Optical Prism January 2016 - Page 40

Happy 2016 to all OAC Optician members! Opticianry is alive and well. The sky did not fall and the entire world has not collapsed into a sea of digital health care. Is there such a thing as a virtual pair of glasses yet? Either way, 96 percent of all vision care consumers are using the services of an ECP when choosing solutions to their visualneeds. Yes, the world has changed and will continue to change. There is no doubt that the internet is a factor in many purchases and service selections in today’s world. All Opticians realize that they need an online presence in some way to ensure that their name is out there. Marketing over the internet is an obvious no brainer. In the opinion of some, we must act now; we are doomed if we don’t go to court immediately and prevent technology from advancing or creeping into our profession. Robots will eventually take our jobs, we are told. All of this adverse talk distracts us from our purpose. Our job is to deliver VISION CARE. We will always be needed to do so if we continue to educate ourselves and are diligent in our service to the public. All of the technology will become tools in our toolbox. I am personally growing weary of the “sky is falling” attitude of a few. Business is good for independent Opticians who have a business model that is competitive and provide outstanding service. Those that utilize the new marketing methods will thrive and continue to evolve our profession. Chains and box stores are expanding services and locations. Opticians are required and are, quite frankly, in short supply. The caveat here is that Opticians have to be employable. Be the best we can be. That is how we are sure to be a valuable 36 Optical Prism | January 2016 asset to any company - even our own. Education and trend awareness is the key to success. Performance depends on the individual and their talent. Get trained in management, get trained in marketing… this is required in today’s world to ensure our profession remainshealthy and evolves with time. We as Opticians are in great shape for 2016. The eyewear industry has been identified as a potential market for growth. Let’s let go of any negativity for the 2016 year and focus on this growth! If we want something to focus on, lets go after the single vision market … aggressively. Offer a value proposition. Great service usually wins out but it must be complimented with an incredible product for an excellent price. The Opticians Association of Canada is here for you. We are a knowledge house of information. We can help Opticians identify areas of education required to attain the next level. Our bank of referrals for companies and services is endless. Our opportunities for networking are amazing. Join up and/or renew right away and utilize the positive energy of thousands of Opticians who believe that working together for our profession is the best way to go. Robert Dalton, Executive Director Opticians Association of Canada