient.
Patients expect their glasses to come in on time, and you can stay one step ahead of their frantic phone calls by using RevolutionEHR's "due date" system. On every glasses order you can set an expected due date for when the patient was promised to have their glasses.
RevolutionEHR allows you to run a report to show you every overdue order, which can then be tracked within the system to discover where the hold up is to getting your patient their great new pair of glasses. If you call and alert the patient of an issue before they realize it’s late, it will alleviate a lot of stress and anger.
RevolutionEHR also excels at minimizing time consuming, mundane optical duties.
Calling patients when their glasses arrive can leave your staff overwhelmed and pulls them off the optical floor. Once an order has been received and verified by your optician, utilizing RevolutionEHR’s patient communication service, RevConnect, will allow you to setup an auto text or email to patients (you set the preference!) to alert them their glasses are ready to pick up.
It’s a huge upgrade in efficiency, and in this age where most people are slow to check their voicemails, a text or email is usually the fastest way to get in touch with them.
Managing Inventory Complications
When it's time to run your quarterly office inventory reports, RevolutionEHR’s inventory management system makes it easy to quickly count physical inventory with their barcode and scanner system, as well as track discrepancies between your inventory in the computer system and what's actually on the floor.
When you run the inventory reconciliation report, it compares the frames you physically have on hand with the frame inventory information in your RevolutionEHR inventory and red flags any discrepancies from frames you should have according to the system.
Just head to the Quantity History tab to investigate these red flagged frames. There's a robust frame reconciliation program for inventory issues which tracks missing or unaccounted for frames, allowing you to locate frames you might have sent back to the lab or traded to a vendor for a better selling model.
Tracking Your Earnings
If you work in a multi-practice location like myself, keeping track of the earnings you specifically generated can be essential to your pay.
If your office is production based, you can link every optical order to the specific doctor's exam so that doctor is credited directly with the sale. RevolutionEHR allows you to run reports showing sales by provider and by office so that everything you produce is easily visible.
Need Expert Advice? RevolutionEHR supports that too.
RevolutionEHR is so much more than just a software platform for your practice.
Yes, it generates a ton of data about your optical, but if you don’t know how to interpret those numbers to make informed decisions, managing optical can still seem daunting.
With a software platform, easy reporting and personalized coaching advice, you’ve got a true partner to helping you become an optical management expert.