Tecsys has made a name for itself over the past 30 years thanks to the power of its supply chain management solutions. The company strives to combine industry knowledge with state-of-the-art warehouse management systems in ways that can improve supply chain efficiency and end-to-end visibility for customers.
Today, the company works with hundreds of clients and their many thousands of facilities. Its major market segments include healthcare, government and high-volume distribution.
“In all of these markets, everything is about supply chain execution,” President and CEO Peter Brereton says. “For smaller businesses, we are also a complete ERP solution provider.”
Many of the opportunities that Tecsys has been able to take advantage of in recent years have come about from companies reaching out for help. These inbound opportunities have come from a variety of sectors, such as beer, wine and liquor distribution.
“That wasn’t a business we were really going after, but it found us,” Brereton says. “We continue to come across those kinds of customers who often look at the big players and realize they are too expensive. We also get referrals from many customers. So we sift through the opportunities to figure out which ones are one-offs and which ones are new verticals.”
Brereton says the healthcare industry will be the primary driver of growth for the company, however. He explains that industry is going through a perfect storm of declining revenue per service provided and the financial squeeze coming from Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance companies. In addition, new services offered in the healthcare industry are coming about through scientific advancements, but they are not necessarily bringing more revenue with them.
“The existing supply chain in healthcare is in bad shape,” Brereton says. “It is expensive to operate and hard to track and trace. Often, goods expire on the shelf. So the supply chain of the industry, and the industry itself, is going through the challenge of looking for a new way to do business. We now have 14 hospital networks that are running or implementing our software, as we are becoming the market leader for healthcare supply chain solutions.”
For other industries, the challenges around supply chain management are due to a return to growth. Because the recession hit and lingered for a long time, many companies slowed down. Now they are growing again but trying to do so without adding heads. Brereton says these companies are looking to be more efficient and accurate in terms of better managing their supply chain, but often doing so without hiring experienced, senior-level supply chain people.
“We can provide those kinds of companies with software solutions and supply chain modeling and reference tools,” Brereton says. The company offers a “complete modeling and instructional system that helps customers with supply chain management best practices. It includes videos and training, testing and certification materials that help customers implement and better use the software while also figuring out how to take advantage of their own internal expertise.”
As for internal initiatives, Tecsys is always looking for ways to improve how the company gets its products to market. It has implemented what Brereton calls an “agile development methodology” on the R&D side.
“That has been very positive for us and cut our time to market on new major modules from two years from initial inception to delivery to about eight months,” he says. “The feedback we have received from clients on that development approach has been positive. Becoming more nimble in our approach to the marketplace has been a big change for us, and now we are looking at the support side of our business and making process changes. We just rolled out a new system for our support team to provide them with more automated operations.”
Looking ahead, the major focus for the company is to deepen its reach in healthcare. It has initiatives under way to help manage the healthcare supply chain all the way into the patient rooms and operating suites, not just into the storerooms.
But the main challenge for the company is to effectively manage its own growth. During the worst of the recession, the company saw little revenue growth. Now it is seeing annual growth of about 20 percent. Tecsys has made investments to improve its leadership, bringing new executives into the c-suite over the past year who, not only have a great deal of supply chain experience, but awareness of the markets the company is targeting.
“Managing growth is a challenge, but we are knowledge-based company,” Brereton says. “The people here need to know the ways we do business and have the tools to help us bring products to market. In this business, you must have a product that can solve a challenge many people have, aim it at markets that can afford it, have IT departments that want it and get endorsements from the right analysts. We have all of those things, so we are confident that we will see growth.”