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Principles of Marketing

Closing Company Case

Principles of MarketingClosing Company Case

Corporate Medical Services

Corporate Medical Services (CMS) was established in Tennessee on October 1, 1995, with one person, one computer, and one client.28 The company was started with the goal of providing Department of Transportation (DOT) customers with a resource to meet new drug testing requirements.

“The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), along with the Department of Transportation (DOT), requires that persons subject to the commercial driver’s license (CDL) requirements and their employers follow alcohol and drug testing rules.”29 These rules include procedures for testing, frequency of tests, and substances tested for. An employer who employs only themselves as a driver shall implement a random alcohol and controlled substances testing program of two or more covered employees in the random testing selection pool.

With a combination of technology and great customer service, the company grew steadily.

  • 1995: CMS founded
  • 1996: First office location established
  • 1998: Nationwide 24/7 services offered
  • 2001: Automated faxing of results
  • 2001: New office location established due to growth of company
  • 2004: Automated emailing of results
  • 2008: Created in-house DotStopi consortium program
  • 2009: Online results reporting made available
  • 2010: Online scheduling of services made available
  • 2012: Began providing management services for existing consortiums
  • 2013: Introduced CMS’s Sleep Express
  • 2016: Began developing programs to automate DMV updates30

Today, CMS provides services to a wide variety of clients and industries across the United States and Canada. Clients include trucking, busing, firework manufacturers, schools, construction, hospital organizations, other third-party administrators, consortiums, and associations. In 2020, CMS reported over 100,000 drug screens and additional services for more than 2,500 companies.31

With stricter requirements coming to the industry, there is a tremendous need for drug and alcohol testing. Data reveals that there are 3.5 million truck drivers in the United States.32 For just the trucking industry alone, the need for consortium services as well as company-sponsored drug and alcohol testing is increasing every year.

CMS prides itself as the concierge service provider in the industry. Figure 4.9 is a competitive analysis grid, and it outlines how CMS compares to its competitors based on the number of services they offer and the level of customer service provided. For example, DISA Global Solutions (DISA), Workforce QA, and FSS Solutions (FSS) are companies that provide a higher number of services than CMS but much lower customer service. CMS offers fewer services but the highest level of customer service. Notice that as companies offer more services, their level of customer service decreases.

Marketers use competitive analysis grids to understand how they compare to their competitors on the various metrics that are important in their industry. It is important for a company to grasp both its points of parity and points of differentiation compared to competitors.

A competitor analysis grid shows how the company CMS compares to its competitors in terms of number of services offered and level of customer service provided. The grid is divided into four quadrants. The x-axis is an arrow pointing to the right. The left side of the arrow is labeled low customer services and the right side of the arrow is labeled high customer services. The y-axis is an arrow pointing up. The bottom of the arrow is labeled low number of services, and the top of the arrow is labeled high number of services. The competitors and CMS are plotted on the grid, along with their corporate slogans. The companies on the grid are Hire Right (tagline: One world. One solution); DISA (tagline: Raise your standards); F S S (tag line: Real solutions. Real people); Workforce Q A (tagline: Trust a single source provider); and CMS (tagline: When safety matters most). All companies except for CMS are above the x-axis, indicating a high number of services. They are in the following order (starting at the top): Hire Right, DISA, Workforce Q A, and F S S. All companies except for CMS are also to the left of the y-axis, indicating low customer services. CMS is the only company in the quadrant that indicates a low number of services but high customer service.
Figure 4.9 Competitive Landscape (credit: reproduced with permission of Corporate Medical Services [CMS])

In choosing to differentiate their company based on service, CMS was promising customers an unrivaled experience when they needed drug or alcohol testing. Many times, the need for testing was the result of an emergency situation. Companies that relied on CMS for this service felt a level of comfort knowing they would be taken care of quickly and efficiently when they were in the most need.

Among the promises, CMS vowed the following:

1. Unrivaled Experience

“CMS has been helping companies manage the complexities of regulations and requirements for over 25 years. During that time, we have helped over 15,000 companies significantly reduce the hassle of managing their drug testing programs.”

2. Concierge Level Personal Service

“Concierge level service is not a term frequently used in our industry, but we believe in it and actively demonstrate it to our clients daily. When you are miles from home and need support, it’s what you want. It is always a good day at CMS, and we hope to make your day better by helping you in any way we can.”

3. More Security, Less Hassle

“Dealing with governmental regulations and requirements is no easy task. We have developed processes, procedures, and performance benchmarks to deal with the complexity of this industry so that you don’t have to. At the end of the day, you will be confident that your program is operating the way it should.”

4. Respect

“We are here to serve our clients. To successfully accomplish that goal, we treat our staff, our clients, our vendors, and your donors with respect. In an industry where conversations can sometimes get tense, we handle every situation in a respectful and professional manner in order to mitigate any issues that may arise.”

5. Speed of Technology

“Our systems and processes are designed to get you the results you need as quickly as possible, which is why no one is faster at reporting drug screens. Our system averages a 7-minute turnaround on negative reports, once released from the lab.”

As CMS looked for growth, it began to work with industry trade associations. The trucking industry was growing rapidly. Industry leaders were continuing to expand their fleets, and new trucking companies were entering the market. Providing drug and alcohol testing was not something the companies wanted to think about—until it was a necessity. Corporate safety managers could be difficult to reach; however, with a narrow focus and significant industry knowledge, CMS was well positioned to network and provide critical information regarding the ever-changing government regulations.

CMS knew it needed to begin developing brand awareness and continue fostering relationships in the industry. When it was time to make the buying decision, CMS wanted to be in the top-of-mind consideration set. The company knew the buying cycle may be long for a corporate decision to change which provider they were using for testing. It was a process it was willing to wait for, and it was in it for the long haul.

Case Questions

1 .
Which characteristics of the B2B market are most evident for CMS?
2 .
If a trucking company wanted to buy services from CMS, what type of buying behavior would this be?
3 .
List and describe the major B2B buying influences prevalent for the CMS market segment.
4 .
List three ways Corporate Medical Services can become a leading contender in the supplier search stage of the B2B buying process.


  • iDotStop is the brand name of a drug and alcohol testing consortium for trucking companies with 20 or fewer drivers.
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