LensCrafters Company’ Strategy and Competitive Advantage

Introduction

LensCrafters is one of the leading providers of eyeglasses in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. The chain of LensCrafters’ service shops is rather large, and it includes about 860 locations (Collier & Evans, 2013). LensCrafters can be discussed as unique providers of such products in this field because they focus on proposing on-site services with the quick delivery of goods produced according to customer needs. In order to focus on the aspects of LensCrafters’ strategy and operations management, it is necessary to analyze the factors of the organization’s competitive advantage, to discuss the relationship between operation management activities and customer experience, to concentrate on the details of the value chain, to analyze the types of performance measurements, and to analyze the technologies actively used by LensCrafters to support their performance.

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LensCrafters’ Operations Strategy and Competitive Advantage

The focuses on time and on the high quality of delivered products should be determined as the competitive priorities and elements of the LensCrafters’ strategy within the industry (Mahadevan, 2010, p. 112). The other elements that compose the strategy are the focus on the well-trained staff and customer’s individual needs. In this context, the operations strategy of the organization is associated with guaranteeing the quickest on-site services. As a result, LensCrafters works to provide the medical examination of customers, production of eyeglasses according to the individual needs, and choice of accessories during an hour (Collier & Evans, 2013).

In order to address the priority of time, the operations of the company are organized as a cycle that includes stages of ordering, examination, production, and delivery of products (Slack, Chambers, & Johnston, 2010, p. 54). However, the other priority is the quality of products, and the production cycle is also organized to address this important factor. As a result, the associates and lab technicians in each service shop are well-trained and cross-trained in order to ensure that all ordered eyeglasses are produced in the quickest manner with the focus on the highest quality standards.

In this context, LensCrafters achieve their competitive advantage while focusing on completing the short operation process with the use of the latest and innovative technology, while providing the customers with the perfect-quality goods, and while making the whole operations economically efficient (Collier & Evans, 2013). From this point, the organization responds to the factors of environmental sustainability because the short process based on innovative technologies minimizes the impact on the environment, of the social sustainability because the question of the public’s health is addressed, and of the economic sustainability because the whole operations process is efficient and provides the company with the opportunity to work in different economic environments.

Operation Management Activities and Customer Experience

The experience of customers visiting LensCrafters services shops directly depends on the operation management activities because the customers expect to receive the high-quality goods as well as timely services as these aspects are identified by the company as the priorities. In this context, the operations should be organized in such a way that customers receive the accurate examination, one-hour services, and then the delivery of the perfect eyewear as primary services and goods (Kleindorfer, Singhal, & Van Wassenhove, 2005, p. 482). In addition, the management of operations should guarantee that customers are satisfied with the location of the service shop, they can choose accessories and contact lens, they can observe the process of the eyewear production in the showroom, and they expect that their orders are made by professional employees with the help of the modern equipment.

Therefore, the customer experience is affected at any stage of the operations process, and the associated operation management challenges are the necessity to guarantee the rapid order response and ensure the quality of products. As a result, it is important to find solutions to such challenges as the choice of the most efficient production procedure in order to save the time and the choice of the quality assurance and control procedure to guarantee the timely test of the product quality.

In order to solve the problem of choosing the time-efficient procedure, it is possible to test various procedures in different locations with a comparably equal number of customers in order to choose the most efficient one. This process can be associated with the tests of new technologies implemented in service shops. The solution to the problem of quality testing is associated with the integration of standard quality control systems in all service shops, regardless of the district or region (Roth, 2007, p. 353). The procedure to check the quality should be divided into stages and precede the delivery of the prepared product.

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Effectiveness of LensCrafters’ Value Chain

The value chain in LensCrafters should be discussed from the input-output perspectives where inputs are the human resources and materials, and the outputs are goods, services, and customers’ positive experiences that are associated with observing the production process and receiving the high-quality product. While focusing on the aspect of quality, the value chain can be discussed as effective because the quality of final products is the priority for LensCrafters. The organization pays much attention to using advanced technologies and attracting professionals in order to produce high-quality goods. This approach is also effective in terms of value creation because LensCrafters concentrate on investing in technologies and human resources for producing the goods that are attractive for customers (Slack et al., 2010, p. 82).

