2011 HME Excellence Awards

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Editor's note: This is the first of three profiles on the 2011 HME Excellence Awards winners for Best HME Provider, Best Home Respiratory Provider and Best Rehab Technology Provider.

SALT LAKE CITY - Anyone looking for three steps to HME success won't get it from Jay Broadbent.

"There is no easy 1-2-3 and you'll grow," says Broadbent, president of Salt Lake City-based Alpine Home Medical Equipment. "We've tried so many things and failed. It's trial and error."

Broadbent will share his failures, too. Like the time he signed up his team to exhibit at the Utah State Fair.

"It was 10 days straight, and we had to man it from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.," he recalls. "We were pooped. We didn't get a single sale from that thing."

His willingness to risk failure originates in Broadbent's business philosophy: "If you're not growing, you're dying."

That focus on growth has paid off--Broadbent estimates that Alpine Home Medical is growing about 40% a year and they've just secured a large state contract.

"It's a big deal for us as a company," he says. "We're adding four more branches and close to 20 people to take on this contract."

That's in addition to Alpine Home Medical's current 100 employees in seven branches throughout Utah. The 14-year-old full-service provider also has a retail store in most of its branches.

The company uses open book management, allowing all employees to look up its P&L statement at any time.

"It's where can we do better? How can we reduce costs?" says Broadbent. "I'm always amazed at the (providers) who don't know their business, who don't break down their financials every month and look at their strengths and weaknesses."

Alpine Home Medical also emphasizes their role as a community partner, which is embodied by the company's B In Motion Foundation. It sponsors a yearly bicycle race to raise money to give wheelchairs to uninsured patients.

"It ties us back to our community," Broadbent says. "We're homegrown and that rings true in our market."