As we head into a New Year and a new decade, AMP caught up with some of the most influential players in the mobility market to find out their thoughts and predictions of what the next twelve months will hold. Would the Brexit drama continue? How will the high street perform? Will online play its part? Here’s what they said:
James Ibbotson, CEO, Medequip:
2019 has been a year of investment for Medequip, focused on further developing our skills and facilities to enable the company to diversify into new areas. We have already made significant inroads into the provision of telecare and wheelchair services, with the platforms established and ready to continue this programme of diversification into 2020.
The Brexit issue has continued to impact upon our investment plans. Faced with the possibility of a hard Brexit not once but twice during the year, Medequip was forced to invest in additional stock to ensure we could continue to provide vital equipment and materials to our vulnerable customers in the event of any delay to supplies coming into the UK.
I predict that 2020 will be another tough year. Whilst we are seeing promises of increased funding for social care from all political parties, it will take time for any extra cash to filter down to the community equipment market and have a positive impact upon the availability of products and services.
At Medequip, our direction is clear for 2020. We continue to build on our strong brand, and have a very healthy pipeline with the opportunity to tender for an increasing number of CES contracts.
We also have experienced and robust teams in place to build upon our investment in diversification. In a market where there is a growing trend for businesses being acquired by finance houses, Medequip remains a self-sufficient, family owned business with the necessary agility to respond quickly to market demands.
Graham Johnson, Managing Director, Ability Plus:
In 2020, staff investment will be vital for us to build on what we already offer as a business.
Staff are pivotal to what we do and adding to that further will only be a positive thing for us as a company but also our customers when they visit stores and also in after-sales. Having a good quality staff and specialised products supply is what we are all about.
When it comes to Brexit, despite the potential chaos, the process will offer opportunity and hopefully we can make the most of that. From this, I believe there will be more government investment and funds available to access, which we will hope to turn into something beneficial for the people we work with on a daily basis.
I predict that as more general retailers close, more quality staff will become available and with our aim to invest more in our staff, this could prove rewarding for ourselves. This comes as more mobility firms seem to be closing – following the big players like Betterlife and Bathstore.
As we move into the New Year, we will obviously be keen to continue and improve our customer service across Kent and into London and will aim to do so by working with our suppliers in offering a premier service that cannot be match by the internet box shifters.
Daniel Griffiths, Founder, Easy Living Mobility:
I hope everyone has had a fantastic Christmas and enjoyed time with family and friends alike.
Who really knows what’s round the next corner, what’s going happen in 2020 as business owners we make decisions to influence changes within our businesses to benefit consumers, amongst our business strategy this sits as high priority and I see it also starting to be applied more and more by manufacturers. I see there’s much more focus now on our consumers more than ever, which is fantastic news as they deserve the very best.
Competition too is stronger than ever, in recent times there have being many store closures. Then there are also many of the more developed businesses striving to open more, ourselves included.
All of which I know is good for the industry, from a competitive side it drives us to be constantly striving for excellence and from this as in any industry brings greater benefits to all consumers.
Which ultimately is why I’m here driving our business forward every day and as I write this (in dec 2019) part of me cannot wait get started on all the exciting plans myself and my team have set out to achieve in 2020 wishing everyone “Happy New Year” hopefully a prosperous one for all.
Read Part Two of this year’s feature here: