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3 Signs Your Frame Inventory Has Gone Rogue

Everyone has a reason it’s not getting the focus it needs and it usually boils down to how complex and hard it seems to be. Let’s tackle it!

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CHECK AND DONE!” The feeling of accomplishment wells up inside as you have completed yet another item on your busy optical to-do list. There are so many daily tasks that we must accomplish when managing an optical. “Schedule Reviews,” check. “Ship off returns,” check. “Check in and verify lab orders,” check.

“Reconcile the explanation of payment,” check.

But some of these to-do list items never get checked. You know the items that are a few pages back that you had every intention of getting done. There is one particular unchecked item that I want to highlight. It is probably next to another unchecked item: “Purge the breakroom fridge.” Unfortunately, “Improve Frame Management” is one of those items that gets repeatedly moved to the back burner. Many have the best of intentions when it comes to managing their frame inventory but … everyone has a reason it’s not getting the focus it needs and it usually boils down to how complex and hard it seems to be.

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Eventually an optical’s frame inventory will end up taking on a life of its own. Losing massive profitability without your team even realizing it. Here are three signs your frame inventory has gone rogue:

  • Brand Quantity. I challenge you to look at your inventory report and count how many brands are present. We have found an excessive number of brands to be one of the easiest markers in identifying an optical that has become an ungoverned monstrosity. It is a common statement that 20% of your inventory will do 80% of the work. Meaning that 20% of your frame inventory is responsible for a vast majority of the sales. I am telling you this does not have to be the case. The biggest culprit for creating this ridiculous 80/20 stat is the disgusting number of brands that are not carrying their weight in sales yet are allowed to stick around.
  • Uncontrolled Allotments. If I were to walk into your office, point to a brand, and ask how many frames and styles your optical showcases, would you be able to answer? Most cannot. Some would proudly state that they have a quantity of X because that is how many fit on the frame board. Before giving yourself a gold star, consider the fact that the physical space used to manage brand allotments is equally as limiting to sales success as having no planned allotment at all. A better way to manage the allotment of a brand is to base the brand’s allotment on its sales performance using data.
  • Anxiety Source. Many optical leaders have the best intentions when managing the frame inventory but there is this thing called time. In the optical field there never seems to be enough of it. As a result, time consuming tasks are moved to the back burner. Cue the anxiety. You know you could have better control of ordering. You know changes could be making more money for the office. Most leaders end up defaulting to “good enough.”

Now that you are aware of the signs of a rogue inventory, how are you going to address it? If you are looking for inspiration, scan the QR code where I lay out strategies to rein in an unruly inventory.

It is normal to not complete every task on your daily to-do list. I ask you to pay attention to those consistently unchecked items. Is the moldy leftover spaghetti in the breakroom gouging your profitability? Nope, but that rogue inventory sure is.

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