BTL News

BTL congratulates Todd Owens, a BTL investor and advisor, on his new position as Co-President of Fifth Street Management LLC.

Fifth Street Management oversees two publicly traded financial institutions (NASDAQ: FSC and NASDAQ: FSFR).  Todd will continue to advise BTL management on strategy, growth and financial matters.


You can read more about Fifth Street Management LLC and Todd G. Owens roll here



Janitorial Supplies Distributor Beyond Theory Logistics Announces Bill Sleeper Joins Advisory Board

PHOENIX, Oct. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — BeyondTheory Logistics (BTL) announced today that it has elected Bill Sleeper to its Board of Directors.  Mr. Sleeper, former president of Georgia-Pacific Professional, will act as advisor to the Board.


The announcement was made by Bob House, CEO of BTL, a distributor of janitorial and sanitation supplies, the leader in providing best practice contract administration and logistics services.


Mr. House stated:  “Bill’s wealth of experience and insight into the future of the industry for manufacturers, distributors and end-customers, will be invaluable to BTL as we continue to grow.”


Advisor Tom Glasgow added, “I’m excited about the addition of Bill to the team.  Bill’s expertise as a manufacturer will help further integrate ongoing manufacturer innovations into our world-class service platform, benefiting customers in the hospitality, healthcare, government and industrial segments.”


To that end, Mr. Sleeper said:  “A key challenge for our industry is the increasing demands made by end-customer executives on contracts.  Elimination of conflicts of interest, compliance and proof of promised benefits, are most often mentioned.  For manufacturers, this is another channel for the end-customers, one designed to support their growing cost-in-use programs, an area where compliance is often absent. I’m glad to see this finally being addressed and look forward to sharing my expertise and contributing to the future of BTL.”



BTL welcomes Todd Owens

BTL is proud to announce that Todd Owens, a Goldman Sachs Managing Director, has joined the company as an investor.  Todd’s extensive experience in both finance and building profitable and growing companies is a welcome addition and will bring a positive impact to customers, partners and members of BTL management.



BTL welcomes Aaron Martens

BTL is pleased to announce the addition of Aaron Martens as an advisory board member.  As CEO and founder of several innovative and industry changing technology companies, Mr. Martens brings a wealth of experience in creating customer-centric tools and processes that will support BTL’s focus on implementing and enhancing customer-focused, cross-industry best practices.  Mr. Marten’s creative thinking and perspective is a welcome addition to our existing robust board.



BeyondTheory Logistics was saddened to learn of the recent passing of Larry Luke

As one of the first advisors of BTL, he was instrumental in providing leadership and a perspective from his experience that was invaluable.  He was a mentor, coach and friend to many of us here at BTL and will be missed terribly.


Our thoughts and prayers go out to Kathi and the Luke family.



BTL would like to congratulate Costco

BTL extends congratulations to Costco for providing transparency in pricing in their prescription benefits program:


“In addition to our exclusive pharmacy provider pricing, all rebates and administrative fees received from pharmaceutical manufacturers will be credited to you (the payer) at the point of sale. This means immediately lower prices and, unlike our competitors, our program does not create a “pricing spread” that is built in as additional profit. Our design is fundamentally a cost-plus strategy.”


Read more about Costco’s program here.


Clearly, Costco understands that for their customers to receive the best possible pricing on the pharmaceuticals they purchase, all sales incentives, such as rebates, need to be disclosed and passed on to the customer.  We applaud them for stepping away from the “status quo” and doing what is right, simply because it is right.



BTL presents to leading healthcare GPO

Bob House, CEO of BeyondTheory Logistics (BTL) was a featured speaker at the MedAssets Annual Innovators Forum in St. Louis. The presentation highlighted the customer benefits of a “tier 4” pricing model for an 11-facility healthcare organization and the quantifiable benefits of lower TCO.


Please contact Customer Development to learn more about the presentation and findings.



BTL announces two new advisory board members

BeyondTheory Logistics (BTL) is proud to announce that two new executives have joined the advisory board.  Chairman of Incognito Pictures Jack Selby, formerly PayPal executive and financier, has offered his experience in industry-changing businesses and international finance.


