Friday, July 27, 2018

Sometimes Fast is better then Big...

Turns out bigger is not always better when it comes to distribution.

Image result for small warehouseMost of our blog posts look at what the larger distributors are doing and try to adapt the concepts to small and medium sized business. But for this week a surprising trend is emerging..
The E-Commerce Supply chain is driving demand for smaller, Urban Distribution Centers.

In today's world of e-commerce distribution, speed and mobility are key. Just like how any customer who orders a widget from expects it to be on their doorstep two days later or less, businesses ordering commercial products now expect the same speedy service from distributors.

As the pace of B2B continues to transform distribution trends, it appears one of them is in the distribution centers themselves. New data from real estate firm CBRE Inc. shows that demand for industrial facilities under 100,000 square feet in urban areas is on the rise.

Traditionally, large distribution centers have been located in suburbs and small towns, where property and labor are cheaper than large cities. But with end users growing more reliant on 1-2 day, or even same-day delivery, distributors and retailers have had to find ways of moving products to them faster.

David Egan, CBRE’s head of U.S. industrial research, told the Wall Street Journal, “You need to expand and make your supply chain much more complex if you want to be able to promise and deliver on that same-hour, same-day or overnight delivery everyone is coming to expect.”

One of those growing ways retailers/distributors are moving products, CBRE has found, is by snatching up smaller distribution facilities in urban "light industrial space," keeping their logistics network mobile, and perhaps cheaper.

These facilities are often in older industrial buildings where location is the big factor instead of a priority on the latest, greatest machinery found in large warehouses. CBRE's research found that such urban light industrial property has more availability than the increasingly tight market for large industrial facilities, and for relatively reasonable rents.

CBRE reported that industrial real estate demand has pushed rents to near pre-recession levels, growing by 1.3 percent in Q2 2015 and nearly 3 percent so far this year. The firm expects 3.2 percent of additional growth through the end of 2015, which would bring rents to within 4 percent of the previous cycle high.

CBRE analyzed 44 neighborhoods prone to probable online shoppers across 14 major metropolitan areas and, according to the report, found that Atlanta, Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia offer ample access to both e-commerce customers and light industrial space choices.
Image result for stockroom healthcare
The practice of adding smaller, urban distribution centers certainly suits retailers of consumer products, but what about distributors of other industrial or healthcare products?

Population centers may be more for the retail crowd, but what CBRE's research shows is that distribution centers can have a place there too, even if it's in smaller pieces than massive warehouses. Using smaller, urban DCs could be effective for stocking your most popular B2B products instead of feeling a need to include absolutely everything in your product catalog at every location. The traditional single warehouse or JIT Model is changing. If you have the product closer to or at your customers IE a Stockroom at a customer and treat is as a mini warehouse.
You can take advantage of the same concepts.

Consumer retailers have begun using crowdsourced delivery services such as Deliv, or even Uber-like rideshare services , Amazon is testing a new delivery service called Amazon Flex that allow ordinary citizens to drive packages to destinations. Those services go hand-in-hand with brick-and-mortar retail stores in population centers. But most those packages are delivered to an individual person, whereas  B2B orders are going to other businesses. We have yet to see any many distributors jump on the bandwagon of those delivery services, but that's not to say it won't eventually happen. Especially for those who run their own delivery fleet now.

Image result for doctors stockroomBut here is an interesting concept, many distributors operate stockrooms and offsite customer owned inventory locations today.
Rather then viewing those as endpoints in your supply chain, change the view to a more 360 degree view and understand they can be satellite warehouses providing the right amount of inventory at the right location at the right time.

How many doctors offices would crowd source and deliver for you?
If you have a medical center with thirty offices in a building, and half of them can hold some extra inventory, by using an effective inventory management and shipping solution ( Like MDS-Nx ) you can create those warehouses and get customers the products they need just like amazon.

For more information on TSH or MDS call The Systems House, Inc. at 1-800- MDS-5556. Or send a message to
Click here and tell us how we can help you with your business solutions.

Friday, July 20, 2018

CRM Software isn’t a Product its a Process..

Motivate your team to get the most from your CRM and sales department by understanding that it’s about the process as much as the product. It’s hard to recruit great salespeople. Harder still to keep them great. It’s important that you get the most out of your CRM and sales team. While CRM can do it, the product is only half the story.

To get the most from Customer Relationship Management, you have to get your salespeople not just using it, but liking it. Liking the way it delivers sales targets. Liking how it helps them succeed.

But how you ask? 

