Evolution is inevitable in any industry, and the Canadian optical industry is no different. In the past few years, consolidation and competition have increased. Many of the ophthalmic labs used by clinics and retailers have made the decision to move their manufacturing from domestic to international.
Following its acquisition of Allied Lab in 2008, in 2015, FYidoctors moved its lab into a new state-of-the-art facility located in Delta, British Columbia.
Since then, FYidoctors has grown significantly; today the lab is manufacturing an impressive 12,000 to 13,000 pairs of glasses per week. In the past three years alone, approximately $10 million have been invested in the facility, becoming a true differentiating factor for FYidoctors.
Under one roof, the lab manufactures the highest quality lenses and coatings using the newest and most innovative technologies available.
We met with Nancy Morison, Vice President of the Delta Ophthalmic Laboratory. An industry veteran, Nancy is leading FYidoctors’ Delta team and building a culture of excellence to ensure our patients and clients receive the highest quality glasses in the Canadian market.
What differentiates FYidoctors and the contribution of the Delta Lab?
‘’First, we are a fully vertically-integrated company, and we are still here in Canada!
By this, I mean that many competitors are now producing lenses offshore, and many other labs have scaled down in recent years. It became increasingly popular to manufacture in China, India, and Thailand, among other places, to decrease costs.
We produce approximately 2,500 pairs of custom glasses per day, and we are open 6 days a week, 24 hours per day.’’
“We also use the highest quality materials, coatings, and machinery and have developed profound expertise in supply chain optimization. Whether it is for our exclusive frame line, Sacori, or for more than our 3,000 frame selection, our lens quality sets us apart and showcases the excellence of our products.’’
‘’Lastly, we invest in technology: it is part of our DNA. Today, we have been told that we are the most technologically advanced optical lab in Canada. Why? We are choosing not to offshore manufacturing internationally and instead are make significant technology investments in our own backyard at Delta to be highly competitive in the Canadian marketplace.
Having leading technologies and an optimized supply chain in our own house allows our organization to be highly efficient on labour and shipping/importing costs.’’
In the past three years, the investments in the Delta lab have been significant; what are the technologies you are using?
‘’We are not using only one technology, but we are using all the best technologies available to us, giving us the capability to produce the best product. We have a unique approach: we pick leading technologies, suppliers, raw materials, and designs, from Schneider generators and polishers to Satisloh coatings, processes and chambers and MEI edging equipment, to full software integration from clinic to lab to key partners. Combined, this ensures cost efficiency, amazing products and outstanding service for our clinics and stores and ultimately our patients.’’
FYidoctors has a robust, healthy culture, and it seems that you were able to create an excellent work environment at Delta. Can you tell us more?
‘’The FYi culture is very much based on coaching: we share our knowledge and insights daily with our teammates.
We have a very cohesive group that enjoys helping and working closely together. Our coaching culture and mindset are very different from other manufacturing and distribution environments that I have seen.
We care about the product, the quality, and choose to make ourselves available to allow the success of our operations. We have also seen tremendous growth powered by our ever-expanding clinic network and our supply chain investments. As I like to say, growth builds optimism, and optimism and continuous improvement are key to our culture. ‘’
Seven facts about Delta Lab:
- Allied Lab Founded in 2001
- Acquired in 2008 by FYidoctors
- New advanced facility opened in 2015
- 12,000 to 13,000 pairs of glasses made per week
- 220 employees
- 104,000 lenses manufactured per month
- $10M invested in improvements since 2019
This Post is Sponsored by FYidoctors.