Alan Rudy called 1998 a rebuilding year for Express-Med, yet his companys revenues still grew by 40 percent. Thats why, when Rudy says 1999 will be a return to the fast-paced growth of Express-Meds earlier years, we know hes talking warp speed.
Rudys five-year-old mail-order medical supply company has seen triple-digit sales growth at least twice beforeincluding a 515 percent leap between 1995 and 1996. Now, with a new president, CFO and other middle management in place to run operations while Rudy scouts out new business, the company appears positioned to start doubling its annual sales again.
We spent a lot of time [last] year working on efficiencies rather than just growth, Rudy says. Case in point: Express-Med had the same number of employees in October 1998 as it did in December 1997, yet sales have grown from $20 million to nearly $28 million in the same time frame.
That push for more efficient growth will become more aggressive in 1999 as Rudy seeks to become a bigger player in the industry.
A large part of that growthpossibly as much as $5 million this yearwill come from sales of a new home hemoglobin test kit developed by Express-Med and approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration late last year. Rudy says Express-Med may license the kit to others for resale, a first for the company.
Growth through acquisition is not out of the question this year, either.
There are a couple competitors of mine Id like to talk to, Rudy says, though hes quick to point out hell have to weigh the advantages of picking up a chunk of customers [through a buy-out] vs. getting them ourselves.
Express-Med certainly looks poised for the dramatic growth Rudy envisions. This month, the company will move from its 24,000-square-foot headquarters in Hilliard into 80,000 square feet of a 103,000-square-foot facility being built for the company in New Albany. Express-Med has options on two more similarly sized properties in the area to accommodate future growth, Rudy says.
A lot of the pieces are in place to get back on the growth path that we were on before, he says.
Dont be surprised to see Express-Med surpass $50 million in sales this yearand start putting out some feelers for an initial public offering in 2000 or 2001.
6530 W. Campus Oval, New Albany
Top officer: Alan Rudy
Year founded: 1994
Estimated 1998 revenues: $28 million
Revenue growth, 96 to 97: 150%
Clients: 30,000 individuals requiring medical supplies to treat diabetes, respiratory conditions, incontinence and impotence