LensCraftersrefers to an optical chain store that is comprised of approximately860 service shops that specialize in the delivery of eye treatmentservices. The company has developed the on-sight eyeglass productioncapabilities in different countries, including Puerto Rico, the U.S.,and Canada. This paper will analyze the case study of LensCrafters.
Theunique operation strategies applied by LensCrafters have contributedtowards its high competitive advantage. One of these strategies isthe company’s ability to offer a full range of products under asingle roof. From the case study, the company has all equipment andresources that it requires in order to deliver services as well asproducts within a period of one hour. This strategy increases thelevel of convenience for customers, while limiting the probability oflooking for services from other providers. The “one-stop shopping”strategy is further reinforced by the fact that the company is ableto provide a wide range of products as well as services. It can offersunglasses, designer frames, and contact lenses within a single shop.
Moreover,the application of the most advanced technology in all labs is amongthe key factors that have enhanced efficiency and the level ofquality. LensCrafters is able to deliver services and products thatmeet the best quality in the market since it uses the latesttechnology in the market. The eyewear is produced in a modern andclean facility. Technology is associated with an increase in thelevel of productivity and quality because it enhances efficiency inall operations (Kumari & Sharma, 2013). This leads to a highlevel of competitive advantage, which is the case for LensCrafters.
Additionally,the strategic location of the stores increases the level ofconvenience for the customers, which plays a critical role inincreasing the competitive advantage. All stores operated byLensCrafters are situated in high traffic areas (including theshopping malls and centers) that are within the 5-10 miles of themarket targeted by the company. The ease of access gives LensCraftersa competitive advantage.
Acombination of the aforementioned factors (including the applicationof the latest technology, one-stop shopping, and the ease of access)have helped the company to increase its competitive advantage andincrease its economic sustainability. This sustainability isconfirmed by the fact that LensCrafters has managed to createcustomers for life. The term “customers for life” is used in thiscontext to mean that the company has earned loyalty from thecustomers that its servers.
Thereare about five operation management activities that affect thecustomer experience in a positive way. First, the facility layout anddesign give the impression of professionalism and quality. The layoutgives customers a lot of confidence since they are assured of thefact that they are being serviced in an organization that observesprofessionalism. For example, the company has set aside an area forprofessional merchandise display. The optometry certifications,degrees, and licenses are pinned on the wall. This helps customersdevelop trust with the employees since they are assured of theirability to deliver quality services. Customers can read and assessthe academic as well as the professional qualifications of the healthcare providers.
Secondly,the aspect of technology selection has enhanced the efficiency andthe ability of LensCrafters to reduce the waiting time. For example,the application of the state-of-the-art technology in the company’slaboratories has made it possible for the customers to be diagnosedand have their eyeglasses designed and delivered within a period ofone hour. This leads to a positive customer experience since they areable to receive quality services within a short time.
Third,the ability of the company to manage quality in all operations isconfirmed by its willingness to give an unconditional serviceguarantee as well as design. The 30-days guarantee ensures thatcustomers can return their glasses and get new ones or have theirmoney back without giving any explanation creates a perception thatthe company is willing to accept responsibility for any fault or thelack of customer satisfaction. This also generates a positivecustomer experience since buyers are interested in products as wellas services that will address their specific needs.
Fourth,the capacity and resource management have enabled LensCraftersCompany to assure its customers that they will always find qualityservices once they enter the company’s stores. The capacity andresource management is confirmed by the fact that LensCraftersCompany has adequate labor, equipment, and materials that are neededin order to keep the promise of designing and delivering qualityglasses in one hour.
Fifth,the service encounter design helps the customers feel comfortable.From the case study, the company has professional and highly trainedmembers of staff. These qualified and competent members of staff areable to deliver services that address the specific needs of thecustomers, thus increasing their satisfaction.
Thereare two major operational management challenges that LensCrafterscould be facing. First, the emergence of low-cost retailers andchains who deliver similar services as well as the products willlimit the ability of LensCrafters to achieve economic sustainability.For example, Wal-Mart has started its own vision centers that delivereyeglasses and related services at low prices. Wal-Mart also acceptsdifferent kinds of vision insurance, which enhances the level ofconvenience in terms of payment. This challenge can be addressedthrough the differentiation strategy. For example, LensCrafters candifferentiate its products by introducing new features and allowingcustomers to suggest the aspects that they would like to be includedin their frames and glasses. Customized and differentiated serviceswill help the company remain competitive (Baroto, Abdullah & Wan,2012).
Thesecond challenge involves the high cost and the risk of thetechnological equipment becoming obsolete. The company relies onhigh-tech machines to maintain its high level of efficiency andquality. However, these measures could be counterproductive sincethey might limit the company’s ability to offer cheap products aswell as services in the long-run due to the high cost of buying newequipment and replacing outdated devices. This challenge should beaddressed by offering the one-hour services in a few stores in orderto reduce the need for the application of high-tech equipment in allbranches. The money spent on the purchase of excess high-techequipment can be invested in other services that will increasecustomer satisfaction (Sindwani & Goel, 2015).
Theeffectiveness of LensCrafters’ value chain is confirmed by thecompany’s ability to deliver services and products that address theneeds of customers. The effectiveness of the value chain can beattributed to the application of innovative technology, qualitymaterials, and highly trained members of staff. The value chainbegins with the reliable eye examination that aims to detect thevision problems. The reliable information that is gathered throughthe process of examination is used in the design as well as theproduction of quality eyeglasses that meet the desires of thecustomers. Customers are also guided in the process of selectingsuitable frames. The satisfaction of customers is assured by thebenefits package that is used by LensCrafters to set the industrystandards. Therefore, the delivery of customer-centered servicesleads to value creation and satisfaction.
Someof the key performance measurements that could be applied in the caseof LensCrafters include time, quality, innovation, customersatisfaction, and innovation. Time is one of the measurements that Iwould apply. Time is a significant measure because the companypromises to deliver quality glasses within a period of one hour.Therefore, it is important to determine whether this target is met.Secondly, I would use customer satisfaction as a key measurement.This is important because the entire value chain is based on the ideaof meeting the needs of the customers in order to satisfy them.Therefore, it would be important to determine whether the currentservice delivery processes satisfy customers.
Thecompany applies highly specialized machinery and equipment during theeye examination, which strengthens the value chain by making itpossible to deliver glasses within a period of one hour. Theapplication of the soft technology enables the company to facilitatethe effective flow of information that leads to accurateprescription, billing, and the storage of the customer data.Therefore, a combination of the soft and hard technologiesstrengthens the value chain by increasing efficiency.
LensCraftersis a company that has managed to expand its market share bydelivering eyeglasses and different services within a short time.This has been made possible by the application of the latesttechnology. In addition, this technology has enabled the company toachieve customer satisfaction. However, the company faces somechallenges, including the risk of high cost of technology.
Baroto,M., Abdullah, M. & Wan, H. (2012). Hybrid strategy: A newstrategy for competitive advantage. InternationalJournal of Business and Management,7 (20), 120-133.
Kumari,S. & Sharma, K. (2013). How quality affects productivity andprice in manufacturing industries. InternationalJournal of Application or Innovation in Engineering and Management,2 (12), 288-290.
Sindwani,R. & Goel, M. (2015). The impact of technology based self servicebanking dimensions on customer satisfaction. InternationalJournal of Business Information System Strategies,4 (2), 1-13.