Thursday, April 23, 2015

Heard on the Floor

No, Shelly was not on the floor of Medtrade Spring in person. However, many of my friends and associates have shared so much with me that I feel that I was present. Based on what I have been told, without any doubt, this was the best Medtrade Exhibition in many years. The team of very hard working people, following the lead of Kevin Gaffney and his associates, must all be congratulated.
Some of you may have seen "Flat Shelly" on the floor of Medtrade Spring this year.
The following comments were made by exhibitors or dealers on the floor and were forwarded to me by my associate, Christina Brown Morrison:

Exhibitor VGM: “Thank you for organizing such an informative and engaging show!”

Exhibitor TwoCan Cane: “Amazing day at Medtrade Spring 2015. We won the 'Best New Product' award and couldn’t be happier! Thank you.”

Attendee Sarah Stephen: “AAHomecare’s Power Panel was really on-point this morning at Medtrade Spring 2015. Getting hyped.”

Attendee Catherine Colman Hamilton: “Great day today at Medtrade. Jeff Baird was informative as always, and VGM was great.”

Speaker Justin Racine: “It went very well and we had some FANTASTIC feedback and questions. Thanks again for putting together a great show.”

Attendee Christina Grabo shared something interesting she learned in a conference session AR Management: "People and Software are key. Work denials first and daily, otherwise you are not in control."

It appears there was something for every attendee! Be sure you are present for the fall Medtrade. I have no doubt that it will exceed my expectations yet again!

Monday, April 20, 2015

A Political Comment

My writing this blog as a “political comment” is uncalled for! The blogs I write are designed to help DME/HME dealers develop more profits and expand their businesses. I am making this exception because I no longer see many of our current “politicians” concerned about elder citizens. I don’t understand this, since they vote and also speak to their families about why they vote for a particular candidate.

I became interested in the candidates who ran for office many years ago. The first support I ever gave a candidate (long before I could vote) was for Wendell Willkie! He ran for President in 1940! I often wonder what might have happened had he been elected.

The difference today is that not too many candidates tell their supporters what they will do if elected. Too much time telling us NOT to vote for Candidate Blank! I want to know what they plan to do for us when elected!

Before Thelma and I pledge our support for a particular candidate, we tell them about our involvement with DME/HME. This invariably gets one of their key workers to listen. I know if we all do this, we will attract more support for our industry.

In Florida, a few dealers got together and worked with their representative. They invited their congressman’s office manager to attend a Medtrade meeting in Orlando. He is still a good friend of theirs.

To protect our industry, every dealer should review whom AAHomecare and your state associations recommend. Every single vote counts!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Good News

There is nothing more encouraging than receiving good news! Since I was unable to attend Medtrade Spring this year, I read every article published, and spoke to about a dozen friends to get reports. All I can say is that I did not receive one negative comment. It appears that every DME/HME provider, as well as exhibitors, were all delighted with the results.

The Medtrade meetings provide the ability for attendees and exhibitors to meet and work with one another and to attend the classes and demonstrations. What better way to help build new sales and better profits?

It is my pleasure to share this piece of good news with you:
Kevin Gaffney, the Medtrade show director, spoke about very positive results. The attendees spent more time with exhibitors and came away all excited about the future. The exhibitors were so pleased with the large number of dealers who attended. They also came with very new attitudes.

The exhibitors reported better results than previous Medtrade shows. This is a reflection of the future! This excites me. I look forward to the Fall show.

DME/HME providers should join AAHomecare and their state association. They are all growing because the necessity of working together has given them so many benefits.

Thelma and I plan to be at the Fall Medtrade in Atlanta. Please see us there!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

How much?

I doubt that I have often said enough about how much salary any employee is worth. How much should a company pay for a job to be performed correctly? I do not know the answer.

To obtain a “premier” hire, always indicate that for them to obtain pay raises, they must show you they have earned them! Take your new “hire” for lunch after the first month and give that person an unsolicited early pay raise. The employee will appreciate this!

The salary you offer should always be adequate for a new employee, but not excessive to put a strain on your budget! I received a few phone calls and e-mails this past week asking for my thoughts on the problem of “how much”?

