Reintroducing bttn: A Hybrid Healthcare Purchasing Platform

Reintroducing bttn: A Hybrid Healthcare Purchasing Platform

Every single day, the bttn team shows up to work to evolve, grow, iterate, and improve our products and service for our customers. Building the future of medical distribution requires a mindset and desire to improve daily and a deep passion and understanding of what our nation's healthcare providers face each and every day. We are challenging the status quo on what providers have accepted for years and what the healthcare distributors have convinced us is best. We are making it easier, more cost-effective, and less complicated to procure the name-brand medical supplies needed to keep your staff and patients safe. 

 

What is bttn?

 bttn is building the next generation of healthcare distribution, serving alternate-site healthcare providers such as dermatologists, dentists, physicians, and long-term care facilities across the US. bttn is the healthcare distribution platform that provides a fully integrated B2B-purchasing experience. We meet customers where they are by offering a self-serve digital buying experience and a nationwide, knowledgeable sales team. We ship name-brand products nationwide at the best pricing, quickly and effectively. 

The lack of technology impacting this industry comes as little surprise to all. There is a clear opportunity to build a technology platform to serve healthcare providers and make the whole ecosystem's lives easier. Our digital-first business model allows us to save money on the medical supplies we offer. We pass these savings directly onto our practitioners and provide dramatic savings on time and money. 

 

How did it start?

bttn was founded in March of 2021. We had access to a relatively small catalog of healthcare products at launch and committed to free nationwide shipping with 14–21-day delivery guarantees. At the time, we were one of the first in the distribution industry to offer free shipping and freight, a pivotal moment to show our customers that we were willing to do things differently. With our expanded access to distribution centers across the country, we offer the same shipping timeframes as your traditional distributor, 1-5 days, while still saving you time and money and offering a better experience.

Our initial product catalog was primarily PPE-based due to the nature of the demand. The bulk of the collection included gloves, gowns, masks, and face shields. We continue to be passionate about helping practitioners negatively impacted by supply chain issues during the pandemic. We sourced products for practitioners who had been deserted by the traditional providers or put on allocation, showing them that bttn would not be limited the same way the conventional suppliers were during the pandemic. We will still do absolutely anything to ensure our customers have a trusted source to rely on; that is fundamental to our mission and why we started this business. Unfortunately, the story of diminished services, being ignored, and put on allocation even while prices were rising, is a story we heard countless times from alternate-site providers and IDNs across the country.

We connected with healthcare associations across the US in the early days. They saw us fulfilling a critical need for their members and saw the obvious gap in the market that bttn was able to fill. Many of you probably interacted with bttn for the first time via a group order through your state's association and received discounted products during the shortages.

In our conversations with associations, they expressed frustration and raised questions about the state of supply. 

  • Why isn't there a trusted platform on the internet to source supplies that are so important to our nation's critical healthcare workers? 
  • Why did providers need to jump through so many hoops to purchase supplies
  • Where is the pricing transparency? 
  • Why did suppliers price gouge essential workers during a pandemic? 

 Addressing these concerns led to the early endorsement of bttn by 20+ healthcare associations. This endorsement was pivotal in bttn's introduction to our initial customers. 

 

How is bttn doing today?

Today, more than 7,000 customers use bttn to procure their entire medical supply catalog. bttn is recognized and endorsed by the technology and healthcare community as the future of healthcare distribution. We won't stop until we serve every practice across the US. 

If you haven't visited us lately, we need to update you on our expanded product catalog, with broadline access to almost every product a healthcare provider needs. Today we have access to millions of products across various healthcare specialties, from dermatologists and dentists to long-term healthcare and hospice providers to surgical centers and family practices. With over ten major distribution hubs throughout the US to serve our customers the top name brand products, we have dramatically scaled our supply chain access and logistics to improve as we continue to add more and repeat customers. 

With access to more products, we have also streamlined our shipping times. Our initial 14-21 lead times are now closer to 1-3 days as we expand our supply hubs nationwide. Shipping times will continue to improve in the coming months. bttn now offers service parity to your current distribution partner. We want to give you confidence that switching to bttn will be seamless.

With 21 healthcare association partnerships nationwide, we give thousands of practices access to bttn promotions and discounts. You may have met bttn through a "group order," and now we can ensure you we are much broader than a group order.

