A UNIQUE JOURNEY
Written By: Ibby Smith Stofer
Can there ever be reward without risk? Are you willing to adapt and exceed the needs of your market and customers? Or is naysaying holding you back and hurting your business growth?
What does doing the same thing over and over mean to a business attempting to grow?
There are multiple expressions that come to mind when pondering that question.
As markets and customers change over time, companies need to change as well. Staying the course or path that got your business this far often rejects new ideas with statements like:
“Because we have always done it that way!”
“That is not our core business, why would we?”
“If it isn’t broken, why change, replace, or add to our workload?”
“We don’t have the resources to make that change.”
“It’s outside our wheelhouse, and we don’t know how to manage it.”
Naysaying is the killer of innovation and motivation.
Sure, there are risks changing business norms, but if you align with where your customers are going and what their needs and pain points are, then the risk can be less than the reward.
Let’s look at the evolution of Med One and the risks the leaders and others have taken by not allowing negativity and unwillingness to risk doing new or different things hold them back. (No naysayers allowed is an unstated company motto.)
Med One Group leaders have always believed that if we stay educated about market trends and issues, as well as the end user customers’ needs and pain points, we will steer in the right direction. As a result, the company they founded has undergone meaningful change and growth.
It began as two guys with a passion to help make movable medical equipment available through payments that met the financial need as well as enhancing the clinical care. Their experience told them that hospitals were spending too much on rentals and often had limited choices.
Early on, they realized that they were unprepared to fund a large sales 35 force. Being risk takers and willing to do whatever it took, they formed relationships with several well-known device manufacturers of devices that hospitals often rented. They allayed the fears of being just another rental provider, by offering lease structures that would allow the companies to treat the transactions as a direct purchase. Many of those initial business relationships have stood the test of time and continue today. Med One has field-based sales representatives calling on all healthcare providers and an internal team working with their vendor partners to continually exceed the end users’ expectations of both the customers‘ vendor of choice and their service offering.
You might wonder why they decided to offer direct rentals in addition to their financial acquisition plans. Over time, the equipment rental business continued to fill a gap where both short-term equipment needs, and budgetary issues restricted customers’ ability to purchase or lease. Accounting rules, budgetary processes, financial health of providers, and unpredictable equipment needs all influenced expanding the company’s offerings to include rental options.
Med One recognized that service would be the key to successfully meeting these challenges. Establishing local offices who could offer responsiveness, patient-ready instruments, simple processes, and a variety of rental options became the strategy. Med One added their first direct rental facilities in California. This has expanded to 13 locales across the US to meet the needs in each market. Each center has dedicated customer service and biomedical staff. Customers wanted online tracking and inventory availability as well as invoice history. Med One built a system that has allowed customers complete control over their rental expenses and needs as well as access to the company’s inventory of devices.
As the need for quality patient ready equipment expanded to include non-acute care facilities Med One added resources to extend attractive pricing for those devices returned at the end of an operating lease. They reach out to schools, EMS, LTACs and other nonhospital facilities. All devices they sell are patient ready with both PMs and software updates performed by the in-house staff prior to shipment. If not in Med One’s inventory of equipment, they work with customers to find the product through a network of suppliers.
As with most successful businesses, the need for involving others who bring unique experience and perspective resulted in two major changes that Med One has embraced. First, the formation of a Board of Directors followed by the creation of specialized Operational Committees who are charged with growth, profit, and direction. Developing talent, leadership and ownership of business direction allows the owners to see their vision of a legacy thrive.
Always looking to align with industry leaders who are bringing meaningful change to the healthcare market and customers, Med One Group recently became a distributor for Turner Imaging offering both their full range of finance options as well as dedicated marketing and selling with the addition of the Smart-C.
You may be wondering how a distributor relationship fits in the company. I asked that same question, and here is what I have learned.
This is not the first distributor program. When there are needs, and our relationship is strong, we will always look at how we can partner with suppliers to meet those needs and at the same time, allow all parties to win. The first distributor program was with the Alaris Med System III pump for the EMS market and providing their fleet of infusion pumps to under 100 bed hospitals. This allowed the company to build relationships and serve an ever wider base of healthcare providers.
The Equipment Sales Operating committee evaluated Turner Imaging, its products, and the market needs. They saw real value in the ability to utilize the technology in multiple markets and enhance the patient and caregiver satisfaction. There was a true need, and our finance and rental options could help accelerate adoption. This could be a winning vendor/distributor program.
There was another nontraditional opportunity. What if we hired a field-based representative to sell the product? Wouldn’t that also act as an accelerator? What if we also had marketing as well as sales investments? They knew that there were risks, and it would be learning experience and take time to grow. Med One chose to accept the risks, make the time and resource investment, and became the mid-west distributor for Turner’s Smart-C. Since then, the two companies have partnered to offer an alternative acquisition option that eliminates the risks of new technology for the user. Accepting risks, making investments, and staying true to the philosophy of doing whatever it takes to do it right continues to guide both direction and decisions.
If you are a customer or a supplier looking to make a real difference in patient and staff satisfaction or if your company has not been able to offer both clinical benefits combined with acquisition choices, we invite you to learn more about Med One Group.
What will be next in the Med One journey? The future has not yet been revealed, but we know that the company will continue to focus on the issues, concerns, and needs of healthcare providers and medical device companies. If you are a healthcare provider experiencing some of the challenges discussed, we hope you will reach out the us. Our Med One team can work with you to find a solution. We look forward to hearing from you and hope you will want to join us on the journey.