LensCrafters Case Study: Operations Management
A firm needs to have an effective operations management strategy that complements its corporate strategy. An operational strategy outlines an action plan that describes the implementation of resources and the role of each stakeholder in the production of goods or services. The idea of operations management is to conduct activities in a manner that delivers quality products to the consumers. The production controls quality from the bottom determining the final perception of the products. Therefore, the management of the service delivery process is a critical step in setting the expectations of consumers. LensCrafters uses a differentiation strategy as the focal point of its operations to deliver the best care to the customers in Canada, the U.S., and Puerto Rico. Since its establishment in 1983, the company has been managing its operations in an efficient manner, which has contributed to its continued success over the years. It believes that the ultimate way to capture and retain customers is through their hearts. Consequently, they align all their processes to achieve this principle. LensCrafters has remained among the top optical retailers recognized for their impeccable quality standards and customer service. It is home to famous brands such as Coach and Armani frames (Lenscrafter, 2013). They have maintained their performance through dedication and the use of the latest optical technology.
The differentiation strategy has enabled the company to stand out and remain ahead of its competitors. Aligned with the mission statement, it aims at creating “customers for life” through legendary customer service. The management of the processing steps such as maintaining high-quality standards supplements other features that give clients a chance to enjoy an extraordinary experience at the stores. One of its strengths is its fast service delivery, based on the eyeglasses “in about an hour” principle. Consumers can continuously walk into any store and complete consultation as well as the selection of eyeglasses within a reasonable period. After picking out the lenses and frames of their choice, they wait for only one hour to have their glasses assembled.
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Apart from the one-hour service time, the customer benefit package comprises other features that are meant to meet the individual needs of each customer. LensCrafters is trusted by customers across North America for their convenient provision of eye examinations and the unconditional 30 days guarantee. They ensure that the services either meet or surpass the expectations of the clients. If customers buy a pair of glasses and later realize that they are not satisfied with a particular aspect, for instance, the color, they are free to take the glasses back to the LensCrafters store within thirty days, so long as they maintain the original condition of the glasses. LensCrafters exchanges the glasses for a new pair that pleases the customer. Alternatively, they refund the client’s cash. “Unconditional” means that the thirty days start from the day that the client picks up his or her glasses. The customer is free to return the glasses as many times as he or she wishes to during the first thirty days. The period of guarantee does not begin over again after every exchange. Additionally, if one exchanges glasses for a pair that is of a lower value, LensCrafters refunds the price difference. Conversely, if the client decides to go for a pair that is more expensive than the original one, he or she has to pay for the price difference. The company also offers a replacement discount for the first year of use. The warranty gives LensCrafter a competitive edge over its competitors and makes it the preferred supplier due to the great convenience it offers to the customers. Purchasing glasses at LensCrafters is an interesting experience for customers, who usually end up satisfied with their final choice. LensCrafters is also caring enough to offer flexible payment plans to the clients. The company accepts optical plans from many private insurers; hence, the customers do not have to pay in cash. They also offer purchase discounts and other offers such as reduced prices on multiple pairs.
The location and layout of LensCrafters stores and its organizational structure are designed in a manner that aims at maximizing the service-delivery system. The stores are normally in high-traffic areas such as shopping malls, which increases the chances of accessing their target market. The conventional layout at LensCrafters stores is strategic to make operations much easier. The orientation of a workplace has a great influence on the service delivery that bears various psychological implications on both customers and employees. While many people take it for granted, office layout communicates much about the values of a firm. A firm can manipulate an office to enhance teamwork and attract customers. At LensCrafters, the premises portray quality and professionalism. The stores have ample space, are open, well-organized, carpeted, and clean all the time. There are displays of different types of frames that are available for the consumers who can evaluate them as they are awaiting the service. The retail section has modern furniture that enhances the comfort of both customers and employees. The laboratories are fully equipped with modern machinery. The customers are free to interact with LensCrafters associates in the eye-examination and fitting stations (Collier & Evans, 2013), with technicians always dressed in white lab coats. There are certificates, optometry degrees, and licenses on the walls around the place to assure the customers that they are in the right hand of qualified specialists.
