‘Sky’s the limit,’ Aeroflow says

Friday, September 6, 2013

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Aeroflow is using competitive bidding as a springboard into new hires and new products.

The provider won 456 contracts across the country as part of Round 2 of competitive bidding, which kicked off in 91 cities on July 1.

“This has brought us the chance to become a national company,” said Mei Pettiford, pediatric team leader for North Carolina and Tennessee. “We’ve been able to add more positions, mostly promoting from within, which is always great.”

Aeroflow has established a new department to manage the subcontractors it needed to fulfill its contracts. Between the new department and its new product lines, the provider has been able to hire a dozen new employees, Pettiford said.

Pediatrics, one of Aeroflow’s more recent product additions, has made an especially good showing: In its first year of this service, the provider distributed more than 1,700 nebulizers—a number that jumped to more than 7,500 this year, Pettiford said. The pediatric line also includes mobility and oxygen.

Pettiford attributes the growth to service.

“Our nebulizers are the same as everyone else’s,” she said. “It’s service that sets us apart. It comes down to our company as a whole—the sales reps, the delivery technicians and the people who are answering the phones. The formula doesn’t work if you don’t have the right people in place.”

Part of what those people are doing is listening to what referral sources and customers want. Aeroflow expanded in July into negative pressure wound therapy and in August announced it would carry breast pumps—both moves driven by requests, Pettiford said.

“We started as an adult respiratory company, but referral sources would say things like, ‘I really wish you guys would do sleep apnea,’” she said.

The continuous product line additions may one day lead Aeroflow to becoming a full-line HME provider, Pettiford said.

“We’ll add what makes sense,” she said. “The sky’s the limit.”