The American Chiropractor (TAC), interviews Rob Cooper, President of Scrip, Inc., about his company's efforts to "give back" to the chiropractic profession.
TAC: Tell us a little bit about the history of Scrip, Inc.
Cooper: I am just entering my 12th year with Scrip Chiropractic Supply, although Scrip has been serving the needs of doctors of chiropractic since 1968. I know I speak for our entire staff of almost 70 employees when I say that we are proud to serve the chiropractic community in their delivery of a natural and drug free form of care. Most of our employees are regular chiropractic patients, seeing a DC twice a month, at no cost to them, through our company-funded wellness care program.
As our name suggests, Scrip is a complete line supplier of chiropractic equipment and supplies. We carry everything from A to Z for the chiropractic office, serving doctors of chiropractic mainly across the U.S., but we also have customers all over the world. We have experienced huge growth over the past several years, largely because of our exceptional customer service. Our people are not bound by a strict set of policies and procedures. We listen to our customers and are very responsive to their needs. Our customer service policies are designed to provide our people with the flexibility they need to make our customers happy in just about any situation.
TAC: How are you giving back to the chiropractic profession?
Cooper: At Scrip, we take great pride in our support of the chiropractic profession.
The chiropractic profession is our marketplace so, naturally, we have a financial interest in seeing it flourish. Each year, we provide financial support to a variety of chiropractic associations, organizations and schools. Some examples of our support include contributions to chiropractic political action committees, sponsorships of seminars and special events and aid to associations, schools and student groups with their fundraising efforts. Our Vice President, Steve Keller, and I are also happy to give of our time in an advisory capacity to a variety of chiropractic groups. For example, I have served on the California Chiropractic Association’s board of directors for the past 5 years as “Public Corporate Director”. In this volunteer position, I help them navigate the vendor community to help them achieve their goals.
TAC: Being an insider on the "vendor" side of the profession, what advice do you have for our readers to help them make the best buying decisions?
Cooper: There are many fine products within our marketplace that can be purchased from a variety of supply companies. Finding the best source for the products that will help your practice largely comes down to knowing as much as possible about the supplier before you actually purchase from them. You need to ask some questions before you buy and I am not just referring to large ticket purchases. (Consider these questions before buying supplies as well.)
1. Does the company you are purchasing from support the chiropractic profession? Do they offer chiropractic health benefits to their employees? Do they donate any money to support chiropractic at the national, state or local levels? These and other support issues may seem unimportant to you (especially to your staff) when making buying decisions, but should not be overlooked! Think about it, all other things being equal, wouldn’t you rather spend your money with a company that supports your profession than with one that doesn’t? Don’t be afraid to ask your suppliers about what they are doing to support your profession.
2. Can I return it if it doesn’t work out for me or my patient? (I am not just referring to equipment here; if your patient doesn’t like a pillow, will the company take it back from you with no restocking fee?
3. Does the company you are buying from have good support after the sale? Do they have people who will spend as much time as needed with you to make sure you are comfortable with the operation and/or use of the products you have purchased from them? (Again, I am not just referring to large ticket equipment items here. For example, you may want some insight into how to present a cervical pillow to a patient.)
4. Does the company you are purchasing from provide repair/replacement service or do they just refer you back to the manufacturer if you have a problem? This is very important. The company you purchase a product from should be able to directly handle your repair/replacement or expedite it for you. You should not have to spend your valuable time arranging repairs or replacements for equipment that is down or go through the hassle of dealing with the manufacturer directly to have a supply problem handled.
Our people are not bound by a strict set of policies and procedures. We listen to our customers and are very responsive to their needs.
5. Does the company you are purchasing from provide FREE loaner units on therapy equipment if your therapy unit goes down? Again, this is very important. You and your staff depend on your equipment. Time spent waiting for a repair is revenue and profit lost. The good supply companies will send you an exact or “like” unit to arrive at your office within a couple of business days. This unit can be used by your office free of charge until your defective unit is repaired and received back at your office.
6. How quickly can your supplier ship your supply order? The really good supply companies should be able to ship your supply orders the same day you place them, even if you place your order late in the day. If you are not experiencing this type of service, you are dealing with the wrong company.
7. Is the company you are purchasing from an information resource? I am not just referring to product information here, but am also referring to general questions. The good supply companies are dealing with successful doctors everyday and may be able to put you in contact with another doctor on an issue of interest to you.
TAC: What are Scrip's plan for the future?
Cooper: In the future, we will continue to find ways to become a better and better resource for the chiropractic office. By this I mean that we will continue to expand our offering of products and services to become “the only place” a DC or office assistant needs to run a successful practice. We will also continue to be a strong supporter of and friend to the chiropractic profession. We appreciate the many individual doctors and chiropractic organizations who work tirelessly to expand, grow and protect the chiropractic profession. These people deserve our support.
TAC: Any closing remarks or advice for our readers?
Cooper: In closing, I would like to encourage doctors and CA’s to avoid purchasing out of habit (many offices do this!). Invest some time in researching suppliers. Look around, do some service comparisons and see what else is out there. You’ll be glad you did. TAC