1. LensCrafters’ operations strategy seems to be good and efficient because it promotes strong company performance, customer satisfaction, and gives the company a competitive advantage in terms of sustainability. Some examples can prove this statement. First, the operations strategy is efficient enough to maintain successful operation of about 860 shops in three countries. It shows that the firm is efficient in its operations. Second, the firm creates a perfect customer experience, making the customers satisfied with the goods and services. Customers receive goods and services as well as warranties in one place. For example, customers can exchange or return any glasses bough in any store. Third, LensCrafters manages to combine goods and services efficiently and create a customer benefit package. It includes high quality eyewear and lenses as well as services for choosing the best glasses for each customer and making eyeglasses in about one hour. It is a great benefit for customers because most competitors cannot provide ready eyeglasses so quickly. Thus, efficient and quick service facilitates positive customer experience. Fourth, the service delivery system is well designed and convenient for customers. LensCrafters is located in high-traffic zones with a large number of potential customers who can get easily to the stores. The design of each store is convenient for customers and represents professionalism of the company. Glasses for men, women and children as well as sunglasses are displayed separately on each side of the store. Moreover, there are special places for fitting, a waiting area, and a cashier’s office. The store design is a service factory to satisfy all customers and make their experience positive. Finally, the employees of each store are professionals who can satisfy all customers’ needs. For instance, lab technicians are trained to provide both technical services and service management services.
LensCrafters gains a competitive advantage in terms of sustainability due to its operations management strategy. The firm can be sustainable because it manages to combine efficiently goods and services of high quality to satisfy all customers. Moreover, professional employees and warranty make the company sustainable as well. The firm is also sustainable because it has a reasonable presence in the market due to its large chain and positive reputation, and it is likely to deliver with impressive performance even if the competition becomes tough.
2. LensCrafters’ operation management activities affect customer experience. Several operation activities are the most powerful in their influence on customers. First, customers are satisfied with a wide choice of products sold in all stores. These include eyewear, accessories and sunglasses for men, women and children. Moreover, the number of the company’s stores is large. Thus, there are about 860 stores in three countries, and their locations are convenient for customers. Access to high-traffic areas where most stores are located is easy. Second, customers are satisfied with the level of services, and it makes them loyal to the firm and its products. All employees are professionals who can assist customers in choosing eyewear that perfectly suits them. Employees possess both professional technical skills for their work and managerial skills to satisfy customers. Third, customers are satisfied with the benefit package offered by LensCrafters. According to it, there is a possibility to exchange or return glasses even if the customer used for them for some time. If a customer thinks that glasses do not fit him/her, for any reason, he/she can easily exchange them or return and receive a full refund. Eyeglasses can be returned to the store in their original condition within 30 days after the purchase. Moreover, it is allowed to exchange or return eyewear for several times during 30 days. If eyeglasses are broken within one year, they will be repaired at a discount. Therefore, customer experience is positive due to various aspects of operation management activities.
Despite its positive performance and efficient operation management, LensCrafters faces some challenges in its operation management. The first challenge relates to new locations that are opened regularly. LensCrafters has a particular design concept developed for each location. However, implementation of this concept can cause some challenges in operation management if a new location does not fit or if other issues occur. Moreover, there may be some problems in operation management if changes are necessary for each location because they should be modified equally. Such changes will be required in the nearest future because more and more competitors enter the eyewear market. For example, if Walmart enters the market, LensCrafters will have to change its operations management because the former is likely to offer products at lower prices.
