"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Are You Serious?

For Christmas, WMHS provides a gift to every employee and we have been doing so for many years.  If affordability is an issue, it is something inexpensive, but it is done in conjunction with the holiday meal that I blogged about yesterday.  This year, as we did last year, we gave $25 gift cards to each employee from Martin's Supermarket.  Martin's is owned by Giant Foods and gives the health system a 5% discount, but this gift still costs the health system close to $60,000.  It is worth the amount of money based on the generosity of our employees during the holidays with the Christmas families that they sponsor and the good will that it brings from a most appreciative staff.   Last year, no problem with the acquisition; this year, not so fast.  Which brings me to the "are you serious" part. 

Our Community Relations Department contacted Giant Foods to arrange for the purchase and delivery of the gift cards.  Our person asked to have the cards delivered this week (the week before Christmas) and she was told that wasn't possible and the earliest delivery would be next Tuesday.  Our person said do you realize that this is a $60,000 order and it's for Christmas?  The person from Giant said yes but that was the best that they could do.  Our person asked to speak with her supervisor and she said please hold.  The supervisor never got on the phone but the rep said that we could pick the gift cards up at one of their local supermarkets over this past weekend, which we did.  Thank goodness, one of our more patient people handled the transaction.  I would have asked to speak with their CEO and congratulated him or her for their success in retail during such a challenging economic period that they didn't need a $60,000 sale.  Maybe, I still will!  With that said, it is still better than Wal-Mart who told us last year that there is no discount on a $60,000 gift card purchase since they already have very low prices and don't need to give a discount.  That was an easy one to walk away from with Wal-Mart’s arrogance; maybe next year we should pursue a gift card purchase with a local business that would be more appreciative of the business.

No comments:

Post a Comment