Some optical retailers are seen as product/retail orientated and others as patient/health orientated. Doctors Vision Center is a much talked about company in the optical industry as it has a reputation for being a business that does the best of both worlds. I saw that one of our subscribers is Sherrie Rogerson who is VP of Strategic Marketing for Doctors Vision Center and I thought it might be interesting to do a Doctors Vision Center interview with her. I am happy to say she agreed to do the interview and had some interesting things to say.
Here it is:
- Network of 55 eye care practices located throughout the state of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia
- Founded in 1984 in Greenville, North Carolina
- More than 1.2 million people trust DVC for comprehensive eye care benefits
- Comprehensive eyecare service including examinations, vision correction surgery, cosmetic procedures, and a vast selection of frames and contacts
Questions and Answers from Doctors Vision Center Interview with Sherrie Rogerson – VP of Strategic Marketing:
1. How long have you worked for DVC and tell us a little bit about your career progression there? I started with Doctors Vision Center in July 1989 so I am just coming up on my 20th anniversary with the company. I was still new to the optical industry when I started having worked for a private practice for a year and a half. At that time Doctors Vision Center composed of four offices and I worked in dispensing and contact lenses. As the company grew, we started franchising and I moved to a product manager position. I held this position for about six years and progressed to Director of Marketing and then more recently VP of Strategic Marketing.
2. What exactly does the VP of Strategic Marketing do? My job is to oversee the development of the Doctors Vision Center brand and what it means to our patients. This includes all that the company provides in terms of services and products – product selection, research, promotions, pricing, vendors and more. We first determine our product needs and then continually analyze what we are offering to the patient. We have developed strong partnerships with our vendors in order to achieve our goals. Although we have consolidated the number of vendors we work with in order to maintain strong partnerships this does not limit us and we continue to analyze new vendors and products and if there is a compelling reason to try them we will.
3. What differentiates Doctors Vision Center from other group practices or optical chains? Most importantly is our focus and commitment to the patient in terms of providing the best eye health care and ensuring that the patient has the best experience possible. We emphasize continuity of care as well so most of our business is from repeat customers i.e. existing patients rather than new patients. This also means that we need to stay on the cutting edge of technology and put eye health first. For example, we focus on treatment of eye disease.
4. What do you think are the major obstacles facing optical practices right now? It is of course, the depressed economy which has been very challenging since 2008. People are extending their purchase cycle to save money. However, our emphasis on eye health gives us a more recession proof business and we feel that Doctors Vision Center has been less affected than other optical retail. The movement to internet and online purchases could be an obstacle for traditional optical retail but Doctors Vision Center is looking at ways to embrace it so that it becomes more of an opportunity and less of an obstacle.
5. What changes do you foresee about the retail optical market in the next 5 years? As mentioned in the previous topic, I see more internet and online based commerce but we see bigger changes coming from increased technology especially in the areas of treatment for conditions like Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration and Diabetes. Doctors Vision Center is focusing on improved technology to provide better products and services.
6. What other professional organizations and social networks are you involved with? I have been an Optical Women’s Association (OWA) board member for the last four years. I was President for a year and now continue to serve as “Immediate Past President” and chair the “Professional Development Fund Committee”. I am the only “retail” person on the board so I like being able to represent that side of the optical industry and I enjoy the networking and benefits of being a member of the OWA.
7. What do you think about our blog? What could we do better as far as being an optical retail resource? I am personally not very experienced with blogging even though I feel that I am computer savvy. I enjoy the daily emails and do read the subjects and brief descriptions that interest me. There is a lot of useful information and training tips. Doctors Vision Center is comfortable with video conferencing and instant messaging so we are used to different methods of communication. I can recommend theopticalvisionsite.com to not only Doctors Vision Center associates but to anyone who works in the optical industry as a source of good information and tips.
I hope you found this interview interesting, please let us know if you would ike to see more of this type of interview.