Tom Glasgow, CEO of Trade Solutions and retired executive at FedEx and brings C-suite experience in defining and implementing operational, finance and IT requirements for logistics providers with complex supply chains.


Industry Related News

Transparent Healthcare: The Costco for Health Insurance 

After seeing obstacles that the uninsured face, Betty Heiman created a company that hopes to make health care costs truly clear and affordable for everyone.


Betty Heiman was the owner of a radiology practice in Yonkers when she got a strange call from an orthopedist she knew. He was trying to arrange an MRI for his mother, who was uninsured. “How much does an MRI cost?” he asked her. “I have no idea.”


Heiman, 49, was struck by two facts at once: First, that the orthopedist had no sense of what the actual price tag was on a service he wrote prescriptions for daily; and second, that there was in fact no true price. What an MRI cost depended on what your insurance provider or Medicare was willing to pay. And for those without insurance, that lack of knowledge could easily torpedo someone’s entire financial life. “The uninsured person really faces three obstacles,” says Heiman. “First, they have no idea what the things cost. Second, they have no safety net. And third, they have no ability to bargain.”


Read more here


At , BTL we know it’s about asking the right questions (e.g. “what is the price and how do I get a better deal”)…this holds true across industries!


Distributors and End-Users to Earn Massive Q4 Diversey Rebates

Distributors are typically stuck in the middle of supply and demand, in that they supply themselves with what their customers demand, with little room for personal preference. Every so often, however, an incentive so appealing comes along, that it becomes necessary to nudge your supply-demanding customers towards a given group of products. Such is the case with Diversey’s lucrative fourth quarter rebate incentives on purchases through December 31!


Distributors have the opportunity to earn up to $7500 in Diversey rebates on qualifying purchases, the sales of which are helped along by an additional group of rebates for End-Users! Talk about a Holiday Bonus! So just what’s in store for potential earnings?


Distributor Rebates

Distributors have their pick of options for Diversey rebates through the end of the year. Whether it’s household brands like Ziploc or Windex, or commercial bulk favorites like Sun Products, any combination of these items add up to huge savings. Two additional rebates were added for November and December purchases only, and include the usual “True Savings” suspects, as well as additional insect control products- perfect for keeping critters out as the winter chill creeps in. These bonus rebates are worth an incredible $4000 in combined savings.


Read more here



This why end-customers have such a difficult time managing budgets and product selections – the game/rules keep changing.  It is also why BTL’s customers incorporate all of this knowledge into their negotiations UP FRONT and have lower product and administrative costs, in addition to improved insight during product/solution selection.



“Painful prescription: Pharmacy benefit managers make out better than their customers,”~ Fortune Magazine

Link to original article.

In late 2008, Meridian Health Systems, a nonprofit that owns and operates six hospitals in southern New Jersey, hired a new pharmacy benefits management (PBM) company to help reduce the surging medication costs for its 12,000 employees and their families. Express Scripts, which has since become the largest PBM in the country, projected that it would slice at least $763,000 from Meridian’s $12 million in annual drug spending.


But just three months into the contract, Meridian discovered that its bills were soaring, on pace to balloon by $1.3 million in 2009. Express Scripts insisted that, in reality, Meridian was saving money.


Robert Schenk didn’t buy it. He oversees Meridian’s spending on medications for employees and its in-house pharmacy. Schenk, 57, had once owned two small-town drugstores but sold them in part because of relentless price-lowering pressure from PBMs. He knew firsthand how little pharmacies were paid relative to what customers were charged.


Schenk decided to figure out where Meridian’s money was going and why its drug costs were escalating. That was no easy task because, like most PBM customers, Meridian received data only on what it was being charged for each employee prescription. Meridian didn’t know what it cost the PBM to fill that order.


Then Schenk had a stroke of inspiration. He realized that Meridian had a second stream of data that almost no other PBM customers had: Its in-house pharmacy was paid by Express Scripts for many prescriptions. That meant Meridian could see both what the PBM was paying to buy drugs and what it was selling them for.


