On An Evolving Industry
This year, OptiSource is celebrating its 25th anniversary. It grew from a small startup with five products to an inventory of over 5,000 products—everything from in-house lab consumables to eyeglass cases and lens cloths—to become one of the industry’s major suppliers of optical products and accessories. Growth and evolution have been cornerstones to its success. Here, OptiSource President Daryl Squicciarini discusses not just the evolution of the company, but also of the industry at large.
OptiSource is turning 25 this year. How has the company evolved with the industry?
OptiSource was a five-product tinting and UV manufacturer when it was first founded. As lens technology improved with time, the need for our original product line decreased. So, we had to evolve with the industry and expand into other product lines.
What changes have you noticed in ECP buying behavior over the past 25 years?
ECPs’ purchase methods have evolved. At first, they seemed slow to adopt the practice of buying products online, but nowadays it has become commonplace for them to make online purchases.
What’s been the biggest change in the industry since OptiSource launched?
Consolidation in suppliers, in competition, and in customers is the biggest change that I have seen in this industry.
What do you consider to be the major challenges of independent ECPs today, and how does a company like OptiSource help?
One of the major challenges is competing against organizations that have more retail and practice management resources and the associated buying power. OptiSource is helping these independent businesses with branding and image creation, and accessories that improve their revenue, draw in more patients, and improve their overall image. In summation, we help eyecare professionals develop a more professional persona to present to their patients—matching cleaning cloths, bags, cases, and spray cleaners to really elevate the perception of an independent ECP.
Where do you think the evolution of the industry is headed next? What’s the future look like to you?
We are already seeing an increase in private equity consolidation, and I think this will continue into the future. For OptiSource, this means fewer independent clients to interact with. OptiSource is most interested in cementing the valued customer relationships we’ve earned over the past 25 years and adding new ones by continuing to deliver quality products at fair prices with super-friendly service. —SUSAN TARRANT