por Michael Borden
, Staff Writer | July 03, 2007
The way Jeff Wheaton
sees it "used" and "low quality" should never be synonymous in the optical equipment industry. Wheaton, President of Florida-based Visions Systems Inc., is out to erase the distinction between new OEM equipment and the pre-owned optical and ophthalmic machines he sells and services.
"When I started this business I consciously set out to erase the misconception that used optical equipment had to be sub-par when it came to quality," says the visionary behind what is now the largest supplier of pre-owned patternless edgers in the industry. "From day one we started focusing on quality. The question was how could we provide eye care professionals pre-owned equipment that was indistinguishable from new OEM equipment." Part of the answer included amassing a vast amount of technical expertise, doing constant research and putting together a staff with more than a century of accumulated experience in the industry. "The machines we supply aren't just 'refurbished.' They're as good as new."
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His customers must agree. Vision Systems, also known as VSI, sells upward of 200 patternless edgers (the machines that grind lenses) per year, which amounts to four or five a week. "That's a substantial number," says Wheaton "when you consider that OEMs only sell 150-300 a year."
Wheaton has never been afraid to buy and stock inventory. "We have an essentially unlimited supply of parts and hundreds of edgers in stock." That's a sight for sore eyes for eye care professionals everywhere looking for pre-owned equipment they never have to worry about.