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LensCrafters employees serve all customers exceptionally. They interact with them at a personal level and are usually very friendly. The customer-first culture exhibited by everyone, starting from the top executives, empowers the staff to put extra effort into customer satisfaction. The legendary customer service begins right from the time of communication via email or phone call when a client is booking an appointment with an optician. When customers get into the store, a greeter receives them and guides them to the area of service that they are seeking. Customers then get an eye examination, choose the frames, and get a chance to watch the glasses being assembled in the lab after measurements. This aspect of operations management gives LensCrafters a possibility to exhibit their transparency in delivering quality care. The company also offers a wide variety of frames, a feature that has made it popular with glass wearers as they always increase their chances of going home with the best product.
A critical aspect of operations management at LensCrafters is maintaining a pool of highly skilled employees. All the job descriptions in the company require deep knowledge and keenness. Employees must be competent in the operations to deliver quality services. The opticians are to be aware of all kinds of eye conditions, their prognosis, and the kind of treatment that customers need to feel comfortable. The technicians also need to possess the necessary skills to be able to assist opticians accurately in correcting the vision of patients. LensCrafters offers inductive training to new employees. It also runs a training program that refreshes the knowledge and skills of employees throughout. Apart from the technical skills, the management at LensCrafters values business and communication skills. It also offers cross-training for all associates. They are all-around, understanding the operations involved and how they link up to produce specialized care for all patients. Cross-training serves as a recovery plan. Employees can step in for their absent colleagues, restoring the smooth flow of operations. It also equips them with the skills essential for the quick transition to new roles when necessary. Cross-training enables employees to appreciate the roles of other departments that they may have taken for granted. It is also an efficient way to cut down on costs. With cross-training, LensCrafters does not need to keep hiring new employees now and then.
Technology is at the core of LensCrafters operations. The company has to adapt to the constantly changing customers’ needs, and technology helps them to offer an innovative optical lens. The company has come up with several techniques over the years to enhance its operations. For instance, the Accufit Digital Measurement System has been used at LensCrafters for years in fitting the glasses onto the face of the customer. The company has always strived to use the most accurate measures to evaluate the relationship between one’s eyes, the frame, and the face to come up with the best prescription for their valued customers. The LensSimulator is another technology that allows clients to compare what they would look like in a wide variety of glasses. The most recent step in technology has been myLook, an in-store method that also helps customers select the most suitable pair of glasses by comparing what they look like in it up to a limit of four frames (Luxottica Group, 2016). A LensCrafters employee takes pictures of the customers allowing them to compare and finally choose the frame that appeals most. After the selection of frames, the associate forwards the prescription and the frame selection to the lab, where technicians come up with customized glasses for the client. This process creates value in the customer interaction and a fun experience of trying on different looks. LensCrafters places innovation and technology at the top list of their priorities in performing eye examination, selecting the best designer frames, and getting accurate adjustment into the glasses. The advanced technology employed gives the company a competitive edge over other companies. The unique experiences keep their clients anticipating the next innovative process, and that makes them come back.
LensCrafters has remained among the top global leaders in optical care. They have been able to maintain their position due to their operational strategy, which is based on the principle of product differentiation. The company has managed to emerge in different ways. Another aspect that makes the company stand out is its never-ending dedication to customer satisfaction through the delivery of quality services. All their operations aim towards satisfying customers' needs in unique ways. They go out of their way to make their customers’ experiences positive from the beginning to the end. One famous technique that has led to its massive sales is the thirty-day unconditional warranty. Customers find so much convenience in it since they can try out several types of glasses before finally settling down on the one that meets their needs adequately. The employees of the company understand the value of customer service. They are friendly, and this helps in establishing excellent customer relations. The company has won the loyalty of many consumers who believe in its potential to meet their current and future optical care needs. LensCrafters has invested greatly in a quality workforce, which is instrumental in delivering quality care. The specialists have distinguishable qualifications in the field, as evidenced by the certificates and licenses that are hanging on the walls for the clients to see. They are working continuously on a variety of tasks. Thus, the operations strategy at LensCrafters comprises several processes that are coordinated together to form one efficient delivery system.