CIDA: Marketing and Sales Make a Powerful Combo

Edition: July 2002 - Vol 10 Number 07
Article#: 1289
Author: Repertoire

CIDA members can “Take It To The Top” by using marketing tools to help leverage the success of their sales calls. That was the central theme at CIDA's recent EXPO 2002 in San Antonio, May 9-11.

After a “State of the NDC” presentation by Jim Stover, president and CEO of National Distribution and Contracting Inc. (CIDA's parent company), CIDA Managing Director Kevin Neuman spoke about how marketing techniques are often overshadowed by sales techniques in the medical distribution industry. To help point out the difference between the two, Neuman borrowed from and modified the phrase “mass customization” from NDC Board Chairman Ted Almon of Claflin Co. According to Neuman, CIDA members should use marketing tools to create a positive “mass” perception among their customers, then use sales calls to offer the “customization” of products and services focused on individual customers' needs.

Jackie Jones, NDC director of advertising, and Harvey Arnott, NDC's vice president of sales and marketing, showed CIDA members how to use NDC-powered marketing tools for “mass” leverage. These include the updated CIDA printed catalog and the CIDA Preferred Choice Showcase quarterly brochure program.

Marketing Arsenal Augmented
MedConduit – NDC's e-commerce solution – was officially designated a marketing tool at the Expo. In a role-playing skit, Danny Adams, NDC's vice president of eCommerce business development, played the part of a CIDA salesman maintaining the business he was about to lose from a physician (played by Neuman). The skit was meant to demonstrate that marketing Internet accessibility with personal salesmanship is a perfect example of ''mass-customization.''

Another centerpiece of the EXPO was Market Match Phase II, which helps match dealers and manufacturers who share common customer emphases. Market Match Phase II – the second phase of a program launched last year at CIDA EXPO 2001 in New Orleans – uses the CIDA website ( to provide specific items for 46 different customer segments as well as a comparison between each CIDA member and manufacturer in order to line up customer segments important to both. In conjunction with Market Match Phase II, Paul Barney, NDC's vice president of electronic member services, announced a new “Vendor Only” access to the NDC website (, designed to open new information avenues – including Market Match – for NDC's valued manufacturer partners.

Barney also sought to prove that the AIM on-line database used by CIDA members is a true marketing tool. The database contains tens of thousands of items available from hundreds of CIDA manufacturers, and allows sales reps to drill down and select particular products (possibly discovered through Market Match Phase II) for customized sales calls on specific accounts, he said.

Chuck Miller, vice president of operations, provided CIDA members a review and preview of transportation issues and their implications, including the potential UPS and Teamsters showdown.

Crushable Hats…and More Work
A productive day of learning new marketing techniques was capped off by a visit to an operational, 1,000-acre Texas Hill Country ranch about 35 minutes from the Marriott host hotel. Many members wore wool cowboy hats (crushable for travel home) to the party, which featured hay rides, a band, a rope trick artist, line dancing and top-notch food, and beverage. But there was more work (and networking) to do, including:

• The Market Match Rotation, which gave manufacturers the opportunity to rotate among tables manned by CIDA member who shared a customer focus with them.

• Round Table Discussions, featuring mixed groups of dealers and manufacturers. Neuman challenged each table to make a “blue sky” list of at least three marketing tools. The ensuing discussion uncovered some dramatic and exciting ideas, he said.

• The product exhibit, in which 150 manufacturer personnel in 80 booths showed products to the 110 CIDA attendees.

• The CIDA Awards Banquet, in which members and manufacturers were recognized for sales achievements in 2001, a record-setting year for CIDA.

• An educational session on GPOs, conducted by Alan Grogan, president of Grogan's Healthcare in Lexington, KY, and Jeffrey Burgdoerfer, vice president of member relations for the Health Industry Distributors Association.

CIDA Award Winners

CIDA Circle of Excellence Award-Winners*

1. Adco – Maine
2. Cole Medical
3. Grogan's Healthcare Supply
4. Neil Medical Group
5. School Health Supply Co.
6. Sentry Surgical Supply
7. T-Plex Industries
8. West Texas Medical Specialties
1. Aaron Medical Industries
2. American Diagnostic Corp.
3. Chester Labs
4. Banta Healthcare Group
5. Miltex Instrument Co.
6. Sempermed USA

*Award levels based on degree of participation in CIDA programs.

CIDA Platinum Club
1. Adco-Florida
2. Affordable Medical Supply
3. Gill Podiatry Supply & Equipment
4. Holladay Surgical Supply
5. Medical Supply Corp.
6. Northland Healthcare Products
7. Sterling Surgical Supply
8. Watkins Surgical Supply
9. Western New York Surgical

1. 3M Health Care
2. dj Orthopedics – Procare
3. Innovative Healthcare Corp.
4. Quidel Corp.
5. Spacelabs Burdick

CIDA Gold Club
1. Advantage Medical Supply Co.
2. Alko Enterprises Inc.
3. Choice 1 Medical Distributors
4. Ekla Corp.
5. GEM Medical Supplies Inc.
6. Harris Healthcare Inc.
7. J.B. Medical
8. Merrimack Valley Medical Supply
9. Pocket Nurse Enterprises Inc.
10. Seaway Surgical Supply
11. Tru-Care Health Systems

1. Ansell Perry
2. Becton Dickinson
3. Brewer Co.
4. Dynarex
5. Exel International
6. Genzyme
7. Helena Laboratories
8. Nicolet Vascular
9. Nutramax
10. Solon Mfg. Co.
11. Tillotson Healthcare