1.1. Mission/Objectives The primary objective of ScheduleMedTM is to help independent senior citizens eliminate the confusion and mistakes that can be made in taking multiple medications. ScheduleMed aims to be a major player in the field of home health care services for the elderly. ScheduleMed gives senior citizens and their caretaker the peace of mind that their medication schedule is followed and that mistakes that can lead to serious consequences are avoided. ScheduleMed aims to offer products that vary in features and value so that customers of differing requirements and budgets will be able to find a product that matches their needs. ScheduleMed aims to expand beyond the pill dispensing field and into other elderly care products once growth is experienced. The first product ScheduleMed will offer is the ScheduleMed PremierTM. The device provides an easy-to-use scheduling software that allows caregivers or seniors to make a medication schedule. Once the device is scheduled, the ScheduleMed Premier alerts and dispenses the medication to the senior user using an easy-to-use one button scheme. The ScheduleMed Premier makes taking multiple medications easy. 1.2. Keys to Success The keys to success are: • ScheduleMed’s products should be aggressively marketed in publications tailored to senior citizens and nursing homes. • ScheduleMed should attend major events pertaining to senior citizens and senior health care. This would include attendance at trade shows and annual meetings of organizations such as health care and nursing home associations. • Develop an affordable, easy-to-use product that both the caregiver and senior user can use without confusion. The product should incorporate one button dispensing to allow the senior user to easily use it. The software should be simple for novice computer users to set up. It should also include tutorials to help beginner users. • Build a durable, aesthetically pleasing product with a warranty to instill consumer confidence. • Provide quality technical support to our customers to assist them with their problems. This will also provide us with feedback on improvements that can be made to our products. • Once the company grows and has developed a solid reputation, ScheduleMed should diversify its product line to minimize the dependence of one product. This not only includes pill dispensing products of varying features and price, but also other products that may relate to elderly care. 1.3. Target Market Our target market is the population of senior citizens and their caretakers. More specifically, we are targeting senior citizens who live independently and nursing homes. According to the 2000 US Census, there are 35 million senior citizens living in the United States. Of this group of people, 90 percent take at least one prescription medication daily and most take between three and four prescription medications daily. Currently, there are many companies making simple non-automated pill dispensers. However, there are very few companies making automated pill dispenser. Furthermore, there is little differentiation between the automated products in the market. We feel that it is a good time for our company to enter the market with an improvement on the products on the market. Since we are a starting as a small company, we will start out limited in what we can do nationally. To reach the national target market, we will advertise in publications geared towards senior citizens and elderly care. In addition, we will utilize the Internet so that anyone in the country can find out about our product. Our strategy for Internet awareness will be to maintain a website that will give detailed information on our company and product line. To raise awareness of our website, we will utilize Google’s AdWords service. In this service, when a search is performed on “Automated Pill Dispenser”, an ad pointing to our website will appear and possibly steer potential customers to our website. For physical demonstrations and local advertisements, we will try to focus our efforts in the South. Specifically, we want to be able to capture the Florida market as there are many retirees in this area. Once we have captured a significant segment of our target market in the South and are able to generate sizable revenue, we will market our company more aggressively in other regions in the country. 1.4 Competitive Advantage Our competitive advantage is that the ScheduleMed Premier is less expensive and has more features than what is typically in the current market. A medication dispensing unit similar to the ScheduleMed Premier with scheduling software and notification costs $900 with a monthly fee of $30. For most seniors on a fixed income, the $900 price tag plus a monitoring fee is a major deterrent. By keeping product cost low and eliminating the monitoring fee, ScheduleMed plans to gain a significant share of the market these other products are missing. To eliminate the monitoring fee, we provide scheduling software for the caregiver. The caregiver can monitor and schedule the ScheduleMed Premier using the software. We plan to have our product cost no more than $400 retail. We will achieve this by using cheaper parts than our competitors. 1.5 Basic Strategies The company startup will be primarily funded by the four founders of the company. This will make up approximately 65% of the funding needed to start the company. The rest of the funds will come from “angel investors.” ScheduleMed’s first product will be the current revision of the pill dispenser that is created during senior design. Technical development will be limited to the four founders in the beginning as it does not incur any additional costs to pay the founders. The product will be aggressively marketed in senior journals and newspapers. Advertisements in these publications are the best way to reach our target market. In addition, we will send information about our products to nursing homes. In the initial stages, the product will be available only by phone, mail order, or Internet order. Company growth is dependent on a diverse product line. If the first revision of ScheduleMed is successful, we will attempt to sell similar products with varying degrees of cost and features. Once we have established a firm footing in the market, future products may include non-automated pill dispensers and other products related to elder care such as emergency alert devices that will allow seniors to alert caregivers in the case of an emergency. Initially, the company will operate out of a garage and all manufacturing will be outsourced to a contractor that specializes in molded plastic parts. Afterwards, the assembly of the parts will be done by the company’s employees. Once there is evidence of growth, invesents in equipment and manpower will be increased. 