Friday, March 31, 2017

Of COMET collars and Earworms!

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Introducing COMET e-collars - The Movie!

Not quite ready for Hollywood, but what do you think of the clip below for a first effort? Warning; Once you hear the accompanying music - you will be humming it all day - or like me - all week!



video





So - what do you think? And if the tune is sticking with you - then you are experiencing and Earworm. That's the official scientific title for a tune you can't get rid of. Here's what Wikipedia says about Earworms -
An earworm, sometimes known as a brainworm, sticky music, or stuck song syndrome, is a catchy piece of music that continually repeats through a person's mind after it is no longer playing. Phrases used to describe an earworm include "musical imagery repetition", "involuntary musical imagery", and "stuck song syndrome".
Now - the Urban Dictionary has a remedy of sorts - sort of. Here's what they say -
A song that sticks in your mind, and will not leave no matter how much you try. The best way to get rid of an earworm is to replace it with another. Be prepared to become a jukebox.
I heard on the radio this week that The Traveling Wilburys are being inducted into the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame. Fortunately, Medcare Products is located 10 minutes from the Rock Hall of Fame - and I'm sure that this induction will create a surge in COMET collar sales - right? Right! 

My new problem is that I can't get their song The End of the Line out of my head - and so I'm now hopelessly stuck in an epic Earworm conflict of epic proportions. 




End of the Line
Traveling Wilburys

Well it's all right, riding around in the breeze
Well it's all right, if you live the life you please
Well it's all right, doing the best you can
Well it's all right, as long as you lend a hand
You can sit around and wait for the phone to ring (end of the line)
Waiting for someone to tell you everything (end of the line)
Sit around and wonder what tomorrow will bring (end of the line)
Maybe a diamond ring
Well it's all right, even if they say you're wrong
Well it's all right, sometimes you gotta be strong
Well it's all right, as long as you got somewhere to lay
Well it's all right, everyday is judgment day
Maybe somewhere down the road aways (end of the line)
You'll think of me, wonder where I am these days (end of the line)
Maybe somewhere down the road when somebody plays (end of the line)
Purple haze
Well it's all right, even when push comes to shove
Well it's all right, if you got someone to love
Well it's all right, everything'll work out fine
Well it's all right, we're going to the end of the line
Don't have to be ashamed of the car I drive (end of the line)
I'm just glad to be here, happy to be alive (end of the line)
It don't matter if you're by my side (end of the line)
I'm satisfied
Well it's all right, even if you're old and grey
Well it's all right, you still got something to say
Well it's all right, remember to live and let live
Well it's all right, the best you can do is forgive
Well it's all right, riding around in the breeze
Well it's all right, if you live the life you please
Well it's all right, even if the sun don't shine
Well it's all right, we're going to the end of the line
Songwriters: Bob Dylan / George Harrison / Jeff Lynne / Roy K Orbison / Tom Petty

Looks like I've done enough damage for today.
All the best,
Simon

All the Best,
Simon & The Gang





Monday, March 13, 2017



Are We Listening or Hearing? It Matters!
Do you know Dr Judd? I used to. Actually her name is Dr. Jubb - J-U-B-B! But she's ok if you call her Dr. Judd - after I realized my error - a staff member told me that it's been happening for years. I even wrote a story about Dr. Jubb in a Facebook ad - about how she likes our DTEK surgical staplers - and I referred to her as Dr. Judd - and shortly after I realized my error.

Listening is important - especially since I have spent most of my veterinary product sales career on the phone -listening. So, how did I mess up Dr. Jubbs name? That's simple - Judd is more common than Jubb - and we tend to go with the most familiar - and assume a lot. OK, great, so I'm like most people. I was probably also a little self conscious about clarifying the proper spelling - most of us are. 