When he compared the two lists, the mild-mannered pharmacist was shocked: Express Scripts was making huge gross profits (known as “spreads” in the PBM world) ranging from $5 per order to many multiples of that. In one particularly extreme example, Meridian was billed $92.53 for a prescription for generic amoxicillin filled at an outside pharmacy. Meanwhile, Express Scripts paid $26.91 to Meridian’s own pharmacy to fill the same prescription. That meant a spread of $65.62 on one bottle of a generic antibiotic.


Express Scripts vehemently insists it saves money for clients and that the vast majority are satisfied with its service. And like any company — to state the obvious — it’s entitled to a profit. The question is, Who is making out better — the PBM or its customers? Many experts say the former. They argue that many companies stick with traditional PBMs because drug pricing is so impossible to untangle that customers have no way to verify how much they’re saving, if anything.


Read more here



New Report Estimates Societal Cost of HAIs At a High of Nearly $150 Billion Annually

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) arising in U.S. acute care hospitals cost America as much as $147 billion annually, according to a new report recently published in the Journal of Medical Economics online       edition. The report, by MedERA and funded by an unrestricted educational grant from UMF Corporation, estimates for the first time the societal cost of HAIs attributed to acute care hospitals.


“Before this report, economic research into HAIs mostly focused on hospitals or insurers instead of the patients they served,” said Albert Marchetti, MD, president and medical director of MedERA. “Full societal costs, which are more inclusive than commonly reported direct hospital costs, have never been fully measured or reported. We believe patients rightfully deserve attention, too, because they not only bear out-of-pocket expenses for HAIs but also suffer the unacceptable clinical consequences of heightened morbidity and mortality as well as resultant losses of productivity and wage.”


The report, “Economic Burden of Healthcare-Associated Infections in U.S. Acute Care Hospitals – Societal Perspective,” estimates that HAIs cost America from $96 billion to $147 billion annually. Dr. Marchetti believes these costs could actually be even higher and calls for new epidemiologic research to update infection rates and patient mortality.


Read more here


The Distributors Fee-Based Services Manifesto: Why You Need To Consider Charging For Services

Fri, 09/20/2013 – 2:42pm

Frank Hurtte

Book Release from Frank Hurtte, Founding Partner, River Heights Consulting

Baby boomers march into retirement 10,000 abreast. Technology drives down the cost of everything we sell. New manufacturing processes extend the useful life of our products to previously unimaginable lengths. Global competitors utilize internet-tricks to challenge our customers’ thought processes. Meanwhile, distributors give away ever more expensive services using a half-century old model called “Value-Added” sales.


Distributor expert Frank Hurtte believes the time to start charging for service has arrived. Distributors can stake a position to some imaginary high ground and insist their customers, markets and competitors are different, but the big bad wolf of megatrends is huffing, puffing, and about to blow their house down.


Hurtte thoughtfully outlines why the “Value-Added” sales model most distributors follow is irreparably broken. Outlining what he refers to as the Margin Recovery Model, he builds a case for charging for many of the services currently provided for free.


North American corporations aggressively outsource IT departments, engineering groups, maintenance teams and other areas. This outsourcing directly impacts the number of trained experts at the distributor customers.  Distributors are filling a major portion of the worker gap. The line of demarcation between the work done by customer and that done by distributor has gone from cloudy to a complete blur. And, presently, the only difference appears to be distributors are working for free.


Read more here


BTL is about charging for ONLY the services you want/value and decoupling the process so the customer is in control.  Join other BTL customers in demanding control over the pricing and selection of products and service levels.  For those who like the status quo and don’t want to control, or even know about conflicts of interest, then continue to buy from the traditional providers who prefer it that way.



Rare disease at hospital raises concerns about VA health care

In July 2011 John Ciarolla died in a Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Pittsburgh. His daughter, Maureen, was told that the cause of death was septic shock. But two years after he died, and after an extensive Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigation, it was concluded that he actually died after contracting Legionnaires’ disease at the hospital.


Ciarolla wasn’t the only one—five other people died as well. And now CNBC has obtained emails that show hospital officials knew about the situation well before Ciarolla’s death. One email shows that officials knew there was a 60 percent “positivity” rate of Legionella as far back as 2010.


Read more here


This should not be accepted at all, our veterans deserve better…BTL’s compliance reporting would ensure accountability and could prevent the spread of such nasty infections.