The MDS-Nx CRM module is unique in it's semi-custom nature. You get the core product and functionality and can add a business specific process layer to help move your own business and sales models along. 

Here are just some idea's that other have implemented into the MDS-CRM System.
Show them that not all old leads are cold leads when it comes to CRM and sales.

Cold doesn’t mean dead. It just means someone wasn’t ready to buy yet. 
What if:

  • You know which “cold leads” still click every newsletter?
  • You know it takes 21 calls to get an appointment – and 500 cold leads are on twenty?
  • You know cold leads warm up after their annual trade show?

The MDS-CRM System can provide such out-of-the-box insights. 
They’ll get your salespeople warmed up as fast as those unexpected prospects.
Remember KISS – Keep It Simple, Sales.

Complexity gets in the way. 

There’s no surer way to hamper adoption than to make users think the old way was easier. 
With MDS-CRM: 

  • Sales Pipeline charts and KPI are easily viewed on the MDS Dashboard and can easily be customized by user and company.
  • Task integration with Email software such as Microsoft’s Outlook  or Google Mail (Gmail) for easy followup and scheduling.

Today, some of the best lessons in ease-of-use within CRM and sales come from mobile app design. Get that data to go with mobile access using the latest MDS-Nx RemoteNet Salesman Tablet Portal to view key information on all prospects such as: 

  • Net Sales$ Month to Date
  • Gross Profit %
  • Last time they ordered
  • Last time they paid an invoice
  • Last amount paid
  • Total open amount of invoices
  • Total of Invoices over 60 Days
  • Total number of pending orders and lines on back order

Salespeople are big mobile users. So a CRM application that plays well with their phones and tablets – especially those they own at home – will see greater use. It enables:
A sense of ownership. Mobile devices are all about the personal. More work hours to be put in as staff can now log in from anywhere. A sense of empowerment – you’re letting them do things their way. And maybe, just maybe, all that leads to greater sales numbers. Make sure your CRM is mobile.

A powerful application makes it easy to load up on menial tasks too. So actively look for things to automate. Here are some ideas:

Keep in touch. Set follow-up calls automatically. - The MDS-NX System allow you to batch update call days or easily view a call calendar by followup date. 

Event dates. Find the big trade days in each sector and automatically schedule appointment-setting calls a few days before. A great deal of sales can seem quite time consuming. The best CRM practices will save you a vast amount of time.

Show them opportunities in social media.

The formula for happy, successful salespeople is simple: keep them supplied with quality leads that you have found from various places. There are many opportunities for this, such as:

    Image result for happy salespeople social media
  • Connecting to your your prospects’ with social media .
  • Connecting not just to prospects, but prospects’ customers and peers.
  • Looking for common denominators in what they click, post, share and follow.

Create Simple Charts and Graphs 
Image result for simple sales charts
A good chart or graph can foster understanding in CRM and sales that drives double-digit jumps in conversions. Ask your people what information from the weekly report they use most and give it to them on-demand, in real time. Choose graphics that can be used by easily by both Team Leaders and Sales Executives. Don’t limit yourself to pie charts and bar charts – Trend lines and Line graphs clinched many a consultant’s sale too. When you need to present data, do as much as possible in graphics. A good CRM setup will give you the tools.

Demonstrate the power of all in CRM and sales.

Imagine you have ten salespeople:
If two are using CRM, those two will find it hard. Usage will drop to zero.
If five are using CRM, that five won’t get full value. They’ll use it under duress.
Once six are using CRM, it’ll persuade those who aren’t to get on board.
The outputs of a CRM system – ideas, insights, opportunities, conversions, closes – are only as good as the data you put into it. So take care to get every lead and every action where it belongs and make it easy to do so.
It’s the process, not the product.

Above all, remember CRM isn’t a product.
For the people who use it – nurturing leads, chasing closes, maxing-out conversions – CRM is a process. So when you choose your CRM partner, make sure they focus on how things are done within your organization. Match product with process and your results from CRM will be sky-high. 

Ready to look up?

For more information on TSH or MDS call The Systems House, Inc. at 1-800- MDS-5556. Or send a message to
Click here and tell us how we can help you with your business solutions.

Friday, July 13, 2018

How the DQSA is helping you..

Image result for hda edi 856As the DQSA (Drug Quality and Security Act) or Drug Pedigree law's update yet again , what is clear is that most supply chain partners seem to be exchanging this information us the HDA Standard EDI 856 Advanced shipping notice

Our healthcare specific versions of the MDS-Nx Software platform offer the ability to both import and export your data in this standard format. However even if you are not using the inbound 856 documents for drug pedigree or T3 Information , they have an additional added benefit. 

