Answers from industry experts
by Kristin Easterling
February 5, 2018

INCLINATOR

Bill Stratton
President and CEO

inclinator.com

Inclinator LogoInclinator Logo

What is your specialty?
STRATTON:
We are in the lift business, specifically residential elevators, residential wheelchair lifts and residential and commercial dumbwaiters.

What market segment is best served by your product?
STRATTON:
Our target demographics are people from their 40s to their 90s. For residential elevators, our target market are those people who want to make a statement regarding their home (i.e., upscale market), people who have limited mobility, and people who are planning to age in place in their homes.

How do you differentiate your products from others in the category?
STRATTON:
For our residential elevators, we differentiate our products with our ability to customize each elevator cab to the homeowner’s hoistway size, the fit and finish of our elevator cabs, the reliability of our products, our Universal Controller, and our company’s long history, dating to the 1920s. For our residential wheelchair lifts, we differentiate through aesthetics, light weight (350 pounds for a 52-inch lift) and ease of installation.

Why should vertical lifts be attractive to HME providers?
STRATTON:
They provide an accessibility solution to homeowners or their caregivers who often need quick solutions to impaired mobility due to illness or accident.

What expertise does a provider need to become an installer?
STRATTON:
This depends on state and local codes and certification requirements. Knowledge of the ASME 18.1 national safety code for wheelchair lifts is essential.

Tell us about a recent innovation in vertical lifts.
STRATTON:
Our Inclinator Serenity wheelchair lift is innovative in that it provides superior aesthetics, is very lightweight and easy to maneuver for the dealer. The lift can be installed in a few hours, and does not require a cement base for an outdoor installation.

What are the key considerations patients/caregivers should know about vertical lifts?
STRATTON:
They should carefully read and review the owner’s manual for proper use.

What tools do you provide to help educate dealers and end users?
STRATTON:
We educate our dealers through our Inclinator University sessions, our installation manuals and our technical support team. We educate our potential product users through our dealer network and our owner’s manuals. We also provide information on our website.

EZ-ACCESS

Dale Nash
Global Product Manager

ezaccess.com

vertical platform liftPASSPORT Vertical Platform Lift

What is your specialty?
NASH:
Our specialty is residential accessibility products and services. We focus our attention on the residential homecare market by addressing the specific problems and challenges realized in accessing the home, by both the users and caregivers.

What strategic shifts in thinking and business management have occurred?
NASH:
The increase of product development and product offerings within the accessibility market has begun to cause expansion, mergers and acquisitions within the accessibility field. More companies are looking to enter this market segment, and the incumbents are looking to defend their market share.

What forces have put pressure on this product category?
NASH:
Forces that have put pressure on this category are increased awareness for the existing need for home accessibility, maintaining or increasing independence, being able to safely enter and navigate the home, as well as the demand to keep loved ones at home.

How do you differentiate your products from others in the category?
NASH:
We offer a unique unit that features a complete aluminum structure, an efficient drive screw instead of belts, a self-diagnostic control panel, a universal platform that can be converted in the field from a straight to turn or vice versa, and many more functional features and options. Our unit is also easy to install, requires no special electrical outlet, and due to its lightweight design, is easier to place and is much less expensive to ship. We add value through our continuing expansion of product categories, we build high-quality and high-performance products, we offer sales, marketing and technical service support, as well as in-depth training for installation and service, and we support our dealers with a highly-trained customer service and sales support team.

Why should vertical lifts be attractive to HME providers?
NASH:
The accessibility market and need is expanding. Most DME providers of already work with clients that either need the products now or could have a developing need. Their clients and referral sources don’t have to change, call patterns of their sales staff can remain about the same; simply expand their marketing message and include the additional products to increase their revenue opportunity for every call.

What expertise does a provider need to become an installer?
NASH:
With our product, very little expertise is needed to become a vertical lift installer. If a provider has the ability to find the best position for access for the user, place or identify a suitable base pad, and follow simple assembly instructions, all that’s left is using a few simple tools to mount it in place and begin usage. The Plug-N-Play wiring technology certainly offers streamlined installation.

How do you approach product development?
NASH:
We focus our attention on the residential homecare market by addressing the specific problems and challenges realized in accessing the home, by both the users and caregivers.

What tools do you provide to help educate dealers and potential product users?
NASH:
Training for the installation and functional operation of our products, technical service support and aftermarket parts sales are available to help educate dealers and potential product users. Step-by-step, in-depth videos for installation and functional operation videos cover the features, benefits and functionality of the product. Informative literature for dealer and end-user use is readily available both electronically on our website and in physical brochure format.

MAC’S LIFT GATE

Rick Pearce
Sales Manager

macsliftgate.com

Mac's Lift Gate PackageVertical Home Lift PL-50

What is your specialty?
PEARCE:
Mac’s Lift Gate specializes in manufacturing vertical home lifts. [The market segment best served by the products includes] the physically challenged, mobility impaired and aging in place.

How do you differentiate your products from others in the category?
PEARCE:
We offer a five-year product warranty and more than 30 years manufacturing experience.

What expertise does an HME provider need to become a vertical lift installer?
PEARCE:
Being able to understand and assess your customers’ needs is key.

What tools do you provide to help educate dealers and potential product users?
PEARCE:
Brochures, owners’ manuals and Mac's Lift Gate has live customer assistance available on weekends for support and repairs.