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Perspective from Medtrade Fall 2013, Orlando, Florida

Perspective from Medtrade Fall 2013, Orlando, Florida

In many different articles and blog postings, I have read all kinds of comments and opinions about how Medtrade has not been worthwhile or how companies may be looking to reduce or cancel their participation going forward.    For Universal Software Solutions, this is not the attitude that we came away with, but rather a very positive and successful experience. As a software vendor in the HME industry, the Medtrade Fall and Medtrade Spring events are a “must attend” proposition.  For us at Universal Software Solutions, this statement absolutely applies.   Regardless of the size of the show, its location or even the dates that had been selected, a failure to be present at these events would create an immeasurable amount of confusion, concern, bad press, and gossip in the industry as the talk circulates about what vendors or companies are no longer present.   Clearly it would be bad marketing to head down this path, even if it is known that past attendance had been at record lows and many HME providers have sold, consolidated or simply gone out of business. Since Round Two of competitive bidding is now fully in place, we had been expecting the worst going into Medtrade this year.   We already knew that the attendance was down significantly and the exhibit floor space was much smaller than in the years past; surely this was not going to be cost effective for the group we sent down to Orlando.   Indeed when we arrived, the floor space was only about a fifth of the size from the previous years.  I recall hearing one comment by an individual that they can stand in the middle and “see all four walls”. Many of our competitors in the DME software space had been thinned out with either smaller booth presence or they were just no longer present.   As it was publically announced, some of them such as Fastrack and CPR+ (Definitive Homecare Solutions) had been acquired recently by Mediware.  In general, there were a lot of past exhibitors who either opted out from attending or are simply no longer around. With the official opening of the exhibits, our outlook changed.  We spent two full days talking, nearly non-stop, with many firms that are looking at our software for the efficiencies that it brings, and more importantly the cost savings in operational expenses.  For the prospective buyers of our HDMS software, their stories had been very similar.  Their current application and solutions are no longer working for them in this new world of HME, and they need to become leaner and streamlined as an organization to survive. A large number of companies we spoke with are using products that will force them into a new application, as their current product is discontinued due to a recent acquisition.  Others had been long time customers of another competitor of ours that only provides a SaaS solution and are seeking other options, or they are looking to remain in the same type of model but with better software that is more flexible for their growing needs. After the show, we reflected on how productive the past few days had been.  Even with the attendance being at an all-time low, the types of companies that had been present at the show were the companies that are driven to be successful. We also had the extreme pleasure of spending some time with our existing customers who have been using HDMS for some time now.   They are a group of wonderful people, who are able to provide us a perspective into their operations.  Giving us insight into the challenges they face, while seeking new ways to improve their operations.  They do not see the changes in the industry as being a negative but rather as new areas for expansion and optimization.   We have always found that these shows are a place to network with our clients and setup improvement plans that will show results quickly. Medtrade Spring is coming up very quickly in March and we are looking forward to that event as well.  The talk that is commonly heard by others in the market place stating that many software vendors will not be around clearly does not apply to us.   We intend on growing and expanding to support our existing clients and always attract new business.   Christopher Dobiesz President Universal Software Solutions, Inc. www.universalss.com  logosmall