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Impressionist 3 dispensing system “gives independent opticians the edge”

October 2013

Rodenstock’s advanced ImpressionIST 3 dispensing system can help give independent practices a competitive edge over their High Street competitors.

That’s the verdict of Jeremy Heynes, Managing Director and Dispensing Optician at Barraclough & Stiles (B&S), which has six practices along the East Sussex coast and has been in business for more than 50 years.

Jeremy is full of praise for the ImpressionIST 3, which has an easy-to-use 3D video centering system that enables dispensing opticians to measure a client’s eyewear accurately and quickly, without the need for a measuring attachment.

He says: “I would like to think it has given us an advantage and that customers who have previously used other opticians perhaps will appreciate the superior experience they receive here. I’m not aware of any other optician in our area which is able to offer this highly advanced service to customers.”

The Consulting Tool allows the practice to show patients the difference between lenses rather than trying to explain. Pictures created by the camera system are available instantly and are used to demonstrate the appearance of various frames and lenses to the customer. The precision measurement makes it possible to create spectacles that are highly individual and satisfy the demands of each patient. It works with WinFit Reference ordering software, so the lens order is transmitted instantly and accurately.

Jeremy explained that the ImpressionIST 3 system is installed in five of the company’s six practices. The outlet in Seaford may be included once a planned refit is completed. The dispensing system is available in three designs and B&S uses all three – wall mounted in Bexhill, St Leonards and Polegate, floor standing in Eastbourne and tabletop in Battle.

Jeremy said: “It has taken a little while for staff to get used to operating the new technology. Many of them are highly experienced staff who have been used to doing the job a certain way for a long time. Whenever new technology is introduced in any business it takes time to adapt to the new way of doing things and also to be able to trust what is a completely different way of measuring.

“Our experience is that the more you use the ImpressionIST 3 system the more you appreciate the benefits it provides to us and our customers.”

Barraclough & Stiles has been promoting the Impression series of lenses with local press advertising and mailshots to customers on its database, attracting people by offering a free upgrade to Impression lenses from lower priced lenses. The added benefit is that the company has also seen Impression lens sales increase significantly, more than 200% in some practices!

So has investing in the ImpressionIST 3 system given B&S a competitive edge over its competitors? Without a doubt, says Jeremy who, although based in the firm’s central office in Bexhill, still has a hands-on approach to dispensing and regularly works in all six practices.

“We have always invested in new technology and I believe that independent practices like us need to be seen to offer something different to our competitors. New lenses are made to such high tolerances that to be able to measure with ever greater accuracy enables us to provide our customers with an exceptional end product.

“Feedback from customers has been positive and they are always very interested to see new technology being used when they come in to see us. They understand when we explain that by measuring their eyewear more accurately we can provide them with the best possible lens and frames to meet their needs,” adds Jeremy.

Image shows: Rodenstock’s ImpressionIST 3 dispensing system in use at the Barraclough & Stiles practice at Bexhill in East Sussex

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