SISA Home Medical speeds up business

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

BELLEVILLE, Ill. - SISA Home Medical Equipment has a newfound appreciation for the phrase location, location, location.
About a year ago, SISA moved to Belleville from O'Fallon, Ill., situating itself strategically across the Mississippi River from St. Louis. Since then, the company's branch here has watched its wheelchair and scooter sales jump about 33%.
"St. Louis is where the larger hospitals are, and people who went to the hospitals there would get their equipment there, not knowing that we were even here," said Kip Lyerla, an ATS and director of rehab sales for SISA Home Medical. "When we went back to our referral sources in St. Louis and told them we had a branch in Belleville, they could relate. It's maybe a half-hour drive."
SISA Home Medical, whose 64-year-old roots trace back to Southern Illinois Surgical Appliance, has three other locations in Illinois: Carbondale, Mount Vernon and West Frankfurt, which doubles as a corporate headquarters. While these locations offer a full line of DME, the Belleville branch offers only rehab equipment.
Soon after opening shop in Belleville, SISA Home Medical launched a direct mail marketing campaign to let people and referral sources know of the "in-home, in-town equipment services" it provides, said Kelly Lyerla, Belleville branch manager.
"I'd say about 70% of our growth was due to that campaign," he said.
Although 50% of its business comes from Medicare, an increase in cash sales also helped to boost overall sales, Lyerla said.
"Even if you get two to four cash sales a month, that's an extra $5,000," he said. "You know what they say: Cash is king."
Four employees work out of SISA Home Medical's Belleville branch: Lyerla, a NRRTS registrant; an ATS who serves as the seating and mobility consultant; a service manager; and an office manager. hme