Candid conversations between Optometric Office’s Eric L. Bran, OD, and leading optical executives about their product strategies.
Tom Veatch, founder and now CEO of Veatch Ophthalmic Instruments, started his sales career in the ophthalmic industry in 1980, and went on to pioneer the southwestern U.S. market for a small regional ophthalmic distributor. He subsequently became a branch manager for WCO. In 1988 he formed Veatch Ophthalmic Instruments. This year represents a transition year as Tom retires as president but plans to continue as CEO of the company.
Eric L. Bran: Veatch Ophthalmic Instruments began over 25 years ago. What can we expect from Veatch in the future?
Tom Veatch: We are entering a new phase for our second 25 years at Veatch. I have stepped down as president and appointed Kyna Veatch to fill that role. I will stay involved overseeing the operations as the CEO. Our success over the last 25 years has been possible due to our phenomenal staff. Many of our employees have been with the company since near its inception. And the Veatch team is always ready to serve our customers’ needs. As our company motto states, we are “A company with an eye for good service.”
Eric: What role does ReSeeVit play in Veatch’s high technology division?
Tom: ReSeeVit propelled our company onto the national scene. What began as an anterior segment digital imaging system has grown into a full suite of imaging products. ReSeeVit now includes retinal imaging, corneal topography, and endothelium cell capture””all tightly connected into one convenient DICOM-compliant database. We will continue to research and add new functionality to the ReSeeVit line, including enhanced connectivity for the digital office.
Eric: Can you describe Veatch’s Ophthalmic Efficiency Evaluation?
Tom: Our Efficiency Evaluation is a quick but thorough analysis of any optometrist’s practice. We help evaluate what technology a practice is utilizing and where it may be missing opportunities to streamline patient flow, as well as increase revenues. In 15 minutes, we discuss scheduling, number of lanes, number of doctors in the practice, and goals for the future. Together we can establish a plan to help the practitioner see more patients, increase revenues, or just play more golf.
Eric: Doctors have a lot of choices when it comes to technology and equipment. How does Veatch distinguish itself from the competition?
Tom: One of our strengths at Veatch is our ability to directly source products from the manufacturer and have them modified to our specifications. For example, the Veatch Digital Refraction System is comprised of products from several manufacturers worldwide that have been designed to our specifications. In many cases we are able to offer superior quality products at a fraction of the price of our competitors. One of the main reasons we are able to do this is because we have eliminated the intermediary.
Eric: Where do you see the biggest growth opportunity for diagnostic technology?
Tom: Technology continues to move at a rapid pace in our industry. EHR is currently occupying a good percentage of doctors’ attention. We are very involved with the process as our equipment integrates with most EHR systems.
The most exciting area is digital refraction. With EHR, the ability to streamline data collection has been revolutionary. With the press of a button all the data is loaded into the refractor. Not only does this decrease exam times, but it also helps increase optical sales.
Eric: As you step down as president of Veatch, what are your personal plans?
Tom: What a fun ride this has been! I absolutely love working in our industry and will always keep one foot in the door. It is now time to give back to the community in appreciation of the career that has been quite a blessing. I will stay in touch with the ophthalmic community!