Bernie Allen, Director of Marketing
What products does your company offer in the scooter market?
ALLEN: We offer scooters including Go-Go Travel Mobility Scooters and the durable, high-performance line of Pride Mobility Scooters, in 3- and 4-wheel models. In addition, Pride is focused on developing consumer-inspired features into all of our scooters.
Do you see any trends changing the scooter market?
ALLEN: Baby boomers fuel the market, seeking not just medical solutions, but quality-of-life solutions. They’re active, savvy shoppers seeking performance and features that enhance their lifestyles.
What’s challenging about the scooter market for HMEs?
ALLEN: Consumers want to live the most active lives possible, and see value in purchasing a scooter. Consumers are increasingly educated about what they want and appreciate being in control of the purchase.
How does your company plan to keep a competitive position in the market?
ALLEN: We’re listening to consumers. They want a true retail buying experience. They want selection, features and performance in checkbook-friendly models. We’re focused on consumer-inspired scooter technologies that truly serve the retail mobility market.
How can your products help HMEs overcome industry challenges?
ALLEN: Retail is driving the market, with exponential growth made possible based on the expanding baby boomer population. Providers still following the Medicare model are falling behind the tangible trend of retail mobility. We’re dedicated to helping providers enter and excel in the retail segment.
Eva Yeh, Marketing Manager
Tell us about what your company has in the scooter space.
YEH: We have mobility scooters that are Class II medical devices and certified by the FDA. Our Luggie series makes it easier for the customer to travel by flight, train, cruise or car.
Do you anticipate any challenges for the rest of the year or in the future?
YEH: We would like to make our scooters better known among elderly and disabled people.
Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare
Mike Serhan, Executive Partner
What scooters do you offer?
SERHAN: Drive’s Power Mobility Division offers a complete portfolio of transportable, mid-size, heavy-duty, executive, recreational and function-oriented scooters. Our unique lineup fulfills the growing retail market needs as well as offering a line of reimbursable scooters.
Are there trends you’re seeing in the scooter market?
SERHAN: Portable scooters are becoming more relevant as consumer travel increases and users are on the go more than ever before.
What challenges do you see coming up in the scooter market, and how do you plan to meet these challenges?
SERHAN: Many different retailers are in this market, and this can make it challenging for the consumer to make the correct choice on a mobility device based on their needs. Drive DeVilbiss has created educational material for our provider network to help users navigate the many scooter choices and find the scooter that best fits their needs.
How does your company plan to stay competitive in the coming months?
SERHAN: Drive is continuing to enhance programs such as our Peace of Mind program (POM) and warranty programs. The POM program gives the buyer of a Drive DeVilbiss scooter the peace of mind to know, if anything goes wrong with the scooter within the first 14 months, a professional technician will be dispatched directly to their home.
What challenges are HMEs facing, and how can your scooters help them meet those challenges?
SERHAN: With the lowering of reimbursements our provider networks need viable alternatives that will increase cash flow. With the growth in the use of personal mobility vehicle sales in the U.S. market, Drive DeVilbiss has programs that will assist our provider partners entering this market with the knowledge and products to succeed.
What can an HME provider do to stay competitive?
SERHAN: Implement Drive’s 5-Pillar program—select product that provides a competitive advantage, implement programs to acquire customers, increase your top and bottom lines with up-caring programs, increase cash/retail sales and, lastly, optimize cash flow opportunities.
Manny Huguez, Vice President of Sales and Marketing
What makes your company’s products stand out in the scooter market?
HUGUEZ: Solax manufactures a wide range of mobility scooters, with a strong emphasis on the lightweight foldable travel category. Solax was the first to provide a secondary battery back-up compartment on a foldable, as well as a fully automatic lightweight folding travel scooter.
What trends are influencing the scooter market?
HUGUEZ: Technology integration is evolving, and features such as on-board USB chargers could become standard. Eventually wireless technologies will connect scooters into the Internet of things (IoT), which will open the door for apps designed to enhance the user experience.
Do you expect to see any challenges in the coming months, and how will you meet those challenges?
HUGUEZ: I believe price dilution will continue as more models are introduced and competition gets fiercer. Solax will continue to focus on customer needs, delivering design features that provide a higher resale value.
How does your company plan to remain competitive?
HUGUEZ: Product innovation. The recently introduced Genie+ Lightweight Automatic is a perfect example. It has significantly impacted the market by enabling users to fold and unfold the unit at the touch of a button.
How are your products helping HME providers meet their own challenges?
HUGUEZ: We find that most consumers are still not aware that all mobility scooters are not covered by Medicare or private insurance. Our products help by targeting a segment of the market who are more than willing to pay for a lightweight, get-up-and-go travel-friendly scooter that enables them to experience more.
What one thing should HME providers do to increase revenue and remain competitive?
HUGUEZ: Continue to evolve as a solution provider. This includes ensuring that you are always aware of new products and technologies that will enhance the lives of the customer. One size does not fit all, so having a broad-base solution strategy allows HMEs to increase revenue and grow their base.