Auto access represents a tremendous cash sales opportunity for providers, but it is fraught with complexity. There are a variety of patient needs, a variety of systems — from chair lifts to articulating chairs to complete vehicle conversions — and a variety of specialized knowledge and skills related to providing auto access. However, one product that can give providers an easier entry point into auto access is vehicle ramps.
“What [patients] wantultimately is freedom,” says Greg Moll, Global Sales & ExportManager for Roll-A-Ramp, which makes auto access ramps that roll up forstorage while traveling. “The vehicle access market is growing, withmore and more clients with every form of disability wanting to be moreactive. And, with the exploding aging demographic added in the trendfor more access solutions and providers is only going to get higher.This makes for the real opportunity for the HME provider to get into amarket that will be there for a very long time.”
And that’swhere providers come in, but it is important to understand that autoaccess is a multi-tiered business. At the basic end, there are productsthat give providers an easy entry point into serving auto access needs,and at the complex end, lies complete auto access systems and vehicleconversions. That more complex end of the auto access business might bebeyond some providers’ reach, but it still provides an excellentopportunity to develop referral relationships.
For providersjust coming into auto access, ramps and similar products that do notrequire modifying vehicles or complex installs are an excellent entrypoint, Moll says.
“Getting into it with a product where thereare no vehicle modifications or conversions is where they want to be,”he says. “Simpler is better and can get them the profit the quickest.It is not a difficult process for the dealer to enter the market ontheir own; provided they do so with a product line where the investmentfor both time and money is relatively low.”