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04/13/2021

Cardinal Health (NYSE: CAH) was awarded a $57.8 million contract, including options that if exercised by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) could reach $91.6 million, for the...

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Simply improving
05/11/2021

By Robert Rajalingam, President, U.S. Sales, Medical Solutions

Like most of you, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on the last year and considering what I’ve learned about myself and our business.

With three kids under the age of seven, we’ve had our share of priceless memories together in the last year, as well as our fair share of challenges. A couple of examples that come to mind are juggling a call with the federal government while also putting a toddler to bed and competing for bandwidth on a national field call while my kids watched Netflix.

The responsibility and honor of helping serve healthcare providers is at the core of why I do what I do. As we celebrate National Nurses Week (May 6–12) and National Hospital Week (May 9–15), I want to speak on behalf of our entire team at Cardinal Health: we are incredibly thankful for everything these clinicians, hospital and healthcare workers do, and we deeply value our relationships. I’m truly humbled to do business together.

As I reflect on our customers’ experience doing business with us over the last 18 months, I know many have experienced frustration and multiple challenges from the impact of the pandemic. At Cardinal Health, we want to be transparent and direct about what we’ve learned and how we’re adapting moving forward.

I’ll be the first to say, the pandemic further accentuated some areas of opportunity for operational efficiencies and our approach to best serving our Medical distribution customers. We have learned a lot. With a healthy amount of self-awareness, we’ve set our go-forward strategy with a complete focus on the customer experience. Our teams are spending more time listening, deploying resources more strategically, and committing to an improved and simplified customer experience.

We are strengthening our ability to support our customers’ needs today and moving forward with enhancements and investments to our business. A few examples include:

  • Improved supply resiliency with investments in our manufacturing plants in North America, increased inventory and improved supplier management programs;
  • Enhanced business continuity with investments in our replenishment centers across the country and additional cost-effective inventory storage options; and
  • Advanced planning and visibility, including investments to our digital platforms, new solutions and technologies.

With a simplified customer focus, our teams are enabled to perform more effectively, and ultimately deliver stronger results. I think this simplified approach can – and should – be applied in all areas of our life as we adapt to a post-pandemic culture. Where are you spending your energy, time and resources? Are you getting the results you want? Can you reduce complexity and simplify? I’m asking myself these questions every day.

I’m eager to continue a “return to normal” lifestyle as I’m getting back out to see more customers in person, spending much-needed time with more friends and family and simplifying as much as possible.

I encourage you to try the same: Find what makes sense in your life to simply improve.

Editor’s note: Rajalingam, shown top left with Jeff Easterling, a vice president of sales, recently posted a version of this story on his LinkedIn profile.

Robert Rajalingam is President of U.S. Sales, Medical Solutions at Cardinal Health. He leads the Acute, Non-Acute & Inside Sales, Laboratory, Channel Partners Group, Enterprise Contracting and Government sales teams.

Earlier, he led the Medical Segment strategic selling organization, including the Strategic Accounts, Enterprise Contracting, Government, Channel Partners Group, and Customer and Market Insights teams. Rajalingam has been instrumental in leading the transformation of the Strategic Accounts team.

Rajalingam came to Cardinal Health from Smiths Medical, where he was vice president and general manager of the Vascular Access Business Unit. Prior to joining Smiths Medical, he was the vice president of Global Marketing for Medtronic Peripheral Vascular, where he helped lead the integration of Covidien’s Peripheral business. He also held leadership roles at Medtronic in product marketing, market development, market research, portfolio management, pipeline marketing and business development.

Rajalingam earned bachelor’s degrees in biomedical engineering and economics from Duke University and an MBA from Stanford University's Graduate School of Business. He previously served on the board of the American College of Phlebology Foundation and volunteered as a Year Up mentor.

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