New Access Point roster reads like who's who

Friday, September 30, 2005

ST. LOUIS -- A 'super group' of HME industry veterans has launched a new manufacturing company, Access Point Medical, that has read - if not authored - some of the industry's most interesting playbooks and is stealing pages from others.
The company's roster reads like a Who's Who list of industry players. One co-chairman is Jerry Jones, who engineered the formation of Apria in 1995. The other co-chair is Tom O'Donnell, the longtime president of Sunrise Medical's North American operations.
Hans Stover, who used to head up Puritan Bennett's home care division, is CEO. And Rick Davis, who was a product development engineer at PB, is the new company's vice president of sales and marketing.
APM, which just launched its second month of sales, has emerged from the gate with three manufacturing facilities in China and three more coming on line in the next six months.
"We're controlling the manufacturing process rather than just being a purchaser and a labeler of product," said Jones. "It's pretty difficult to make any basic engineering changes and to change the product for the benefit of the consumer when you are just buying a product that is mass-produced in the Asian marketplace."
APM's initial product offering of ambulatory, bath safety and mobility products includes canes, walkers, commodes, shower chairs, transport wheelchairs and standard wheelchairs. The company plans to introduce power-mobility equipment and respiratory products by the end of 2005.
Jerry Jones' son, Andy, is heading up the sales effort as national sales manager. So far, they've arranged coverage with rep groups for about 85% of the country.
One of those reps is O.A. Smith, a salesman and principal with The Respiratory & Mobility Group in Charlotte, N.C. Until Smith signed on with Access, the 30-year veteran of the home care business sold sleep and respiratory products with The Respiratory Group.
Access's management and its product impressed him.
"You can see the quality in the products - in the additional reinforcements, for example," said Smith. "One of my customers lined up Access products against some of the competition, and you could see the difference."