December 8, 2022
It’s newsletter time again! Wow, another busy month.
CARESIGHT We have so many things going on this year, it’s been hard to keep up. As you know CareSight is now part of the Lone Star team. There has been a lot of activity around CareSight with the CareSight 50 campaign we have in progress. We have challenged ourselves to have 50 CareSight installs where we are monitoring the servers on an existing customer’s site by January 17th. The 17th is the first day of our annual Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) meeting for 2023. That is an aggressive goal, but what better way to show our confidence in the CareSight product than to install the solution into our existing clients’ systems providing them a much-needed value. The only thing that could impact this goal is Christmas and the reality that most people will be unavailable to sign agreements after the 2nd or 3rd week in December and the 2nd week of January due to vacations and holiday celebrations. But we are committed to reaching the 50 whatever it takes! We have identified 54 locations and there is a lot of excitement on the hospitals’ end as well as the Lone Star team. CareSight brings big benefits to hospitals by monitoring servers and system services to ensure all systems are online all the time; hospital staff cannot wait in some of the facilities to activate the service. Once we get these installed, it will lead to additional sales of CareSight features and that will lead to additional Responder system add-ons as well. CareSight is the right product at the right time.
STRATEGIC PARTNER SUMMIT We had a Strategic Partner Summit (SPS) this past week in Grand Prairie. Our Strategic Partners are Rauland (of course), CareSight, Vizabli, Helpp AI, and IOW which is a product Lone Star acquired from World Class Software. We met with the idea “how could we create a solution, using all of our products these companies have now, to fix issues in healthcare that to date have not been solved”. We met for two days to discuss ideas and look at all of the problems the healthcare industry faces. The healthcare industry is vast, but we are focused on the patient experience and the caregiver’s workday. How can we make the patient experience better? How can we help caregivers make their day more productive by taking away the obstacles that cost caregivers time out of their day?
The group concluded, with some software modifications and some hardware changes, we could solve a longtime healthcare need by providing detailed information to a hospital regarding single-patient activity throughout the day. This is only one of the many things we identified. There are many more issues to be solved, but we need to start somewhere, and this is the “line in the sand”, the beginning point. All of these companies are working together to develop an entry-level solution that will solve this single problem. Once we achieve this, we will add more features, one at a time so that over the next year, we will have a complete set of system offerings and a very comprehensive system. We have challenged the team to deliver this new solution in a testing environment in 90 days and fully install it in 3 customer sites within 6 months. Speed to market with the first phase is a priority. Initially, the plan is to roll out a solution with all products integrated, a single system that provides a solution that is more comprehensive than the systems’ individual parts. That way we can get the base of this solution with all the partners’ systems installed. Once in place, as additional functions become desired by the facility, we simply “turn-on” the software functions or add the devices necessary and activate additional features as needed. This gives every facility the maximum flexibility when adding features. This will be a big win for all our customers.
NSCA Education Foundation Fundraiser The Education Foundation is having its annual fundraiser tomorrow, December 8th, from 5:00 PM-6:30 PM. The Education Foundation is a nonprofit organization that provides programs and education grants for people in our industry and awareness campaigns/activities to help bring new people into the. I sent an e-mail to everyone recently; please login and see if there's anything you would find of value to you. If you find something, bid on it! It’s a great charity and it benefits our industry.
SICK LEAVE & COVID PAY POLICIES With the pandemic pretty much behind us, we will be evaluating our policy for sick leave and Covid pay over the next few weeks. We will be returning to pre-pandemic policies for sick pay and other PTO issues at the first of the year. Look for the policy updates later in the month. We have been very flexible on these policies and will remain open-minded, but we need to reinstate the pre-pandemic policies for most situations.
STATE OF THE COMPANY The Supply chain has been the biggest issue of 2022 and most likely will still be an issue for 2023. This has had a big impact on our ability to finish projects for our customers and has left some customers very upset with Lone Star. We are not the problem in most cases. We must receive delivery on material for Lone Star to be able to provide the systems to our customers as agreed. But to some customers, Lone Star is the company not delivering on its promise; they do not see that our suppliers are not meeting the suppliers’ commitments. Our job is to get the work done and though most customers understand the problem is beyond us, they still expect Lone Star to finish. We committed as a company to these projects and that is what we need to do, finish the projects we have open. If we can’t get delivery of products for a project, we need to inform the customer early and often that we cannot get the equipment, but we also need to tell them when the product will arrive and when we will finish. For Rauland, the same applies. Their customer is Lone Star, and they need to keep us up to date on deliveries so we can inform our customers. To that end, Rauland has undertaken an internal initiative to improve their processes. We absolutely must keep our customers informed. If you feel we are not doing that adequately, please inform your supervisor, and let’s get that corrected.
The supply chain has cost Lone Star profit on every project in 2022. In some cases, Rauland can’t deliver because they are unable to buy the chips and other components, they need to build the product we ordered and promised to provide our customers. Rauland has 18 internal projects in-house to redesign their existing products (corridor light, dome-less controller, etc.) with available chips. They have introduced new part numbers for some of the products and because the new components are more expensive, the price of the redesigned product has doubled in some cases. If it was an item, we needed only two or three of, it would have less impact. But the first new redesign is the corridor light, and the price went from about $200 to $380. In a job with 200 lights, that’s a $36,000 impact to profit. Before the redesign, we had surcharges that affected our jobs the same way. This is going to cost Lone Star a lot of its projected profit this year. All of this is under analysis as we end our year and look at funding the 401k and profit sharing. We will fund the Safe Harbor 401k account this month and look at profit-sharing in January as normal. As much as we want to fund our profit-sharing quarterly, the market is just too volatile this year and 2023 is not likely to be much better with supply chain issues expected to continue through the first 3 quarters of 2023 as well.
Thank you for all you have done this year to support our projects and initiatives and to provide constructive solutions to the many challenges we have seen in 2022. It’s important we have a big finish for 2022 and, with your outstanding efforts, we can make 2023 our biggest year ever!
That’s all for now, until next time,