Somnetics gets creative

Friday, March 13, 2015

NEW BRIGHTON, Minn. – Somnetics has come up with a few new ways to get the Transcend, its portable CPAP device, into the hands of users.

The company has arranged for PPM Fulfillment, a warehouse and logistics provider specializing in drop-shipping CPAP supplies, to stock the Transcend, making it easier for HME providers to offer the device, which sells for cash.

“DME providers are more and more embracing retail opportunities because of competitive bidding,” said Pat Mayer, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Somnetics. “We think this is a good way for them to enter the market.”

With consent, PPM will add a “box stuffer” about the Transcend to the CPAP supplies it mails out to users on a provider’s behalf. The pamphlet instructs users to contact the provider.

This way, in addition to no inventory costs, the provider gets free advertising, Mayer says.

“The beauty of it is this costs them absolutely nothing,” he said. “The dealer doesn’t get invoiced until a unit has been shipped on its behalf.”

While PPM has agreed to stock the Transcend, the company plans to stick with its bread and butter: supplies.

“Historically, PPM Fulfillment doesn’t stock machines in the warehouse,” said Chris Hoffman, president. “We are fulfilling a unique situation with Transcend that will accommodate requests from our mutual customers.”

Provider Respira Medical has been using PPM to drop-ship supplies, but not the Transcend—yet.

“If a patient has already been set up and educated on their CPAP, and they want a second CPAP because they’re on the go, based on the patient’s needs, then we would absolutely consider it,” said Kristi Lightsey, director of organizational development and training for the Linthicum, Md.-based provider.

Somnetics has also launched a radio campaign to raise awareness of the Transcend—more free advertising that often results in a call to a local DME provider. 

“When people find out the Transcend exists, they buy it,” Mayer said.