Being Prepared Financially
(Or The Best You Can Be)
Written By: Jeff Easton
The term "black swan event" is increasingly being used to describe this coronavirus outbreak; many say what we are headed for is much worse than anything we have seen since the Great Depression. "The United Nations says the global economy will shrink 1% this year due to the coronavirus, a sharp reversal from pre-pandemic forecasts." "Deepening coronavirus crisis pushes congress to plan more economic aid." "Economic shutdown to fight coronavirus is not sustainable." These are just a few of the different headlines that we have all been seeing and have grown accustomed to hearing over the past month. As I write this article, we are in the middle of April and in the midst of a pandemic that I don’t think any of us saw coming. I hope and pray by the time this article is published this summer that we are in a much-improved spot in regard to COVID-19.
I have now been with Med One for just under 13 years, and it has been a great experience, more rewarding than I ever imagined. I can truly say it is the best company I have worked for and been associated with. When I embarked on my journey with Med One nearly 13 years ago, I would never have imagined we, as a company, would be dealing with a pandemic of this type of magnitude. However, as the CFO of Med One, it is my responsibility, to the best of my ability, to make every effort to put Med One in a position to financially weather a storm like COVID-19 and still be able to serve our customers.
There is something we all hear a lot, and an attitude that has seemed to become more prevalent in our culture here in America... “live in the moment,” this means being conscious, aware, and in the present with all of your senses. It means not dwelling on the past, nor being anxious or worrying about the future. When we concentrate our attention on the present, we focus on the task at hand; we give our full attention to what we are doing, and we let go of future consequences. I am not here to say whether this mentality is right or wrong; however, it is my job as the CFO of the different Med One companies - collectively Med One Group – to worry about our financial situation. In responsibly maintaining our finances, as nice as it may be at times, I can’t just “live in the moment” with no regard for our financial future. I have to keep Med One in a position to be ready to deal with a variety of different events, including COVID-19.
This pandemic has affected every human being on the earth in one way or another. For all of those reading this article, including each of us at Med One, this pandemic has greatly changed many of the ways that we do things on a daily basis, across all facets of our lives. I remember shortly after joining Med One, sitting down with the owners and talking about our desire to become much more financially prepared, and a company with less debt and leverage. We wanted to change our debt to equity ratio significantly to make us much more financially sound in order to serve our customers in a way we had never done before.
By nature, I am fiscally conservative and was taught from an early age about debt and when it may or may not be appropriate but always with a guiding principle that being financially sound is best! Did myself or anyone at Med One ever imagine the degree and hold this COVID-19 pandemic would take on our nation or the world? No! However, over the past 12 years, we have worked DILIGENTLY to improve our financial position and to truly take on a financially sound mindset. Has it always been easy? No! Has everyone always agreed with the course we have taken? No! Have there been long discussions and, at times, even great tension among senior leaders of the company? Of course! These different situations are all normal things companies go through when deciding which route they would like to take their business. We made decisions though, based on a long-term view of ensuring we would be there to serve our customers and do our best to take care of their equipment needs."We understand the market, what our vendor partners and customers need, and have been able to adapt when necessary. We have developed fantastic capital partners who allow us to do what we do best."
Is the financial situation of Med One in a perfect position for what we are currently dealing with? No, it is not (I am not sure a perfect position exists). However, I am extremely grateful that 12 years ago, we started to make a concentrated effort to truly improve our financial position and BELIEVE in it so we could be there to serve our customers. I am extremely grateful that we understood our past situation and, most importantly, what we wanted Med One to look like in the future. I understand what debt can do for an entity and how being a levered entity can benefit a company "in the now," but I am grateful to work for and be part of an entity that believes in sound financial principles. I have seen our debt to equity ratio swing from one end of the pendulum all the way to the other side over the past 12 years. MOST IMPORTANTLY, I am grateful that due to this change, during these hard and troubling times of this current COVID-19 pandemic, we are able to support our customers and the wonderful employees who work for and with Med One.
We understand the market, what our vendor partners and customers need, and have been able to adapt when necessary. We have developed fantastic capital partners who allow us to do what we do best, and that is "Making Medical Equipment Available." Our capital partners know exactly what to expect from us, and that consistency over the years is priceless at a time like this! We have not changed how we interact with our capital partners in any way due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have grown our vendor and customer base as they have recognized the value that we bring to the niche that we work in. Even during this crisis, we are still able to be there for our customers and provide them much needed medical equipment the best we can.
Over the past few years, we have evolved from a technological standpoint as well. We have been able to handle our business operations more efficiently than ever, as we have implemented new systems, processes, and key employees. This has allowed us to transact more business than we could previously handle without affecting the flow of our normal business processes. We will have to continue to be willing to do this operationally in all areas of our company as we move forward.
The first 29 years of Med One have been fantastic. We have gone from a company that started with just a few transactions on the books from a couple of customers to one that now has thousands of transactions from servicing thousands of customers. The next 29 years and how we react will become even more important than the first 29 years as we will not be allowed to rest. We will continue to generate new transactions, develop new relationships, and continue to improve our current customer relationships, develop new vendor relationships and continue to fortify our existing vendor relationships, and to develop new capital partners as well as strengthen even more so our existing capital partner relationships.
Being financially sound and not beholden to debt holders has allowed Med One to become who it has become and to serve the medical industry as we have. Med One has an extensive understanding of the specific challenges healthcare professionals face, as this is the sole industry we focus on. With every deal, our focus is to provide for our customers' needs by helping them acquire equipment when they lack the funds to pay for it. Whether it's equipment financing, rental, sales, or services, Med One has solutions that work.
---- Equipment Financing
Creative financing options available with the ability to customize for each specific customer.
---- Equipment Rentals
Peak-need, long-term, equity rental, and rent-to-own options available.
---- Equipment Sales
Off-lease inventory of pre-owned equipment and new equipment from leading manufacturers.
---- Equipment Service & Repair
Authorized service provided by our certified biomed team.
We are dedicated to our customers and vendors and to listening to them and working with them to become even more improved partners. I am so grateful to be part of a wonderful company that truly does care about all of our customers, vendors, capital partners, and employees. It is refreshing to come to work every day, and it makes me want to work even more diligently to serve the needs of all of those whom we have the privilege of working with. May the next 29 years be a time where Med One makes an even larger impact on the niche in which we serve in "Making Medical Equipment Available."Prev Article Next Article