Publishers Letter

Edition: August 2001 - Vol 9 Number 08
Article#: 1029
Author: Repertoire

When we launched Repertoire Magazine in 1994, our focus was to provide a useful communication link between the makers and sellers of medical products and services. And while growing our business, we have worked hard to maintain our original focus while doing so. We saw too many examples of companies that had lost their focus, and business, as they moved out of their area of expertise. We wanted to make sure that we didn't fall into that same trap.


Communication


Yet in order to grow, we needed to find complimentary areas that would enable us to use our collective experience and allow us to leverage our existing business. Thus, we branched off into producing custom newsletters for a number of national distribution companies. Today we produce about twenty newsletters annually that reach more than 150,000 healthcare providers on a regular basis. These have become an integral part of our communication product offering and keep us very close to the key issues faced by both the distributor and manufacturing communities.


In the same vein, with the explosion of the Internet and the advancement of the information age, we launched the Dail-E News, our email service that serves up industry news in real time. Electronic delivery of information revolutionized the delivery of news in our industry, as it did in virtually every other industry. It also altered people's expectations of the news; no longer was it acceptable to deliver news thirty days later via a trade publication. People want and expect it now! It also transformed Repertoire Magazine into a publication that was about more than just reporting the news – today it's about analysis of that news and the trends associated with it. And fortunately, we have editors with analytical skills and writing abilities that were perfectly suited for this task. That talent is responsible for much of our growth.


Another natural outgrowth of our communication efforts was to help our customers begin to more effectively reach additional markets. With the launch of First Moves Magazine at the AHRMM show in July, we will be adding 23,000 healthcare buyers in hospitals, surgery centers and large physician practices to our reach. Using the same formula that has made Repertoire successful, a daily e-mail news feed, a first class print publication and an information rich web site to back it all up, we plan on impacting the buy side in a similar manner.


Education


Industry changes continued to spark our interest in identifying related products that would better serve our information-hungry customers. After all, information was now one of the key products that our readers brought to their customers. As consolidation spread throughout the supply chain, it became apparent through surveys and constant contact with our customers, that product education and training was really taking a back seat, as manufacturers found less and less face time with their distribution sales partners.


This glaring need, coupled with Internet technology that became available, led us to develop Education OnLine (EOL), the industry's first web-based training and resource center. Manufacturers could now reach, teach, and measure the results of their training efforts within the distribution community. Distributor sales people could log on and learn at their own pace, in the comfort of their home or office. This new educational offering became MDSI's second division and has grown to where today almost 2000 distributor sales reps from across the country are actively using the EOL website to learn how to more effectively sell the products they carry. They win, the manufacturer wins, and ultimately the customer wins as well.


Information


On April 1, 2001, MDSI made its first acquisition when we purchased U.S. Lifeline, publisher of The Max, (Major Account Exchange) from Neoforma. This healthcare data company provides a wealth of useful information to national account sales and marketing executives looking for qualitative information about GPOs, hospitals, IDNs, skilled nursing facilities and surgery centers. With comprehensive hospital and corporate/national account profiles that include DRG analysis, financial data, and key executive information, The Max is the leading provider of data to a growing list of healthcare related companies.


This new division of MDSI compliments and strengthens our entire offering. And more importantly, it strengthens the value we can bring to you, our readers, customers and potential customers. Our goal is to help your organizations more effectively sell your products, communicate your messages, educate your business partners and customers, and analyze your efforts. And by offering a bundle of services to you, we hope to make it a cost-effective and productive endeavor.


As always, we truly appreciate your support.