Communicating, Training and Cutting Costs!

Surprise! You were expecting to see Dr. Steve Stanfield’s picture. He is very sorry that you are not. I have been elected as chairman of the Board of Directors for the next term. For those of you who do not know me, I am Merl (Doug) Jackman. I practice in Austin. My wife and I have four children and five grandchildren. We are truly blessed.

I just returned from the board meeting in Houston, and I also feel blessed to be a member of our network and VERY excited about the future of our organization and the game plan that is being drawn up for our network.

One of the concerns that has been raised by many members is that the communication between the Board and the members, is not very good. I, and other board members believe this is a legitimate concern. We plan on doing a better job from here on out, so here is a brief synopsis of what was discussed at the board meeting held on January 28th.

This was the first board meeting with our new non-OD board members. The amount of talent, knowledge and expertise these three members bring to us is incredible and we are extremely fortunate they have agreed to be on our board.

Jack Gunion has been involved in retail his entire life and was instrumental in developing and growing EyeCare Centers of America (also known as EyeMasters) into one of the largest optical chains in the world. He will help us in many areas of business, but especially in looking at numbers and the metrics of our business compared to all the other’s in the optical industry in the country and compared to other TSO offices.

Jay Binkowitz is a consultant for optometric practices in 35 states. His knowledge with staff hiring, management, training and overall practice management will be a tremendous asset to us all.

We all know John Marvin and the talent and expertise he has in all facets of the optical business, but especially with marketing and third party. To have him as a member of the board and continue to share his knowledge with all members of the network is extremely valuable.

There are plans to help every office with staff management. This has already begun with the four regional managers. There will also be workshops for the doctors and lead staff members. When invited to attend the workshops, I strongly encourage you to go. It will take you out of your office for a couple of days, but the benefit your office will receive will be much greater than you can ever imagine.

There are plans for us to be able to buy products at a much better price. The only way to make more money is to see more patients or to cut our cost of goods. With the vision plans we all accept we have to find ways to cut our cost of goods. We plan to find ways to do this. So there are the three priorities the Board has recognized – better communication, more help with training and staff management, and ways to cut our cost of goods.

I have felt for a long time that being a TSO member is the best way to practice optometry. With the changes that are happening it will be even better. Let’s all jump on board to make this OD owned business the best it can be and the best in the industry.

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