At TSC, the backbone of our business is our value-added reseller partners: companies who support their customers at the highest level, provide innovative approaches to different applications, and go above and beyond to meet their clients’ needs.
Therefore, for today’s blog post, we interviewed one of our long-time reseller partners to show the ingenuity and customer-focused approach that our resellers exemplify.
Scroll down and read today’s interview to gather some insight into:
- How Mid-America Business Systems became successful in healthcare
- What a partnership with TSC looks like
- Where they see the future of barcode printing in the healthcare industry going
Interview with Jim Scheid, the Owner of Mid-America Business Systems
Jim Scheid is the owner of Mid-America Business Systems, an integrator business based in Columbus, Ohio, USA.
Mid-America Business Systems provides innovative and integrated identification solutions for patients, customers, employees, and students. As a leading identification provider in their region, they offer on-site sales and service to verticals like healthcare.
Currently, Mid-America Business Systems’ customer base includes hundreds of customers across the U.S. and Canada.
Q: Tell me about the history of your company and how you became involved in the healthcare industry.
In the early 1980s, I worked for a dealer for Addressograph-Farrington, now known as Datacard. At the time, they were a major manufacturer of manual embossers, especially for the healthcare industry. That was the vertical I specialized in.
This was pre-barcode and pre-barcode labels – in fact, pre-electronic medical records. Back then, hospitals would use manual embossing machines to produce plastic cards containing patient demographics that were used to transfer the information from the embossed card to the patient’s charts using an electric imprinter.
Things started to change in the late 1990s. At the time, I was working for NBS Card Technology, a company similar to Datacard. Technology was starting to go in a different direction in that hospitals started talking about barcodes. It was obvious that embossers were going to become obsolete.
Things picked up in the early 2000s. More and more healthcare organizations were just beginning to get into barcoding and capturing data electronically.
My former customers asked me: “What do you have for a label system?” I saw the opportunity to make a label system that emulated the embosser capabilities, but with a label printer.
I started my company as hospitals began to make the switch, in 2001.
Q: Your best-selling healthcare label system is the Patient ID Xpress. How did TSC help you to make this system, and why did you decide to partner with TSC?
When I had the idea to develop what eventually became Patient ID Xpress, nothing like it was on the market at the time. It was a completely new way of identifying patients, something that had never been done before.
The first printer manufacturers we approached didn’t want to give us the resources to create a market that was unproven. Then, in 2004, we spoke with the team at TSC. Though they had never done or heard of anything like the system we wanted to make, they agreed to go down this road with us to see if we could make it happen. In the end, we did.
In fact, many of the firmware and customizable ideas they have for this industry came through their partnership with us.
TSC worked with us to modify their printers so we could print labels and wristbands without having any control characters sent with the data. They reconfigured the firmware that allowed my programmers to write a program that resided in the printers to parse out the hospitals’ current embosser data stream.
Through this partnership, we designed our current and best-selling Patient ID Xpress System. Hospitals loved it because they could easily unplug their old embossers and replace them seamlessly with our labeling and wristband system. Our healthcare clients didn’t have to write any new programs. The transition was very easy for them.
Currently, some of the largest healthcare organizations in North America use our labeling system.
Q: What has your partnership with TSC looked like throughout the years?
TSC was the only manufacturer we found who was willing to take a chance on a relatively new company and help to create a completely new solution. Since they worked with us on our initial design, we have sold tens of thousands of TSC printers to our clients in the U.S. and Canada.
Throughout the years, TSC worked with us to refine our system and make it the best it could be. As we identified different changes or opportunities to improve or update the Patient ID Xpress System, TSC followed suit.
We rely heavily on TSC printers and the wide range of different printers they have to serve healthcare organizations of all sizes. We’ve used many of TSC’s printers since the beginning, but as of today, the most popular printers we incorporate are the TTP-247 Series and the TX200 Series.
Q: You’ve been involved in the healthcare industry for 30+ years now, and Mid-America Business Systems has been working in this industry for almost 17 years.
What are some major trends that you’ve seen in the healthcare industry? And where do you think barcode printers and labels will fit in?
Well, since hospitals and other healthcare organizations started using barcodes, they’ve made the switch from 1D to 2D barcodes. This makes sense; 2D barcodes can hold a significant amount of data.
With 2D barcodes, the image of the data is repeated multiple times, and you can contain information such as the patient’s name, the doctor’s name, and more. We quickly started using 2D barcodes after only a few years in the industry.
Some say that the industry is trending towards laser printers instead of barcode label printers. But there are a few problems with laser printers, and I don’t anticipate that they’re going to maintain market share for long. This is because barcode printers are much more cost-effective.
If you use a laser printer, you have to print a whole sheet of labels at one time. The problem with using laser printers is that if you need to print, for instance, just one more label, you have to print one and shred 29. If you need to print a wristband then you have to shred the labels. You either have too many or not enough with a laser printer.
With TSC printers, on the other hand, you can decide which label or wristband and how many you want to print. So, you have labels or wristbands on demand, when you need them and how you need them. I expect to see barcode printers remain popular and for hospitals to replace laser printers for printing labels and wristbands with barcode printers for cost-efficiency.
- If you’re a reseller and you see a chance to create a completely new product or system to serve your customers, TSC is poised to be the partner you need.
- Though technology is always changing, it is possible to design systems and solutions that make the transition process easy and quick. This can bring you further success.
- Barcodes will continue to permeate the healthcare industry, with more of a focus on 2D vs. 1D barcodes.
About Mid-America Business Systems
Mid-America Business Systems provides innovative and integrated identification solutions for your patients, customers, employees and students. We are the leading identification provider in our region that offers on-site sales and service. Professional Sales and Technical Staff develops ID solutions that will meet your application requirements, on time and on budget.