This basic driving force keeps Michael Johnson (President and CEO of Multiview Financial Software) going. In a recent interview, Johnson sat down with us to discuss what drives their organization and where they are going.
Johnson excitedly talked about the impact their platform has on their customers. “I’ve yet to meet a healthcare finance CFO that has more resources than they know what to do with. These teams are so often understaffed and spending their time chasing numbers rather than using them.”
But what really moved Johnson? His passion not just for what they do, but how they do it. The business’s success is self-evident: Multiview has won numerous accolades within the ERP world. At the moment, it is the software platform with the highest user adoption and is the easiest to use for conducting business. Why?
“Most people would assume we are a technology company, but we consider ourselves a people company,” said Johnson. He discussed what makes the biggest difference for Multiview: “Unlike most companies in our industry, we don’t outsource our clients’ success. Many of our peers act as if the relationship ends at go-live, we believe that’s the beginning.” One of the company’s driving beliefs is that technology not well adapted is no different than bad technology.
Johnson reviewed the reasons why this passion for their customers throughout the company is so important to them. “We have an amazing team of experienced professionals who guide our clients through adoption, optimization, and day-to-day support. More than 15% of Multiview’s staff are former clients, including myself, who have passion and experience using the product and navigating the challenges our clients are facing daily.” Multiview’s client retention rate in their primary market, healthcare, is a testament to this passion. “We have never lost a hospital client that’s been live on Multiview Cloud ERP other than to bankruptcy or acquisition,” said Johnson.
A whole new healthcare world
The scars from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic are still strong.
Johnson told numerous horror stories from his clients who remain scared by COVID. Clients are still having a hard time getting paid by payers and facing delays in getting money into their bank accounts. Staffing also remains a serious challenge: “The environment from a staffing perspective right now that healthcare organizations are trying to navigate their facilities through is one with new pressures from employees to provide more flexibility, higher pay, early retirement, and high levels of burnout amongst healthcare professionals. This is leading to a continuous shock with sustained increases in costs without, in many cases, proportionate increases in revenue.”
You shouldn’t have to be a 500 bed+ healthcare system to afford the right tools.
Some of their clients are leaning into these challenges and turning their staffing and payment model completely on its head. Johnson told the story of one CFO who’s seeing a positive reaction from its employee’s who transitioned many of their medical professionals from salaried into hourly to empower them and give them the flexibility they were looking for whether it was more control of their schedule, reduced or increased hours.
That being said, not every health system has the agility to navigate through these times. To survive, hospitals and health systems need best-in-class software that can provide more insight and integration than ever before. Johnson believes, “You shouldn’t have to be a 500 bed+ healthcare system to afford the right tools.”
Legacy systems no longer cut it
As Johnson knows from his regular interactions with customers, legacy systems no longer work in this business. “Being a healthcare finance professional is an extremely challenging career,” said Johnson, who noted that staying on top of the job is near impossible without the right tools.
Fortunately, says Johnson, the right platform can make all the difference. Johnson specifically cited three areas where using programs like Multiview can make a difference: the breakdown of data silos by integrating information automatically, the ability to move away from manual work, automate accounting entries and eliminate paper invoice approvals, and the opportunity to empower organizations to make more timely and informed decisions.
This is where a legacy system fails to deliver. “Most organizations don’t realize that there is a bigger cost to using a legacy ERP that’s not industry-specific, coupled with continuing to do things the way they’ve always been done.”
Solving these specific issues is where a platform like Multiview can help to close the gap. “My advice to any healthcare organization is to see the opportunity in leveraging best-in-class technology to optimize all areas of their business,” noting that healthcare-specific platforms are built to challenge the exact needs of the healthcare industry. Speaking to decision-makers at these systems, Johnson said, I encourage you to challenge the assumptions of last month and investigate industry solutions like Multiview ERP, which may be able to help take some of the burdens off of your team and significantly improve your organization’s data liquidity.”
Helping Montgomery County Memorial Hospital and Clinics
Montgomery County Memorial Hospital and Clinics (MCMH) is another well-known provider whose financial teams recognized the benefit of having all their accounting functions within one application. The team needed to coordinate access between a slew of users, including five core users, three managerial staff, and dozens who could order supplies or make reports. This led to massive coordination struggles: The previous ERP required a separate login to a module to manage their fixed assets which required a separate login for the general ledger and accounts payable. Although the function worked well, the lack of interfacing between functions was a problem. Now, they are more productive and save time using Multiview ERP, which has all these components in one application.
MCMH staff also struggled before Multiview ERP because their system would only interface with the healthcare patient accounting system monthly. That meant they could only see their revenue in the general ledger once a month. They would have to access the information through the patient accounting system, which was time-consuming: Month-end closing took 12-14 days, an unacceptably high number.
Multiview Financial worked with MCMH to ease the integration of the system. The timeframe needed by MCHM was less than a year, and the process started in late 2019 and went live in September 2020, meaning that implementation occurred at the height of COVID-19. Fortunately, MCHM staff still described the implementation as “amazing” and noted that Multiview made the transition as smooth as possible. Furthermore, implementation was enhanced by training videos, online resource manuals, and peer-to-peer support training. This entire process enables MCMH to smoothly manage implementation and immediately begin seeing the benefits of Multiview’s integrated system.
The COVID-delayed process at MCMH was long, reported Johnson, however, he described the remote implementation as well worth it, saying, “We measure our success not based on “hours billed” but on the success of our clients. I’ll be the first to admit, we aren’t perfect. But if you asked all our clients, I’d be surprised if they shared anything other than ‘they are always eager to help us, and available.’”
Driven by values
Throughout our interview, Johnson cited the role of the company’s values in pushing Multiview to be better. “Being values-driven is something that Multiview strives to be every day, and this has been one of the most important elements of us fostering the culture we have today.”
The company’s values are broader than you might typically think for a technology business, it’s clear that Johnson uses these values to drive home the need for the business to be better for their stakeholders. “One member of our team shared with me the importance of making sure you take the values off the wall and live them. To us at Multiview, it’s not about being able to recite them. It’s about us living them and embracing the culture that they are used to reinforce.”
Interestingly enough, Johnson admits his leadership approach has changed over time. “When we were a third the size we are today, I was a very different leader. Both because of experience and because it was what the organization needed at that time. As I reflect on our journey at Multiview and mine as a leader, the type of leader I am today or was at a point in time was dependent on what I believed the organization needed from me.”
However, Johnson notes that some values — particularly a belief in putting people first and fostering a culture of diversity — have remained consistent throughout the company’s journey. The importance of these values has only grown as the company’s client list and features have continued to grow.
An eye to the future
“2023 is a big year for Multiview,” says Johnson. “We are launching a new version of our solution, which is a free upgrade for all our clients, that has a new user interface with all the great powerful features we’ve developed over the past 33+ years. This is something we’ve been working on for several years now, and we cannot wait to share it with our clients at our annual conference this fall.”
With the company’s October conference fast approaching, it is clear that Multiview has an eye towards the future — one built for serving healthcare companies and helping them be better positioned to service their communities.