Founded in 1992, Special Products Kansas’ name is about as discrete as the products and services they provide. A company with an almost 30-year history, Special Products Kansas specializes in providing better quality incontinence supplies, more affordably and discretely, than the products you can find on supermarket or drug store shelves.
In 2016, Jeremy and Rachel Banning took over operations for the company. Their story, according to the company’s website, goes like this, “We discovered Special Products in 2006 while searching for our incontinence supplies for our daughter, Mia. She sustained a birth injury, resulting in severe cerebral palsy, limiting her mobility and communication. She passed away in October 2013, but her kindred spirit forever bonded us to the world of special needs. Mia introduced us to the most incredible and courageous people we have ever met, and we are honored to carry on the legacy that Rick and Susan Hoppe began more than 20 years ago.”
Fast-forward to 2020, with the help of a custom-developed software solution, the Bannings have tripled business for Special Products Kansas. In this case study, we’ll show you how they did it.
Learning the Business
At first, the Bannings spent time learning the business and the field. Once they had a good grasp on things, they knew they could operate more efficiently by introducing a hybrid business/patient management software platform to the company’s processes and workflows. The trouble was that with the company’s unique needs and niche market, all the off-the-shelf software available didn’t quite meet their needs. It was either too expensive, too complex, or would trap the company into a long, subscription-based contract.
When choosing between off-the-shelf software solutions, their only option was to choose something good enough. It was either going to cost them too much to be efficient, not fit their industry’s needs, or worse, both.
Special Products Kansas learned about High Touch’s Custom Software Development service after hearing a local business owner discuss his experience in building custom software for his own industry. After meeting with the High Touch team, Special Products Kansas decided to take the plunge and start exploring the custom software route for themselves.
“The thought of building our own software platform to have a direct impact on our industry, entirely specialized for our area, was exciting,” states Rachel Banning, Co-Owner of Special Products Kansas. “After we met with the High Touch team, we knew this was the direction we wanted to go.”
Identifying the Challenges
When the Bannings took over ownership of Special Products Kansas, the company was using eight separate applications to manage the business for most of the patients. Having eight different applications to manage patients and billing, for a business where discretion and timeliness are essential, wasn’t working. Their critical applications, including QuickBooks, calendaring, billing, medical records, and more, relied on scattered workflows and a mountain of paperwork.
To improve operations across the board, Special Products Kansas needed a software platform that incorporated its patient database with electronic health records, supply inventory, electronic billing, and payment systems.
Exploring Custom Software Solutions
At first, the Special Products Kansas and High Touch teams needed to combine their expertise and brainstorm exactly what the company required in their business/patient management system and how High Touch could execute and deliver on their needs.
“In the early stages, the team was curious and very engaged in understanding our industry. We could tell they wanted to engineer the best version of the software platform we had in mind,” states Banning. “We didn’t even have everything down on paper, except a list of what we needed.”
“With any software development project, our number one challenge isn’t the technology or coding—that’s the easy part,” states Heath Howard, Director of Custom Software Development at High Touch. “We don’t call it the discovery process for nothing. The art is in understanding what the client can’t tell us. For example, they may not fully understand their needs, they might not be sure how to communicate them, or other more apparent problems cloud their root issue. It’s part of our job to uncover those problems. In solving those below-the-surface challenges, we do more than just put a band-aid on an issue—we provide our clients with real solutions.”
Once the development team understands the client’s needs, and the client understands the development team’s requirements, the real work can begin. In the end, the ideal custom software becomes a reality.
“We’ve Grown Our Business Threefold Without a Considerable Amount of Overhead.”
Since implementing the new custom business/patient management system, Special Products Kansas has completely overhauled its workflows, yielding some seriously powerful results. Overall, Special Products Kansas can operate more consistently, efficiently, and accurately. Here’s how:
- Billing tasks that used to take the company three days to complete now take less than 10 minutes.
- Special Products Kansas can work successfully and securely in a remote work environment.
- The company has been able to reduce its paperwork and develop seamless, paperless processes between applications.
- Special Products Kansas has been able to process a single point of entry, from intake to delivery, within hours. Before, this process would’ve been challenging to achieve in the same timeframe.
- Billing errors have been reduced.
- The company has implemented seamless follow-up care for patients without being dependent on paper files sitting on someone’s desk.
“Watching the platform come to life and witnessing its positive impact on our company has been a joy and a relief,” states Banning. “Communications and upfront expectations have really helped, especially since we knew nothing about software development before we visited with High Touch. We appreciate the transparency and authentic support we’ve received.”
We Help Make Things Easier.
Without a custom software solution, Special Products would’ve been left choosing between expensive, off-the-shelf solutions that wouldn’t accomplish their goals. Now, the company has the fully-customized, fully-supported software platform that it needs to provide the best services for the people with special needs at the heart of the company’s mission.
High Touch is thankful to have the opportunity to help companies, like Special Products Kansas, achieve their goals and further serve their communities. Learn more about the custom software development services provided by High Touch.
Additionally, you can read about the custom case management software system our team developed for the Office of the Court Trustee – 18th Judicial Court of Sedgwick County, Kansas.More About Custom Software