Medtrade Spring preview: Raise your business IQ
LAS VEGAS - The phrase "work smarter" may seem like a platitude, but to those who are challenged by inefficiency, miscommunication and disorganization, it can also represent a constructive lesson.
Medtrade Spring 2012 has scheduled several seminars aimed at correcting business dysfunction during the educational portion of the show at the Sands Expo & Convention Center April 10-12. Among them are sessions by Chris Calderone, president and founder of Jackson, Mich.-based Lean Homecare Consulting Group; and Erika Feinberg, CEO of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based ActiveForever.com.
Calderone's program, "10 Ways to Improve Any Process and Workflow and Get Results That Last," on Thursday, April 12, from 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., will center on how HME providers can overcome the financial challenges presented by lower margins that stem from lower Medicare reimbursements and competitive bidding. By using the right methods, providers can identify waste in their operations and tighten up their expenses.
"We are encouraging providers to stay focused on two major areas: process and people," he said. "As part of being process-focused, providers have to be relentless in their pursuit of driving out waste and non-value added tasks within their processes and workflow. As much as 15% to 20% of a typical HME process is made up of waste in the form of errors, rework, redundant steps, handoffs and unnecessary delays."
People are also an essential ingredient in the mix and Calderone points out that "it is very important that people not only understand their role within a particular process, but also how their role impacts other parts of the business."
Ultimately, it is up to company leaders to show everyone in the organization how their actions impact the bottom line, Calderone said.
"We preach the notion that every person in every role has an impact on profit and cash flow," he said. "Every task and every process is connected--it is the job of leaders and owners to show people these connections."
Feinberg acknowledges that small business owners may feel left out when attending seminars aimed at improving financial operations and processes. Many of the high concepts endorsed by industry leaders appear to be designed specifically for major corporations.
In actuality, it is harder for large companies to adopt efficiency practices in their organizations than for small companies.
"Many of the practices won't work for multi-billion dollar corporations because they aren't applicable," said Feinberg. "They aren't agile enough to do it."
Drawing upon her personal experience, Feinberg will share her business philosophy with Medtrade Spring attendees at her program, "The Art of Identifying & Orchestrating Who & What is Best for Your Healthy Growth & Market Domination," on Thursday, April 12, from 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
Good employees are the heart of any organization and Feinberg says small business owners can build a staff shaped after the company image.
"As companies define themselves, they define their people as well," she said. "Their choice on how to focus energies is a reflection of their experience every day. For instance, if a company decides to pursue the oxygen market, that defines their people. It affects recruiting because you must look for people who can offer the skill set you need for your business focus."
While sharpening the business focus and elevating performance are important aspects of a successful company, Feinberg says it is also critical to stay grounded: "Don't try to be all things to all people. Know your limitations and the lines you want to draw."