Getting packages to their destinations in a timely and reliable manner is one of the many behind-the-scenes challenges for lots of organizations. If those packages contain essential medical specimens the task takes on important significance.
When MASCO Services, Inc. (MSI) was looking to add a joint courier contracts to its offerings for LMA institutions, it first reviewed local businesses. John Healey, director of collaborative programs at MASCO Services, Inc., worked with members to conduct a competitive assessment, and selected Skycom Courier, a small, Boston-based minority-owned business as a preferred MSI courier.
“It was very difficult to penetrate organizations to get to the decision makers,” says Scott Baker, Skycom president. “MASCO offered business volume and good internal marketing mechanics to get the word out about our services.”.
Challenge and Opportunity
Just a few months after beginning the Skycom relationship, a new opportunity arose. Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates – a MASCO associate member – expanded their lab testing services when they opened a new central laboratory in Needham. They needed a courier to transport sensitive specimens from physician offices to the lab. This presented an opportunity for significantly more business for Skycom, but also posed challenges. Did the company have the staff, equipment and technology to handle the extra volume of work? Could they provide a new level of service that would include real-time package tracking and refrigerated transport?
Fortunately, Skycom was working with the Initiative for a New Economy, or INE. The non-profit organization’s mission is to build stronger, more successful minority-owned businesses – an essential part of strengthening the Massachusetts economy. They work closely with the small businesses to review finances, provide expertise and counseling in business planning and help secure financing for growth. “In Skycom we found a dedicated, coachable entrepreneur, committed to his company and its growth, who was willing to go outside of his comfort zone to learn new skills. They had a good business proposition, an appealing, valuable service and they were focused on it,” says Warren Bacon, INE’s vice president and chief operating officer.
Skycom president Baker says, “INE was able to analyze my business, find the strengths and weaknesses, and eliminate the weaknesses. Their technical assistance, financial expertise and experience are invaluable.”
Thanks to their work with INE and dedication to meeting and surpassing service benchmarks, Skycom was awarded the MSI/Harvard Vanguard contract. Today medical transport and specimen delivery is Skycom’s largest category of business. The company is growing and hiring – business volume has doubled in 18 months, despite the sluggish economy.
“Skycom has consistently delivered high level performance, rapid response and reliable on-time delivery services across over 20 locations in Eastern Massachusetts. We’re proud to partner with Skycom Courier and MASCO Services,” said Michael Cassaro, strategic sourcing manager at Harvard Vanguard.
“Skycom is a great resource for our members,” says Healey. They are a local, minority-owned business, and they provide superior services at prices that average 10% to 14% below those of competitors. Their reliable service, professional, uniformed drivers and state-of-the-art package tracking capabilities make them well-equipped to handle our growing courier needs – especially sensitive medical deliveries.”
“We strongly applaud MASCO’s focus on behalf of its members to achieve competitive pricing, good quality services and supplier diversity,” says Milton Benjamin, president and CEO of INE. “It’s good for MASCO members, good for Skycom, and good for the state’s economy.”
For more information on MASCO’s Skycom contract, contact John Healey at (617) 632-2877 or john.healey@MASCO.harvard.edu.