2.1 Company Summary ScheduleMed is a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) founded in January 2007 at the Mississippi State University Electrical and Computer Engineering Deparent. The founders are Andrew Bracey, James Rapier, Ridzky Riyadi, and Harpreet Singh. Dr. Raymond Winton serves as an advisor to the company. The objective of the company is to provide independent senior citizens and nursing homes a pill scheduling software that will simplify the administration of a multiple medication schedule. ScheduleMed intends to provide pill dispensers of varying quality and value as part of the ScheduleMed line of products. The first ScheduleMed product is the ScheduleMed Premier and will allow for remote monitoring of medication behavior. The ScheduleMed Premier is the product initially designed in a Senior Design class at Mississippi State University and is intended to be our top of the line product. More products will be added to the product line if the ScheduleMed Premier achieves success. Other products in the ScheduleMed line will include ScheduleMed Basic, which is an automated pill dispenser without monitoring capabilities and support for only one user. ScheduleMed Deluxe is similar, but includes support for two users. 2.2 Company Type, Location, and Facilities ScheduleMed will start out as a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC). ScheduleMed will be initially located in Jackson, Mississippi. The company’s initial headquarters resides in a founder’s residence. The garage will be used for product development and production. This saves on expenses by allowing the company to operate without a facilities cost. A move to a larger location can be necessitated if and when the company experiences significant growth. 2.3 Company Strategy The company will visit nursing homes in Alabama and Mississippi to research the target market. In addition, attendance in events where senior citizens usually gather is a priority in order to obtain market feedback on the demand of the product. After research, the company will be able to determine a good price range for the pill dispenser. Further market research can also be done by looking at pricing of similar products on the Internet. The product will be marketed to senior citizens and nursing homes. The initial goal will be to market and sell the product in the Southeast as the company is geographically constrained due to limited funds. Outside of the Southeast, the product will be marketed via the company website. To get people to be aware of our website, we will utilize Google’s AdWords service. All manufacturing will be outsourced to a contractor that specializes in molded plastic parts. The assembly of the parts will be done by the company’s employees. Once there is evidence of growth, invesents in equipment and manpower will be increased. 2.4 Startup Costs Table I shows calculations of total costs and assets. Startup Expenses Legal 1,000.00 Prototype Dev 8,000.00 Initial Advertising 4,000.00 Insurance 1,500.00 Rent 0.00 Expensed Equipment 5,000.00 Other 1,000.00 Total Startup Expenses 20,500.00 Startup Assets needed Cash Balance on Starting date 35,000.00 Startup Inventory 15,000.00 Other Current Assets 5,000.00 Total Current Assets 55,000.00 Total Startup Requirements 75,500.00 Funding Investment Andrew Bracey 15,000.00 James Rapier 15,000.00 Angga Riyadi 15,000.00 Harpreet Singh 15,000.00 Friends and Family 15,500.00 Total Investment 75,500.00 Current Liabilities Accounts Payable 0.00 Current Borrowing 0.00 Other Current Liabilities 0.00 Total Current Liabilities 0.00 Long-term Liabilities 0.00 Total Liabilities 0.00 Left To Finance 0.00 Loss at Start-up 20,500.00 Total Capital 55,000.00 Total Capital and Liabilities 55,000.00 Checkline 0.00 Table I. Total costs and assets The initial prototype is estimated to cost $8,000. This cost will mostly consist of packaging costs associated with a one-of-a-kind prototype. The initial advertising budget of $4,000 will focus on regional tradeshows and internet advertising. This cash will allow us to aggressively market our products. The cash balance at startup will be used to pay contractors for the mass production of ScheduleMed Premier. 3.1 Product Description ScheduleMed is a pill dispenser device that utilizes the Internet to schedule medication and monitor the consumption of medication of senior citizens. Interactive software provides the caregiver an easy GUI interface to schedule medication. For the senior user, a one-button mechanism is used to dispense the medicine. The use of this product will make the administration of a multiple medication schedule simple and without confusion. An LCD screen will be used to display medication information as needed. 3.2 Customer Needs and Benefits The customers of the ScheduleMed Premier pill dispenser need an easy way to take many medications daily and provides them the security of knowing that they will be taking the right medication at the right time. The pill dispenser protects users from overdosing and/or forgetting to take medication. The pill dispenser also gives caregivers the peace of mind of knowing that their loved ones will be less likely to miss essential medication. However, even if their loved ones do miss a medication, notifications will allow the caregivers to take appropriate actions to remedy the situation. Our pill dispenser will be both beneficial to the user and the caregiver. 3.3 Future Products After the planned success of ScheduleMed Premier, ScheduleMed plans to expand to value products with less functionality for economic users. Once we have established our name with the ScheduleMed Premier, we will attempt to sell similar products with varying degrees of cost and quality. For example, we will plan to sell an automated pill dispenser without remote monitoring. We will also provide non-automated pill dispensers. Once we’ve established a firm footing in the pill dispenser market, future products may include other products related to elder care such as emergency alert devices that will allow seniors to alert caregivers in the case of an emergency. 3.4 Competitive Comparison The ScheduleMed Premier’s major competitor is the MedTimeXL from e-pill. The Med-Time XL is a small, portable dispenser that does not support remote monitoring. This dispenser is priced at $249.95. Another pill dispenser available from e-pill is the MD.2. Unlike the Med-Time XL, the MD.2 is approximately the size of a coffee maker and is not portable. However, the MD.2 does support limited remote monitoring. The MD.2 calls the caregiver whenever medication is not dispensed or the unit is low on medication. The MD.2 sells for $749.95, plus $29.95 a month for monitoring service. These dispensers are only available through online retailers. The ScheduleMed Premier combines the affordability of the Med-Time XL with the advanced features of the MD.2 such as medication instructions and monitoring. The ScheduleMed Premier notifies the caregiver if the medication is not dispensed and allows the caregiver to check the status of the ScheduleMed Premier throughout the day. Furthermore, the ScheduleMed Premier is capable of supporting up to two users; therefore, the ScheduleMed Premier is ideal for elderly couples, who would otherwise need to purchase two separate pill dispensers. 3.5 Product Costs The majority of the production cost is a result of the user interface components. With other physical components, consisting of the integrated circuits and printed circuit board, and various other components, accounting for significant portion of the remaining production cost. The manufacturing cost of each unit is below $250, allowing for an approximate retail price of $400.
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