Last week we sat down with the new Visioncall lab Manager. He gave us an insight into his job and what happens daily within the Lab.
Q. What is your role as Lab Operations Manager?
‘Within my role as the Visioncall Lab Operations manager, I am responsible for staff training, staff procurement, and essentially making sure that our business runs to its best capacity.
We manufacture all our own products in-house, which means that we can cut down on lead time, getting the patients their glasses as soon as possible, with no need to rely on outside companies to do the manufacturing.’
Q. What have your first few weeks been like working for Visioncall?
‘My first few weeks at Visioncall have been exhilarating because I have met many new people. Everyone here has an incredible drive, pointing in the same direction and providing excellent service for our clients and patients.
We have had a couple of minor challenges at the start; however, we have come through like an absolute breeze and moving forward, I do believe that this will, in fact, help us as we will learn from it and continue to upskill our staff.
Q. What does a day in the Visioncall Lab look like?
‘Well, because we have nine staff within the Lab, we all have different responsibilities. The way that it works for us is we rotate our stations every four hours. This is to help prevent job fatigue and make sure our products’ quality does not suffer.
We have two sides to the Lab, one being surfacing. This is when we take a large piece of plastic and turn it into a small amount of plastic. The other side is the glazing side, where we then take that previously surfaced lens and cut it to the exact shape of the frame each patient has to choose, along with the parameters set out by the optician.
After this, when then undergo an in-depth, final, quality control check using the British Standard Tolerise and anything that doesn’t meet with that standards will be either rejected or reworked, and we tend to make these cases a priority so that we are not leaving our patients waiting any longer than necessary.’
Q. What are the Visioncall Lab team like?
‘So, the Lab team are a great bunch, and we have so many different characters. We have two brothers that work with us, and this is a lot of fun because both bounce off one another. It is like a double act some days.
Like most labs, we have loud music playing throughout the day, but the team still works hard, and they all want to work hard. One of the main things I have noticed during my first few weeks here is that they all work for each other with the same goal in mind: to ultimately provide for and help our patients.
The knowledge that the team has is impressive. Anything that can be dreamt up for optics we have done it, and we can do it because we manufacture house, we are not tied to any one supplier.
Q. As the new Lab Operations Manager, what is your Vision for the future of the Visioncall Lab?
‘My Vision for the next four or five years is to upskill the staff to ensure that we are not impacted by the likes of delivery days, staff shortages, annual leave etc., to make sure we are all working to the same level, every day as best we can.
As I previously mentioned, we currently have nine staff members within our Lab, which brings an experience of 100 years within the optical industry, and these experiences are all from different backgrounds.
I foresee that we will no doubt double our output between now and the next four years. I accept that this may bring some challenges but, we have a wealth of knowledge within the Lab, and our systems will be changing, evolving as we go and my job is to try and make sure that we do not have any slip-ups.
We will be in the market for new machinery and in time, this will make our job a little bit easier, to help future proof further growth.
We currently manufacture around 5000 jobs per month, and this certainly will double. The staff are more than capable of handling this. However, the plan is to help them develop professionally and personally because not all days are the same in terms of demand and pressure.’
At Visioncall, we believe in better overall eye health to help our patients see better and live better. If you are a care home manager and are worried about your residents’ eye health, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team to arrange a visit from one of our optometrists.