Championship season

Edition: July 2012 - Vol 20 Number 07
Article#: 4018
Author: Repertoire

As healthcare providers step outside their silos, and the sharp divisions between acute-care and non-acute-care providers blur, distributors have to take the ball and run with it. That’s partly why MMS-A Medical Supply Company used a football theme to bring home an important point at its recent national sales meeting.

“The reason we chose the football theme was to drive home the importance of the whole team in getting the ball across the goal line,” says Judi Boc, director of marketing. “With the changing healthcare environment, it is more important than ever to have multi-skills and expertise from different perspectives working together. MMS, uniquely, has world-class players in all market positions: acute care, long-term-care, primary care, specialty markets, home care, hospice and EMS. Leveraging and integrating each individual’s skill sets with the rest of the team makes MMS unbeatable.”

Headquartered in St. Louis, Mo., with a regional office in New Rochelle, N.Y., MMS has distribution facilities in Phoenix, Ariz.; Manchester, Conn.; West Chicago, Ill.; Wichita, Kan.; Baton Rouge, La.; Earth City, Mo.; Secaucus, N.J.; Spartanburg, S.C.; Houston, Texas; and Tamuning, Guam. Approximately 140 MMS employees and 130 vendors attended the meeting, which was held in St. Louis.

Critical components

Following the football theme, MMS used the meeting to emphasize the critical components of a championship team, says Tony Gadzinski, vice president, marketing and business development:

• Preparation (knowing the other team’s strengths and weaknesses).

• Planning (identifying specific solutions for each customer).

• Flexibility (being ready to customize the solutions).

• Trust (that MMS and its manufacturer partners are doing the necessary blocking and tackling for MMS reps).

• Communication (the importance for reps to talk to customers, manufacturers and teammates to be sure they, that is, reps, know what’s coming).

Insofar as initiatives are concerned, the company announced that it intends to get all of its locations on one common operating platform by the end of summer and to provide ongoing training to its field sales reps so they can use the system to optimize customer management. “Being able to easily access in real-time key customer information and generate it in a fast, clear format will exponentially improve their ability to identify and proactively address savings opportunities,” says Tom Harris, executive vice president.

“Concurrently, a common system will enhance visibility to the field of resources, e.g., formularies and pricing, that customers have not historically needed,” he says. All sales reps and customers will have access to MMS’s BeCompliant™ service, a reporting tool that offers customers timely and visual status updates on key measurements.

“The healthcare landscape is changing, and not only is MMS as a company reinventing how we do business and how we can bring value to our customers, but each and every rep needs to rethink what they are bringing to the table too,” says Gadzinski. “While there is no ‘I’ in team, there is no winning without each player knowing their role and bringing their best to the field. MMS management has always believed we had the best team in distribution, but the rules and plays are changing, and every player has to play today’s game.” That game includes the formation of accountable care organizations, the expansion of IDNs and healthcare reform.

Top sales performers

MMS reps compete against colleagues across the country in their customer channel and are ranked on sales growth and gross profit growth. The top performers for 2011 were:

• Brian Butterworth, Houston (physician sales).

• Mike Conlon, New York (extended care sales).

• Mark Gold, New York (acute care sales).

The overall MMS Sales Representative of the Year was Bridget Grotts, a St. Louis-based account manager who services acute-care customers across the Midwest. She is a 12-year veteran of the company.

At the meeting, MMS recognized two outstanding Rookies of the Year:

• Andrew Ilch, New York (physician market).

• Joanna Hallett, Texas (EMS market).

“These reps are the best of the best,” said Harris. “They serve different markets and have different styles, but each is dedicated to assuring that his or her customers view MMS as a partner in supply chain management. They are proactive and dedicated to constant improvement for both themselves and their customers.”