Expansion on the horizon
OT speaks to Caledonian Optical about driving lenses, customer feedback and Brexit
05 March 2020
What is the latest product that Caledonian Optical has released and why does it stand out from the crowd?
Our latest product is a driving lens, which is available as both a HDSV Drive and a Zone Drive varifocal. We developed the new lens after listening to what our customers wanted while driving. The number one concern was help with travelling at night. Both variations of the lens have a night vision zone at the top to counter the effects of night myopia, which helps them focus better on distance objects at night.
Another important element was incorporating a blue blocker within the lens. This makes driving more comfortable when facing bright glare from headlights of oncoming traffic. We also included a low UV reflectance coating to the back surface of the lens. This helps reduce unwanted reflection that can result from car headlights following behind.
Customers want to be able to order direct to the lab from their PMS system
How are customers responding to the product?We have genuinely been amazed by the incredible feedback from customers. Everyone who has tried the lenses say they are fantastic. Comments such as ‘Everything seems sharper at night’ and ‘There is far less halo effect from approaching car headlights’ has confirmed this.
What are the company’s UK plans for the next 12 months?Due to the growing success of the products we sell, we are at an exciting stage where we will need to look at expansion. Advances in technologies and equipment have shown we can grow further and lead to increasing efficiencies and productivity. As with all companies, factoring in how to become more sustainable is vital. A new, bigger location will help us reach these goals.
What external factors are the company taking into account when planning for the future and why?
As a manufacturer, the biggest factor right now is still the uncertainty of how much import and export will be affected following Brexit. Planning how much stock we bring in and how quickly it can be delivered is crucial. Other factors include new technology – optics is a fast moving and rapidly developing industry, and we need to be able to adapt alongside this. One example is remote edging, which has been growing over the last 10 years. Customers want to be able to order direct to the lab from their practice management system rather than retype information into an online ordering portal. It is very important for us to continue to be a lab that is easy to communicate and order from.
Caledonian Optical: the facts
- Established in 1976, the company is one of the UK’s leading labs for producing the latest and innovative digital lenses using free-form technology
- As well as making premium HD lenses, the company has an anti-reflection coating department, providing complete control of the manufacturing process
- In 2018, the company became the first independent lab to win a prestigious Lens Product of the Year award for its ARC Steady Varifocal.