Lawrence Tynes’ wife blasts Buccaneers for informing them of non-football injury 

If Lawrence Tynes’ wife was unhappy with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before, she definitely will remove coach Greg Schiano and general manager Mark Dominik from her Christmas list now.


Tampa Bay placed Tynes on the non-football injury list instead of injured reserve Saturday, according to Fox Sports reporter Mike Garafolo. Tynes recently contracted MRSA, a serious staph infection that sidelined the veteran kicker earlier this month. Bucs guard Carl Nicks also contracted the infection, and Tampa Bay acknowledged its facility was treated to prevent an MRSA outbreak.


Read more here


If the MRSA infection was contracted at the facility, BTL’s compliance reporting would both help to clarify accountability and ensure the infection doesn’t return or expand to their personal residences.




Not free, after all: Public school fees add up

Buying tissue and copy paper for your kid’s classroom – or subjecting co-workers and family members to endless fundraisers – have become standard. But some public school districts have upped the ante, charging students mandatory fees and holding out the threat of collections or barring students from participating in activities if their parents don’t pay up.


The ACLU says it’s illegal. Schools counter that they’re facing huge budget shortfalls and that charging fees is better than firing teachers. Education experts warn that fees create a dynamic of inequality. Meanwhile, families are caught in the middle as they dig deeper into their pocketbooks and bank accounts.  Read further here



Jan/San FSSI Inform Initiative

Under the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiave (FSSI), the GSA is working with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and all Federal Government Agencies to create new government-wide Federal Strategic Sourcing programs (FSSI) for commonly purchased products and services.


In August, 2013, it will impact Janitorial and Sanitation supplies (JanSan) and Maintenance, Repair & Operations Supplies (MRO). 


Read more here



Marines Steamed by Loss of Hot Meal 

Marines at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan will lose a key daily meal starting Saturday, causing some to forgo a hot breakfast and others to work six-plus hours without refueling on cooked food, according to Marines at the base and Marine Corps officials.


The midnight ration service — known there as “midrats” — supplies breakfast to Marines on midnight-to-noon shifts and dinner to Marines who are ending noon-to-midnight work periods. It’s described as one of the few times the Marines at Leatherneck can be together in one place.


The base, which is located in Afghanistan’s southwestern Helmand Province, flanked by Iran and Pakistan, also will remove its 24-hour sandwich bar. It plans to replace the dishes long offered at midnight with pre-packaged MREs, said Marine Corps Lt. Col. Cliff Gilmore, who has been deployed in Afghanistan since February.


Read more here


In Related News:

Food Service Management Contracts: Are Contractors Overcharging the Government?

The federal government spends billions of dollars every year on contracts for food service management at military installations and bases, hospitals, and government buildings and through the federal school lunch program. The purpose of the hearing was to examine whether food service management contractors are withholding rebates, discounts, and credits which should be passed through to the federal government. The hearing reviewed examples of this practice and assess steps taken by agencies to ensure that contractors are in compliance with rebate requirements. The hearing also addressed the need for increased transparency, oversight, and accountability.


Opening Statement from Senator Claire McCaskill


Read more here



Norovirus Plagues Children, Says CDC Study

According to a new study released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), norovirus sent nearly 1 million children under age five in the U.S. to the doctor or hospital in 2009 and 2010. Reporting from Time Magazine claim that treating those youngsters can cost an estimated $273 million a year.


According to the CDC, the virus, which inflames the lining of the stomach and intestines, causes 21 million cases of illness, 70,000 hospitalizations and 800 deaths in the U.S. annually. A little more than half of the cases are passed from person to person. Proper disinfection of surfaces and elimination of cross-contamination will go a long way to minimize the spread.