Moreover, the organization focuses on proposing a unique experience for customers who can observe how the eyeglasses are produced for them. This approach is also associated with addressing the issue of customer satisfaction (Collier & Evans, 2013, p. 35). As a result, hiring and training high-class professionals and using innovative technologies, LensCrafters have the opportunity to improve their value chain and guarantee the quality of products and customer satisfaction. In addition, the focus on the innovative approach to decisions is important to guarantee that customers receive a unique experience.

Types of Performance Measurements to Use in LensCrafters

The service-delivery system design that is adopted in the services shops of LensCrafters can be discussed as rather unique, and it can affect the level of the customer’s satisfaction significantly. Therefore, it is important to focus on utilizing several types of performance measurements in order to assess certain aspects of the service-delivery system design and focus on the relationship between the system’s improvement and rates of customer satisfaction.

Several specialists simultaneously work in each service shop affecting the overall quality of the provision of the services. As a result, it is important to involve customers in the assessment of the personnel’s work that can affect the speed of the cycle and the overall reliability of provided services (Collier & Evans, 2013). It is expected that customers fill in questionnaires regarding the quality of the personnel’s work while being in the waiting area. The data collected with the help of the questionnaires is important to decide on the personnel’s competence and management skills because the employees working in the service shop need to be cross-trained. The regular performance measurement based on the collected data is necessary to guarantee the quality and professionalism in LensCrafters.

The second type of performance measurement is the monitoring of customers’ complaints associated with the survey that is oriented to collect the information regarding the overall quality of the provided services depending on the unique service-delivery system design. Customers are expected to rate the quality of provided goods and services depending on their experience when they visit the service shop first, see how their eyeglasses are made and use the ready eyeglasses. The results of such ratings need to be analyzed along with the customer complaints when the products are returned within the 30-day period. The proposed performance measurements can be effective in determining which stage of the system works inappropriately if the rate of customers’ complaints increases.

Types of Technologies Used at LensCrafters

The provision of the unique experience for customers directly depends on the advanced technologies that are used in showrooms of the service shops. The company’s main priority is to provide the customers with eyeglasses produced in order to address the individual needs in less than one hour. As a result, the primary technologies are used in laboratory settings, where modern equipment is necessary in order to make the time of the production cycle and operations efficient to attract more customers (Mahadevan, 2010, p 24).

The technologies that guarantee the rapid order response can be discussed as strengthening the value chain that is typical for the company because it becomes possible to address such strategic priorities as the efficient time for the production and service quality. The other important system that is applied to the company’s service operations is the system of analyzing the customers’ complaints to guarantee high-quality services.

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Conclusion

LensCrafters is a company that develops the value chain referring to the factor of uniqueness. Thus, the competitive advantage of the company is based on the provision of the specific experience for customers who can observe the laboratory processes with the help of the showroom. As a result, the interest of the customers in the company’s production increases. However, the priorities associated with the customers’ experience are the quality of the proposed products and services and the time necessary for the production and delivery of the ordered item. In order to address the mentioned requirements, LensCrafters proposes an effective customer benefit package that can be discussed as supported by the company’s service-delivery system design.

While utilizing the specific approach to the organization of the value chain, LensCrafters is able to become more responsive to the customers’ interests and needs, to provide the additional entertainment while adding the value, and to address the requirement of the form in order to meet the customers’ expectations regarding the quality of eyeglasses and contact lens. In this context, the approaches used by the company should be considered as relevant in order to compete within the industry.

References

Collier, D. A., & Evans, J. R. (2013). OM: 2013 custom edition. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning. Web.

Kleindorfer, P. R., Singhal, K., & Van Wassenhove, L. N. (2005). Sustainable operations management. Production and Operations Management, 14(4), 482-492. Web.

Mahadevan, B. (2010). Operations management: Theory and practice. New York, NY: Pearson Education. Web.

Roth, A.V. (2007). Applications of empirical science in manufacturing and service operations. Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, 9(4), 353-367. Web.

Slack, N., Chambers, S., & Johnston, R. (2010). Operations management. New York, NY: Pearson Education. Web.

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