Korean connection

Sunday, April 30, 2006

NEW PHILADELPHIA, Ohio - Korea isn't exactly bubbling off the lips of HME manufacturers who believe the Holy Grail of success lies in the Far East. But Clearview Healthcare Products (CHP) is banking on decent returns for its line of Korean-made gel cushions.
CHP products already have some currency in the seating and positioning market. The news is this: In January, two American marketing executives bought the North American assets to several lines of Clearview's wheelchair cushions and relaunched the company as Clearview Healthcare Products LLC. As always, the lifeline goes back to Korea.
"Korea cannot compete with the labor costs in places in China and Vietnam, but there is a great deal more to designing and manufacturing high-end seat cushions, back cushions and several other types of products than simply having the lowest labor costs," said K. C. Jensen, president of the newly formed Ohio-based LLC.
The company sells about 80% of its product into the DME market, 15% into long-term care and some as operating room positioning devices. Twenty reps are now selling CHP product. Jensen expects to boost that corps by 12 to 15 by the end of the year.