As hospitals continue looking for ways to become more efficient, they also are starting to look at ways to cut freight shipment costs without sacrificing services for patients.
It's a need that Triose saw years ago.
The company, which began in 1999, has been experiencing rapid growth, in part because it is capitalizing on a massive industry that itself is growing at a fast pace. It has room for growth in its Wyomissing home and is looking to add an office in the Midwest.
Though Triose has been operating for more than 15 years, it has enjoyed notably strong growth the past few years. A big reason why is that it seized opportunities from helping hospitals and health care organizations save money in a crowded and increasingly competitive market.
“We actually controlled the growth in the early years,” said Carl “C.J.” Joyner, CEO and founder of Triose. “The products and services we offer today are the same we offered in 2005-2006. What's happened in the past two years is we've opened the floodgates.”
Triose manages the logistics of getting products and materials into and out of hospitals all over the nation. It manages the shipping, financial impact and information on where a product is in the supply chain, plus statistics and trends.
Since 2013, Triose has acquired clients from nearly 200 health care systems, he said. What's more, those clients represent thousands of facilities, said Ira Tauber, president of Triose.
At the end of 2013, the company had 35 employees; today it has 74. It had been in two locations in Shillington; last year it consolidated into one office building it shares with other tenants in Wyomissing near the Berkshire Mall.
Its sales people are in the field, while the office in Wyomissing has employees in operations, customer service and financial/data analysts.
“We have space to add 35 employees here,” Joyner said. “We are looking to put an office in Minnesota.”
Triose has clients in 43 states, including Cleveland Clinic, Reading Health System, Pocono Medical Center and WellSpan York Hospital.
“Pocono Medical Center appreciates their expertise in freight management and logistics,” said Sandra Sames, director of materials management at Pocono Medical Center. “Triose's knowledge of the industry helps us get the most competitive shipping rates, and their easy-to-use program provides visibility of our inbound and outbound freight expense, which in turn provides an efficient and reliable system for Pocono Medical Center to operate from.”
Triose also has a strategic corporate alliance with United Parcel Service, dating to 2008.
Adding to Triose's growth is that the health care industry is searching for ways to save money. Previously, the industry was more concerned with generating revenue, Joyner said.
The health care marketplace mindset has changed, opening doors that previously were closed.
“Competition for health care has also increased,” Tauber said. “They are getting less reimbursements, so revenue is down, so our services address efficiencies, lowering expenses.”
“Both of us had a desire to make a difference in health care; that's our mission,” Joyner said of himself and Tauber.
Joyner saw the inefficiencies in the health care supply chain in 1999 when he started the company, noting that in the 1990s, there were not as many financial pressures on the health care system as there are today.
“There still needs to be a point of access for health care,” Joyner said.
Networks are the critical access point of care, and now there are more clinics in pharmacies, while delivery of health care has also started to increasingly be offered in office and home settings.
In the past, hospitals hadn't really put as much focus on supply chain management because they were built as a business machine, Tauber said.
“As these hospitals and networks are changing, they need to support their logistics systems,” Tauber said. “It's no longer, 'How do I get it to the hospital?' ” Tauber said. “It's, 'How do I get it to the clinic, the home?' The model has changed, it's put a strain on the supply chain.”
Triose works with about 5,000 manufacturers globally, and these companies have their own teams of supply chain professionals with which Triose works.
The company transports everything a hospital would need — from medical/surgical products to tissues and signage. One thing it doesn't transport is bodies.
While the company's mantra for many years has been that it never wants to lose a client, the recent spate of hospital mergers and acquisitions has created client losses.
“We bring in solutions, we manage the information flow, we manage the financial flow; one of the things we are known for in the industry is the complexity we can handle,” Joyner said.
The editors of Inc. magazine have taken notice. For the third year in a row, Triose earned a spot on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies, with 2014 revenue at $33.6 million.
“By doing what we do, we save our health care clients lots of money,” Tauber said. “We enable our clients to save money and be more efficient.”