Eyeplan: case proven!

‘Loyalty scheme’, ‘monthly payment scheme’, ‘practice payment plan’. Whatever you choose to call it, the notion of such a scheme has not always been welcomed by independent Opticians. But the business case for Eyeplan is now well and truly proven. How do we know this?

First, a brief history lesson. Eyeplan, and the individuals behind Eyeplan, have been working with independent Opticians, fighting back ever increasing competitive pressures, since the early 90s.

Many will recall the VAT battles fought with Customs & Excise in the 90s (and the £1.2 billion repayment to the optical industry!) The individuals that fought those battles created Eyeplan based on that experience and after recognising the need of their own Eyetech Group of Opticians to increase regular revenue, whilst at the same time reducing the dreaded, and easily critcised, ‘cross subsidy’.

Proven in the Eyetech practices, Eyeplan was first offered to colleagues in the independent sector in 1998, and the network of Eyeplan Associates has grown steadily ever since.

At Eyeplan’s core are the fundamental beliefs that independent Opticians should be rewarded for the clinical excellence and care that they offer, and that patients should be offered true and clearly identifiable value. 

These beliefs manifest themselves in the benefits offered by Eyeplan. For patients, Eyeplan offers quality care including free eye examinations, value for money eyewear and accidental damage cover for their glasses. There are Eyeplan schemes developed for all types of patient including the over 60s and kids. For the Optician the benefits are significant. In exchange for an Eyeplan discount on eyewear and lenses, the Optician benefits from a monthly payment from their Eyeplan clients, an increased dispense rate, increased dispense values and much, much greater loyalty from patients.

So how is the case for Eyeplan proven?

Eyeplan is now a significant presence in the market with an Associate network that is broad enough both in terms of geography and practice profile to examine and understand. Eyeplan now knows that the majority of new Eyeplan Associates will be successful, that on average over three years an Associate can expect to earn an additional £50,000 in spectacle sales, and that over the same period expect in the region of £87,000 in fee income. Indeed, 1000 Eyeplan patients will generate £70,000 of new fee income per year on top of the rise in dispensing sales. These are not insignificant sums and, on which, Eyeplan rests its case!

Needless to say Eyeplan is happy with these results and for the Opticians who have adopted the Eyeplan model, but there is no laurel resting going on. Eyeplan continues to develop its already extensive offer. Recently Eyeplan launched a new Accidental Damage Scheme offering Eyeplan clients certified protection for their spectacles for two years after purchase and, with an eye very much on the future, has appointed a new Commercial Director.

If there is any doubt remaining that Eyeplan has proven its case, then the recent emergence of copycat competition is evidence that the market has certainly accepted the business model. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and Eyeplan is flattered that others have copied the Eyeplan model and welcomes the competition. Competition is good for any market including this one, with more organisations evangelizing the monthly payment business model it will be easier for Eyeplan to concentrate on offering independent community based Opticians and their patients better benefits and greater value.

If you would like to learn more about Eyeplan and why it leads the pack so successfully then please contact us on 01761 414142 or info@eyeplan.co.uk.