You may notice that I haven't used another word closely associated with listening - hearing. Actually, I think that hearing is the problem. My problem - and a problem universally. Those of us who are fortunate to have a functioning auditory system are busy hearing all day. I heard her name, or I thought I did - and that was sufficient for me. We hear things all day - but are we really listening?  
I found this little inspirational posting - and thought it profound enough to share with you. Actually - the graphic is pretty deep too, because it depicts a lot of technological methods for hearing - but ultimately- listening is up to each of us - and it seems that the more ways to hear each other - the less we listen to each other. Veterinarians, maybe pediatricians and then maybe the greater medical profession have to be great listeners. They even have to listen to that which is not said. Wait a minute - I want a piece of that too - I'm a human being, a husband, father, grandfather, neighbor, congregant, citizen - and probably many more 'titles' which demand that I be on my top listening game. Do we hear a concert - or listen? Is it enough to hear another person - or listen? Hearing is a wonderful gift - and listening is the best way to use it.

The more I think about it - listening is so deep. I mean it takes a lot to listen to another person. Especially when you differ. If we listened more - would there be more peace? My wife, a Pre-K teacher of 25 years says that when a child acts out - it's a lot about them not being able to verbalize their emotions - and it's up to the teacher to really listen and not simply react - ie. punish. 

That's what's going on in my head. I'd love to hear your thoughts - I'm thrilled to read them if you want to share with other readers - all call me - I'll listen!
All the Best,
Simon









Sunday, March 5, 2017


What's a friend?

Sitting here, on a freezing Sunday afternoon. I came into the office with the goal of catching up on a lot of loose ends. I'm actually successfully plowing through all sorts of stacks, and forms - and emails. And then I had a chance to reread an email from a fellow classmate - and it inspired me to write this blog post.

Fellow classmate? Well, about a year ago, I applied to what I will simply call the 10 week MBA refresher course. Actually for me, it would be the first time around - as I don't have an MBA. The course was funded by Goldman Sachs - yes, that Goldman Sachs - and it was called 10,000 Small Businesses. You can read about it here - and maybe even apply!

I thoroughly enjoyed the course. I learnt a lot, and it gave me a chance to step back and review my company and my life. Perhaps one of the greatest benefits for me was to be in a class with 30 something other small business owners. Roofers, printers, sound system engineers, HVAC and on and on. One of the attendants was Rachael Ekey of The Markey Group. Rachael's company is a full service marketing resource. I never reviewed Rachael's sales numbers - but I just have this feeling that she is a successful businesswoman - because she is very good at what she does - and she is a very nice person. Yes, I believe that good people succeed - and I believe that goodness is important to success. 


Rachael noticed that I was struggling with social media, things like Facebook and effective email marketing. Rachael threw the full force of The Markey Group at my disposal. She taught me a lot of methods and practices for getting the most out of this 'thing' called marketing - and the web. And that brings me to the email at the beginning of my posting. It was a simple - yet awesome. The email starts off

Hi Simon,

I hope you are doing well and are off to a great start to your week! 

Kristin and I were brainstorming the other day and we had a great idea for an opportunity for your business...

and then the email goes on to explain a method for improving the rating of my web site. I reread the email today  - and it caused me to think about friendship. About wanting to see another person succeed. About sharing knowledge and about spreading some sunshine. It made me stop and think of how I could help another person. It made me want to write about it - and so here I am. After 25 years, I know that my customers are from the 'Givers' in this world - along with the 'Carers' the 'Sharers' and the 'Sunshiners'. (I hope those are all clean words.) Something about caring for animals will do that - Thank you for letting me be a part of that! I'm going home now - work can be done tomorrow - family is for today! I'm feeling very friendly!

All the best,
Simon & The Gang 


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The True Story Of Our 1-800-Medcare Phone Number.

Recently Dr. Beer called from Care Pet in Columbus. He's a great guy and we invariably end up chatting for a few minutes. Somehow the subject of our old phone number came up and I told him the story of how we 'lost' it.

At least 15 years ago, 1-800-Medcare was our phone number. It was a great number. We put it on mugs, magnet, hats, business cards and all our mailers. 800-Medcare was a great number to have. Until one day when the US government unveiled their 800-Medicare phone number. Then chaos reigned supreme! We began to receive tons of calls for Medicare. Actually it began as a trickle and then slowly built up to a raging flood. We really tried to help the people who dialed our number by mistake. Many were elderly, trying to sort through a complicated government bureaucracy and so we were very patient in explaining, sometimes several times that this is Medcare Products and not Medicare and then we would wait for them to get a pen and paper to write down the correct number. This went on all day for months. 

