New e-commerce director signals Ottobock focus for the future

Monday, December 1, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS – Sometimes one move can tell a great deal about a company’s plans.  

Take prosthetics and orthotics provider Ottobock, for example. It recently hired Chris Wintenberg as the company’s first director of e-commerce, and according to Matt Swiggum, executive vice president of sales for Ottobock North America, the move was a central part of a broader effort to set Ottobock up for future growth.

“The market continues to change and be dynamic,” said Swiggum. “We didn’t see quite the demand five years ago from the complex rehab market that we think we’ll see moving forward now.”

To help meet that demand, Ottobock reached into the heart of the tech sector, hiring Wintenberg away from Dell Inc., after more than a decade in a number of management positions.

As Wintenberg sees it, the move makes perfect sense.

“Dell offers a wide range of services and products for both consumers and enterprises,” he noted, and, not surprisingly, it also makes sophisticated use of an array of cyber tools—including social media, surveys and chat communities—to support and inform consumers as they pursue the most suitable products.

Similarly, Wintenberg said, Ottobock has its own array of finely engineered, hi-tech products, and he aims to put his Dell experience to work to develop an equally thorough outreach and support program for Ottobock clients.

“It’s easier today to offer complex products online than it was just a few years ago,” he said.

According to Swiggum, prosthetics and orthotics are complex items, and he anticipates many customers will use new online options as a complement to phone conversations with Ottobock experts.