No Pain, All Gain – online medical supplies – Brief Article
It sounds ideal for Web commerce: a $15 billion small-business market that needs a variety of products from a variety of suppliers–but has limited time for ordering. Anesthesiologist Dave Mayer, studying the market during a stint with Abbot Laboratories, came up with an idea to create an Amazon-style site that would make ordering medical supplies as easy as ordering books.
The typical customer is the office manager in a clinic or doctor’s office who doesn’t have the time or inclination to do RFPs (requests for proposals) every time the office needs surgical gloves.
“I felt that if you could bring information and competitive pricing through a simple website, it would get them to come to you,” says Mayer. The model was to be a single point of purchase for all supplies.
Mayer went after top talent to create the site, hiring Tom Collins, former technology chief for Egghead. Eighteen months after floating the idea, Esurg (www.esurg.com) brought its site online in March.
The company does not plan to stop with medical supplies.
In May Esurg signed an agreement with the Independent Physicians Association of America to provide online services to their 250,000 members. For now, they will focus on acquiring customers and getting them used to the site. But that phase shouldn’t last long.
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