Chris Hunt, Keith Sheers and David Walker. Simply Click On The Image To Be Directed To The Optisoft Products Page!
FMO Takes Manufacturing Education to Regions
October 10, 2007
A challenging vision of the world of optics where environmental issues dominate, with increased automation being the norm, was laid before delegates to The Federation of Manufacturing Opticians' educational symposium by Chris Hunt of Hunt Consulting.

The Trent Bridge, Nottingham, meeting attracted a broad range of delegates from UK optics, with the decision to hold the event in the middle of the country winning favour with many attending.

Increased automation due to rising labour costs and manufacturing skills shortages will see freeform technology "revolutionise optical manufacturing as a piece of technology, a digital footprint that is easily transmittable", said Chris.

He visualised far more localised brand production with significantly reduced lens inventories as freeform takes over.

David Walker of the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers (SMC), reinforced the important issue of optical training, speaking as Chairman of the SMC Training Committee.

"We should aim to exceed our customers' needs and to be world class. The worst thing a company can do is have a poorly trained person answering the telephone or visiting your customers," he said.

He promoted the SMC Level 2 and 3 Optical Practice Support courses, available to anyone in the UK as a distance learning, flexible, programme.

The vision of future optics was also brought to mind by Keith Sheers, Managing Director of Optisoft, who spoke about the future of electronic ordering, drawing comparisons with the benefits that supermarkets derive from their fully automated systems.

"Synchronising the transaction between customer and supplier, the process tracks their orders, speeds up delivery time and automatically replenishes stock, providing real time data and providing electronic invoicing and statements in a paperless system."

He said the heaps of lens catalogues and order pads from individual lens suppliers would soon become a thing of the past, along with manual practice price lists, post and telephone calls, along with the staff to provide this costly administrative function.

"For the lens suppliers it signals the end of the annual nightmare of lens catalogue production, product and price updates, large postage and telephone bills, along with the staff to manage the process," he said.

Keith believes that unifying standards will evolve within the industry and that EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) will pay for itself with the efficiencies of the supply chain.

Apart from the inspiring speakers, the FMO was delighted with the networking opportunities provided by the first regional meeting that it has held outside of the capital for some time.

Related Article : Optisoft Newsletter Summer 2009