Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Morning Question for Our Readers

Last night while reading comments on the USS/Amedica (sounds like a battleship) merger, TSB observed a pattern in the spine industry. Whenever a start up or early growth stage company seems to flounder, the blame is immediately deflected on the sales people, or distributors that sell the product. During my tenure in spine and god only knows that I have sat next to a few King Solomon's in my life, never once have I heard an egotistical CEO or Senior Executive Manager admit that maybe they came up with the wrong strategy or platform to execute their business plan.

Example #1: "the problem with USS has always been the agents that sell for them." Has anyone ever wondered that maybe the problem with USS was not the agents but the people that managed and ran the company? How do you recruit a Tier 1 distributor with an incomplete portfolio? Which leads to the next example.

Example #2: "the gun is great, but the rep/Dr must understand how (and I will clean up the grammar) it should be used and when it should be used." So as the inventor of the product, and the company that is distributing the product, isn't the onus on your shoulders to create a comprehensive educational/clinical platform (has anyone learned anything from Synthes or NuVasive) so that the distributor and/or the surgeon can understand how to effectively sell or use your products?

Those comments are a blatant indictment on the incompetence of the people that ran this company. Wasn't Paul Sendro the savior based on his experience with Blackstone and his bio as a USS Board of Director? I guess he learned at Vertebron and USS that you can't make Beef Wellington out of bullshit. But then, would we expect otherwise, considering that we have become a society that shuns accountability, while applauding and rewarding bad behavior (the Christian coalition should love that statement)? One has to wonder, what is a company the size of USS up to when they had fifteen surgeons on their Medical Advisory Board? Just because you have come up with a new pedicle screw design another piece of plastic, or a facet gun doesn't mean your product is an outlier. Nor, does it mean the market for that product is as big as you believe. Many people genuinely feel that just because they invented a product (me too no less), that their baby is beautiful. Unfortunately, the reality is that your baby is just another average child, with average performance grades and SAT scores. Maybe some of these people should get off their fat asses and go out and travel with their distributors, get into surgery and learn something, and listen to the diverse clinical opinions and financial challenges that exist today. How quickly many of us forget that if you started in this business in the 80's and 90's there weren't as many company's and equivalent products that have glutted the market. Until management understands that people are not a commodity, but an asset, and that loyalty means not firing someone that was 100% of quota over the past two years to bring in your friends will this industry ever change.

So TSB wants to know is it US or THEM?

22 comments:

  1. MM, excellent points you raise. Any of us who have a little time under our belts realize that there is always enough blame to go around. That being said, ultimately everything lands at the feet of top management. Strong, market-leading profitable companies are exclusively driven by a great top management team which generally includes a CEO/President that knows what strengths and weaknesses they individually have. Hire talented people and let them do their jobs. Too many small start ups have too much ego at the top and not enough skill. If only they could admit that they didn't "know it all", but usually that comes too late or never at all!

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  2. In regards to the sales force, it should be mentioned that many distributors are not groomed by any type of company, at least not anymore, the same distributor may have repped k2, lifespine, us spine, blackstone....hopefully not at the same time!

    and those spine vendors walk away just as quick... its a loyalty thing that doesnt exist, and thats why people spin in circles in this industry......

    even the doctors spin away just as quick now.

    look at depuy, they are all going 1099 now. can you imagine what will happen next?!

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  3. The Anonymous postings from "White Wedding" yesterday at 11:48am and 12:36pm explain it all. If Shappley is truly a con artist who likes to play fast and loose with the numbers than he and Sendro are made for each other. (Is the DOJ after Shappley too?) Don't know much about the Sales VP at Amedica but if he's as honest as I've heard, he's about to be fucked.

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  4. Back to the point, sales teams - RSM's, distributors, directs, and reps, are tools for the company. As a group, they perform as well as they are utilized, and as well as their environment allows. You can never blame the "sales force" for failure, just like you can't entirely credit them for success. They are the running backs on the football team and have the same interest as the team as a whole. (To move the ball down the field.) Sure, one individually might be better than another, even to the point of compensating for other deficiencies. But on the whole, if the blocking isn't good (management, education, training, collaterals, promotion) and the products aren't good (play called), as a group, they won't succeed. That's not the sales force's fault, and blaming a sales force as a group for failure to produce is a public admission that corporate screwed up.

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  5. Doris ruined the company. She took her piece with her. She treated all but a few unfairly and savagely and is the source of their problems. What comes out of this is that Amedica will get inventory and a depleted sales distribution network. For the employees of US, there is only loss.

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  6. She is one scarrrrrry lady. Who on here has witnessed one of her meltdowns or tantrums?

