Healthcare equipment supplier, Hill-Rom, is to place a focus this year on ensuring it has national coverage outside of the hospital environment and will look to utilise a distribution network to achieve its goal.
The international manufacturer plans to achieve wider coverage through a “network of high-quality partnerships” in the mobility sector, which it is looking to expand this year, according to Hill-Rom’s UK marketing director, Gavin Richards.
He told AMP that one of the key focus areas for the company in 2019 is about concentrating on “developing and nurturing our channel partnerships”.
“Naturally, we are looking to develop some new relationships during the coming year and beyond,” he said.
The company struck a deal with fellow manufacturer, Lynch Healthcare, in 2016 to expand its profit and market share in the community safe patient handling business, which has increased 10-fold, thanks largely to the Liko overhead hoist.
Richards said: “Channel partnerships such as the Hill-Rom/Liko model is the preferred route to market for us in this sector, so we are currently putting substantial commitment into identifying and partnering with like-minded suppliers who see the value in this approach.
“Once we start working with an organisation, we like to look for ways to enhance their current business and bring more value to the customer – this includes supporting partners with additional education around technical and clinical subjects ranging from effective installation through to clinical training on effective safe patient handling.”
Hill-Rom is close to rolling out a new partner incentives scheme and is looking to repeat the success of its Lynch Healthcare with other companies.
It recently appointed a new channel manager to specifically look at how it can replicate the Hill-Rom/Liko model around the country.
Richards said: “We believe it’s the ideal model for this type of market – over 1.8m people in the UK need accessible homes, and there are over thirty-two thousand schools that may need a safe patient handling solution. There is no way we can try and cater for that population alone – so we need to find regional partners to work with.
“Ultimately, we want to be selective about our partners and it needs to be the right fit for both parties to replicate the success we’ve already seen with Lynch Healthcare.
“Liko is a well-respected brand in the SPH industry, known for being able to cater for even the most complicated cases. We want to partner this brand with first class organisations with great knowledge and contacts in their local and regional markets.
“If and when, we find these new partners, we will actively invest in helping them grow and identify mutual opportunities.”
Richards concluded: “With the right partners and the right opportunities, we are able to provide a wide range of offer-enhancing services including: design & technical drawing, installation, service and product education, aftersales service, lead generation and marketing support, as well as demo systems for your showroom and access to our UK training facilities in the Midlands.”
Image: Liko hoist, Hill-Rom