COVID-19 made 2020 tough for equipment representatives. Used to travelling the country to visit practices and clinics, and demonstrating their wares at conferences, they were forced back into the office and online.
Product launches were put on hold, supply chains disrupted, state borders opened and closed, and revenue roller-coasted throughout the year, sending any sense of normality off-track.
Even so, our reps put on a brave face and pulled out all stops to support practices as they went through their own COVID-related challenges.
To showcase the best of the best equipment reps, mivision asked optometry practices to nominate their favourite and tell us why. To avoid offending anyone, we have maintained the confidentiality of those who nominated their favourite rep… but in some cases, you may be able to guess.
Our absolute favourite would be Anton Tesoriero from Optos. We’ve had dealings with him for almost two years, and he’s always obliging, replies to calls and emails instantly, and has been on hand to do online and face-to-face training. Nothing is too hard, he’s personable and contacts us just to check in, which is rare.
Aside from being highly professional, personable and accommodating, I was struck by Anton’s commitment to customer service when he flew from Melbourne to Perth and back again in one day to give us a few hours of his time and expertise when training on our new diagnostic instruments.
He and his colleague Andrew Furness literally brought it to our house and set it up in our lounge room. Even our dog liked him
Medmont has been supplying me since I purchased my practice over six years ago, and Jason is my rep. He has a wealth of knowledge and is an amazing problem solver. Even though he is in another state, he manages to fix all the problems in a timely manner. He makes me feel like I’m his only customer, yet I know he has heaps.
My Medmont E300 Topographer was the first thing I purchased when I bought my practice – I rang Jason and ordered it as soon as I’d confirmed the contract. I think I did that even before I’d told my parents I had purchased a business.
Jason told me it would be a six week wait and I threatened to ring him every day until I got it. I did. It took six weeks. We’re still friends. Thanks (and sorry) Jason.
CAMERON LOVELESS AND WILL ROBERTSON
Designs for Vision
Cameron and Will have been suppliers to me since I was a student and bought my first equipment – probably about 16 years ago. They are extremely honest with me and understand my needs. I trust them as I know they are not going to flog things to me for the sake of a sale.
They are also very quick to respond to all queries, and have become good friends. We’ve had countless fun evenings after conferences, lots of drinks, giggles and good times.
Jarrod has been supplying my practice since 2014. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience with ophthalmic equipment, ranging from our slit lamps and slit lamp cameras to our projector charts and phoropters. He is always happy to take a direct call when we need his expertise and assistance, which is incredibly refreshing and a nice change from being rerouted through a generic customer service line. Communication is always fast and easy.
Jarrod goes above and beyond to fix any issue. He is very hands-on – he will personally come into the practice at short notice to tackle a problem himself. Ultimately, this means that any issues with our equipment are sorted out quickly and efficiently, without getting the run-around.
When COVID restrictions came into effect last year, Jarrod was on-site within a few days to fashion slit lamp guards for all the slit lamps and lasers in the practice (all 14 of them, so no mean feat!).
First-class service all the way!
CARL DU TOIT
As clinical optometrists at the coal face (the consulting room), we experience disruptions from fickle instruments at times, so we are lucky to have ready access to the expert advice and service of our optical instrument manufacturers.
Carl must never be allowed to retire! He has proven to be the calm and responsive font of all knowledge when my equipment and associated application platforms suddenly fail, or if I need advice on new instrument purchases that will integrate with my IT system. His technical expertise is truly impressive and I rely on Carl to educate my IT group on the needs of my instrument and device applications too. During my SOS phone calls over the years, I have learnt that Carl has a remarkable memory for the location of each knob and dial on his instruments and the myriad options on picklists that run my installed applications. He takes my call wherever he may be in the country (I think his job title – National Sales and Service Engineer – says it all) and he guides me through the ‘fix it’ process at my end – such valuable service when I have patients waiting. Carl, thank you for your long standing professionalism, patience and generosity with helping me understand my device technologies.
Designs for Vision
Will is dedicated to helping optometrists in practice. He has been supplying equipment to my practice for over 15 years, and he always goes above and beyond to help us.
One of the things I like about Will is that he’s always really friendly and approachable.
My first interaction with him was when my corneal topographer suddenly decided to fail late on a Saturday afternoon. I had a half day of patients waiting for their corneal maps, which were essential; not just so I could order their lenses but also so I could assess how their care needed to be changed. I called Will, hoping he would pick up and perhaps provide a solution by Monday. He called back within a minute, sounding as sick as a dog with flu, and was very happy to provide troubleshooting support over the phone to get my topographer working again. He’s been the same ever since. Always happy to help wherever and whenever he can.
Neville White has been my equipment rep on and off for around 10 years. Neville has great positivity and really understands that our practice is unique. He’s always genuinely looking to help rather than sell.
A few years back, we purchased an optical coherence tomographer (OCT) from Neville who at that time was working with Designs for Vision. We had nowhere to store it so Neville and his colleague, Andrew Furness, literally brought the OCT to our house and set it up in our lounge room.
Even our dog liked him.