Medline debuts powerful new Web site

Sunday, July 17, 2005

MUNDELEIN, ILL. -- Medline Industries has stepped up the speed at which it does business, thanks to a major upgrade of its Web site. The latest version of features a complete online catalog in a real-time environment, giving customers up-to-the-minute account and product information.

"It's a broader and deeper version of our web site," said Dave Rolston, vice president of e-business at Medline. "There's more content, more info about the company, products, services, educational offers."

A powerful new search engine allows clients to browse customer-specific pricing and availability, saving buyers from time-consuming stock and price confirmations.

In addition to making purchases, customers can track shipments, download invoices and product brochures and track other business they do with Medline, even transactions conducted via phone or fax.

The Internet is nothing new to Terry Luft, president of Care Medical Equipment in Harrisburg, Pa.

"Seventy percent of all our purchases are done online," said Luft, whose business sells rehab, respiratory and DME. "Rehab equipment is so particular, with so many components, there's less room for error, it's more thorough." also boasts new security features, such as an order approval that allows an order to be placed, but not submitted without approval by an authorized buyer. Additionally, businesses can request to view and purchase items only from a list of pre-approved products.

Medline counts more than 4,900 HMEs among its customer base, about 20% of who already do business online with the company. Feedback from customers so far has been positive.

Rolston believes the convenience of doing business online is a major benefit to HMEs.

"The customers can take care of business on their time, when they're ready," said Rolston. "It's less time-consuming than being on hold," agreed Luft.

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