Focusing on Speed to Drive Quality
Improving overall business efficiency when providing complex rehab products.
- By Jay Brislin
- Nov 01, 2010
Providers within the complex rehab market continue to face daily challenges to remain successful in an ever changing environment. Rehab providers have had to make multiple changes within their business model throughout the years to adapt to these changes and continue toward their company’s goals. Providing products for rehab clients has never had as many factors involved as it does today. A rehab provider has so many more things to worry about withevery client evaluation than in years past.
Years ago, as long as a provider was able to supply a client with an appropriate rehab product which met the client’s needs and improved the client’s Mobility Related Activities of Daily Living (MRADLs), the outcome for that particular case was a success.
Today, rehab providers are expected by clients and referral partners to not only be clinical and product experts, they must also be smart business individuals. Rehab providers must know how to maximize their market share, profit margins, quote turnaround times, decreasing evaluation to delivery times, approval turnaround times from funding sources, and decreasing set-up to delivery times. These factors must be considered by the rehab provider while continuing to work toward the main goal of ensuring that the client is supplied with the most appropriate and problem-free piece of mobility equipment available on the market.
Some of the most important ways that rehab providers can become and remain successful are by developing excellent customer service skills, always being prompt with all client follow-throughs, and providing excellent service and responsiveness to all of their referral sources. It is also important that the rehab provider creates a reputation for being a supplier of high-quality products that the provider firmly stands behind. That is a commitment to quality that will resonate with clients and partners alike.
A rehab provider cannot consistently accomplish these things without having positive business partnerships with all of the manufacturers and vendors they use. Providers must expect the manufacturers they partner with to provide them with a high level of quality and efficiency within their business operations.
When providers partner with manufacturers of complex rehab devices, rehab providers need manufacturers to understand their business model and work to supply these providers with high levels of operational efficiency.
Quick Quote Turnaround Time
When a manufacturer is able to provide client product quotes quickly after the quote is requested, this allows the provider to move forward with getting the client’s order approved and placed. When the rehab provider receives the quote shortly after request, the provider is now able to quickly submit the quote for funding approval.
Although the funding approval process can take some time, the fact that the provider has the funding request in the system quickly allows them the ability to shave time off the overall client evaluation to delivery time.
Another important factor within this element is that the quote is correct the first time it is requested. One of the ways to ensure this is for the provider to make sure their manufacturing partners have quality internal and external sales support that provides them with continuous education and product updates. This allows the provider to stay current with available products, options, and upgrades.
Available Rehab Options and Accessories
Rehab products are certainly not one size fits all. In many cases, complex rehab clients require unique custom solutions for their mobility device. It is important that providers are able to offer many of the options and accessories available in the industry on that particular rehab product.
For example, a provider can receive many efficiency gains and cost savings when their manufacturing partners have products that adapt to the aftermarket products in the industry. Being able to easily install and mount positioning components to the main seating system saves providers large amounts of time when providing the client their product.
It also is beneficial to providers when they are able to order a large variety of rehab accessories from a single manufacturer. This process not only saves time, it reduces product lead times, allows the entire order to ship together, and negates the need for the provider to issue multiple purchase orders, thus decreasing overhead costs.
Manufacturing and Product Inspection & Fulfillment Process
A manufacturer that has continuous action plans to improve manufacturing efficiencies and quality procedures for their products can be a perfectally for rehab providers.
Rehab providers need to trust that their business partners are never satisfied with their level of quality and performance. Manufacturers need to continue to implement ways to decrease build times while offering providers more ways todecrease their set-up to delivery time.
The more that can be accomplished (such as mounting rehab accessories) in production can significantly decrease provider set-up to delivery time once the product arrives, which improves overall client fulfillment and satisfaction.
Quick order turnaround time (from the time of order placement to the time of order shipment) is a major consideration for a rehab provider as a point in their businesses where they can continuously seek to improve their efficiencies. Improving order turnaround times means the provider will quickly fulfill the clients’ product orders, which will increase their overall business success and market share.
Clients and referral sources alike want the rehab providers that they work with to provide top-quality products in a timely fashion. The rehab provider that is able to accomplish this act with the backbone of an appropriately evaluated quality product will continue to succeed in a challenging industry. Rehab providers need to look for manufacturers that have high quality driven manufacturing plants that continue to evaluate ways to improve lead times and shorten shipping days.
There are numerous ways that rehab providers can improve operating efficiencies, and some of the most effective methods for accomplishing this include implementing a quick product quote turnaround time; offering a wide variety of rehab products and accessories so that the provider can offer tailormade solutions; creating continuous action plans to improve manufacturing efficiencies and quality procedures; and providing quick tunraound time for all orders. Rehab providers should look to their manufacturing business partners to help with these goals.
This article originally appeared in the November 2010 issue of HME Business.
Jay Brislin, MSPT, is the director of Quantum Product and Clinical Development for the Quantum Rehab division of Pride Mobility Products (Exeter, Pa.). He can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 800-800-8586.