When I operated my retail pharmacies, I always had the same team that worked for me! When I sold each pharmacy, they stayed with the company who bought it to train their replacements and then they joined me. This was explained to the purchaser and all agreed it was fair. When I left pharmacy to join with Max Goodloe at General Medical, my operations manager came with me. I drifted into a different part of the industry, HME, but he remained and I am very proud of the great reputation he earned.

It is very expensive to hire an employee away from another company particularly if it is one with whom you compete. Often this doesn’t work!

There are so many factors that go into making the decision of whom to hire and how much salary to offer. In the past 65 or so years, I have hired many employees! Before I looked for an addition to staff or a replacement, I spoke to my accountant and we agreed on a “reasonable” offering.

Friday, April 3, 2015

You CAN Make a Difference

There are many little things that DME/HME dealers should do. There should be more communication with one another. You each have the ability to converse with one another via the web. Too often you forget this! Why? You are all just too busy!

I receive the messages many state associations send to their members. These are a “call to arms” alerting them to get on board to help prevent something untoward from occurring. Do you respond to what is sent?

Let us all think about how we can make a difference. When is the last time you spoke to another DME/HME provider? I asked this question to a few dealers and they had to think a few moments before they could answer. Then, when I spent some time on the phone with a few active members of AAHomecare or a state DME association, I received the answer I anticipated. They were usually on the phone or sending e-mails. That made a difference. They participate, and so should you.

Your company should be a member of AAHomecare and your state DME association. Your company must also attend the Medtrade Exhibition as well as your state association meeting. By working together there will be a big difference.

When this happens in our industry we will develop a voice that can be heard! Just look at how strong the hospital associations and others have been. I see how few DME/HME dealers belong to their state and national associations. Compare that to the strength of other industries.

I know that you can make a difference!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Building for Tomorrow

When you plan ahead, you are always taking a giant step forward! You should constantly be thinking about your next step, so you never fall behind.
Many years ago, I started this program by carrying in my pocket a little notebook. I found that when I jotted down a thought, I invariably acted on it. This is particularly true now that I am a “senior” citizen, since my memory isn’t working as quickly as it should. However everything I jot down does get done. 
A big key to success is when responding to anything, do it STAT. If you put something off, there's less chance that it will get done. Then, you will only fall behind.

Is your company a member of AAHomecare and your state DME association? If not, then join today - not tomorrow. This is how you will “Build for Tomorrow”. Every lecture I have attended, and many articles I have read all repeat this message!

Medtrade Spring is underway. Be sure that you participate, and there you will be able to pick and choose those companies whose goals are the same as yours. By getting the “team”, together with the other DME dealers and companies who offer the support and services necessary to develop market share, you are building for tomorrow!

Carefully study the industry magazines. They are filled with important messages! I am no longer “behind the counter,” but I am still asking all of my readers to participate by becoming “dues paying” members of AAHomecare their state association. That is a major part of building for tomorrow.
If you and your team are currently at Medtrade Spring, be sure to attend the Stand Up for Homecare reception tonight, March 31st, from 6:00pm - 7:30pm. Click here to add this event to your Medtrade Spring registration.

Monday, March 30, 2015


You may call your clientele “customers”. After all, that is who they are! Some of the more active DME/HME dealers I know prefer to use the term “clients” when speaking about the people who shop at their location. However you describe them, every one is vital to your success. 

I am bringing this up because I received a call from a dealer who told me he had just lost a very good customer, as well as a friend. Asking, “What happened?”, he tried to review the conversation. Their children were about the same age and they were friends. Up to this point all went well!

But … in the course of their conversation he started to rile about how many teens of today take drugs, drink and carry on. He told me his son had boasted to this customer about the “conquests” he scored. Some how he forgot that this friend had two teen-aged daughters. When the customer turned about and stormed out of the store, he couldn’t understand.

When I was in service, way back in the 1940s, we always were told, “A slip of the lip can sink a ship.” That still applies today in many forms.

Working with your customers is how you make a living. When I was attending the College of Pharmacy, every summer I found a job as an apprentice, in a different pharmacy. In each I learned the importance of how to talk to your customer. Never speak down, never argue, and never try to correct what they tell you. How you speak to them always makes a difference. Keep in mind that the customer is always right!

The message I am trying to deliver is basic to success. Speak softly and carefully and choose your words. This is a giant step to make your company expand.