3. For retail firms, a well-designed value chain is important because it greatly contributes to their value. Retailers should pay much attention to the efficiency of their value chains (Finne & Sivonen, 2009). LensCrafters’ value chain is typical for a retailer and includes primary and secondary activities. In this case, only primary activities will be studied. Primary activities include inbound logistics, operations, outbound logistics, marketing, sales and service. Inbound logistics includes receiving various products and materials from suppliers. The products can include glasses, lenses and other materials to produce eyewear as well as accessories. Operations include activities to produce eyewear offered to customers using the materials that were received from suppliers. Outbound logistics includes delivery of eyewear to customers. Typically, it is instantaneous, and customers receive their eyewear in the same store where they order it. Marketing and sales is an important stage in the value chain of LensCrafters because much value is created at this stage. Eyewear and supportive products are sold in stores. Sales are organized well, and all stores use the same principle of organization and selling to create customer loyalty and provide positive experience to buyers. The choice of products is wide, including eyewear for men, women and children as well as other products. Sales also include supportive services, such as examining customers by a doctor, choosing the best fitting eyewear for them, and making a customized eyewear at once to enable customers to receive their glasses in a couple of hours. All those services are provided directly in stores. Marketing of LensCrafters is provided via different channels.
LensCrafters shows high effectiveness of operations in terms of quality, value creation, and customer satisfaction. The quality of its goods and services is high. The firm uses only high quality details and materials for eyewear products from reliable suppliers. Moreover, high quality is supported by warranties and free exchange of purchased goods available for the customers. Value is created via positive customer experience and convenience. Customers receive high quality services when they decide to purchase eyewear. Moreover, value is created due to high speed of operation, ability to receive a ready product quickly, and ability to return or exchange it. The level of customer satisfaction is high, and the company tries to provide it to its buyers in all stores.
4. According to “Performance measure guide” (2009), there are such types of performance measurements: efficiency, quality, error rate, revenue and compliance. There are different alternatives, but the two best measurements to use for LensCrafters’ service-delivery system design include efficiency and quality. Efficiency measurement is important because it represents the cost of production and revenue from sales as well as a relation between them. Thus, this performance measurement is good to use in order to determine how well the firm operates in terms of its profitability. For example, it can analyze the cost of production for each pair of glasses in average as well as the cost for other products. Then, it can be compared to the revenue. In this performance measurement, it is also important to consider the cost of indirect services, for example, the cost of advertising or salary paid doctors and other employees providing additional services. Efficiency measurement should also consider the costs related to warranty, such as the cost of glasses replacement or return. It is necessary to add the cost of exchanged and returned glasses to the cost of production, which will result in increased price for goods and services. Thus, the firm will be able to promote its efficiency but considering additional costs. Another key measurement for the company is quality measurement, which aims to determine the overall quality via tests of products and customer satisfaction. To determine quality, it is possible to test products received from suppliers as well as evaluate the quality of customer services. The share of glasses exchanged due to poor quality should also be considered. Finally, it is necessary to receive customer feedback to measure quality. For example, customers can rate the quality of goods and services they receive in LensCrafters by completing a special questionnaire, after which the results will be analyzed, and the quality will be improved if necessary.
The five key competitive priorities used in operations management are quality, flexibility, cost, delivery and innovation (Russell & Millar, 2014). LensCrafters uses all priorities in its operation management. Quality is high, and it is manifested by the high quality of goods and supportive services. Flexibility is high because there is a wide choice of goods and services as well as a possibility to purchase customized products. Cost is varies depending on the product. Delivery is fast and has high quality because customers can receive their glasses in the store at once or in several hours after making the order. Innovation is also at high level because such fast and convenient services are innovative in the industry.
5. Several types of technologies can be applied to LensCrafters’ service operations in order to strengthen its value chain. The first type of technology is improved delivery of raw materials from suppliers. It will enable LensCrafters to produce goods faster, thus strengthening the value chain, because the faster the goods are delivered to the customer, the faster value is created. Moreover, faster delivery will be beneficial for customer experience and loyalty. For instance, it is possible to allow customers choose products that are not available in the store currently. For instance, customers can choose products from a catalogue, and then they will be delivered to the store. Thus, customers will become more loyal because the choice will be wider. Another effective technology includes using modern devices in stores. Touch screens can enable customers to get a number in a queue, to see prices or to choose the service they want to receive. It will strengthen the value chain due to positive customer experience and loyalty. Finally, it is possible to use the Internet to strengthen the value chain because selling online allows increasing sales and promotion. Products can be promoted via social networks and Interned advertising. In addition, LensCrafters can use the Internet for online sale of its goods, and it will be positive for the value chain due increasing sales volumes.