Risk management: Make it a pop quiz

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Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Adam Miller

Q. What should I consider before bringing on a new vendor or product?

A. Whether your operation has a history of successful vendor partnerships, or you’ve just started expanding your product line, bringing in a new partner is an opportunity to grow your business. However, it’s important that the relationship is beneficial to both parties. Asking potential new partners these questions can help determine whether the partnership will be a good fit.

What references can you provide?

To protect your organization’s reputation and ensure you are providing the best quality products to your patients, vetting a potential partner’s products and organization is important. Asking for references or testimonials from providers with similar business models can be helpful.

What are your plans for growth?

Ask potential partners their plans for growth the coming year in percentage terms. This can lead to follow-up questions like, “Can we expect to grow at that same percentage if we partner with you, and if so, what are your expectations with our company?”

What are your policies for warranty, returns and financing options?

It’s important to have a good understanding of policies regarding warranties, terms on open accounts, etc. For your team to sell the product(s) and ensure they are making promises to customers they can keep, this information needs to be clear, understood and agreed upon by both parties.

How can we support each other?

Confirm who your “go-to” person will be. Things happen, and knowing you have dependable, timely access to your contact should be a requirement. Also confirm what types of product education, signage and training will be available to your staff. To correctly sell the product(s), and to keep your patients safe, your team should be properly trained on product features, use and safety.

Adam Miller is a senior HME program manager for VGM Insurance. Reach him at adam.miller@vgm.com or on LinkedIn.