Read more here



 Settlement Costing Grainger $70 Million

Dec 28, 2012 – “The GSA Office of Inspector General learned that Grainger failed to meet its contractual obligations to provide the GSA with current, accurate and complete information about its commercial sales practices, including discounts afforded to other customers,” it states. “As a result, government customers purchasing items under the Grainger MAS contract paid higher prices than they should have. In addition, today’s settlement resolves allegations that Grainger failed to meet its contractual obligations to provide ‘most-favored customer’ pricing under two USPS contracts for sanitation and maintenance supplies. The USPS contracts required Grainger to treat USPS as Grainger’s ‘most-favored customer’ by ensuring that USPS received the best overall discount that Grainger offered to any of its commercial customers. Agents and auditors from the USPS Office of Inspector General (OIG) investigated Grainger’s pricing practices and discovered that Grainger did not consistently adhere to this requirement, causing USPS to pay more than it should have for purchases made under the two contracts.”


Read more here


Yet another example of why Transparent Pricing is so valuable and needed today.  BTL’s customers know this value and are assured they will never accrue a 10 year backlog of questionable pricing, transactions and contract language.



Government Gridlock Leads to To Toilet Paper Shortage In Trenton

Trenton’s health department could shut down some city buildings if a toilet paper shortage isn’t resolved soon.  “Once you bid and give in a contract, you can’t remove something from a bid. You have to pull it back, you have to cancel it and then you have to re-bid it,” said Caldwell-Wilson.”  Read more here


Looks like Trenton could use BTL.   BTL’s Government Solution is designed to meet the diverse needs of agencies and political subdivisions.  Customer signals, data analysis and measurement of current contract(s) benefits present an accurate picture that often leads to significant insight for customers.   Building a “case for change” with specific components to address these opportunities is how BTL, Purchasing and customers have been able to develop the flexible contracts that increase value, expand oversight and grow as needs/opportunities change.




Audit finds problems in Mesa purchasing procedures

“During audit test work, we found multiple instances of non-compliance with  procurement polices and/or procedures,” the audit said.  “We need to put a system in place that has transparency and checks and  balances,” Councilmen Alex Finter told the Mesa Republic .   If Mesa purchasing was to contract with BTL, where transparent pricing is the “norm”, they would have daily reports that would ensure accountability and could avoid issues like these.  Read more here



Pentagon builds auditing army as budget shrinks

After allowing a 10-year audit backlog to build and now faced with hiring 1600+ employees to conduct contract audits, the DOD finally recognizes the need for oversight and contract audits.  BTL’s “in-line audit” feature (part of BTL’s Continuous Improvement program), provides timely reporting and honest transparency.  BTL customer’s will never worry about even a quarterly audit backlog, let alone a decade old backlog.  Read more from the Washington Post / Bloomberg report here




CU lawsuit claims ‘defective’ toilet paper clogged campus pipes

Colorado University Board of Regents in Boulder District Court, alleges, in May and June 2009, the CU Boulder campus “began to experience multiple plumbing issues, including toilets becoming clogged and overflowing in 20 buildings.”

The toilet paper was produced by Royal Paper Converting Inc. Waxie Enterprises Inc. entered into a contract with CU to supply janitorial supplies, including toilet paper, beginning in late July 2007. The toilet paper was produced by Royal Paper Converting Inc. Read more here.


“Traditional” distributors like in this case, who provide inferior products due to hidden manufacturer incentives that benefit the distributor and NOT the customer; cringe when they hear about BTL’s transparent pricing model.  As we eliminate these distributor “benefits” while ensuring customer outcomes!




Pharmacy Benefit Managers: Too Powerful?

“To patients, it appears they are purchasing medication from a pharmacy — with their doctor’s permission — and are simultaneously or subsequently reimbursed for their expense by their insurance company. In reality, their purchase is the end result of an extensive process of contract negotiation, cost-benefit analysis, corporate haggling, manufacturer rebates, and the artful salesmanship of pharmacy benefit managers. While simplified transactions are ordinarily beneficial to consumers, in the case of prescription drugs they conceal unnecessarily inflated prices.”  To read more click here

Once again, we see why BTL’s model of Transparent Pricing is so valuable.




Poor infection control at many surgery centers

Violations by 70 percent of facilities studied failed “basic fundamentals of infection control” according to a recently released federal study of surgery centers by Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). See the study on the MSN website.




CDC releases costs for Healthcare Associated Infections

The CDC released an updated study on the full costs of Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI) with total estimates ranging from $28B to $45B annually. See the report on the CDC website.