At Home with Dealers

Company Name: Travis Medical Sales Corp.

Location/Contact Info: Corporate/Retail:
1104 W. 34th St.
Austin, TX 78705
Distribution Center:
5400 N. Lamar Blvd. #203
Austin, TX 78751

Fun Fact: After an unfortunate accident burned down the location where our distribution center was located in 1998, seven employees and all of our delivery vehicles had to temporarily relocate to the retail store location. We had to convert half of our retail floor into a makeshift warehouse and receive all daily freight on the sidewalk. At the time, we would regularly have about 200-300 cases of briefs and supplies — that would need to be delivered and shipped — kept outside on the sidewalk under the awnings. Every evening after the store closed, we would haul in every case of product before we could leave for the day. The reverse of this would have to happen every morning before we opened up. We all got a little closer during those months and really grew stronger because of that adversity.

Established: Incorporated 1990

Types of products sold: High end rehab equipment, DME, Respiratory, Supplies, Rentals & Service

Size of Company: Size of Company: 40 employees.

Home Health Products spoke with Chris Yule, president and general manager.

Q: What sets your store apart?
What sets Travis Medical apart is the emphasis on family. Being owned and operated under one family name is a somewhat dying concept in today's dog-eat-dog world of acquisitions and mergers. That alone helps us stand apart, but even more than that, we've continued to extend our family by retaining key employees that share the same values and work ethics that have helped refine our vision of providing excellent customer service and care to the Austin metro and central Texas area.

Travis Medical can be considered unique in that we have the latitude to make company altering decisions based on the ever-changing industry playing field quickly without having to go though a large corporate structure. We're local; we do what we say and we always back it up.

Q: What components of your business are working well for you?
Our respiratory, DME sales and rental segments seem to be experiencing the most growth right now.

Q: What is something you have learned from your experience in the HME industry?
Probably the most important thing I and we as a company have learned is to never keep all of your eggs in one basket. In other words: DIVERSIFY.

Q: Do you think the HME industry is changing?
Without a doubt it's changing. With the increased requirements for accreditation and accountability, the HME industry is changing for the better. We'll all have to go through some painful stages but ultimately it will make us stronger.

Q: How do you think the industry could be improved?
Improvement can come through education and evaluation. If we could educate our funding sources better on the things that our industry does, meaning that if they could see how beneficial the services we provide are, we as an industry wouldn't be targeted as often for continued spending cuts. I'd certainly like to see our funding sources be held more accountable and evaluated on the decisions they make rather than the blame being put on us.

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

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