Integrate your vendors shipping schedule into your warehouse Save Time Money and Warehouse Space!!
Image result for shipping schedule icon

The MDS-Nx system will import this information and update the in transit table to give your purchase orders a new level of detail. Instead of wondering when items will arrive you will have details by line of each shipment that will be coming to your dock. Prior to the truck rolling up to your dock you can plan where the product will be put away or use our Put-away function to manage the receiving process. During receiving any operator can call up the In transit document and verify the products are received. This saves time and reduces data entry errors. while at the same time offering the option to schedule your labor and warehouse space. If using our Pharma Modules this information also updates and creates your T3 , Transaction information and creates your pedigree documentation as well as the ability to send EDI 856's yourself.

For more information on TSH or MDS call The Systems House, Inc. at 1-800- MDS-5556. Or send a message to
Click here and tell us how we can help you with your business solutions.

Friday, July 6, 2018

I'm from the Government...

In honor of the July 4th holiday  

The most terrifying words in the English language are: 
I'm from the government and I'm here to help.
- Ronald Reagan

See below for the OpEd portion of our blog this week.. But I did want to point out to all of you selling drugs to pharmacies and dispensers that although they now have until November 27, 2019. to comply with the DSCSA Serialization Initiative, It's already law for distributors so you had better get with the program.
Need help?  The MDS-Nx System is fully compliant and allows you to track and trace any product drugs , food etc.

Now we return to your regular programming.  This a repost from
Susan DeVore on WSJ.

It’s no secret that health care today is fragmented, with each provider in the system implementing its own individualized care processes, protocols and operations. Because each provider operates independently, there is incredible variation across the system, which leads to unnecessary costs and inefficiencies that can end up affecting patients. And this is all the more true in the healthcare supply chain.

Over the years, providers have tried in earnest to overcome this fragmentation by implementing information technology to automate when they can, and eliminate tasks that used to be completed manually, at an individual’s discretion. But in the process, each provider has put in place a series of different technologies, systems and platforms, everything from billing software to electronic purchasing systems, and scheduling tools to clinical decision support. Each of these systems is provided by a different vendor, which means that many of them can’t interoperate easily, and few interconnect data on one integrated platform. The end result tends to be more fragmentation, rather than less, as pieces and parts get stitched together.

Just one example illustrates the point. Let’s say a hospital wants to start buying a new line of surgical mesh. They go to one system to figure out which vendors even sell this mesh. They use another system to figure out their pricing. And yet another system to actually purchase the items. Later, they need to access a separate system to track where this mesh was actually used. And they have to complete this same process for each of the thousands of items they order. It’s an antiquated and inefficient process that’s ripe for a radical overhaul.

Moreover, fragmentation inhibits the ability to evaluate clinical efficacy of purchased supplies, as well as identify opportunities to improve efficiency. Since the purchasing systems tend to operate independently of clinical tools like the electronic medical record, it’s difficult for health systems to evaluate products and standardize around those that are yielding better outcomes for patients. Because all the health system’s purchasing data isn’t sitting on a common platform, it’s also difficult for hospitals to analyze spending across their network to determine which facilities or departments have outlier spending and why. It’s a narrow view that only provides a glimpse of the bigger picture. It’s the equivalent of trying to figure out who’s at the door by looking through the side window as opposed to using the peephole.

What’s truly needed in health care are integrated, supply-chain-technology solutions that look to better manage every work stream, from planning to payment, all on a common system. With an integrated platform where all these disparate applications can work together, we can drive more efficient care and better clinical outcomes across the continuum.

We have this today in most consumer markets, where individuals can shop for a pair of shoes, compare pricing, check availability, place an order and track the shipment, all on a single device, enabled by data stored in the cloud.

In the supply chain, it’s high time we interconnected sourcing technologies and analytics to enable total visibility into operational processes, and replicate the IT experience of the smartphone. It is only with this functionality that we will truly be able to modernize and achieve the efficiency gains that health systems desperately need in order to remain financially solvent and make better decisions for patients like you and me.

Susan DeVore is president and CEO of Premier Inc., a health-care performance improvement alliance of 3,000 U.S. community hospitals.

Could not agree more with Susan and second the cause. For those of you who don't get the implication of the quote, If we don't do it ourselves the government is not going to help.  

Do you need a new system to move your supply chain into the future?

For more information on TSH or MDS call The Systems House, Inc. at 1-800- MDS-5556. Or send a message to

Click here and tell us how we can help you with your business solutions.