Broda: We're 'open for business' in US

Monday, December 1, 2014

KITCHENER, Ontario – Broda Seating is officially a free agent.

The Canadian manufacturer’s tilt-and-recline positioning chairs have been available in the U.S. exclusively through nine HME providers for 15 years, but they only became available to providers nationwide earlier this year.

“Broda has long established partners that it continues to work with, but it reached a point where expansion of distribution became necessary to provide customers better access to the products,” said Tricia Boudreau, marketing manager. 

Broda opened its distribution network gradually over the better part of two years. To build up new business, it is expanding its team of six reps selling its products in the United States.

It was the right time for Broda to make the move, company officials say. It had a supporter in Prospect Capital, which provided a $48-million recapitalization in the fall of 2013. It also heard the din of providers clamoring for cash-based products, especially in the wake of the competitive bidding program.

“They like the Broda chair because it’s a niche product that’s not, other than one model, a coded chair,” Boudreau said.

In addition to selling them for cash, providers are having good luck selling or renting the chairs to hospice and skilled-nursing facilities.

“It gives them some bandwidth as far as their business model is concerned,” said Rob Fessler, territory business manager for New England and eastern Ontario.

Broda exhibited at Medtrade in October with renewed focus on growing its business in the United States.

“At past Medtrades, we’d often get questions like, ‘Why are you even here, because you can’t sell to us?’” Fessler said. “They had a valid point. Now we can honestly say we’re open for business in the U.S.”