Optical Equipment Tax Tip

Margaret Coffen of Minocqua Optical next to her new Briot Emotion Edger

Briot USA  gave us a quick tip regarding the 2012 IRS Tax 179…did you know that they reduced it from $250,000 to $125,000 this last year? Even more important…they are reducing it to $25,000 next year. If you need new equipment or instruments NOW is the time especially if you are thinking about doing lens production and  in-office finishing? But we never recommend spending money before careful analysis so we interviewed two optical practices that recently purchased new optical equipment, edgers specifically.

Frank Akers, OD

This is what Frank M. Akers II OD, owner of Akers Eyecare Center and President Elect AZOA has to say about his experience on making the decision to purchase more new optical equipment:

“I’ve owned my private practice for 12 years. Lately, trying to remain competitive and still provide the customer service my patients have come to expect has grown increasingly difficult. After much research, I finally decided that in office finishing was going to help me with those very concerns and help increase the bottom line. I first considered buying used equipment. Then I found out I could get amazing pricing on top of the line new equipment through Briot, thanks to IDOC.

My Briot Sales Manager, Abel Brown, came out to the office to see if we had the appropriate space, and did a thorough analysis of our lab bills to see if bringing in the equipment made financial sense. Our small lab (10’x7′) had plenty of room. Financially, it was a no brainer. Abel showed me how my lab bills would decrease by 30-40%. However, more importantly, I was going to be able to have control over the quality and significantly reduce our turn around time. We don’t stock lenses. We simply do not have the room, but we are able to get quality blanks with A/R next day in most cases.

Another reason I wanted to go with new equipment from a reputable company was training and support. I needed to know that my staff was going to be able to run the equipment to the fullest potential. Briot provided that training. In fact our 16-year-old son comes in twice a week to do lab work. He wants to be an engineer, so he loves the technology. Our office usually runs 85% A/R. I needed to have equipment that could edge any of the high end A/Rs. Our Briot does that. In fact we are now doing all our high end jobs in office. Free-form progressive lenses, Super Hydrophobic A/R, and just about every lens material can be done without problems.

The entire staff and our patients are excited that we have this technology in our office. I’m happy with money I’m saving, but ecstatic about the service I’m providing my patients. Briot has been an excellent partner, and continues to support us when we still have concerns or questions.”

Margaret Coffen of Minocqua Optical next to her new Briot Emotion Edger

Margaret Coffen of Minocqua Optical answered our questions as follows:

  1. How long have you been in practice?
    2 years here with a total of 20 years optical experience.
  2. Are you new to lens edging onsite or were you already doing onsite edging?
    We were already doing onsite edging with an older edger.
  3. What lens edging equipment did you purchase?
    The Briot Emotion.
  4. How long have you been edging onsite?
    5 months with this new edger.
  5. What drove your decision on making this purchase and what were your key decision factors?
    Customer service, options for the total price. We wanted an edger that was easy to use and could do drill mounts .
  6. Are you doing all your own edging now?
    Yes, except for safety glasses.
  7. Can you quantify savings in both money and time?
    Absolutely, the savings are considerable both in money and time!
  8. Can you specify which lenses and materials you use mainly?
    We use all materials. plastic mostly, with polycarbonate, Trivex and high index. We also have a full lab and can produce 90% of our lenses in house.
  9. What general comments can you make on the experience?
    It took a long time to make the decision to purchase this equipment. I did a lot of research. We are happy with our purchase. Minocqua Optical is located in Northern Wisconsin and it is a busy tourist community . The town is an island. We have a very busy summer with visitors from the cities and they need fast service and now we can help them. I am here many weekend nights making glasses for vacationers who lost their glasses while kayaking and to see the relief in their eyes when we can actually help them in such a small community is very rewarding. Thank you Briot for making an excellent edger!


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