We consulted an attorney who advised us to surrender our number because we would never win a case etc. etc. etc. But then a Miracle happened. Yes, a total miracle. A fellow from Medicare actually called us. The conversation went something like this " Hi, I'm in charge of the 800-Medicare number and it looks like the roll out of that number has caused your company a lot of trouble." After getting up from the floor and catching my breath, I confirmed his statement. He then offered to pay us for the number and to leave a recording on the number for 2 years directing callers looking for Medcare Products the veterinary supply company to press 1 and those looking for the Medicare insurance line to press 2. He offered us enough money to make up for all the mugs, magnets and flyers that were in circulation. The man was an Angel dispatched from Heaven - perhaps as a reward for the hundreds and hundreds of people that we helped with correctly reaching Medicare. 

He told us it would take several weeks for the switch over, and we continued playing operator for Medicare. 

Now during this episode we mentally broke wrong number callers into categories. Many were genuinely nice and we did everything to help them connect with Medicare. Then there were the nasty callers. The ones who hung up, and then called back 5 times until they finally understood that we were for real. There were also the attackers. They were nasty times 10 - but they had met their match. The following summarizes a nasty caller conversation.

Ring, ring
" Thanks for calling Medcare Products, how can I help you."
" I'm calling about a Medicare claim."
" OK, this is Medcare Products, a veterinary supply company. Our numbers are similar, let me give you their number."
" What are you talking about. I dialed the right number. What's with you? You don't want to help me? Give me a supervisor yada yada yada."
" Ok - you're right. This is Medicare - but this is the Veterinary division."
"Really?"
" Yup. The government is experimenting with extending Medicare for household pets. Speak to your Vet about it."
"Wow, that's great. "  Notice the change in his attitude.

And so it went. Polite people got all the help we could provide. Nasty people were advised to ask their Vet about Medicare coverage for pets. I'm sorry if any of you got an inquiry about Medicare for pets. 

I try to keep my blog posts shortish - so I'm going to sign off for now. Maybe next time I'm tell you about our Glow In The Dark Shaving Cream. Until then -
All the Best,
Simon






Monday, January 30, 2017

Mondays Can Be Testy. How About When Every Day Is Testy?

Happy Monday Friends. So, we woke up today to a world in turmoil. Keep people out, let them in. Six dead in a Mosque in Canada. An American soldier lost his life over the weekend during a raid on Somalian rebels. Stuff just gets heavier and heavier. Thankfully - many of us have the mechanisms to cope. Faith, family, friends and more keep us going - through thick and thin. But what about those people struggling with mental illness? Depression, bipolar, schizophrenia and on and on? For them, sadly there is not always a let up. 

I find that people who have extra sensitivity to animals, also posses extra sensitivity to humans - and their myriad conditions. A friend shared the clip below with me - and I thought I would pass it on to you. The power of animals and work and purpose can rescue a person struggling with mental illness. Animals and their care has changed the lives of inmates, the elderly and the handicapped. Below is a link to a video that has a lot to do with the mental health community. My affection for this video is not because people are either constantly asking if I'm crazy - or stating that I'm crazy  - but because it sheds hope on a segment of the population that is often marginalized. I would love to read your feedback. 

All the Best,
Simon





Wednesday, January 25, 2017




Shipping Suture To Guam.

I really love what I do and have done for the last 25 years. Among the many things I do is sourcing products, researching products and their uses. Creating the advertisements, emails, faxes and maintaining the website better known as MedcareProducts.com.

Rule number one has always been that anyone in Medcare Products can get involved, suggest and improve on anything done here. Over the years that has yielded many great results. Once a corporate culture of questioning, searching and participating is fostered, then all sorts of new products, ways to save money and general corporate improvements happen. I find that people are happier and more energetic at work and I find that we end up with a much better company. And about Guam?