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  7. TSB... You nailed it. At the end of the day, it is all about management and execution. Great technology isn't worth the paper the patent is written on if you don't have 1) the right business and marketing plans and 2) capable and focused human resources to execute those plans. As far as USS is concerned, it seems to me that they have great products and innovative technology. The problem has been a complete lack of direction or leadership in the executive suite. If there is a deal between Amedica and USS (I still haven't read any press releases), the combined company will have cutting edge technology AND will be a one-stop shop that can satisfy everything a spine surgeon needs in the operating room. So the $64,000 question is a simple one: Can management execute?

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  8. Got to ask, does Sendro, aka Wheezie, still fall asleep in management meetings? Sendro never carried a bag let alone ever detailed a product to anyone and he qualifies as a VP of Sales? The dude never sold a thing in his life outside of the BS that he offered. Was it Sendro, or the Lyons Brothers that bought, I mean grew the business at Blackstone. My fellow distributors and I always compared him to the Stealth. Never seen but always flying around somewhere. Got to laugh whenever he would snore

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  9. Leave him alone, he is just trying to make a living for his family.

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  10. I guess he was just trying to do his job when he was cutting deals while at Blackstone. Give up a break

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  11. We all have to make a living for our families. Sendro does it by stealing from the rest of us and giving the industry a dirty name-so what makes his family better than ours.

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  12. You don’t know what you’re talking about!! He is an honest man of integrity!!

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  13. Whomever has written this post and the one about Ben Shappley must be the same person. Could everyone be an honest man of integrity. The only thing I would add is you forgot to write "I'm Paul Sendro and I approve this message." As long as the feds don't throw me into jail for what transpired during my time at Blackstone

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  14. You're right- Sendro has family members writing on his behalf now. Who else would be that protective of Wheezie-Sleezie? But don't believe me and the entire industry who know he's a liar- can you say perjury?- believe the indictment coming down from the DOJ.

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  15. Sendro has a proven track record at multiple companies prior to Blackstone. He was successful at Stryker, Synthes and Howmedica, his record speaks for itself. Dream on haters!!!!

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  16. Anonymous 6:34AM --- seriously? If you mean coming into work everyday, I will give you that

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  17. As someone who worked with Sendro at Stryker I can tell you there are two sides to Paul. The nice guy if you don't have anything to do with him, and the backstabbing sleaze bag. The sleaze bag side is very subtle. Maybe he will share a cell with his ass hole buddy in jail, Al Lorddumbo. Paul must be feeling good about the feds squeezing his fat ass.

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  18. Dana Sendro (Paul's family member!)September 22, 2010 at 9:25 PM

    How nice. Don't you people have anything better to do than slam others on the internet under the names Anonymous and Musculoskeletal Man? By the way, we know who you are MM :)? Shouldn't you all be working to support your own families instead of sitting around posting about someone else? Or maybe you don't even have a job because you were fired from too many. Most of you are probably people who Paul has helped at one time and have stabbed him in the back more than once. And by the way, if your customers were so happy with you and the job you are doing for them, how on earth could Paul steal them away? And don't even try to play holier than thou and act like you've never done that yourself. So stop the crap about lying and cheating and backstabbing because you all are guilty of it. If you all stopped living in the past and spent more time trying to make yourself successful and your customers happy, maybe you wouldn't have time to sit around and slam everyone else. You people are disgusting and I feel sorry for you that the only way you can feel good about yourselves is to put others down. And just for the record, if Paul Sendro's "family members" are going to post on this ridiculous blog, they would most certainly put down their names.

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  19. If Paul was such a wonderful guy, why are there so many people posting such nice things about him? Do you think that this is sport? This is what the spine industry is all about. It's mercenary. You don't think the feds would be investigating the former owners of Blackstone and their executive management team because they were choir boys, now do you? You don't believe that Orthofix cleaned house because of all the altar boys at Blackstone because they were such an asset, now do you? I know, you believe its the big bad government out on a witch hunt. It's a reflection of how someone that you believe is so wonderful, has treated people in the workplace. Just because companies buy surgeons business, doesn't make it right. You know what they say in this world, the same people you step on on your way up, are the same people that will step on you on your way down.

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  20. Let the truth be stated: First of I have no ill feelings toward Sendro. Now,
    Corporate America is an ugly world not only in spine but in all industries. There are numerous ways to get ahead at these organizations. It can be higher education, outstanding performance, great relationships with co workers, relationship with customers, leadership qualities, politics and others. Sendro falls into the politician category, and I have seen him in action firsthand. Again I have no issues with him, but the method he used to get ahead has hurt others in the past, therefore there are some individuals that have distaste for him. He is not the angel that he appears to be at first appearance. I can imagine that he has is political act in full gear at this time considering the resent change on control at US Spine. Some may also be upset, because he is truly the best at what he does “politic”.

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  21. Sounds like someone got her panties in a knot

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  22. And the Desperate Housewife award goes to... cause clearly that kind of self-righteous indignation can only come from a woman staring down the reality of a lifestyle change...the feds are like that, you know.

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