Dream to Reality
Written By: Larry Stevens
TWENTY SIX YEARS AND COUNTING
The past 12 - 18 months or so have been very busy and eventful for us at Med One. In 2016, we celebrated and observed our 25th anniversary as a company. Surrounding that sentinel event were a lot of things happening in our lives. We completed and occupied the new building that was added to our Sandy, Utah campus. We expanded our rental distribution facilities and added some locations. In 2016 we were awarded several significant IDN contracts to provide rental services for their member facilities. We have seen significant expansion in our international sales activities and opportunities. These are but a few of the business expansion opportunities that have challenged Med One during its 26th year. On top of all that, we have been in the process of rolling out a complete re-branding of our companies. This re-branding has become necessary because of the diverse organization we have become. I am so grateful for and impressed with the dedication and expertise with which our team members have shouldered these opportunities and challenges for the ultimate good of Med One and our customers.
In line with our 25th year in business, we have also been members of the primary trade organization that serves the equipment leasing and finance industry – the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) for 25 years. We were recently honored for our 25 years of membership and I was interviewed by their national publication “Equipment Leasing and Finance.” (A copy of the interview is included on page 9). In reviewing that article, I have taken an opportunity to reflect upon what a complex company Med One has become.
My partner (Brent Allen) and I founded Med One after spending a combined 40 years in the Commercial Equipment Leasing industry. With that background, it should be no surprise that we started with the primary intent of becoming an Equipment Leasing Company. Prior to our hospital equipment experience, we understood how to do leases on forklifts, truck and trailers, dental equipment, agriculture equipment, construction equipment and about anything used by any kind of business in the United States. Indeed, we understood how to lease about everything BUT hospital\medical equipment. We each had dealt with almost every conceivable industry and type of company known in the economy, EXCEPT hospitals.
In our minds, we would form a nice little equipment leasing company that would have a very narrow approach to the type of equipment we would lease and the type of customers we would pursue. The only uncertainty was the learning curve of how to actually do business with hospitals. At the time, we did not fully appreciate the opportunities and challenges that lied before us. Without belaboring the “education” costs we incurred to gain an appreciation and understanding of how to successfully serve our market – I will just say that we became very good at it.
What we didn’t fully understand was where this unusual “skill set” would take us. With all the equipment that we were leasing to hospitals across the country, we ultimately had to face the prospect of re-deploying the small percentage of equipment that would come back at the end of the lease term. As our leasing portfolio grew, the actual volume of equipment that we had to deal with increased. We started renting our “off lease” equipment to customers and soon realized the need to offer additional types and increasing amounts of equipment. Being in the rental business dictated the need for us to service and repair all of the equipment that we provide to our customers. Not only did we find ourselves investing massive amounts of capital into purchasing equipment, we had to have facilities in the markets we serve and we had to have vehicles to deliver equipment and people to make it all happen.
"It gives us great satisfaction that the capabilities that we were almost forced to develop have become successful and dynamic enough that each of them could almost function as a standalone business." In addition to renting equipment for short term or peak need situations; we also discovered an active opportunity to sell some of our equipment. This led to the need to be able to “source” other types of equipment that our customers requested. This of course led to developing a system to refurbish equipment. It also necessitated having the capability to ship and receive equipment coming from and going out to all parts of the United States and many other places in the world.
Through the development of these capabilities, we also came to recognize the opportunity to offer our unique services on an international basis. As we have offered our services to areas outside of the continental United States, we have come to understand that many of these areas are completely underserved and are yearning for the products, services, and attention that we have been able to offer them.
And so, here we are. 26 years after starting our simple little equipment leasing company. Med One has become a very complex, diverse, and multifaceted company. We have developed many capabilities that we never dreamed we’d need. We have invested capital that we never thought we’d have. It gives us great satisfaction that the capabilities that we were almost forced to develop have become successful and dynamic enough that each of them could almost function as a standalone business. It is personally meaningful to know that we have been able to do significant and meaningful business with almost 60% of the hospitals in the country. It gives me great pleasure that we have been able to provide a meaningful career path to more than 80 committed and hardworking employees. I am very pleased that we have been able to offer our products and services to areas of the world that heretofore have never had access to the quality of equipment or the responsive service that Med One offers them.
I guess the lesson to learn for us has been to stay flexible and keep our options open. You never know what opportunities are going to be presented along the way.