Thursday, May 28, 2015

Eyeglasses Rx: If You Want Something Done Right, Do It Yourself!

Zenni Optical created a successful ecommerce business by doing something few people thought was possible in 2003, the year the company was founded: We started making and selling affordable, high-quality prescription eyeglasses online.

Every day, tens of thousands of people from all over the world visit our site at to view our online catalog of more than 6,000 frames. We sell glasses in virtually every style – trendy, geeky, sporty, conservative, edgy – and prices start at just $6.95, so customers who can’t afford big-box retailer prices can buy the glasses they need, while others can purchase several pairs to match their mood – or outfit.

But the key to our success is that we develop the highest quality lenses of any other online retailer. Unlike some competitors, we do it ourselves to make sure every pair of eyeglasses meets our high standards. Here’s how:

1. Customer ordering. Zenni Optical makes shopping for glasses easy. Customers place orders from our user-friendly site, and the order is transmitted directly to our factory.

2. Order production at our manufacturing facility: Orders are processed at Zenni Optical’s 248,000 square-foot manufacturing facility, which has state-of-the-art prescription and edging labs, cutting-edge optical machinery and sophisticated quality control procedures in place to ensure customer satisfaction.

3. Frame design and production: The Zenni Optical team creates frame designs using CAD software and transforms strong, lightweight, flexible, hypoallergenic acetate sheets into fashion-forward frames, then mills them in an automated 5-Axis CNC machine and finishes them with a thorough polish.

4. Prescription lens manufacturing: The Zenni Optical team uses the most advanced machinery to produce prescription lenses of every type, including complex digital progressive surfaces, which are calculated by proprietary computer programs. The prescription lab also creates hard coating and anti-reflective coating in designated clean room areas of the factory and tints lenses according to the order.

5. Accurate edging: Since accurate edging is as important as creating the correct surfaces for lenses, Zenni Optical uses the latest edging machines, and our skilled technicians ensure that all lenses are cut and assembled to frames with an accurate measurement of pupillary distance and segment height. The edging lab also oversees final assembly and shaping of glasses before each pair is checked for quality.

6. Quality checks: At Zenni Optical, every pair of eyeglasses goes through several stages of quality control at each step of the manufacturing process. The prescription and edging labs each conduct multiple quality checks, including scoping the prescriptions after surface generation and checking for defects after each of the coating and tinting steps. The final quality control process checks for all defects and ensures that each eyeglass prescription matches its original order before releasing it for shipping.

7. Shipping: When all the quality control processes are complete, the Zenni Optical team carefully packs each pair of eyeglasses into a Zenni Optical case with a complimentary lens cloth. Each day, our factory sends out 8,000 pairs of prescription eyeglasses via UPS, FedEx, USPS and other courier services bound for more than 80 countries around the world.

At Zenni Optical, we didn’t just change the way people shop for eyeglasses – we changed the way they think about glasses, giving customers more choices and providing a way to get top-quality lenses at an incredibly affordable price. When we launched our company, we quickly found that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. That’s how we’ve been able to succeed – by keeping quality standards high and prices low.

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