TRIOSE AND GOLIATH
TRIOSE has survived as one of the sole competitors against a multi-billion dollar giant in the health systems logistics industry. How did they do it? CEO Carl Joyner believes TRIOSE’s team and its unique passion for what it does has helped the company excel.
Q: What was the catalyst of getting TRIOSE off the ground?
A: I always thought there was a focus that needed to be put on healthcare, which is different from other industries. Moving something from point A to point B is not logistically different, but the tactical aspects are different, and that’s where healthcare logistics comes in. The differences are the players and the products in healthcare. You can’t 100 percent predict what you will need when, where and why. There was a better way to do it, and we believed we should be doing it.
Q: How did you get the industry to listen to you?
A: We continued to educate and tell the story to the healthcare provider marketplace, as other organizations started to tell the same story. The reimbursement model for healthcare providers has changed in the last 20 years, and, of course, the formation of the Affordable Care Act has also had an impact on healthcare organizations. It has forced them to reevaluate the way they manage their systems and has opened their eyes to alternative ways to operate.
Q: What is TRIOSE’s mission, and how do your employees play their part in that goal?
A: TRIOSE drives to provide world-class strategic logistic management services for hospitals, health systems and healthcare networks. Our primary aim is to meet all of our clients’ logistics requirements and manage all detailed components to the lowest possible cost. The TRIOSE team accomplishes this through its continuous focus on providing visibility of information, actionable and measurable results, and overall control of the logistics process.
Q: Against a multi-billion dollar competitor, how is it that TRIOSE has managed to excel in the industry?
A: Our clients and TRIOSE have the same core culture and values. It is the “why,” not the “what” TRIOSE does that separates us from our competitor.
Q: That same competitor tried to buy TRIOSE a few years back. Why did you say no, and how have you grown since then?
A: We did not have an aligned vision, and TRIOSE was not for sale. We felt that we were making a difference in healthcare, and we were just at the beginning. We still feel that we made the right decision because we have grown exponentially since that day. Our competitors have grown by buying two competing organizations in the space we are in, but we have grown organically, and we continue to grow today.
Q: Why do your clients choose TRIOSE?
A: Managing inbound and outbound freight, as well as large cargo freight and courier management, are just some of the logistics solutions TRIOSE provides. This allows us to have an enterprise-wide view of a health systems logistics process and customize service packages that can move the logistics process between the various services for maximum financial and operational impact. Without question, all logistics companies tout savings, but TRIOSE takes it a step further. By using the most appropriate service, TRIOSE’s cost-saving outcomes result in the total landed cost of moving a product being the lowest. This has earned TRIOSE the trust of the over 2,000 facilities we serve on a national basis.
We have stated that TRIOSE is 100 percent focused on healthcare logistics and, unlike our competitors, we do not bundle with unrelated services and are not concerned about producing returns for shareholders. Our clients can realize the full financial impact and operational benefit of our services without obfuscating those true logistics costs. TRIOSE values transparency and accountability.
TRIOSE also has a personalized approach and a dedicated team serving each client. TRIOSE’s customer service is unmatched in the industry. This enables us to forge familiar, highly productive relationships that are critical to successful 3PL partnerships and allows us to serve as an ongoing resource for health leaders.
Q: What is your biggest asset at TRIOSE?
A: Our employees. I enjoy challenging and empowering the people within my company to come up with new solutions for old problems. TRIOSE’s standard of excellence is high, such that we have implemented a leadership engagement program. This program supports our mission and inspires and challenges our leaders to creatively brainstorm, to reduce operational costs and to bring new opportunities into the healthcare space that will fill a specific need for the clients we serve.
TRIOSE also encourages our employees to work together on committees that support camaraderie outside the normal day-to-day business. Through our wellness committee and Give Five committee, employees are afforded internal networking opportunities, which, in turn, forges relationships that flow back into the business, inspiring people to work more as a team rather than as a “me.”
Q: For years, TRIOSE was proud to say that it had never lost a client. How long was that streak? When you did lose clients, what happened?
A: We did not lose our first client until 2012. Our streak lasted from 2004 to 2012 — eight years! The reason we lost the account was due to the client being bought by another healthcare system that used our competitor, and we lost the business. Since that day, we have lost other clients, not due to our customer service, but due to the consolidation of healthcare systems in the industry. On the flip side, we also have picked up a few new clients for the very same reason.
Q: How does TRIOSE give back to the community?
A: TRIOSE is deeply committed to corporate social responsibility and giving back to the communities we serve through our Give Five program. Give Five encompasses five pillars that represent how we are making a positive impact on the world around us. These pillars include a national charity partnership with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), local volunteerism, veteran support, environmental sustainability and ethical conduct.
Our national charity of choice, ALSF, is a nonprofit organization striving to find a cure for pediatric cancer. TRIOSE also allows our staff to take one company-paid hour every week to volunteer at charities of their choosing. We have dedicated programs for hiring former service members and we are proud that today more than 10 percent of our employees are former military. We also support other national organizations dedicated to helping veterans, including the Wounded Warrior Project. Environmentally speaking, TRIOSE has made measurable improvements in reducing carbon footprint by supporting partners who are committed to doing the same.
Q: What do you see for TRIOSE’s future?
A: We have aligned ourselves with UPS, and they’re putting their footprint in healthcare in a bigger way than they have in the past. We’re excited to be playing a part in this. Future growth opportunity for TRIOSE is really in the next level of sophistication. TRIOSE will continue to manage the growth of transportation and logistics, but what we are specifically looking to do is to dig deeper and to cast a wider net in regards to our clients’ supply chain needs. This can mean not only looking at the transportation aspect of distributing products, but the fulfillment of supplies, centralized service centers and distribution operations, all of which is essentially a reengineering of the traditional healthcare supply chain.