I am very upbeat about the future for our industry. Yes, I am aware of how few dealers were awarded contracts on the “competitive bid.” David Russell, in the U.K., had this bid described as: “Competitive bidding is an oxymoron. There is nothing competitive about it and it’s not bidding.” But, I am most excited by the great number of providers with whom I spoke at Medtrade who told me they are all gearing up to change how they operate their companies.
There is no question that the small number of bid winners will not be able to provide service correctly. I anticipate a great uprising by the beneficiaries. But we all know how slowly our government moves, so rather than wait to see what happens make your changes now. What can you do?
My first recommendation is that no matter whatever you plan, it must be realistic. You know your customers and their needs and also appreciate all your referral sources and their needs. These will always be present and so they are to whom you will direct your efforts. A very careful review of where your sales come from and then armed with this information hold a staff meeting. Tell all your employees what you are contemplating. Then ask each for any ideas they have. After all, they work face-to-face with your clients. When I spoke to entrepreneurs who have done this, I am amazed at the many ideas recommended by staff members. They are a great source and must be included in your plans.
The next step in your preparation for 2011 is to sit down with each member of your staff to discuss how to put their ideas to work. A provider from Minnesota told me his talks with employees made it very clear to him that they know a great deal.
It is never easy to change an operation that has been functioning well. Do not depend as much on third-party business as in the past. Now is when more of your efforts have to be to find new ways of running your company. Efforts must be developed for new OTC cash sales. There were many opportunities at Medtrade. Take advantage of them.
If you have any ideas to share, please call me at (877) 553-5127. I am aware that 2011 will see a great deal of changes, but I also believe more and more providers will use change to their advantage.