When health care supplies are on the line, Medline Industries goes toe-to-toe with the big guys. With more than 125,000 products, the family-owned company's catalog includes hospital furnishings, durable medical equipment, housekeeping supplies, and exam gloves and garments. The firm manufactures and distributes health care products to such customers as hospitals, long-term care facilities, physician practices, and home health providers. It also acts as a distributor for other manufacturers' products. In addition, Medline offers inventory and supply chain solutions for health care providers. Products are marketed by its more than 1,100 sales representatives through some 50 distribution centers in 20 countries.
Medline strengthens its relationships with clients by providing a range of consulting, logistics, reporting, cost control, regulatory compliance, and business support services and tools.
Sales and Marketing
The company manufactures a large number of the products it distributes; it also acts as a distributor for other products through partnerships with companies such as 3M. In addition, Medline forms supply alliances with group hospital purchasing organizations such as Premier and Novation. It is a primary supplier for some 450 hospitals and health care networks in the US. Medline expands its distribution capabilities by opening new warehouses and adding capacity to its 200-vehicle delivery fleet.
New and improved products are a constant for the company. Some of these come from the company's own development efforts and others from manufacturers who distribute through Medline. In 2011 the company introduced another manufacturer's new surgical face mask that can inactivate flu viruses, and enhanced its supply management tools within its Homecare Homebase software system. It also launched a new orthopedic line under the Curad brand that year.
Along with organic product growth, Medline purchases other companies and product lines that are in line with its strategic objectives. The company has grown rapidly in recent years through this steady pace of acquisitions.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In mid-2012 Medline acquired portions of Perrigo's personal hygiene operations. In 2011 it purchased the assets of laboratory equipment maker O'Mara Scientific (personal protection and other lab safety supplies) and paid some $130 million for the international surgical products distribution operations of CareFusion. The deal expanded Medline's distribution operations in select European and Asian countries and included an agreement to distribute CareFusion's surgical gowns, trays, gloves, and other supplies in the region.
The company increased its presence in the UK when it purchased nursing home supplier SunChoice Europe from Southern Cross Healthcare for about £3.7 million ($5.7 million). The 2009 deal included a five year supply agreement with Southern Cross Healthcare.
Owned by the Mills family, Medline traces its roots to Northwest Garment Factory, started by the current owners' great-grandfather in 1910. The company took shape as a medical products distributor in 1966. – less