The optical industry has never been more competitive. Consumers want the most advanced and effective technology, while eyecare providers want to ensure this is delivered on-time and with the highest level of patient satisfaction. Operating in this environment, optical labs need to ensure that the products they are producing are accurate, easily adaptable and error-free. Arizona-based GSRx recently upgraded its 12,000 square foot facility to ensure that they tick all three of these boxes.

Production manager Willie Cohen loads trays onto the conveyor system which transports jobs around the roughly 12,000-square foot facility through the entire production process. Behind him is a fully-automated MEI BispheraTBA Phoenix edger, the hub of the newly expanded GSRx facility.


Dave Jochims
The fully automated lab puts each step of the lens production journey under scrutiny with a layout that ensures the highest level of quality. To achieve this, GSRx CEO David Jochims brought not only a team of industry experts in to create a design that would improve production flow, but he also included his staff in the design and construction journey. The goal was to create a lab that addressed the needs of eyecare providers from placing the order, to customer service to production and final inspection.

Like many labs, the expansion was a result of running out of production space. “We had outgrown our current facility. We were doing about 1,000 jobs a day, and we were busting at the seams,” said Jochims, an optical industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience working for lens companies and labs. Thanks to a new, fully automated conveyor system and an assembly line that uses intelligent routing, the new facility can produce 3,000 Rx jobs a day, he said.

GSRx has never been just an optical production lab. They also have several unique services and products that allow them to stand out in a crowded industry. One such service, Proper Optics, allows customers to order directly from the lab, or connect with a partnered eyecare provider to offer a full range of eyeglasses options. They also offer a customizable family vision plan that allows employers to provide affordable eyeglasses options to their employees.

The daytime bench team at work. GSRx runs both day and night production shifts.

Providing these, and all other services, means offering a comprehensive customer service program that can address questions customers may have. “We expanded our customer services, providing more office space and new workrooms,” explained Jochims, adding that his customer service teams were consulted to ensure there were no gaps in service and that protocols were put in place to deal with issues.

Jochims said, “Our number one goal was to focus on employees and put culture first. They were involved in the strategy and design of it. They love the facility. We do a lot of things for our employees.” He added this partnership with employees made for a seamless transition. “We did everything we could to transfer seamlessly. It was pretty amazing.”

Next, working with his production team and experts from around the world who provided guidance on the installation of machines and production, he said, they were able to address issues for future growth.

The expansion added several new pieces of production equipment, including two MEI Phoenix machines in addition to the four existing MEI machines and the installation of an automated conveyor system.

“We were able to build from the ground up with a blank space and build based on product flow,” Jochims said, noting that Keith Posin, president, was a strong guiding factor in completing the project. “I had a good understanding of the industry. One of the reasons we started the business was to level the playing field for optometrists. It’s been good for us and for our partners. I love independent optometry and what they do for us,” Jochims said.

Every job in the lab goes through the hands of the well-organized shipping team before leaving the building.

GSRx’s experienced and dedicated customer service team is located in the lab.

The feeling is mutual for most GSRx clients. Vision Care Associates, headed by Megan Sullivan, OD, has been using the lab for nearly 10 years. The Iowa-based office was looking for a lab with improved quality and better pricing than the lab they were using.

“Our lab bill before joining GSRx was out of control,” said Dr. Sullivan. “When Dave visited our practice almost 10 years ago, we knew we needed a change. Little did we know it would turn into a great working partnership. They truly work to help take care of independent practices by providing quality and premium products at a lower cost.”

One of the things the office immediately noted was the improved customer service. Ensuring jobs were done on time, and having a team that could answer questions, was essential for effective patient care. Sullivan said the change was immediate, as GSRx customer service began to take over the management of her orders.

“GSRx’s customer service is on point. No matter what the question is, they are always available to help. The turnaround time and efficiency is amazing. That can only happen when you have an experienced, dedicated team,” she said.

Serving the community for more than 60 years, the team at Vision Care Associates has a reputation to maintain. This means providing their patients with the best quality eyeglasses. The office offers vision exams, eye surgery and other specialty services. This also means offering patients the newest and most advanced lens options.

“GSRx is a very innovative and progressive company that continues to bring new technology to our office,” said Dr. Sullivan, adding GSRx stands behind their quality products and provides a personal touch, something she said is very hard to find.

As a result, Dr. Sullivan said working with GSRx has allowed her office to improve how they do business. “This helps us owners decrease our cost of goods, while still providing premium products to our patients. It is a great partnership that allows us to continue to focus on growing our practice and our business.”