One of our customers is Humane Society International ( this calls for a big thanks to Dr Weedon for introducing us) and as you can probably guess from their name - they serve as the Humane Society for the world. HSI is a huge fan of our BASIK suture, and they use it all over the world. I have a photo of vet techs in Uganda holding boxes of our suture. It's awesome. and so recently we were contacted by a HSI rep for Guam. She actually operates out of New Zealand, but has a representative in Guam. Do you know anything about Guam? Me neither. So this certainly presented itself as a destination worth learning about. Of course my first point of reference is always Wikipedia.com and once again I was not let down. Guam was a very strategic Island during World War 2 and still serves as a major navel installation. In fact, Guam is an unincorporated and organized territory of the United States. Which means that even though Guam is 7,618 miles from Cleveland Ohio - the USPS charges the same rates as for mailing in the US! How nerdy is it to say Cool?

According to Wikipedia there are five inhabited US territories which are either organized or self-governing,[2] but unincorporated. These are Puerto RicoGuamNorthern Mariana islandsU.S. Virgin islands and American Samoa.[3] 

Furthermore, Wikipedia says that there are also nine uninhabited US possessions, of which only Palmyra Atoll is incorporated. (See Territories of the United StatesUnorganized territory [4] and insular area.)

The opportunity to learn new things is always out there - we've just gotta go after it. Thanks for reading my blog. All comments are welcome, and yes, you can even say Cool!

All the Best,
Simon







Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The FDA & The Powder Free Glove Fray!

Have you read about the new FDA ban on powdered gloves? Here's an excerpt from a recent publication;

FDA Ban on Powdered Medical Gloves
Effective Date January 18th, 2017


On December 19th, 2016, the FDA’s Final Rule banning powdered surgeon's gloves, powdered patient examination gloves, and absorbable powder for lubricating a surgeon's glove was published.   The rule becomes effective 30 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register.


This makes the effective date of the medical glove powder ban January 18th, 2017


Well, that will create quite a ripple in the Veterinary and human healthcare as well as food service, day care, and on and on. I had a feeling that this ruling would create a problem when I received a call from a broker yesterday trying to peddle a massive load of Triflex surgeons gloves. I asked if they were powdered, and they were and they were being sold for pennies on the dollar - and they had no value in the US and it comes out in many other countries too. 

Then we began receiving calls for powder free surgeons gloves from practices that never ordered from us before. Their other suppliers had no powder free glove inventory. 

Now I may not be the brightest candle on the cake, but I think that most of us would agree that the FDA ban should have given a 6 month window of conversion - not 30 days. There are just so many different needs for gloves - I mean it's massive. I can remember back to when AIDS first came on the scene. It created huge shortages in gloves. This was before vinyl and latex gloves had to be FDA approved. We were sourcing industrial gloves from Canada and buying bulk cases and repacking them. This was before the internet. Baxter Healthcare had given us some software to try with a dial up modem to place orders on their new computer system. By that time, Baxter Healthcare was officially out of gloves. Purely on inspiration from Above, I tried to order gloves on their new ASAP system and guess what - we received a delivery the next day! Well, I did this for several days, until they realized the glitch and cut me off. 

I think many of you will see very high prices on powder free gloves. Some will be from distributors taking advantage of the situation, but most of it will be due to low availability. 

Oh, and about my use of the word fray in the headline. Well here are some definitions -

fray1
frā/
verb
  1. (of a fabric, rope, or cord) unravel or become worn at the edge, typically through constant rubbing.
    "cheap fabric soon frays"
    synonyms:unravel, wear, wear thin, wear out/through, become worn
    • (of a person's nerves or temper) show the effects of strain.
      synonyms:strain, tax, overtax, put on edge
    • (of a male deer) rub (a bush or small tree) with the head in order to remove the velvet from newly formed antlers, or to mark territory during the rut.

I think that before this powder free glove situation is over - we may all experience each definition of the word. Hoping you weather this storm well -
All the Best,
Simon


An actual Ansell glove ad. Hmmmpf!