Komfort & Kare invests to save

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

CHERRY HILL, N.J. - Provider Seth Auerbach wants to get a tight grip on his inventory--and his expenses--this year.

The president of Komfort & Kare Home Medical and Mobility planned to install a wireless inventory system in January to automate the process and eliminate unpopular sizes and colors.

Unsold goods are a drain on the bottom line, said Auerbach.

"In one product category we had $7,000 worth of inventory that hadn't sold in 12 months," he said. "This is a climate in which I am not giving bonuses or pay increases. Every cost we can control, we need to control."

The system will allow him to set minimum/maximum quantities; establish auto-purchasing; and receive product wirelessly.

"It comes in the back door, scan it and boom, it's in your inventory," said Auerbach.

Komfort & Kare, a full line HME company, started in 1976. It has 14 employees and $2 million in annual revenues. When Auerbach came onboard six years ago, customer files were on index cards. Now, everything is computerized.

"It's all about reducing and automating steps to become more efficient," he said. "You have to look at every aspect of your business and control expenses. Inventory is one of the biggest expenses besides people."

That's an attitude more and more providers are embracing these days, said Heidi Thometz, senior systems consultant with Computers Unlimited, which worked with Komfort & Kare on the system.

"Providers are realizing that they are going to have to invest in technology to become more efficient," she said. "In the long run, they are not going to survive if they don't."