General Manager of Medical Disposables & Supplies Limited (MDS) Kurth Boothe espouses that if the company will continue to grow in both asset base and profitability, then investing in its staff — both numerically and professionally — must be an imperative.
In an interview with Caribbean Business Report, Boothe explained, “We are being very cautious with the management of our growth. The need for a lot of input costs has arisen.”
To this end, the general manager said the company has had to invest in infrastructure to support its expansion. Furthermore, with the restructuring of MDS into three divisions — pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, and household consumerables — the company’s senior management decided on “adding more staff to facilitate the growth”.
The investment in infrastructure to which Boothe pointed includes the acquisition of a property, located on Carpenter Road, adjoining MDS’ Hagley Park Road location in St Andrew, Jamaica.
However, the need to increase its staff complement arose as the company identified several inefficiencies, Boothe explained.
“During the current year, the company made several changes to its operations to reduce the inefficiencies, particularly to treat with expiring and damaged inventory; this also had an impact on profitability,” outlined a report attached to financial statements.
“The increase in staff-related expenses was due to the activation of the company’s long-term strategic plan to build out the expansion model which will guide the company into the future.”— Kurt Boothe, general manager, Medical Disposables & Supplies Limited
For the year ending March 31, 2020, MDS recorded a 12 per cent increase in revenue but a 69 per cent decline in year-on-year profits. This decline was due to a 27 per cent uptick in operating expenses, with staff-related costs accounting for a major portion.
“The increase in staff-related expenses was due to the activation of the company’s long-term strategic plan to build out the expansion model which will guide the company into the future,” Boothe wrote in his report.
“This required the hiring of talent in several strategic positions,” he added.
Yet, in addition to recruiting new talent, the general manager said the company is also invested in the retention of existing talent and their upskilling.
Describing 2020 as a “reset year”, the general manager’s report indicated that MDS is equipping itself to take in the challenges that come with expansion.
“We are at a position where we are competing with leading distributors in the island and if we are to survive, there’s a lot we would have to add,” Boothe told Caribbean Business Report.