National Eye Care Manufacturer and Distributor Gains a Competitive Advantage Through Innovation
Diversified Ophthalmics provides single source solutions for eye care providers nationwide
Diversified Ophthalmics, a wholesale-only ophthalmic manufacturer and distributor was founded by a group of independently practicing optometrists in 1977. Dr. Ronald Cooke, Dr. George Landon, and four other optometrists provided the inspiration and impetus for the development of the company. Although not strictly a family business, members of the Cooke family work in various capacities in the business and share in its ownership.
Today, the employee-owned company supplies eye care providers (ECPs) in all 50 states and it has ophthalmic laboratories and offices from coast to coast. Many of the employees have a decade or more of service with the company and count cousins, aunts, uncles, and immediate family members among their co-workers.
Dr. Ronald Cooke, now CEO and President, commented, “A family atmosphere and a positive work ethic are key factors in the company’s continuing success. Another part of our competitive advantage,” he continued, “lies in the fact that our board of directors is made up of licensed optometrists with a great deal of experience in independent eye care. We strongly feel that independent practicing optometrists can best meet the primary eye care needs of the public.”
Diversified was an innovator in developing the concept of being a single source provider. Orders placed with one company, and a single statement at the end of the month can significantly increase the efficiency of supplying an independent ECP’s practice. “An independent optometric practice is a health care delivery system, but it is also a small business with all of the challenges of every small business,” said Dr. Cooke, “and our ability to supply nearly every need of an eye care practice is a significant competitive advantage. We have opticians and optometrists on staff and we are highly proficient in understanding and meeting the needs of our accounts.
“We also understand the importance of expertise in managing our own business,” Dr. Cooke stated. “Barnes Dennig has served our accounting needs for more than 25 years, and they have been highly responsive to our needs as the company has grown.”
Michael Pinsky, the Vice President of Finance for the company, pointed out, “They have been consistently easy to work with, and have done a great job in keeping us abreast of tax changes. Their help in our recent merger with another industry partner was especially appreciated.”
According to the company’s Vice President of Accounting, Karen Bingham, “Barnes Dennig has done a thorough analysis of our business and supplies us with helpful benchmarks that are specific to our industry. Their auditors have been both respectful and thorough, and we appreciate their suggestions for improving our business model.”
Taking care of clients – a business principle on which Diversified Ophthalmics and Barnes Dennig see eye-to-eye.