Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Why Medtrade?

When our children were younger and we asked them a question, often the answer was, “Why?" As our offspring grew, we provided guidance when they asked for explanations. We didn’t know what they were thinking or if our request was being evaded.
 
The same applies to attendance at Medtrade. I am sure that we all appreciate the importance of this meeting. This is where the future for your company can be extended. It is too easy to sit back and wait to see what the future holds. It is so much better to take steps forward so that your company will benefit from the many vacillations that happen daily.
 
DME/HME is a very active business! Alterations can happen so quickly and when you are not aware, they will pass right by you! When Thelma and I were running our company, we had a rule that all responses had to be answered STAT. By responding as quickly as possible, we developed a great deal of loyalty. We also supplemented these with a memo by repeating what was done. Today you can do this with your computer. But although times have changed, a timely response is still critical.
 
You cannot buy loyalty - You have to earn it! The Medtrade Exhibition has proven to be the one most important meeting available for every DME/HME dealer. Where else can one meet with so many peers and exhibitors, or attend classes and lectures, all in one place? This is where loyalty pays off! I cannot tell you how many follow-ups Thelma and I experienced after each Medtrade, for it was many!
 
What we always did was take one or two members of our staff with us. Your company should do the same. Whatever it may cost to bring a staff member, it always pays off. This develops loyalty from your customers and the recognition by the vendors is huge. 
 
So why Medtrade? I think you know the answer!
 
Early Registration for Medtrade is still in effect. Register Now to take advantage of substantial savings.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Medtrade 2015

Thelma and I are looking forward to the excitement of Medtrade in Atlanta this year. We have had the privilege of attending nearly all of these exhibitions, including those in the West. It is difficult to put into words our appreciation of these assemblies. Every attendee is important, and I truly enjoy walking through the showroom just to say “hello” to so many friends.

Since we both are rapidly approaching our 90th year, we have made the decision this will be the last Medtrade we will attend. I am thrilled to say that there are so many really fantastic leaders who provide so much superb guidance so that our industry can continue to expand.
 
My small contribution has been to say “thank you” to all of the hard working AAHomecare and state DME association members who invariably do such a good job. Please do the same when you see them at Medtrade, and also tell them how much you too appreciate their efforts on your behalf.

Looking at what has been accomplished in the period, just from Tom Antoine to Tom Ryan, the results have been better than those of any other profession! When I am able to see so any attendees, conversing at each booth, I stop to ask myself: “What they can do together?” The answer is so satisfying.

Bring with you as many members of your team as possible. There are so many things to see, people to speak with, and deals to be made that you need your team to be there with you.

We must not forget to compliment Medtrade Show Director Kevin Gaffney and his team for making the show such a pleasure to attend. All a dealer has to do is show up. As the attendees walk in, everyone and everything is prepared and waiting for them. What a massive task this is, and I say, “Thank you.”
 
We will see you there!
 
Early Registration for Medtrade is Now Open!
Register for Medtrade before July 7, and save up to $75 on the Expo, and more than $200 on the Conference!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wendell Willkie

Sometimes I get the impression that people who we have elected to guide our country are not real leaders! It seems that our politicians are all “employed” by some of the people who helped them “buy” an election. I know that is not totally true, but on occasion, this is the impression I get. One of the unsung heroes that I greatly admire was a man called Wendell Willkie!

My interest in government came about at an early age. In 1940, Wendell Willkie was nominated to run against Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  He beat out Thomas E. Dewey! 1940 was a very critical year. There were dictators in Germany, Italy, Russia and Japan. The United States still had not returned to “normal” from the Great Depression. Europe was at war, and most Americans did not want the country to get involved in a world war. However we did when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor!

When FDR was elected as president of the United States, he made big decisions and invited Willkie to join forces with him. Willkie was very popular and well liked. I often wonder if the United States would have gotten into WW2 had Willkie been elected. He was very active after the Pearl Harbor attack of December, 1941, and President Roosevelt appointed Willkie as a special representative for the United States. He travelled all over the world to visit the American troops.         

In no way do I want to cast any fault on FDR; he did a superb job, as a member of a family that has well served the United States for many generations. But I often think how different it might have been if Willkie did the negotiating with Churchill and Stalin.

Germany was a Nazi country. They had only one goal: Conquer Europe, England, Russia and then the U.S. Their theme song was, “Today Germany, tomorrow the world!”  For a short while it looked like they might make it.  Prior to the U.S. getting into the war, German submarines sank a great number of American ships.

Willkie became a special “representative”, visiting the troops and our allies. When I read about the many different ways that Wendell Willkie served the United States it makes me proud. What has made our Country so great is that we have had many “Wendell Willkie’s” and to them I say, “Thank you.”

Monday, June 15, 2015

Alone

When you walk through the storm, hold your head up high and don't be afraid of the dark."

I can no longer recall when I first heard these words. I will tell you that they are etched in my heart! Thelma and I made every effort to see as many of the musical shows on Broadway we could when we lived in New Jersey. We could get there and find a convenient parking space in a half hour. We were fortunate because that luxury can no longer be found.

