GPN TechnologiesThe industry's original and best reporting and analysis company
About GPN Technologies
GPN Technologies was founded in 2007 with the mission of providing “big business” infrastructure to independent practitioners in the ophthalmic industry. The company’s driving initiative has been empowering independents to be profitable and competitive in today’s market by making high-tech, business-critical tools accessible and meaningful in small business settings.
Our analytics platforms have revolutionized the way practitioners view, understand, and act on their business data. We have continued to expand and hone those platforms in order to help those practitioners succeed and thrive in an increasingly competitive, fast-paced marketplace.
Thousands of practitioners across the country are serving their patients, their team members, and their bottom lines more efficiently with EDGEPro.
GPN is a technology company that focuses on analysis tools for the vision industry. Our software helps eye care professionals understand what’s going on in their businesses. Our data services help the vendors, suppliers, partners, and manufacturers in the eye care marketplace stay on top of the critical information they need to serve the industry profitably. Our objective is to make it easy to access the critical information that helps every level of eye care business become more successful.
For as long as we have been around, we have measured our success by the success of our clients and customers. That’s actually why we went into business in the first place. We wanted to make the methods that worked well in our own businesses available to all practitioners, regardless of their business model or size.
However, we know that success is about more than “numbers and statistics.” We’re also dedicated to helping practitioners improve results in every aspect of their business management. Our community platform, eyeTHRIVE.net, is a forum where industry experts and vendors share their knowledge, helping ECPs “bridge the gap” between good patient care and effective business management.
We believe that metrics really do matter, and they should be available to every business owner. It’s just a fact that ECPs are generally more successful and profitable when they have high quality, easy-to-use data that accurately reflects their business activities. So why shouldn’t every business manager have access to that? Unfortunately, traditional data sources in vision care were not always very clear or user-friendly; that often left ECPs guessing about what they should do, so we came up with a way to fix that.
Our founding partners developed reliable ways to measure business activities (with data) accurately. Through years of experience in their own businesses, they observed how specific practice KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) could be used to increase revenue and productivity. They learned how to apply those metrics strategically to business choices and start generating more profit. When they had the “secret sauce” just right, they began looking at ways to bring those strategies to others. The key to the whole thing was getting the right information into the hands of the ECPs. The data was the foundation to the whole model, so that’s where we started.
The first GPN products, which led to the creation of The EDGE platform systems, were intended to help practitioners see and understand their data better. We were striving to empower ECPs to make well-informed decisions based on facts. And it worked. Early adopters of The EDGE began seeing immediate results in their practices, and we knew we were on the right track.
Making data accessible
Reliable data should be available to all eye care businesses, regardless of size. That’s one of the pillars of our company philosophy. Data should be accurate, easy to access, and easy to understand, so that owners and managers can make educated, confident decisions about how to run their business.
The entire vision industry benefits when accurate data is collected and used at every level of eye care, from R&D through manufacturing, wholesale markets, professional organizations, and individual practices. It’s a point of pride for us at GPN that we work with organizations and individuals in every aspect of our industry.
Making Benchmarks Meaningful
One of our primary goals has been to both standardize data points and terminology so practices can use their own metrics to compare their performance to industry benchmarks. Business owners and managers are able to view their own practices in the larger context of vision care throughout the country. That’s a game-changer for any business.
Beyond Independent Practice
We didn’t stop with solo practices and small businesses. Other players in the vision industry, manufacturers, alliance groups, consultants, and even managed vision care providers leverage the unique information that GPN provides. With accurate data on business and product performance, those influencers can serve the industry more effectively, create better products, and – ultimately – help practitioners provide the best possible patient outcomes. Good data helps everybody.
Elevating Data Reliability
Before we created the EDGE systems, data in eye care was largely “soft” data, meaning it was collected primarily through surveys and self-reporting. It was often hard to obtain and subject to human influences, which – of course – resulted in a larger margin of error.
As EHR systems became common in vision care businesses, more fact-based data was available, but it still wasn’t really usable. Standards of reporting varied widely. Terminology was often confusing; many words were used in different ways from one system to the next. All this made it hard to compare data between practices, and on an industry-wide basis. We needed a way to compare apples-to-apples and find statistics we could really depend on.
The EDGE platforms pioneered the data industry for independent practitioners, creating standards for understanding, comparing, and talking about KPIs and practice performance. We helped business managers understand what their data means and showed them how they compared to others.
But we took it a step further, teaching practitioners how to apply that information meaningfully in their businesses. It wasn’t enough to have good data in the hands of ECPs; they also needed to be able to see it in a way that would help them use it, applying metrics and KPIs to daily activities and patient care. Those early business practices that GPN developed and refined (practical practice management by the numbers) became the cornerstone of profitability in practices all over the country.
When we were able to reliably report the results in thousands of practice locations, that information created groundbreaking insights for many of the other important stakeholders in vision care.
Jay Binkowitz & Mark Stadlen
Industry retail expert Jay Binkowitz, and OD Mark Stadlen originally began their partnership in a private practice location in Queens, NY. While building their eye care practice, they began exploring additional options for creating profit in their business. They created routines and principles around product purchasing options and effective management based on metrics.
The two men eventually founded GPN (then branded as “Group Purchasing Network”) as a buying-group / consulting enterprise. They knew the strategies and techniques they had developed could help any practice grow, and they focused on helping other independent practitioners create additional revenue within their own practices.
Meanwhile, Evan Kestenbaum, an MBA and a student of management via metrics, was also working to develop a presence in optical consultancy. He based his approach on the data behavior he had been researching for years at his family’s practice on Long Island, NY. Evan had begun tracking daily business activities and evaluating the outcomes of various decisions by looking at the resulting data. He was working to create a reliable method for understanding and improving optical results through metrics.
Evan asked a friend to introduce him to Jay and Mark at an industry networking event. The three of them quickly realized that each had a valuable piece of the puzzle for creating a comprehensive practice improvement method that would help independents become more competitive and increase the profitability of their practices.
GPN and The EDGE in Practice Consulting
As Jay and Mark and Evan worked on new ways to help practices increase their profitability, it became clear that they needed to be able to see what was happening in those locations. It was actually a challenge to communicate some of the basic principles, because so much of the critical data was unfamiliar or obscured within the practice records. Sometimes they couldn’t access the most important information unless they physically visited a location. They needed some sort of tool to view practice data in a virtual environment.
Their solution to this challenge was a web-based data-sharing tool. Clients shared details of their daily activities on a platform so the three business partners could see and evaluate them, allowing GPN to give their customers advice to help them improve their revenue. This unique information-sharing approach eventually became the framework for The EDGE, the company’s first electronic platform.