Two HEA members detail how their businesses have benefitted from HEA programs and savings

Expanded Options

D.J. Shaw, with Marvelous Eyes, agrees that he has seen the products and savings to his four-location practice in Birmingham, Alabama, expand through HEA’s next-generation marketplace. He and Kelly Shaw have been HEA members since April 2015.

With HEA’s expanded offerings, “there’s a lot more to choose from: better promotions with vendors, better rebates and better pricing,” he says. Even if he could negotiate good pricing independently because of his volume, “the customer service and the convenience of not having to chase the percentage discounts by going direct” simplifies his administrative duties. He appreciates that HEA makes it clear what the vendor offers are at all times so that he can maximize his savings and rebates. That convenience extends to HEA’s consolidated billing, with all vendors billed on a single statement, allowing him to make just one easy payment.

Service And Support

Plus, he appreciates being part of a group with a stronger voice. “HEA goes to bat for me,” he says. “Most manufacturers are global and will listen to HEA more than to my one little practice,” he says. For example, he had an issue with a vendor charging thousands of extra dollars in sales tax over a four-month period. If he had to address it alone, “it may never have been resolved, but HEA rallied for the credit, and it was returned to me within 30 days.”

Shaw says that that everyone at HEA is approachable, “from the team on the front line answering phones up to management. Most companies get so big, we never get an opportunity to speak directly with management for resolution of an issue,” he says. He also loves that the company has maintained its regional feel and connections amid its growth.

When he calculates the amount of administrative tasks that are reduced by consolidating his orders with HEA, he estimates it has cut those tasks by 30 percent. “There’s no doubt of the value saved in time alone, not to mention discounts. HEA is one heck of a strategic partner for us.”

Smart Partnership Decision

Theresa Deschenes, OD, of Deschenes Eye Associates in Norristown, Pennsylvania, joined what is now HEA 28 years ago, soon after opening cold, and she calls it one of the best partnering decisions she could have made as a new practitioner. The move gave her buying power she did not have on her own. “HEA has grown into a multidisciplinary marketing educational technology tool that is an invaluable resource to the IECP,” she says.

“An entire workforce of diverse solutions have been implemented to pull the whole business picture together. Instead of dealing with several different businesses and suppliers independently, HEA has pulled together a strategic panel of premier partners to streamline access” to a range of vendors of products and services, she says.

These products cover the spectrum of what IECPs need from a next-generation marketplace. “The regular publication updates related to the industry as a whole keep us ahead of the trends in our profession,” she says. She looks to HEA as a trusted source of information. “The articles that have already done the research for us are invaluable and time-saving. HEA has produced an easily accessible encyclopedia of resources with many solutions for us that would have taken up hours of valuable time from our families and patients.”

Connect With Leading Companies

HEA also brings to its IECP members a wide range of quality products for patients. She can fill her optical dispensary “with diverse price ranges and fashion choices that are in vogue. Signing up for new vendors is extremely easy and seamless, again saving time and extending the discounts affiliated with HEA buying power.” The breadth of the product offerings and the variety of programs allows her to satisfy patients’ wants and needs with different selections and price points.

Pivotal To Growth

These resources, especially combined with the highly personalized, professional and responsive communications between the company representatives and IECPs, have made HEA “a pivotal core to our bottom line on a daily basis. Over the years, I have seen the metamorphosis of HEA into a multidisciplinary marketplace business management company. It has put all the resources at our fingertips,” she says.