By Denis Langlois
Eye care industry veteran Marc Tersigni is leading the Canadian business unit of ABB Optical Group, a leading supplier of optical products that will begin this spring distributing contact lenses to Canadian eye care professionals.
Tersigni, the Canadian country manager, says ABB Optical will be providing professional, one-stop contact lens distribution and business management services to Canadian ECPs, following a model common in the United States that enables ECPs to better compete in the marketplace by operating more efficiently and providing better, faster service to patients.
To support its expansion into Canada, ABB Optical has built a 10,000-square-foot distribution centre in Delta, B.C. A distribution manager and supervisor, along with warehouse, information technology and customer service staff will work out of the facility.
The number of employees could expand in the near future to 20 to 30 people, Tersigni says.
Looking ahead, he said ABB Optical would ideally like to have DCs across the country.
“Our strategic plan and our vision is that we will be the best single-source distribution centres for contact lenses of the four major manufacturers in Canada sometime in the near future,” he says.
The company offers other business solutions for the optical industry that could benefit Canadian ECPs in the future, such as lens and frames distribution, practice development strategies and data and analytics.
Recently, Optical Prism magazine chatted with Marc Tersigni about his new role and ABB Optical’s plans for the Canadian marketplace.
- First off, what will set ABB Optical apart from other contact lens suppliers in Canada?
- ABB Optical is truly a partner to the eye care professional. The company is based in a non-direct manner, meaning we do not go in and influence a decision of which contact lenses the ECP buys. We go in and be the single-source supplier. So what does that mean? Today, ECPs order from four contact lens providers and they receive multiple parcels in a day or two or three, depending where these items come from because many do not ship from Canada. Many of the contact lens companies ship directly from the U.S., so it’s a bit of a complicated operation today.
What ABB Optical does is we bundle all of that. You can order everything from us, including the trial lenses with many orders delivered either the same day or next day. How we add a lot of value to all that is, first of all, you’ve saved a lot of time in your ordering. Second, the time it takes to unpack your order is drastically reduced due to receiving one shipment with all of your products. And the last part is, we work to get a complete view of what the ECP buys – the overall purchasing portfolio – and we do a business review with them.
- Can you tell us more about this business review?
- We examine three clear aspects. One, how is their business in contact lenses doing? Two, do we have an opportunity to suggest that they could use more dailies rather than monthlies, for example, because that could enhance their business? And, three, we benchmark against retail pricing that’s going on within their area, so it gives them some insight into how they can improve their position.
- What products will be available in Canada through ABB Optical?
- We have a contractual obligation with the four contact lens providers – CooperVision, Alcon, Johnson & Johnson and Bausch & Lomb.
- In addition to contact lens distribution, ABB Optical has also brought ABB Analyze, Powered by GLIMPSE to Canada. Can you tell us more about this service?
- Let’s talk about how a store or practice runs their day. They receive customers for eye exams, they sell contact lenses, they sell eyeglasses, they have opticians on staff.
ABB Analyze, Powered by GLIMPSE is a total dashboard of a practice’s activities for a day. So everything that happens, you turn on a computer the next morning, it tells you exactly what’s transpired and it gives you an idea of how the company’s performing – both in sales and in margin, how many people came through, the productivity and the performance of the people working in terms of what they’ve been selling, doing and working on.
And it gives insight to the owner on how they can manage their business more effectively because every day now they have this single dashboard and from there they can drill down to get more detail on what’s happening. With ABB Analyze, ECPs can make better informed decisions about their practice.
- You also mentioned that ABB Optical is planning to bring ABB Verify to Canada. Can you tell us about this important tool?
- ABB Verify is a powerful tool in the U.S. What it does is it analyzes your practice management system and determines what vision benefits the patient/consumer still has and it provides insight to the owner.
For example, are there people that haven’t been to a practice in two or three years that potentially have dollars and unused benefits left in their insurance plan that probably need an eye exam or could be sold contact lenses or glasses? It gives the owner insight, prior to anybody walking into their store or practice, so they have an opportunity to pre-plan what’s going to happen because they know the patient/consumer still has benefits that are unused. This is a tremendous tool. It works very well in the U.S. and we look forward to bringing this program to Canada in the future.