Historically, the healthcare vertical has been one of the most lucrative, albeit difficult to penetrate, markets for VARs. Back in 2009, I spoke with Mike Cleary, president of Coridian Technologies, who explained that a switch from the manufacturing vertical to healthcare was resulting in a 20% revenue increase for his company. With so much happening since 2009, I was eager to get an update from Cleary and capture any lessons he might have for integrators.
How has your business fared since we last spoke with you?
Cleary: Like most companies, our performance was affected by the economic downturn. While we didn’t achieve our usual double digit growth in 2009, we held our own and returned to double digit growth in 2010 and 2011 with record results. The first half of 2012 has been very strong and we are ahead of pace in achieving our 2012 targets.
What has contributed most to your success since we last spoke?
Cleary: In 2010, we made a decision to increase our inside sales team in an effort to reach more companies. While we still rely on our seasoned outside sales representatives, the inside groups’ ability to make more contacts has worked well for us. The inside group works with smaller customers and does proactive prospecting. They provide what they can over the phone and engage the outside reps for larger opportunities or when clients require an onsite visit. This strategy has also allowed our outside reps to increase their time with key accounts and build stronger relationships within targeted accounts.
Are there any new technologies/solutions you're offering which are impacting your business?
Consumables continue to be the heart and soul of our business. By digging deeper due to our new model we are also seeing increases in our data collection equipment business as well as some unique RFID applications.
In late 2011 we moved the company to a cloud-based enterprise software that integrates our accounting, contact management and web capabilities. In the past we had several different systems we integrated and maintained to run the business. We are already seeing the benefits of being on one platform and seeing how this change improves our customers experience as well as our efficiency and scalability.
Speak to any failings you've experienced since we last spoke.
Cleary: The move to our new enterprise software was complex and time consuming. The effort that went into this implementation affected our ability to do other things; increased marketing for example, which could have helped the business. Being a small company with limited resources there are always trade-offs that must be made. Our belief is that this major investment benefits Coridian and our clients going forward.
Are there any other tips/tactics that you think are worth mentioning that are contributing to your success?
Cleary: In June of this year we released an updated corporate branding platform with a new logo and corporate tagline, easy to identify with. After 17 years in business, we felt it was time to refresh our look and messaging. We are ensuring that it is clear to our customers that it’s our industry experience, solutions focus, and how we take care of our customers that make us easy to identify with.