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To Scale or to Sell: As AA Care Services Works Through A Major Business Shift, USM Technology Is Preparing The Company’s IT Infrastructure For The Future

Updated: Mar 7

This article was originally published in our Lone Star Business Journal: Spring Edition, featuring our client, Andy, from AA Senior Care Services, on how his strategic partnership with USM Technology aided him during a pivotal business shift, while offering crucial guidance and technology solutions for scaling or selling strategies.

Aging populations around the world are putting pressure on home healthcare services. Home healthcare, the fastest-growing sector in the senior care industry, will need to hire 5 million new workers by 2040 to fill the rapidly rising need for senior care services. As most countries around the world are dealing with aging populations and more elderly people than new births, the concern in this industry isn’t about demand; it’s about supply.

Andy Maish, the CFO of AA Care Services, is feeling the strain already. “Everyone is getting older, and generationally, the baby boomer generation is getting to the stage in life where they need care,” observes Andy. “Meanwhile, we have fewer nurses and providers. Our biggest industry hurdle over the next decade will actually be the supply of labor.” Andy, who joined his wife and mother-in-law in the senior care industry a couple of years ago, comes from an accounting and finance background. To him, the solution to this looming challenge is to scale. But scaling, especially in this industry, brings its own challenges.

Scaling requires cohesive computer systems, secure networks, and company-wide training on best practices related to technology. While his wife, Sarah, and his mother-in-law, Helen, dealt with running the business, Andy was making decisions about whether or not to sell, acquire, or merge with existing companies. No one at the top had time to manage hardware updates to implement new cybersecurity policies, so the team at AA Care Services called on USM Technology for help. Familiar with healthcare companies and the technology requirements in the field, USM Technology has transformed AA Care Services’ tech landscape in less than a year.

Is Scaling the Solution?

“It’s a very fragmented industry,” Andy explained. “It’s a lot of people like my family that started a business and operate in a local market. We had to decide whether to scale or to sell.” To be able to accommodate the new challenges and labor shortages, Andy used his private equity background to usher in a new era for the home health provider that serves hundreds of clients in the San Antonio area. After reaching a ceiling on independent growth, Andy finalized a deal with a private equity firm that specializes in scaling mid-market businesses. This deal brought multiple providers in the southeast under the same umbrella: AA Care Services and its affiliates.

In the coming months, Homecare HoldCo Inc. will be serving clients in Tennessee, Georgia, and Texas as one cohesive organization. Right about the same time that the merging of multiple providers was being finalized, Andy found USM Technology. The need for IT support was multifaceted. What used to be a small private business turned into a large conglomerate within a matter of months. “Healthcare, from an IT standpoint, is behind the curve compared to other industries. We needed to catch up, build business efficiencies, and use systems to operate optimally. Additionally, we now have more risk. More investors, more exposure points, and more clients means that we have to be able to mitigate that risk from a technology perspective, too,” said Andy.

“We [needed] decentralized functionality while maintaining a corporate office feel because there are people spread throughout the country now, as opposed to one area in Texas,” Andy notes. For Andy, IT was a top priority as the business shifted in structure. Along with aligning on ERP systems, CRM scheduling systems, and payroll, all the entities under Homecare HoldCo Inc. needed to create a united front regarding IT and cybersecurity. In a paper-centric industry, the journey of digital transformation hasn’t been easy, but without USM Technology, it would have been impossible.

“It Just Made Sense”

On a September day in 2022, a few months before finalizing his eventual contract with USM Technology, Andy was combing through stacks of cybersecurity insurance requirements, trying to figure out how to tackle them, when AA Care Services experienced a breach. The breach was small and was resolved within a matter of minutes, but it was the shove that he needed to find an MSP that could take the IT responsibilities off his plate.

Through a few referrals and network contacts, Andy got connected with USM Technology. Their responsiveness, ability to tailor support structures, and experience in the healthcare industry sealed the deal. “It was a no-brainer,” Andy recalls. “When I peeled back the layers, they were the most responsive, their pricing made the most sense, and they offered everything we needed.” In a matter of months, USM Technology created a cohesive IT infrastructure, got everyone set up and trained on Microsoft 365 products, and implemented two-factor authentication throughout the organization.

Slowly but Surely

“Right away, USM Technology did an audit of all of our laptops and computers, created a report of which ones were outdated and needed to be replaced, and set up a plan to slowly phase out old machines based on a systemic prioritization process,” Andy revealed. “They have been so patient about utilizing the tools that we have, meeting our people where they are, breaking the work into manageable components.” Phone line consolidation, VOIP, employee training, and compliance enhancements will be the next focal areas.

For Andy, the experience with USM Technology has been sensational. As the most tech-savvy person at the firm, a lot of this fell on his plate in years past, curbing his effectiveness as a strategic leader in the organization. “The mental and emotional outcome, for me personally, has been huge,” Andy relates. “There’s no way I would have been able to keep up with everything in the midst of so many changes. The cost could not be more worth it.”

Analytical in nature, Andy recently took a look at what AA Care Services was spending on cybersecurity insurance. “Cyber insurance rates go up about 20% each year right now. Despite growing 50% in the last year as a company, our cyber insurance costs actually decreased by 20% compared to last year, and it’s all because of USM Technology.”

In this era of transformation for AA Care Services, Andy will have a lot on his plate, but IT won’t be taking up any space.

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