GATHER FRAME INFORMATION
PART ONE OF A FOUR-PART SERIES ON FRAME BOARD MANAGEMENT
DAVE ZIEGLER, O.D.
OPTICAL DISPENSARIES typically generate about half the income of the private practice optometrist. Frame board management helps you maximize these profits and allocate space and funds for those frames that sell. Through the next four months, I will provide the steps you can take to regain control of a large profit center in your practice. Begin by gathering necessary information:
1 MAP YOUR FRAME BOARDS
Group each brand of frames in a specific area of your frame boards or on a particular shelf. This will help you see how much space you have allocated to that brand. Now, take some blank sheets of paper, and draw boxes representing your frame displays. Divide each box (frame display) into smaller sections: these represent each of your frame brands. Write the quantity of frames for each brand in the appropriate box. See the example below. You now have a map of your optical displays.
2 FINE TUNE YOUR INVENTORY
Meet with your optical staff to decide how much you want to decrease or increase the number of frames for each brand that you display. Have your frame reps tell you the best sellers in your geographic area from their company. You may find brands that you don’t want to carry anymore, either because they are not selling or are under selling. These are important to identify to free up board space to show products that sell.
To maximize board space, we have chosen to show only 10 styles per vendor, which we call our Top 10. We have multiple colors for each of those frames. We then make 360° videos of all the frame colors of our Top 10 frames, which we display on a 27 inch screen. If patients don’t see a color they like, they can view other color options offered by the manufacturer. This virtual presentation is part of our co-channeled, or online-offline, approach to our retail presence.
3 CREATE AN INVENTORY NOTEBOOK
Using a simple three-ring binder, make a sheet for each brand, and list your Top 10 frames with the colors you stock listed under it. Also, list how many pairs of each you have in inventory. Update this list quarterly at each frame rep visit. (While we keep a Microsoft Word file for each brand, which is easily updated, there is a simplicity of having it all in a notebook.) This list prevents you from overbuying at frame rep visits, and it allows you to update your favorites when new styles are released.
When your optical staff collaborates with the expertise of your frame reps, you will have reorganized your entire inventory the way that successful retail stores do it.
Next month, I will discuss what to do with the frames you no longer want. OM