How Many Frame Vendors Should You Have?

by | Apr 11, 2024 | Pending

Reducing the number of frame vendors significantly benefits Eyecare Practices (ECPs) in terms of efficiency and profitability. This consolidation improves time management, reduces overstocking and back orders, and streamlines negotiations for better pricing, terms, and shipping arrangements. These efficiencies lead to cost savings and overall bottom-line improvement.

Furthermore, minimizing vendors simplifies the ordering process, saving time and effort for ECPs and their staff. With a well-managed assortment, patient needs are met more effectively, reducing administrative burdens and allowing the practice to focus on essential tasks like patient care, boosting overall efficiency and productivity.

Quality control is also crucial. Working closely with fewer vendors enables ECPs to set higher standards for fulfillment rates and delivery times. They can carefully vet suppliers to ensure frames meet stringent quality criteria, including durability, aesthetics, materials, and compliance with industry standards. Consistent quality builds patient confidence and enhances the ECP’s reputation.

Ultimately, patient satisfaction is paramount. By curating a selection from reputable vendors, ECPs offer patients a higher caliber of choices in styles, sizes, and price points, improving the overall shopping experience. This leads to increased satisfaction and loyalty among patients.

Regarding the optimal number of vendors, recent industry insights suggest maintaining 6 to 12 vendors, each with multiple brands, to strike a balance between variety and efficiency. Exceptional practices that exceed sales averages often do so with a limited number of brands.

To explore the real-world vendor counts, we analyzed data from over 2,200 ECP locations across the US. We grouped transactions by price quartiles and found that, on average, practices work with 14 vendors per location, with some variations across different Census divisions.

Key Findings

  • Quartile 1 (lowest price range): Average list price $93, average vendors per location 15.
  • Quartile 2: Average list price $186, average vendors per location 14.
  • Quartile 3: Average list price $241, average vendors per location 13.
  • Quartile 4 (highest price range): Average list price $366, average vendors per location 13.

The data also showed regional variations, with some divisions consistently working with fewer vendors than others. For example, the Pacific division had the least vendors per practice, while the W S Central division had the highest.

In summary, while the data may exceed the recommended vendor count, it provides a benchmark for comparison. Consolidating vendors remains a strategic approach for ECPs to enhance inventory management, maintain quality, streamline operations, and boost customer satisfaction, benefiting both the practice and its clientele.

About Industry Trends

Through robust analysis of anonymized data, we are able to develop insights, profiles, and a deeper understanding of market results and benchmarks.

GPN aggregates millions of transactions from thousands of eyecare providers, and focalCenter performs rigorous analysis for delivering timely and precise micro and macro dashboards with interactive business intelligence to the eyecare industry. Please feel free to contact us for more information on growing your eyecare business with data-driven strategies.

By Ron Krefman, OD

Finding solutions in data science.


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