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CASE STUDY 1

 

Visual Optical RMS - Rich Honour Optical Centre, Hong Kong

June 2011

About Rich Honour

14 years in the optical retail business, Rich Honour firmly believes in providing customers with the best eyecare. Their team of optometrists provides eye health services which range from basic eye tests to consultation on Cycloplegic Refraction and Fundus examination. With their one-stop shop service, they offer the basic necessities such as contact lens solution to a wide variety of trendy eyewear, contact lenses and sunglasses. Customers can be assured of receiving professional service with a personal touch at any of the 2 outlets located conveniently at the MTR Malls.

Challenges

These are some of the challenges commonly faced by both single & multioutlet optical stores that hinders their business expansion. Without proper retail management control, expanding across 2 to 3 optical stores is usually the biggest barrier.

  • Messy sales history - Inventory and Customer Sales are not integrated

  • Separate Customer Records - Purchase History & RX histories are maintained separately in different outlets Annoying Paperwork - misfiling and lost of customer cards & forms

  • Duplicate Effort - Inventory are managed separately in outlets

  • Time draining - Accountant has to match received orders for both outlets during payment to suppliers

As a multi-branch optical chain, the most concerning issue for Rich Honour was inventory management and the sharing of customer eye health information. Rich Honour struggled with a simple system that stored the basic information of patients’ eye tests and an inventory module that kept stock and supplier data, but was not integrated with customer sales. As they were using manual records, to search through record books for an old transaction was a tedious task. This is an issue that most conventional optical shops face till today. Besides that, the traditional hand-written order form was prone to mistakes and the carbon copy order form would often be misplaced. Information sharing between outlets was a far-fetched mission. Due to this, much effort was spent on repeated customer and inventory input at every outlet. Rich Honour also had to maintain separate inventory lists of similar items for each outlet. As the number of items increased, matching identical items between outlets took a longer time. Product performance was not a possible piece of information. Hence stock valuation at the end of a financial year was a complex and tough chore. As the stocks for each outlet was maintained separately, it was difficult for the management to determine their current inventory status without a physical stock take. Payment to suppliers had to be matched in different outlets and this was time-draining for the accountant. Without an integrated system, payment and compilation of stock received for all outlets had to be done manually.

Changes

  1. Integrated System - New fully integrated software with business flow of an optical retail.

  2. Information is Power - Ability to capture all information from Customer transactions, Stock transfers, Inventory Control for statistics analysis via website.

  3. Sharing of information across outlets - especially patients eye records and past transactions

  4. Implementation of new marketing ideas - Ease of implementation for promotion period, price changes, customer relationship management and retention

With these challenges facing them, Rich Honour realized a change in system was needed to upkeep their customer service and strategic inventory management. In their search for a solution, Mr Angus Wong and Mr Root Ha (owners of Rich Honour) came to learn about Frontwave’s Visual Optical RMS, a product which is used by more than 500 optical retailers across Asia. Impressed by the software presentation, both partners were convinced that Visual Optical RMS is the best-matched solution for their business. With a complete system like Visual Optical RMS which is specially designed and built for the optical retail business, Rich Honour is able to implement many changes into their processes. With a short implementation schedule and an affordable price, it felt like a wish come true. The ability to synchronize customer and inventory information has enabled Rich Honour to achieve a higher level of manipulating their stock and to provide better customer service. Their customers can now visit any of Rich Honour’s outlets and have their entire eye history retrieved with this integrated system. On top of that, customers are rewarded with loyalty points for their purchases regardless of the outlet they patronize. Such a change has allowed Rich Honour to be creative in promotions for regulars and the benefits doesn’t end here; they are also able to reach out to customers who have not visited them in a long time for complimentary eye tests by sending a personalized SMS to these customers!

Embracing technology into customer service

The concept of improvising professional advisory through images and eye histories from the iPad enhances the level of consumer experience. Optometrists can enter eye examination readings directly into the iPad from the eye test room. This information, together with the selected spectacle frame or contact lens is then sent to the cashier via the iPad. The whole process is simple and effortless. The mobility of the iPad, unlike a desktop computer is also much more cost-effective and enables employees to provide a more personal touch when interacting with the customer. Such mobile technology is now available in Rich Honour where all staff young and old, can access information on the fly from the iPad as they no longer have to take turns to use the stationed computer to check for customer records.

Value Justification

The ease of having information across all outlets at a glance via the secured internet application is a major breakthrough for Rich Honour. They now have critical information which includes sales and staff performance at their fingertips. With the time saved on manual tabulation and double-checking of information, the management of Rich Honour can now use this time to make strategic decisions from the analytical reports available. Major decisions like bulk purchase, store promotions, vouchers and rewards redemption for their customers can all be achieved through the integrated Visual Optical RMS. The best part of it, the entire system is easy to use and its stability is indisputably stable as this product is currently being used by more than 500 optical shops Asia-wide for many years. Rich Honour is happy with the new Chinese interface and many useful features in Visual Optical RMS. With all these benefits at an affordable price, there is no need to invest in a customized software that cost much more yet subject to a risk of software quality, and worst of all, project failure. As Visual Optical RMS is specially built for the optical retail industry, users can be assured of future upgrades as Frontwave is dedicated to enhancing the system as technology improves.