One of a Kind,
Searching for Another Med One
Written By: Larry Stevens
Not long ago I had one of our business partners “confess” to me that they had been looking for another Med One. This was a bit of a shocking revelation to come from one of our key sources of new lease business, and somewhat disconcerting. Even though I have had others make this same statement to me before, I must admit that I was a bit taken back. This comment came from the president of a company that funnels a large amount of lease business to Med One. His customers (well-known medical centers throughout the United States) lease tens of millions of dollars’ worth of his company’s equipment from us each year. Our best estimate is that almost 70% of the total equipment sales of this company are made possible only through Med One’s lease programs. The company’s total marketing focus has been leading with leasing rather than a cash sale option since their inception as a company. Leading with a private label “lease first” option has proven to be a winning sales strategy that has put this company “on the map“ and fueled impressive sales growth, but it has also resulted in concentrating a significant amount of their sales revenue in Med One. The company’s board of directors has recommended that they try to reduce their concentration and find another source for leasing.
Well, the uniqueness of the program that we have with this company is such that they can’t just go out and choose any other leasing partner. They had to look for someone who would actually support their unique sales program in the same way that Med One has done since their company was founded. Some of the elements of the program that we provide for them require special and unique considerations:
- Private Label Proprietary Program
- Customized Documentation
- Credit Underwriting Considerations and Concessions
- Proprietary Equipment Tracking Program
- Residual Risk Sharing
- Committed Credit Approvals
In their search for “another Med One” they have found that there have been many who have given lip service to being able to fill the bill. Lots of, “We can do that.” However, in every case, the experience has been less than satisfactory for them. They are still searching. In the mean time we have dedicated ourselves to make sure that they never have to worry about the amount of their sales that are concentrated in Med One’s direction. It doesn’t bother us one bit.
At Med One it is not about the bullet points and it isn’t about the pricing, it is not about how big we are, or the size of the “fund” we have been able to arbitrage. It is how we consistently execute the strategy and how we keep our promises. It is about how we try to take as much “pain” out of every transaction as possible for every customer. It is the way we work each one of their deals individually and uniquely so that it gets done correctly and their customers get treated fairly.
So, the statement “We have been looking for another Med One,” which at first seemed to be an ominous threat to me was in fact a glowing compliment. It was a compliment to the fact that we have a group of people who dedicate themselves to getting things done correctly and quickly and with the good of our customers in mind. It is a compliment in that this difference is being recognized by many of those in our market. It was a statement that, “We have been looking but we have not found another Med One.”
I have been asked on many occasions, “Who is your closest competitor?” To which I am hard pressed to give a clear, concise answer. I have also been told by other business associates, “We haven’t been able to find another Med One.” So, let me expand on that. There are several hospital equipment rental companies. Med One is by no means the largest or the oldest. Our market share in this industry is probably single digits. We have no national GPO contracts and we are virtually unknown in most regions of the United States. We have lots of competitors in the rental business. However, in the regions in which we operate we are extremely well known and have significant market share. In the markets where our rental locations are established, our customers are well taken care of and benefit from the dedicated commitment of our employees who serve their needs.
We have worked diligently for many, many years to stay ahead of the pack in innovation, provide legendary creativity and world class customer service. Notwithstanding many offers to do otherwise, we have chosen not to hand the keys to our culture over to anyone else. Those are the reasons why when someone goes looking for “another Med One” they are hard pressed to find one.
Med One is by no means the only equipment leasing company in the country. There are almost more than you can count. Almost all of them would love to lease medical equipment. There are a fair number of leasing companies that specialize in the medical space. Of those, however, we are not aware of any that try to specialize solely in serving acute care hospitals. That is Med One’s chosen market - as an equipment leasing company. Our focus, attention and expertise are directed at the very limited number of acute care hospitals in the United States.
The key distinguisher that sets us apart, however, is the fact that Med One is the only company that I am aware of that has combined the two functions (hospital equipment rental and hospital equipment leasing) together.
Now that only answers the organizational aspects of who we are and what sets us apart operationally. It does not answer the question of why we are able to do what we do.
1 Med One has been doing this for almost 30 years. As a company, we have never done anything else. We have a lot of experience dealing with the kind of customers we have chosen to serve. Serving hospitals is not just a sideline or division of a larger conglomerate. It is our business and it has been our singular focus for the entire time we have been in existence.
2 We understand the equipment that we deal with. For the most part our technicians can service and repair all of the equipment that we lease and rent. We understand its clinical use within the hospital setting. We can base our decisions on many aspects upon factors that go far beyond the balance sheet and financial analysis. We act as true partners with our customers as it relates to managing their equipment needs.
3 An important key to why we can do what we do is that we don’t have to ask permission from a lot of other people about the decisions we make. We have chosen to keep our company independent and as a result, we have avoided the constraints of oversight and regulations that so many companies within our industry - who are attached to the banking segment must endure. We have also avoided taking on additional partners to attract capital. Instead, we have followed a strategy of continual reinvestment and thus most of our capital is internally generated.
4 In any given transaction whether leasing or rental there are always significant aspects to consider. We can rapidly consider and make decisions regarding equipment purchases, residual risks, credit approvals, investment returns, etc. and thus provide the most focused and responsive approach to serving our customers. We typically turn around most major decisions in a matter of minutes rather than having to wait for the next scheduled meeting of the investment or credit committee.
There exists in our business significant pressure to commoditize what we do and reduce everything to price. We know, however, that as we work with our customers and our other business partners that the needs of this market place are varied and unique, and the solutions that we are asked to provide are not always able to be answered only by price. Med One is not a commodity company. We have worked diligently for many, many years to stay ahead of the pack in innovation, provide legendary creativity and world class customer service. Notwithstanding many offers to do otherwise, we have chosen not to hand the keys to our culture over to anyone else. Those are the reasons why when someone goes looking for “another Med One” they are hard pressed to find one.
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