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Upsher-Smith tabs prestigious DIANAs at HDMA conference

BY Rob Eder

MAPLE GROVE, Minn. — Upsher-Smith Labs has been named a 2012 winner of the Healthcare Distribution Management Association DIANA Awards. The Distribution Industry Awards for Notable Achievements in Healthcare, known more familiarly as the DIANAs, are awarded each year by HDMA to leading pharmaceutical and consumer product manufacturers.

This year, HDMA gave out 10 DIANA Awards at its 2012 Business and Leadership Conference at a June 11 awards ceremony in San Antonio. Upsher-Smith walked away with two of them — one for "Best Overall Branded Pharmaceutical Product Manufacturer with Sales to Healthcare Distributors of Less Than $300 Million" (third consecutive year) and another for the "Best Consumer Product Manufacturer with Sales to Healthcare Distributors of More Than $10 Million." It marked the third consecutive time Upsher-Smith has won the top spot in the Branded Pharmaceutical Manufacturer, and the second time overall it has notched victory in HDMA’s top Consumer Product Manufacturer category.

"Upsher-Smith strives to consistently deliver excellent service to our customers," said Scott Hussey, Upsher-Smith VP sales. "Receiving this honor for three consecutive years is valuable affirmation from the distributors of our commitment to consistently meet or exceed their manufacturer expectations. These awards speak volumes to us because of the importance we place on customer relationships."

Now in its 50th year, the DIANA winners are chosen by HDMA distributor members based on several criteria including: knowledgeable salespeople, high-level customer service, demonstrated flexibility and creativity in marketing, and incorporation of new technologies to ensure product safety and security.

"Upsher-Smith would like to thank the HDMA members for selecting us for these DIANA awards because they acknowledge our unwavering commitment to excellence in all that we deliver to our supply chain partners," said Tom Burke, COO, Upsher-Smith. "These awards are further testimony to the advancement we are making to achieving our vision to grow our pharmaceutical and non-prescription product businesses. We have immensely talented and dedicated employees and this is further validation of their consistent efforts to serve the needs of our distributors."

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Costco takes full ownership of Mexican unit

BY Allison Cerra

ISSAQUAH, Wash., and MEXICO CITY — Costco Wholesale has agreed to buy out Controladora Comercial Mexicana’s 50% share interest in Costco de Mexico, a joint venture, for about $760.4 million.

In addition, Costco Mexico has declared a cash dividend of approximately $340.85 million, 50% payable to a subsidiary of Costco Wholesale and 50% to CCM. Costco Wholesale will use the dividend proceeds and existing cash and investment balances to fund the purchase. CCM will use the dividend and sale proceeds to pay down debt.

The Costco Mexico joint venture has been 50% owned by each of Costco Wholesale and CCM and operated by Costco Wholesale. The closing is subject to the approvals of the Mexican Federal Competition Commission and the shareholders of CCM. Guillermo Gonzalez Nova and Carlos Gonzalez Zabalegui, respectively chairman and CEO of CCM, will continue as members of the board of directors of Costco Mexico. Jaime Gonzalez Solana will continue as CEO of Costco Mexico.

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Survey: When it comes to grocery shopping, dad’s role evolves

BY Allison Cerra

BOSTON — Dads are taking on a new role: primary grocery shopper.

According to Cone Communications’ "2012 Year of the Dad Trend Tracker," more than half of fathers surveyed said they are the primary grocery shopper in the household (52%) and 1-in-3 moms said their partners have had more influence on grocery store purchases over the last few years (35%). Before heading out to stores, Cone Communciations said that dads surveyed also exhibited the following behaviors:

  • Sixty-three percent of dads said they create a detailed shopping list (versus 65% of moms);

  • More than half of dads surveyed said they collect coupons or read circulars (56%), versus 62% of moms. After price and quality, respondents also noted that the No. 1 purchase influence is a coupon (37%), rather than product benefits (20%) or brand name (14%);

  • Fifty-two percent of dads plan meals for the week, compared with 46% of moms; and

  • Almost one-quarter of dads (24%) perform background research on grocery products, compared with 11% of moms.

"This research goes against all stereotypes of the ‘Father Knows Best’ dad who doesn’t concern himself with domestic responsibilities," Cone Communications president Bill Fleishman said. "Marketers need to recognize the growing number of dads in the supermarket aisles who are taking their roles seriously and can benefit from brands who provide tools and shortcuts to make shopping easier."

When it comes to how they shop, most fathers surveyed said they turn to in-store promotions (57%), advertising (50%) and such traditional media as newspapers, magazines and television (40%) when making purchasing decisions. When looking at all online channels together, however, it turns out more than 2-in-5 dads (44%) seek out online sources — online media (18%), product websites (15%) and social networks (11%) — for information.

"Marketing to the sexes has always been looked at as needing two distinct approaches, but the lines are blurring," Fleishman said. "Roles may be shifting within the household, but we’re finding that dads are not acting so differently from moms in their approach to grocery shopping. This is good news for marketers because it means we don’t have to rewrite the playbook. By understanding the nuances between them, we can actually use the same strategies to reach the primary grocery shopper in the household, whether it’s mom or dad."

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