Johnny Miller: His quest is HME success

Friday, September 30, 2005

AKRON, Ohio - From the tire manufacturing capital of the United States, Johnny Miller is making sure the rubber meets the road in his company's HME business.
The homecare manager for Miller's Rental and Sales is the third generation to work in the family business, which goes back to 1949. In his six years as a full-time employee for the company, he has learned every facet of the operation, from delivery to billing. It is this well-rounded experience that primed him for the leadership role he assumed last December.
"I've worked in every department, know each job in each location and have a broad overview of everything from the ground up to the highest levels of administration," he said. "I have aspirations to one day run the company."
For now that task is handled by Johnny's father, John Sr., along with his uncle, Rob. But young Miller is charged with an impressive list of responsibilities, including oversight of the entire HME enterprise, from business planning and revenue enhancement to personnel and product selection.
"Everything from the top line to the bottom line," he said. "I've got to make sure that we'll be around for another 56 years."
One of Miller's priorities has been to build the homecare sales staff by adding positions and expanding their roles. Part of the initiative involves recasting the sales function outside the traditional model, but for proprietary reasons Miller declined to get specific about exactly what that entailed.
Because of his experience working in every corner of the business, Miller describes his management style as hands-on.
"I'm not afraid to jump right in and don't ask people to do something I haven't done myself," he said. "But I don't believe in micro-managing, either. You have to give people space to do their jobs and they can't succeed if you're looking over their shoulder all the time."
Miller also discovered a talent for lobbying - an essential activity for an industry constantly under regulatory pressure.
He even gave one of the state's legislators a first-hand demonstration in the value of HME by providing bath safety equipment to the congressman's wife, who had just undergone knee replacement surgery.


Age: 32 Company/position: Miller's Rental and Sales/Homecare Manager Headquarters: Akron, Ohio Annual sales volume: $10 million to $20 million Years in HME business: Six Membership in professional organizations: AAHomecare, MED Group, OAMES, NRRTS, NCART Business motto: "Let our family take care of your family"