REQ sets 'big hairy audacious goal'

Thursday, January 31, 2008

MANCHESTER, N.H. - Rehabilitation Equipment Associates (REQ) kicked off its 25th year in business in November by setting a "big hairy audacious goal" or B-HAG, said President Jan Soderquist: The rehab provider plans to increase sales by 25% in 2008. It's a major shift for the company. After years of being distracted by things it has little control over--national competitive bidding, reimbursement cuts and numerous changes to the power mobility benefit--REQ has decided to focus on "what we do best," Soderquist said. Here's what she had to say about how REQ's new outlook will help the provider accomplish its B-HAG.
HME News: How did you commemorate REQ's 25th year?
Jan Soderquist: We closed the store at noon, and we had a chicken and beef tenderloin buffet. We had all 28 employees there--and a big hairy gorilla. We talked about the goals of each department: home care, rehab, Hubscrub and service. We agreed to increase sales by 25%. We always have an annual meeting where we talk about goals, but this year, there was more energy.
HME: What's REQ's strategy for increasing sales?
Soderquist: We have a large and aggressive service department, for example, and we plan to do a better job of working them to our advantage.
HME: How will REQ do that?
Soderquist: We recently rolled out a preventative maintenance program, which has been a dream of ours. It allows clients to bring their equipment in to get cleaned and to make sure it's in tip-top shape. We have a variety of different fees based on the equipment involved. It's private pay, not insurance. We did our first mailing in November to a couple hundred people within a certain radius of Manchester.
HME: What role will employees play in increasing sales?
Soderquist: They had to establish two of their own goals that also promote the company's goal. It was intimidating for a lot of employees, but it was engaging to others. It created a lot of enthusiasm.
HME: Are you confident REQ will achieve its goal?
Soderquist: It's pretty extreme, but I don't expect that we'll fail. I think it's achievable.