New warehouse to serve as foundation of Medco coalition

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Sunday, June 30, 2002

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Medco Group, a new marketing company that plans to build a coalition of small to mid-sized mobility and DME vendors, signed a lease on an 11,000-square-foot warehouse and offices here in June.

The warehouse will serve as an East Coast distribution center and the infrastructural heart of an organization that its founder, Bob Zandee, is positioning as a marketing supplement to member-companies existing efforts.

"For some companies, we'll increase their marketing abilities by 25%, but it could be by as much as 100%. It'll vary by member," said Zandee. "We're not trying to replace sales people, or marketing people, but trying to do the things they're not doing right now."

Like what? Like a monthly newsletter. Press releases. And group purchasing services for exposure at industry trade events, like Medtrade, and for advertising in trade publications. The vision does not stop there. Zandee, Medco's president, envisions the pursuit of national accounts, a group catalog and training school for dealers on member products.

To date, Medco had reached verbal agreements with eight companies and signed agreements with two: Scooter Lift manufacturing and Home Care Products, a manufacturer of mobility ramps. Ultimately, Zandee anticipates building a company of 12-15 members who collectively generate $250 million annually.

Medco is not Zandee's first attempt to build a coalition of smaller vendors. In late 1996, he united a dozen small vendors under the banner of the Alliance of Medical Manufacturers.

That didn't work, said Zandee, because the group wasn't held by the glue he's spreading through the new endeavor. "That was a voluntary get-together co-op," he said. "The biggest difference is that we didn't have a staff then."

At Medco, Judson Branch is vice president of marketing and sales. The company has also hired two member service managers to serve clients who'll pay $2,000 per month in subscription fees.

To Dennis Mortimore, president of Scooter Lift, that's short money. "This will reinforce some of the potential we haven't been able to realize on our own," he said. HME

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