As we head to Vision Expo West, one area that might need exploring is Optical Lab Software, AKA LMS. Lab Software is the process of automating Rx lens fabrication. The functions are designed to manage the production process and the business management of lens manufacturing for conventional and freeform/digital surfacing, edging, and AR coating.
Depending on the provider, optical lab software is typically available in modules that can be configured to accommodate the specific operational needs of any wholesale or retail lens lab, regardless of size and volume.
Order entry is accomplished by lab staff entering Rxs exactly as written, or entered into a web-based online remote order interface by the lab’s client. Lens selection, surfacing and finishing calculations, data transfer, job tracking, inventory management, and many other functions are performed automatically to enable reliable efficiency, quality, and fast turnaround time in the Rx delivery process.
What To consider when purchasing an LMS System:
- Vendor Integration: Will the software will work with all your other programs? Can the LMS communicate with all conventional and freeform/digital lens production hardware?
- Who owns the software? If owned by a lens manufacturer will they be able to supply all the information you need or would you be beholden to one manufacturer?
- What about Staff? Are they willing to use the software? Can they be trained?
- What is the update schedule?
- Have a complete understanding of pricing. Is price dependent on number of jobs per month? Is there extra for digital processing? How much is charged to add each manufacfurer’s digital processing to your line of products? Are all software upgrades included in monthy support fees?
- What is the contract time? How long are you locked in for?
- Tech Support: Do they come in and train upon installation? Is tech support on site or off site? Is there additional costs?
- Customization: Need to know that you are not limited
- Cost Effectiveness: How many jobs a day do you do to make it cost effective? What functions does it have that will reduce time, eliminate steps?
- Is their any hardware or software you might have to purchase?
- If an eyecare provider, does the system integrate with wholesale lab?
- Does the system have all the functions you need such as coding, accounting, tracking, remote ordering, RX ordering, job status, tracer, inventory management, bar-coding ability, shipping and tracking and archive functions?
- What are the add-ons if any?
- Plan For the future: Buy a system based on the future.
- Is it VCA compliant? VCA is the data transmission standard for lab equipment to talk. Old timers might know it as OMA. It is defined by The Vision Council. AKA DCS (Data Communication Standard)
Optical Lab Software
Digital Vision;Their software system includes RxWizard™, an Internet component for ECPs and laboratories, integration with digital surfacing, as well as complete manufacturing Rx processing and extensive reporting for business management.
DigitalTrace – Optivision owned, independent, is a basic edging-only lab software system.
LensWare – Germany, used in Europe, Asia, South America mostly.
Ocuco /C.C. Systems/ Labzilla, Innovations (At Vision Expo West 2016) Ocuco offers many software programs from the small to the large eyecare professional. Innovations is the lab software which automates prescription lens processing.
Optical Lab Software Solutions/ Essilor: At Vision Expo West 2016. (Dallas,Texas) OMICS (Canada) Optifacts (Minnesota) OptiFacts 02, Vision Star (Portland, OR), Optuitive and Visual Lab Pro . Finishing lab software for large retail chains, manufacturer owned labs, independent wholesale labs, military labs, safety labs, and integrated retail labs, from 25 jobs per day to 30,000+ jobs per day.
Opticom: Opticom System offers free electronic ordering of all Optical lens products sold by participating vendors at the same time. Can place all of your lens orders electronically in one convenient step. Services that are supported by these manufacturers are available at no cost to the laboratory. Opticom is often integrated into an LMS to easily create lens orders on the PC, then send electronically through the internet using the LMS Inventory Management module so the lenses are delivered quickly, a process to keep the lab off the phone, saves tons of time, and reduces errors.
Optivision: At Vision Expo West 2016: (Phoenix, AZ) Independent Supplier: They offer Freeform/digital and conventional surfacing, edging, AR coating, online remote Rx order entry and remote online frame tracing. For any wholesale or retail optical surfacing or edging lab, big and small.