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What Makes Tyco Run?

Executive Summary

The paradigmatic hospital supply company of the 1980s was American Hospital Supply Corp., which was able to leverage strong relationships with customers and an efficient distribution system into a dominant position in the medical/surgical market. But for companies who tried to emulate AHSC, the leap from manufacturer to distributor proved difficult to make; moreover, customers themselves were willing to grant favored status to only a few such suppliers. In the 1990s, a new model of successful hospital supplier emerged: supplier as dealmaker, with an implicit faith in the value of technology and capable of putting together broad platforms. And in its own way, Tyco has helped to shape that model.

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