At Home with Dealers

Company Name:
ACP Home Medical Products

Location/Contact Info:
166 Daniel Webster Highway
Nashua, NH 03060
(800) 258-0907; Ph: (603)897-0000; fax: (603) 897-0330

Established: 2003

Types of products sold: Full-service durable medical equipment company from bed products oxygen all the way to seating and positioning.

Size of Company: 20 associates

Fun Fact: The store has an 18-foot skeleton of a covered bridge, "for our New England theme," said Schleipfer.

ACP Home Medical Products, whose parent company, Alternative Care Providers has been in the business for more than 12 years, prides itself on not only covering the gamut when it comes to products, but also on addressing the entire spectrum of their clients' needs. Home Health Products spoke with the company's vice president of operations, Michael Schleipfer.

Q: Tell us about your store set-up.
A: Our store is a 3500 square foot retail area that's structured for clients to come in and explore their possibilities rather than their disabilities. The "wow" factor is really there when they come in ... We have the a full bedroom is set up, a complete bathroom set up with a tub that has a lift, bath seats -- even expandable hinges that open up the door wider. When you can put your finger on it, as opposed to ordering on the internet, that's a much better approach.

Q: What component of your business works well for you?
A: Our attitude. We do research for people and really cover the entire spectrum. A client can come in for one product and really go through the system ... allows us to stay with the client for the long term. From when the client first comes in for a reacher, up until the time they need oxygen or specialty seating and positioning.

Q: Expand on the research portion of your business.
A: I'll give a simple example. A woman comes in and says she's been all over town for looking for a pair of crutches that are color coded, lightweight and stay her forearm ... after all done and over with, we came up with the product that she likes.

Q: How do you maintain your relationships with the client?
A: Unique relationship with a client. Relationships -- that's exactly what we build. We get involved with the whole client. We employ a person who used to work for a geriatric care facility, and she's an expert at finding out what people need. For example, what kind of vehicle they have can be a factor in the chair they buy from us ... and then they'll need the right lift.

Q: What about working with manufacturers?
A: We have to maintain a strong working relationship with the manufacturer. We started from day one to build relationships because they are key in getting the right product at the best price for us. By the same token, our referral sources have also been the same for the past 12 years. It works -- we just happen to be in the middle of it.

Q: What has brought you success in the past? What brings success now?
A: We do a lot of work in wound-care management and we have a nurse on staff, a number of people like that. When we set up a low-air loss or alternating pressure mattress system we don't send a delivery driver or technician, we send our senior people -- they're going out and doing the in-service. It expands the clients' knowledge of what is going on. We do the same thing in seating and positioning and in oxygen; the respiratory therapist goes out to do follow-up and assessment. It puts the client at ease; to see a professional behind the system instills confidence.

This article originally appeared in the March 2005 issue of HME Business.

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