LAB: Tri-Supreme Optical
Farmingdale, N.Y.
Mark Cohen, director of training


“As more new lens products come out, the ECP has had a hard time keeping track of all of them. They get very dependent on their lab. When you add digital, it gets even more confusing. They see articles about digital lenses all over the place and they want to learn more. That’s when they make the phone call to their lab.

“We’ve been doing digital for about a year now. We’ve educated the ECPs about why digital is the way to go. They want to know, ‘Why should I dispense it,’ ‘Why is better?’ ‘How do I fit it?’ ‘What’s different about it?’ We’ve
created special training materials, including a PowerPoint presentation called ‘Dymystifying
Digital for the ECP’ that seems to be working very well.

“Taking digital Rx orders has been a challenge. Some of the accounts just don’t understand a particular digital lens. They say, ‘We want XYZ product, and when we tell them, ‘We need XYZ measurements,’ there’s silence on the other end. Educating our accounts about personalized lenses is also somewhat of a challenge. I created a tool for our customer service and data entry staff where we took all our digital lenses, and made a chart to show them what the specs are for different lenses.

“We sell mostly progressives and some single vision, both Essilor and Shamir lenses. All the patient’s Rx information goes to either France or Israel for calculation. Sometimes a job gets kicked back. We have to be very conscious of what will work and what won’t, especially if the account has a $1,000 sale in their hand. That’s why we have a lot of experienced customer service people to smooth things out, if necessary.”

Customer Comment:

Martin Levine
Optician for Raymond Helfand, OD
Staten Island, N.Y.


“The amount of information we have to exchange with the lab has increased. Because of the additional details such as patient measurements, the need for accuracy is higher. I prefer to call in my Rx orders rather than fax them in or send them electronically. The customer service people at TriSupreme are great, and they are very knowledgeable. In addition to taking my order, they advise me when there’s a difficult Rx, and they also educate me about the latest lenses. That’s very important because there are always new lenses coming out. They get the latest information from the lens manufacturers before we even get it.”

“I use a lot of Varilux Comfort Drx, also Shamir Autograph II. We also use digital single vision lenses, primarily on wrap frames. They deliver ‘crisp’ vision, especially for patients with a smaller PD and a large frame where you would normally get distortion at the lateral. Those patients are now seeing better with digital single vision lenses.”

Customer Comment:

Wayne Goldberg, OD
Private practitioner in Rockville Centre, N.Y.


“TriSupreme hosted a seminar about digital. That was the catalyst in getting me started with it.”

“Now I tell everybody you can have your lenses one or two ways: conventional or digital. The first is a manufacturer making curves on a machine vs. a computer guiding lasers to make digital lenses, which results in less peripheral distortion and more reading area. We don’t want them to leave here and think we haven’t exposed them to it.

“Awareness of digital technology is high among patients. Television forced the issue. Everyone under 40 is using an iPad, iPhone or other digital device. They get it. More than 50 percent of my progressive lens patients are now in digital lenses. The way technology is changing, I predict that in a few years digital will be the only way lenses will be made.”