AHIA brings tech to home mods biz

Friday, October 2, 2015

WATERLOO, Iowa – The VGM Group’s Accessible Home Improvement of America will launch an app for the iPad at Medtrade later this month that will go a long way toward streamlining and standardizing the home modifications business.

One of the main functionalities of the app is to help users create and send estimates to payers and cash-paying customers.

“Right now, they get everything from simple one-figure estimates to lengthy estimates,” said President Jerry Keiderling. “They want to look at apples to apples.”

The app, developed with VGM Forbin, also allows users to do a number of other things onsite: design; take photos and type annotations and insert recommendations on them; review products from uploaded catalogs; and capture digital signatures.

The app certainly has peaked the interest of Bob Miniccuci, president of Health System Services in Niagara Falls, N.Y., who already uses a tablet in the field.

“We’ve talked about designing our own app,” he said. “So, while I haven’t seen the app, I think it’s a really good idea.”

Miniccuci says he’d most use an app to calculate labor and delivery costs, and create and send estimates.

“Eight times out of 10, we want to create an estimate right then and there that we can email customers,” he said. 

Lloyd McIvor, an ATP who heads up the home modifications division at Handi Medical Supply in Saint Paul, Minn., says he’d most use an app to help customers visualize the modifications he’s recommending.

“Sometimes it’s very difficult for them to envision what you’re talking about,” he said. “When the bathtub has been in the same position their whole life, it’s hard to picture that missing or something else in its place.”

Keiderling says AHIA had a “nice sized beta group” for the app, which paved the way for its launch at Medtrade.

“Several updates came out of the beta testing and we have more planned, too,” he said.