NSM aims to be ‘employer of choice’

CEO Bill Mixon knows ‘employees are our growth engine’
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Monday, August 28, 2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – National Seating & Mobility’s recent annual Seating Symposium kicked off with 73 new ATPs in attendance and closed out with a concert by country singer-songwriter John Rich.

It’s all par for the course for a company pursing excellence in employment and a best-in-class culture.

“We’re working hard on new training programs for employees and just our overall relationship with them, including the benefits we offer,” said Bill Mixon, CEO and president. “We’re trying to create an environment where we’re the employer of choice in the complex rehab market.”

In addition to employment and culture, clinical choice rounded out the areas of focus for the conference, which had the theme “Journey to Excellence.”

Clinical choice, Mixon says, empowers NSM’s ATPs to make their own decisions about what products and technologies they provide to clients.

“They’re professionals, so we don’t dictate that,” he said. “They make that decision based on what makes the most sense and what provides the best care. By doing that, we have a higher probability at better outcomes, in conjunction with better satisfaction from referral sources.”

A happy and empowered workforce greases the wheels for NSM’s larger goals of operational excellence (“We work to get a little better at everything we do every day, from the perspective of our cycle times and other aspects of the business,” Mixon said) and growth.

“We see a growing business as a robust business and a healthy business,” he said.

If NSM’s current growth is any indication, the company is both. It added 21 new branches, year over year, in 2016-17. In August, it added the complex rehab business of Wright & Filippis in Rochester Hills, Mich., and in June it acquired Mobility Healthcare in Carrollton and Lewisville, Texas.

Despite rapid consolidation in the complex rehab market in the past few years, “we believe there is still continued opportunity to pursue good companies that share our values,” Mixon said.

NSM is also fueling growth by hammering out exclusive distributor agreements with vendors (its latest is with WHILL, whose Model M is a more cash-oriented wheelchair) and expanding its home accessibility business, AccessNSM.

“That’s a multi-billion dollar market that’s growing at 10%-plus,” Mixon said. “By the end of 2017, we expect to have somewhere between 18 to 20 locations in the U.S. We are very bullish on that market.”

But at the end of the day, NSM is in the people business, Mixon says, and that means employees are central to its success.

“They’re our growth engine,” he said.