PSS Reps Liven Up Conference

Edition: January 2002 - Vol 10 Number 01
Article#: 1139
Author: Repertoire

Seven hundred PSS sales reps flooded the floor of HIDA 2001 at the San Diego Convention Center on Dec. 6-7, making the company's participation the largest national distributor sales meeting conducted at a HIDA show. About 300 exhibiting companies and a total of 2,000 attendees came to the show, which had originally been scheduled for Oct. 3-5.
HIDA executives were pleased with the turnout. ''We far exceeded expectations in attendance and exhibitor response,'' said HIDA President Matt Rowan. ''Our exhibitors deserve great praise. Their commitment was the foundation for a successful show.''
Two ''Firsts''
The program began on Wednesday, Dec. 5, with Premier Inc. Chairman and CEO Richard Norling discussing two major forces driving changes in the supply chain, e-commerce, and procurement based on clinical care process outcomes. Following Norling's presentation, HIDA sponsored a two-hour-long Business Exchange, a ''reverse trade show'' in which manufacturers had an opportunity to visit with distributor executives. It was the first time HIDA had ever conducted such an event.
Another first were the Product Training Universities. Hosted by seven manufacturers- Aaron Medical Industries, Baxter, Midmark, Omron, Quidel, Roche Diagnostics and Welch Allyn- these sessions taught reps selling skills and best practices.
Iranian Hostage Speaks
Thursday was highlighted with the Chairman's Industry Lunch, featuring speaker Colonel Chuck Scott. Scott was one of 52 Americans taken hostage in Iran on Nov. 4, 1979. They were released 444 days later, on the day Ronald Reagan was inaugurated President.
Scott recounted his first day of captivity, in which he was blindfolded and then identified as a colonel in the armed forces as well as an intelligence expert. He was tortured for more than three weeks, but revealed nothing to his captors, who finally gave up and threw him in solitary confinement. He kept sane during his months of solitary confinement by doing such things as giving ''speeches'' on any topic he could think of, including the sex life of bowling balls, and defacing images of the Iranian leader, Ayatullah Ruhollah Khomeini. His point to those attending HIDA was that people can survive and ultimately triumph if they construct goals for themselves and stick to them.
Year Ahead for HIDA
Cindy Juhas, president of Hospital Associates, Anaheim, CA, became the first female chairman in HIDA's 99-year history. She promised an exciting year ahead for the association and the industry. Among HIDA's initiatives for the coming year are:
An overhaul of the ADVANCE® sales training program. Introduced in 1988 and updated in 1992, the new program, when completed, will include more product training (though not brand-specific) and will ultimately be available on-line. The ''core'' level will cover basic selling skills, account management, introductions to the different markets and selling distribution's value. The ''master's'' curriculum will teach reps how to sell products, though not on a product-specific basis. Graduates will be required to earn continuing education to maintain their accreditation. Ultimately, similar programs will be offered to distribution managers, operations and warehouse managers, and customer service professionals.
A renewal of HIDA's ''Value of Distribution'' campaign, designed to educate manufacturers and providers about the benefits of working with health care distributors. The association has produced a series of pamphlets for sales reps (of HIDA member companies) to give to their provider customers. HIDA believes the initiative will send out a unified industry message to manufacturers and customers.
Reimbursement reform. HIDA will advocate for reimbursement reform, because ''the future of our business and our customers depends on it,'' said outgoing Chairman Stephen Skoronski, president and CEO of Associated Medical Products.
As in years past, the conference had its share of awards. Al Borchardt, president of Midland Medical Supply, Lincoln, NE, received the Industry Award of Excellence.
Meanwhile, the 2001 Rhatigan Awards, recognizing exceptional marketing materials created by suppliers and manufacturers, were presented to the following companies:
Marketing/Selling Data Sheet: Mabis Healthcare, Wilkes Barre, PA (First Place); Midmark Corp., Versailles, OH (Honorable Mention).
Catalog: Donovan Industries, Tampa, FL (First Place); Precision Dynamics Corp. San Fernando, CA (Honorable Mention)
Price List: Premium Plastics Inc., Chicago (First Place); Parker Laboratories Inc., Fairfield, NJ (Honorable Mention)
UPN/Bar Coding: Precision Dynamics Corp. (First Place); dj Orthopedics, Vista, CA (Honorable Mention)
The 2001 Ralph J. Pickell Booth Awards presentations went to the following companies:
Single Exhibit Division: Mead Johnson Nutritionals (First Place); Nestle Clinical Nutrition (Honorable Mention).
Multiple Booth Exhibit Division: American Diagnostic Corp. (First Place); Alpine Gloves (Honorable Mention).
Island Booth Exhibit Division: Midmark Corp. (First Place); Spacelabs Medical (Honorable Mention).
Most Engaging Exhibit Award: Spacelabs.
Best First-Timer Booth Award: Apothecary Products.
Best Supply Chain Pavilion Booth Award: Global Healthcare Exchange.
Most Innovative New Product/Program Award: BD.