What Did We Learn From Medtrade ’18?
I think the one thing that I learned is that this subject hits home for a lot of people. But at the same token, I think we as an industry, tend to work in individual silos. And I’m being critical right now of the leadership in this industry. The folks at the top. The manufacturers, the distributors, the service providers. We have to get out of this thinking that it’s “us vs them”.
As an industry we are under attack were under attack by online retailers we’re under attack by Amazon. And if we don’t figure out a way to work together, as a group to help the independent retailers, I think we’re setting ourselves up to be a dying industry.
I don’t think this industry is dead or dying but I do think mediocre HME/DME dealers are going to be dead. I think mediocre is just not going to cut it. And the way to win now is to join forces.
I don’t care if you are my competitor. If you’re a distributor, I’m happy to share our platform with you. I don’t care if you want to work with brands that we don’t carry. We can customize our applications. So that you can select the brands and the products that you want to include in your Webstore.
An Industry That Needs To Compete Together To Stay Alive
When I first launched Health Mobius, our feeling was that the distribution of products would only exist out of our inventory in our facility and we quickly realized that it is to our benefit and it is to our industry’s benefit if we invite folks like McKesson, so we have their catalog, folks like Essential Medical, we have their catalog, folks like Drive Medical, we have their catalog. So our objective is to give the HME/DME dealer the option to buy any products from any manufacturer and we’re willing to continue to build our catalog to include as manufacturers and as many products or as possible.
I’m not forcing HME/DME dealers to do specific business with specific manufacturers. Your job is to pick the products and services that are most profitable and the vendors that are most advantageous to you.
Vendors that are not advantageous because they’re not giving us great pricing or vendors that are providing product to us that has to be sold it at a quite a bit higher than what’s available online on Amazon, well, those are vendors that we really need to do business with. We don’t have to do business with these people. We’ll focus on the vendors that protect their brand, give us reasonable margins to work off of, and that give us an opportunity to compete against Amazon in terms of price.
Looking Ahead To Medtrade ‘19 In Atlanta, Georgia
We’re going to bring the e-Retail Experience to the show floor. The e-Retail Experience was set off in a private room. We sent out invitations, had our featured vendors tables set up on the outside, and completed two presentations on two different days.
Even though we were isolated away from the show floor, we still had chairs set up for twenty-five or thirty people and had a full house at every single one of the sessions that we did.
The difference in October is we plan on doing the e-Retail Experience again on the show floor. We plan on having presentations open so that people passing by can pop in. We also plan on having the vendor booths inside of that pavilion so it should kind of be sectioned off in a, in a, a section on the floor. We’ll be doing demos and presentations and then we’ll take one-on-one meetings in between the presentations.