Answers from industry experts

Residential RampResidential Ramp

Complete Access

Nick Vizzare, Market & Development

Describe your company's product line related to the lifts and ramps market.
VIZZARE: We are a ramp and stair system dealer that designs, engineers and manufactures our ramps in our two U.S. plants.

What are the trends in equipment entering the market in 2016?
VIZZARE: Advancements in technology have paved the way for better patient care. The need for ADA-compliant ramps has expanded residentially because of the technological advancements in remote monitoring.

How will you stay competitive in the industry this year?
VIZZARE: We are always making our product code compliant and leading the charge with product testing for safer use and accessibility. It's also important to educate the insuring and regulatory agencies to the real cost of serving our clients.

How important should customer service be to HME providers?
VIZZARE: Customer service can be best performed when experience collides with educated knowledge.

Suitcase Portable RampSuitcase Portable Ramp


Cy Corgan, National Sales Manager—HHC

Tell us about EZ-ACCESS and your most popular products.
CORGAN: EZ-ACCESS provides premier access solutions in both commercial and home accessibility through the Pathway Modular Access System and the Passport Vertical Platform Lift, as well as a variety of portable mobility ramps, commercial ramps and mobility accessories.

How are your products changing as modern users' needs and wants change?
CORGAN: To address the needs of our mobile customers, EZ-ACCESS launched the Suitcase Singlefold Graphite Fiber ramp. The Haulway Scooter and Power Chair lifts also deliver ease of installation and operation in an appealing design, features our consumers also asked for.

How will competitive bidding affect the lifts and ramps market in the coming year?
CORGAN: This is a cash/retail market and doesn't feel the direct impact of competitive bidding or reduced reimbursements.

What products are you excited about this year?
CORGAN: The new Concierge Residential Power Door Opener is a great product for residential customers looking to increase access to their interior and exterior doorways.

How can HMEs improve their businesses in 2016?
CORGAN: Once an HME has made the decision to diversify into a product category, they must perform each of the best practices for that business model well.

What are some examples of best practices that HMEs should take advantage of?
CORGAN: Product knowledge, customer service and education are all retail best practices and critical to survival, no matter what segment of business a company is in.

Modular Aluminum RampModular Aluminum Ramp

Access 4U

Bob Heffernan, President

How does your company plan to be successful in the market this year?
HEFFERNAN: Customization is key, and Access4U strives to provide affordable ramps that can be easily configured to almost any home.

How important are customer service, customer education and overall product knowledge?
HEFFERNAN: The average HME provider has a head start on understanding patient needs. If he or she has an interest in providing ramps, the ADA requirements can be easily learned and applied.

Outlander Vehicle LiftOutlander Vehicle Lift

Pride Mobility Products Corp.

Randy Walsh, Vice President of Jazzy and Retail Mobility Sales

Describe your company.
WALSH: Pride lifts and ramps are consumer-inspired, quality transport solutions and mobility products.

How have your customers' wants and needs changed in recent years?
WALSH:The ability to transport mobility products in an easy, affordable way is in more demand than ever. Thus, vehicle lifts are increasingly versatile on the widest range of vehicle models.

Where are the challenges?
WALSH: One challenge is the reduced OEM vehicle tongue weights and towing capacities on newer vehicles. Our redesigned lifts that are lighter but stronger address these market realities.

In what ways does Pride Mobility plan to stay competitive this year?
WALSH: From our Backpacker interior lift series to our Outlander exterior lift series, we have the ability to match an array of lifts, vehicles and mobility products to accommodate diverse needs.

How can struggling HMEs improve?
WALSH: Bundling product sales is more of a winning strategy than ever. With every scooter sale, a provider should look at the potential to bundle a vehicle lift sale.

Where does customer education fit in to an HME's business model?
WALSH: The more a provider knows about a vehicle lift's features, installation and application, the better he or she can promote the vehicle lift to the consumer.

Classic RampClassic Ramp

American Access Inc.

Dave Clark, Vice President

Tell us about your product line.
CLARK: American Access has been in business since 1997. You can choose our Classic aluminum solid ramp series, the Hybrid aluminum/wood ramp series, the XM aluminum open weave series.

What trends do you see on the horizon in the lifts and ramps market?
CLARK: Options. Aesthetics are really important, and our goal is to offer more options for consumers to choose products that blend into the home.

How do your products help struggling HMEs?
CLARK: Most business owners realize they need to add new product lines that can help offset the loss. Portable and threshold ramps are items that can be stocked in the store and sold over the counter.

Do you have any new products?
CLARK: The Hybrid wood kit can be sold right off the shelf and the consumer can take it home and install it. The product can draw in younger consumers that feel they can handle a weekend project.

What is the most important thing that HME providers can do to remain competitive in 2016?
CLARK: Display the product with options. We created a Tri-demo ramp that displays multiple surfaces without taking up much floor space.

Where do you feel that customer service fits in?
CLARK: Education is the key to customer service. HMEs should take advantage of the product training most manufacturers offer by attending or sending one of their top employees to a sales and installation training.

Modular RampModular Ramp

Prairie View Industries

Fred Jensen, Vice President of Sales

Please briefly describe your company's product line.
JENSEN: We invented the muti-fold and the first modular fold ramp. All of our ramps are 100 percent U.S. made, and we ship all of our ramps same day.

How are you incorporating new technologies into your manufacturing?
JENSEN: We work daily to improve our systems and streamline manufacturing with robotics, which keep our product costs low and help our partners grow their business.

Do you anticipate any challenges or major changes in the lifts and ramps market in 2016?
JENSEN: At the end of the day, there's not much innovation in the ramp market. We could build ramps out of expensive materials, but then then they become an expensive solution for a small market.

How will competitive bidding, play out related to lifts and ramps products in the coming year?
JENSEN. PVI is an all cash sale model. We are staying out of competitive bidding and helping our partners overcome those struggles through the sale of our products.

What is one way your company plans to stay competitive in the lifts and ramps market in 2016?
JENSEN. We continue to strive for simpler out-of-the-box solutions especially with our modular ramp, which we box individually because this makes our systems easier to stock.

What is the most important thing that HME providers can do to remain competitive in 2016?
JENSEN. Diversify. If DME partners do not enter some home access business, they stand to lose customers to the guy down the street who offers the full package from the wheelchair to the ramp to the lift for his car.

Powder-Coated Steel RampPowder-Coated Steel Ramp

National Ramp

Roy Walker, Business Development Manager

Please briefly describe your company's product line related to the lifts and ramps market.
WALKER:National Ramp has five completely unique ramp lines, giving the consumer more choices.

What trends do you see on the horizon in the lifts and ramps market this year, and beyond?
WALKER: At National Ramp, we see more and more consumers using technology to search for products they need. Without using this technology, conventional forms of advertising are far less effective.

Do you anticipate any challenges or major changes in the lifts and ramps market in 2016, or in the future?
WALKER: We have already experienced excellent growth so far this year, and we expect that to continue. We do not see ramps being impacted at all by Medicare competitive bidding.

What is one way your company plans to stay competitive and successful in the lifts and ramps market in 2016?
WALKER: The Handy Footer is an inexpensive alternative to heavy concrete blocks used in ramp installations to prevent the ramp from sinking.

What is the most important thing that HME providers can do to remain competitive in 2016?
WALKER: Advertise! You might be the best HME company in the world, but if the consumer cannot find you on the Internet, on social media or on the air, they won't be doing business with you.

How important are customer service, customer education, and overall product knowledge?
WALKER: Customer education, especially in today's information age, is critical. The best consumer is the most educated, because they might be willing to spend more with your company.