 

What has bttn learned in the past year?

Healthcare practitioners, particularly those outside of the hospital setting, have been ignored by the large healthcare distributors for too long. The past two years of the pandemic put a fine point on it. Pushing small and medium-sized practices to the back of the line because they don't meet the incumbents' business model doesn't seem fair or right to us at bttn. 

We have learned that SMB providers, the very backbone of our communities, are exhausted after two years of dealing with a pandemic. We have learned that one of the most important things we can give practitioners is time

As we build the future of healthcare distribution, every decision is about respecting our practitioners' time, energy, and resources. We recognize that time spent on the sometimes-aggravating process of procuring medical supplies is better spent elsewhere. The last thing we want is practitioners spending energy on administrative issues that we can solve through technology and automation. Practitioners' time and money are as precious as that of their patients. With labor shortages ongoing, and the cost of front and back-office administration rising, we are the solution to giving back time and money to our customers. These aren't just small savings, but life-changing for a practice that buys with bttn. Imagine having complete confidence that you are getting the best quality of distribution and price on every medical supply you need to run your business combined with a delightful digital experience. That's what being a bttn customer is like.

We are building transparency into the entire manufacturer and distribution ecosystem. We are eliminating the traditional hassles of buying supplies that exist today. We don't require account qualification, credit checks, exclusive contracts, or wait times while reps get geographically assigned to your practice. We don't route you to a call center for failing to meet a spending threshold. We don't require minimum order quantities or mandate that you buy everything with us to unlock additional savings. We focus on saving you, our customer, time and money.

bttn offers transparency at every turn. Our prices are always listed directly on our website and are transparent. If you take advantage of GPO pricing, we will handle that for you. If you still have questions or need special orders, our wholly domestic sales force is happy to support you and talk through any questions you may have. We realize that using e-commerce and buying online might be a new experience for how you purchase these supplies today, and we are dedicated to meeting you where you are and providing you with more ways to buy. Want a dedicated representative to talk things through and take care of your medical supply? That's available to you as well.

 

What are the trends in healthcare distribution today, and how does that impact bttn's approach? 

According to a recent study by McKinsey, "Today's B2B customers are very clear about what they want from suppliers: more channels, more convenience, and a more personalized experience. They want the right mix of in-person interactions, remote contact via phone or video, and e-commerce self-service across the purchasing journey."

bttn has long embraced a hybrid approach to reach our customers. We first started the company with an easy-to-use e-commerce platform. We have since built out a knowledgeable and friendly customer support team for our customers in their buying journey. 

Many customers are digitally savvy and visit our website, point, click, order, and save. As the world has become more comfortable with buying over the internet, many office managers and materials managers are doing a Google search on their top products to price compare before they place their order with their traditional distributor. They don't want to have the field rep spend the time to bring them a coffee or take them to dinner once a quarter, as lovely as that can be. Buyers want to know they are getting the best price on their purchases and move along with their day. Other customers want to talk through their purchasing requirements, ask questions, research, and ensure that the service qualities are met. Many customers want a person to call if service falls short. They want the assurance that an honest, domestically based human being is here to support their transactions. We make sure you have access to that as well.

bttn also communicates with our customers through social channels, emails, newsletters, our blog, online chat, phone calls, and of course, directly through our platform. In an always-on landscape, offering customers many ways to connect is of paramount importance. The healthcare business is essential. We are here for our customers.

 

Moving Forward

We are hard at work to continually improve bttn and the future of healthcare distribution for our customers. If you were an early customer and our service didn't meet your expectations, I personally invite you to revisit the experience. We are fundamentally a different platform than you experienced in the early days. Our broadline product access, improved shipping timeframes, GPO pricing accessibility, improved pricing, and better service expectations are some of the improvements we've made to the bttn experience. 

We have grown so much since our inception. We have hundreds of popular name-brand products and are expanding our catalog daily. Our free shipping remains, and we get the product to you faster than a year ago. 

Our team is eager to support you if digital ordering is new to you.

We are building the future of healthcare distribution and look forward to reconnecting with our earliest supporters. I appreciate your support, and we look forward to serving you soon.

 

Medical Advice Disclaimer:

The information provided by bttn on this website is not medical advice, and all materials on this website, including text and images, are for educational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for advice from a professional healthcare provider.