Eyecare Business

AUG 2016

Issue link: https://eyecarebusiness.epubxp.com/i/710322

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24 E y e c a r e B u s i n e s s . c o m August 2016 Gerard Santinelli on… PARTNERSHIPS Lens finishing equipment distributor Santinelli International (santinelli.com) is celebrating its 25th year in partnership with Japanese manufacturer Nidek Co., Ltd. Here, Gerard Santinelli, president & CEO of Santinelli International, talks about their history—and this milestone. â WHAT WAS APPEALING TO SANTINELLI ABOUT NIDEK 25 YEARS AGO? When we first met Nidek, they were already established as a worldwide ophthalmic equipment company, with a solid reputation as a leader and innovator. In 1990, Nidek entered the lens edger business by developing a pattern- less edger. Unlike other edger companies at that time that had generations of experience, Nidek started from ground zero and went right into developing a patternless edger. Their first edger, the LE-8000, was small and compact, extremely easy to use, and made the process of fabricating quality eyewear unlike any other edger in the marketplace. Among its unique features was the unit's ability to literally "talk" the operator through the steps of edging. It meant that virtually anyone could now learn how to make glasses. This product design trend of unique features, unprecedented accuracy and reliability, and user- friendly operation has continued with an impressive barrage of new and exciting products coming out of Japan into the U.S. optical marketplace. â 25 YEARS IS A LONGTIME PARTNERSHIP. HOW HAS IT EVOLVED, AND HOW HAS IT BENEFITED YOUR PRODUCTS AND YOUR CUSTOMERS? I am most proud of how our partnership has evolved into a two-way communication of new product development, marketing, and innovation perspective. Together, we have built a respectful relationship that always challenges the status quo, keeping the end users (i.e., our customers) front and center on the evolutionary benefits we develop. We have also worked very closely with both frame designers and lens companies to accom- modate processing various frame and lens styles, creativity, materials, coatings, and designs. The Nidek and Santinelli International teams feed off of each other and the marketplace, making for the perfect "marriage," which benefits not only our customers but also the various "cousins" in the industry. â WHAT CAN AN IN-OFFICE FINISHING LAB DO FOR AN ECP's BUSINESS? We are committed and driven to helping our customers become better retail competitors. The key is in-office finishing that provides faster service, improves quality and control, and increases profits from both private pay and managed vision care eyewear. Basically, in-office finishing sharpens a practice's competitive edge. â WHAT WOULD AN ECP BE SURPRISED TO LEARN ABOUT SANTINELLI? They may be surprised to learn that my father, Joseph Santinelli, founded this company 43 years ago in the garage of our house, and he is still as passionate and full of ideas as he was back then. It might also seem surprising that I started at the company literally sweeping the floors and organiz- ing the stockroom. Fast-forward to where we are today, and we can brag a little. ECPs might be surprised to learn that, year after year, we are the recipient of several industry awards that poll ECPs on their favorite brands and companies. We couldn't be more appreciative to our customers for making these honors possible. Gerard Santinelli, president & CEO of Santinelli International, left, and Motoki Ozawa, president & CEO of Nidek Co., Ltd. "The key is in-office finishing that pro- vides faster service, improves quality and control, and increases profits from both private pay and managed vision care eyewear." ›› T R E N D S P O T T I N G : TA L K I N G P O I N T S

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