‘Sell more stuff’

ARI targets HME as growth vertical
Friday, December 4, 2015

MILWAUKEE – ARI Network Services recently signed on two high-profile clients in Drive Medical and Roscoe Medical, and company officials say another is in the works.

ARI, which provides website, software and data solutions that help companies “sell more stuff,” does business in seven industries, including powersports, but it was HME that was one of the company’s best performers last year, says Bob Jones, vice president of sales.

“We view HME as a growth vertical and we’re investing heavily in the space,” he said. “We’re building out our sales staff and we’re building out our business development arm.”

ARI, a public company that trades on NASDAQ under ARIS, “more aggressively” entered the HME market in 2012, when it acquired 50 Below. 50 Below has helped providers with website merchandising since 1999.

Per its arrangements with Drive and Roscoe, ARI provides their provider customers with, among other things, branded product pages, says Dennis Olsen, sales manager.

“One of the problems (manufacturers) have is making sure their data is displayed correctly,” he said. “We can help with that.”

When ARI is the engine behind product pages, companies like Drive and Roscoe can also be sure that their provider customers are complying with their minimum advertised pricing or MAP policies, Olsen says.

“They don’t have to hire a third party to crawl the Internet to make sure their providers aren’t in violation,” he said.

To date, ARI is responsible for half a million SKUs of HME product information on the web, a number that increases daily, Jones says.

“That’s our sales model,” he said, “going out and partnering with manufacturers and distributors, and managing their online visibility and brand protection.”

Olsen likens the web savviness of those in the HME market today to that of those in the powersports market in the early to mid-2000s.

“It didn’t take off initially (in the powersports market), but now, understanding the power of the Internet and what it can do, there isn’t a dealer in that industry without a good online presence,” he said. “Most providers haven’t done much, but they’re starting to.”