Today DME/HME companies do not need to “walk alone”. It is so important for every dealer to work with the organizations who will insure that no matter what may appear, they will help your company participate and continue to flourish.

We received a few requests asking us, “to whom” you are referring? AAHomecare and your state DME associations is the answer! There is no one else who can do for your company what they can!

When I hear how many DME/HME dealers currently belong to each, I am pleased. However, when I realize how many do not, I am shocked. There is no excuse for a DME/HME dealer NOT to pay dues and work with them.

When I read both HME News and HomeCare Magazine, I find everything reported that you should know, follow, and support. I ask one thing more: Do you say, “thank you” or sit back and say, “that’s nice.” You cannot say, “penny spent is penny lost”, because every penny invested in your company's future will guarantee that you will have a future!”

If you currently are not subscribing to these publications, DO SO NOW. Never be a “Freddy, the free loader!” This small amount of dollars, so minute, will help you to stay in business.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

We Need Help!

My writing these blogs and trying very hard not to be boring has been a challenge. Most of the material I have composed and spoken about over the years has been prepared as a consequence of your comments. This “Shelly said” method has developed and has been providing a great deal of pleasure for Thelma and I. Please keep calling us (843-572-6568) and sending e-mails. We need your help (shelly@prialfamily.net).

The problem I have to remember is that times have changed and so have the people! Our industry is so much stronger than it has ever been because of the fine companies which have developed. Yes, it is true, the “cream always floats to the top”!

What makes this growth so special is that many different factors have been involved. The industry associations are in the center, maintaining communication and blending their supporters together into a well-organized team. The vendors do not hesitate to give their support, and the efforts of the excellent industry publications have also been fantastic.
 
This is what I have always referred to as a “team.” This means that not only joining each of these teams and paying dues, but also soliciting every friend you know to also get involved! They need your help and you really need them to stay solvent!

We need your help, and I request you to speak with other dealers to help build more local teams. I saw several DME/HME principals work together and they were able to get their message to Congress. They were able to bring the office manager of their legislator to attend with them at a Medtrade meeting. This should be replicated throughout the country. Your state DME association and AAHomecare need your help. Get on board!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Medtrade

As I get closer and closer to my 90th birthday, I have a tendency to look back and reflect. Just thinking about how the annual Medtrade meetings have developed each year reminds me of how our industry has so greatly expanded. We now need both a spring show in Las Vegas and the big show in Atlanta in the fall. Medtrade exhibitions are now playing to a full house. Progress!

The necessity for every DME/HME provider to have a convenient place to go to for the Medtrade experience is vital. It is relatively easy for DME/HME dealers, east or west of the Mississippi to travel to these events. With an exhibition floor that is filled with both exhibitors and attendees, Medtrade has become the biggest magnet attracting both vendors and dealers.

When I question exhibitors, I invariably hear similar answers. The key is that many dealers in one or two days are walking by, looking at the displays, and determining which new items for OTC cash sales are appropriate. For the exhibitors' sales people to see a huge number of participants is their key to success. The dealers like to be at Medtrade because this is where they can work with decision makers at each display. I watch them writing orders, which might not have been found by a travelling sales person.

When I was on the road, it was unusual for me to see more than 3 or 4 dealers in one day. At Medtrade, I will meet with many different companies. This is just one of the reasons why the Medtrade meetings are always so attractive! Vendors and dealers have a place to speak, make deals, and write orders!

When you attend, make every effort to bring as many staff members as possible. This small expenditure can have a very nice return on your investment (ROI). Make your hotel reservations early to get the best prices and order the airline tickets, again for the same reason.

Will we see you in Atlanta? Early registration for Medtrade in Atlanta will begin on June 22nd - Thelma and I are making our plans now!





Friday, May 29, 2015

A Little History

I have accumulated a great deal of interesting history about our DME/HME industry. I really know that Tom Antone was one of the first leaders, and to him we still owe a great deal of gratitude. He began many of the programs that we are all following today. Our profession is so fortunate today to have another Tom guiding all of us once again: Tom Ryan.

When you review the list of people that have led us after Tom Antone’s term ended, you will get the same feeling I did. DME/HME has been so fortunate to have the many fabulous people who have done so much. Today DME/HME has the same recognition as do other health professionals: MD, Pharmacy, Nursing, etc. I am so impressed by how this has developed.

The work that AAHomecare and the state DME Associations do along with the other support groups like VGM and MED is truly spectacular. We are so fortunate to have them. This all happened because of how they began under the guidance Tom Antone and those who followed his lead.

I found a quote from Tom Antone, which is as applicable today as it was in 1999: “This industry can survive because demand will grow. It just can't be the same industry.”
 
At that time Tom Antone headed the National Association for Medical Equipment Services. Brilliant!

Consider how important the annual Medtrade meetings in Atlanta and Las Vegas are to the growth of your companies! Then say, “THANK YOU,” and count your blessings.