Room for one more?

Premier Stockd

Are non-acute providers ready for one more e-commerce marketplace for healthcare and business supplies? Do med/surg distributors need another sales outlet? Premier is betting ‘Yes.’

On Oct. 21, Charlotte, North Carolina-based Premier announced it had launched its own e-commerce offering – called stockd.™, designed to meet the needs of small- to medium-sized, non-acute healthcare businesses, including physician practices.

Premier is convinced there’s a need for an alternative e-commerce platform, and executives believe the company’s history in the healthcare supply chain makes Premier well-suited to provide it.

“As an example of the needs raised by our members, nearly four out of 10 alternate-site purchasers told us that they utilize six online platforms or more for their business purchasing each month,” John Sganga, Premier’s senior vice president of alternate site programs, told Share Moving Media in an email. “Going back and forth between so many online platforms takes significant resources and time out of providers’ schedules to order supplies, compare pricing and manage inventory.

“Taken as a whole, their responses alluded to a hole in the marketplace for a single, trusted online platform with transparent pricing from which alternate-site buyers could directly purchase healthcare and business supplies.”

Stockd is separate from Premier’s GPO, said Sganga. “The platform is public-facing and open to anyone – regardless of business or GPO affiliation.” Nor do sellers have to be Premier-contracted suppliers.

Each stockd seller has its own shipping policies, which are explained on its brand page on stockd.com.

Stockd users have access to med/surg, pharmaceutical, lab and physical therapy products and supplies; office supplies; food/beverage products; building maintenance and more. Among 32 vendors listed on its website (as of Nov. 1) as “Marketplace Sellers” are Concordance Healthcare Solutions, Brewer Company, Schiller Americas, Brandt Industries and Office Depot.

Users can register as stockd members at no cost, granting them access to more favorable pricing and additional marketplace features, such as tax-exemption for qualifying organizations and the option for validated physicians to purchase prescriptive medical devices.

For IDN supply chain executives concerned about rogue purchasing, stockd offers the customer the ability to have multiple representatives registered to purchase on behalf of the organization, “which helps ensure alignment across the supply chain about what’s being ordered, by whom and how often,” Sganga said.

Concordance Healthcare Solutions

“The model intrigued us for many reasons,” said Dave Myers, president and chief operating officer of Concordance Healthcare Solutions, in an email. “We concluded that the stockd solution would be a powerful complementary channel strategy for us and our supplier partners.

“Concordance’s existing e-commerce portfolio is more designed to support existing customers or those gained through a more outside-in marketing effort – our feet on the street or telesales,” he continues. “We are continuing to develop better ‘inbound’ marketing solutions, tying in social and direct marketing with our e-commerce site, but our use of alternative channels had been limited.”

For its stockd offerings, Concordance will focus on its exclusive brand – DYAD – as well as Premier’s branded product line, PremierPro™, said Myers. Concordance will also offer stockd users access to branded-supplier partners “who want to leverage our logistics services to support their position on stockd.”

“Stockd has a healthcare foundation that can support multiple industries and consumer markets,” Myers said. “I think they put some really good thinking into their positioning strategy, but like anything new, time will tell. Execution is key. Competitive pricing is key – for the buyers and suppliers.

“This model does have strong potential to succeed, in my opinion.”