REQ marks milestone

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Manchester, N.H.-based Rehab Equipment Associates (REQ) celebrated 25 years of determination and perseverance on Sept. 17 by letting loose with a festive event for staff, referral sources and clients.

“We had a strolling violinist and accordionist who could move around and play requested songs,” said Jan Soderquist, president. “We had a champagne fountain filled with sparkling cider and a chocolate fountain. Then our service technicians became chefs and cooked hamburgers and hot dogs.”

Soon after the celebration, Soderquist announced the results of REQ’s “Big Hairy Audacious Goal:” Increase sales by 25% in 2008.

“We posted the finish percentage of 25.03% and everyone cheered,” she said. “The extra effort paid off. Each full-time employee received a bonus of $2,500. This was an extraordinary accomplishment with all that has been going on in the industry this year.”
Indeed, it hasn’t always been easy for REQ.

“There were certainly times when we needed help from our vendors because cash flow was really wanting and we needed support from our banks,” said Soderquist. “Without the support of all those people who understand the complexity of the industry, it couldn’t have survived.”

REQ’s ability to evolve has also helped it persevere, she said.

“Very early on we really focused on children,” she said. “But someplace along the line, we recognized that because providing services to children is in many ways complex and frequently involves an army of people, we needed to expand our base” to increase profits.
REQ expanded into rehab services for adults and began carrying supplies and renting hospital beds, wheelchairs and other equipment, she said.

The company now has 28 employees and a 14,000-square-foot building that also houses HubScrub, a division of REQ that specializes in portable cleaning machines for DME. REQ is outgrowing its space and hopes to expand to 20,000 square feet, Soderquist said.