Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software works across many functions of the business. For example, inventory. Purchase orders to vendors are created and sent electronically. As products come in, they are entered into the ERP so that all products are accounted for in real-time, and with their actual costs. Bar code systems keep the inventory up to date, so that products can be ordered on a just-in-time basis.
Also, constant analysis of the actual cost of the product (COGS – cost of goods sold) vs. the income generated makes pricing of products much more efficient and real profit/loss can be determined on individual product lines. Customer service reps always know exactly what is in stock for customers, and if a product is available at a different store, they can give the customer the option of going to that store or having the item shipped to them.
ERP can bring the inventory into each individual delivery truck, enabling the truck drivers to track inventory and always have items on hand. In this way, ERP turns trucks into mobile warehouses, and drivers become responsible for their own inventory. A second trip to deliver to a patient costs on average of $70. With an ERP system integrated to curbside, proper patient sizing, inoperative equipment, and compliance documents are complete and accurate.
With the ERP system, the driver begins the day by stocking the truck with all items that may be needed on the day’s delivery route, as well as the automatically generated printed documentation for each delivery. Then the ERP plans an optimized delivery route for them.
Once they arrive curbside, they can have multiple sizes and items available so that the driver can test equipment for size and operability. Once the item is assigned to the customer based on bar code, the ERP provides the driver with automatically generated compliance documents on a handheld device. As they review each document provided to the customer, they check off the items on their device and obtain customer signature.
Meanwhile, inventory levels are immediately updated based on the bar code, and the billing team receives the documentation and can send the claim even as the driver is still on the road. This entire process typically eliminates the need for second trips for the same order, representing significant cost savings since each trip costs an average of $70.
When a customer service representative enters a customer’s information, all of the critical elements are maintained within the ERP system. Once a customer profile is set up, all documentation is attached to that customer, drastically increasing the efficiency of the billing operation.
Because the ERP is synced up with the billing and insurance information, customer service reps can tell customers whether items are eligible for reimbursement and the expected rate of reimbursement in real-time.
They can also tell customers if they have pending payments due, speeding the payment process. Patient responsibility can be identified and a credit card placed on file to file automatically collect the money when the claim is adjudicated. If the patient cannot pay that amount on a single charge then a payment plan can be established at intake.
The billing team can instantly access billing records, reimbursement rates, and documentation for any individual claim. This allows them to immediately remedy problems before submitting for reimbursement. The integration of the ERP means that the billing team has a much higher rate of accuracy when submitting claims, because the system will tell them when a claim is incomplete, virtually eliminating denials based on incomplete claims.
With software, it’s easy to feel like suffering with your existing solution is better than undergoing the risk, uncertainty and upheaval of implementing something new.
However, in today’s DME industry, there is no more time for sub-par software. Margins are too tight, and competition is too high. If you’re still using software that is not fully integrated with your inventory system and features the latest in billing and reporting technology, then you may not make it through the current industry transition.
You need software that integrates all revenue-based business activities (ordering, inventory, customers, delivery, billing) on a single platform. This integration streamlines business operations and improves profitability.
You need software that covers all the essential business activities in your DME operation:
If you’re juggling these activities between multiple software products today, then you are wasting time and losing money.
Converting to Bonafide’s software solution can seem like a stressful undertaking, but it will pay off huge dividends in terms of productivity and profitability. We promise that we will make the transition as easy as possible. In addition to personalized installation support, we have online training courses and an extensive online knowledge base and documentation that you can access anytime, anywhere.
We will work hand-in-hand with your executive team to ensure that data transfer goes as smoothly as possible, and we’ll provide ongoing training and technical support as needed during the implementation phase.
What do you think? Are you ready to take the leap forward that you need to thrive in the DME industry?
This is not an easy decision, but it is the right one.
The DME industry is changing at an alarming rate, and if you’re not ahead of the game, you could fall behind. If you’re finding that you’re having trouble managing your business, having trouble identifying your profit centers, and suspect you are wasting time and money, consider switching to an ERP software system.
Here are five signs you need an ERP System:
How many different software programs does your business run on? If you’re like most DME businesses, you have different software systems running accounting, sales, inventory, billing, delivery and compliance documentation. These different systems mean that you’re adding minutes – sometimes hours – to every single order. When margins were healthy, that was fine, but now that margins are tight, every minute counts. Worse, your software systems probably don’t talk to each other, so you’re adding even more minutes with double entry. Time is money, and multiple software systems are a time suck.
To run a business in a competitive, tight-margin market like DME, you need complete and instant access to critical business information. What is your average sales margin? What are your most profitable products? What are your accounts receivable? How many claims remain under-worked every month? You need this information at your fingertips to remain competitive in this market, and you can’t access this information unless you have a single ERP platform that spans billing, sales, inventory, accounting and delivery.
Often the biggest sign that you need ERP software is that your accounting department is lagging. When employees rely on paper-based delivery documentation and spend hours every week manually entering them into different inventory and billing systems, you need to consider how much time is being wasted on tasks that could easily be taken over with ERP software. Along the same lines, if financial reports are delayed and take hours of preparation, an ERP solution will make a significant impact. With all financials in a single database, your billing, accounting and inventory staff don’t have to spend time cross-posting information and reconciling data manually. This will free up your accounting staff, making them more productive.
DME businesses are complex, but at their core is inventory. Without the right products in the right warehouse, in the right trucks, and with the right customers, you simply can’t run your business. Separate sales, inventory and billing data systems make it virtually impossible to know your inventory status in real-time. This leads to breakdowns in communication when customers are promised items that are out of stock, or delivery drivers are sent out with incorrect items. With an ERP system, staff in every department has real-time access to inventory data. Products can be seamlessly counted, loaded, sold, rented and ordered from a single database. Even better, you can quickly see the margins for every item.
Every software system that your business uses requires someone who understands it and can train employees how to use it. As your business grows across multiple software systems, you need a larger support staff to bug-fix, train on and administer all those software systems. Patchwork software systems require a team of administrators and trainers, and yet they still underperform. ERP systems require less oversight, because it is a single company providing your software business-wide, and you can quickly and easily deploy training, support and new features company-wide.
To learn more about Bonafide’s cloud-based ERP is the best solution for growing DME businesses, contact us to schedule a demo.