Word of mouth pays off for Avid

Merits Health Products builds separate facility for complex rehab division
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Monday, March 27, 2017

CAPE CORAL, Fla. – Since the release of the Vector at the beginning of October, business for Avid Rehab’s first entry into the complex power wheelchair market has been strong.

It’s been so strong, that Avid, a division of Merits Health Products, is in the process of building a separate assembly and warehouse facility that will be dedicated entirely to the Vector and future Avid products.

The exciting part about the Vector’s success is that it’s come on the heels of an intentionally “soft” launch, according to Chris Blackmore, director of business and product development for Merits.

“We’ve largely promoted the Vector by word of mouth,” he said, “but the pace of orders has far exceeded our expectations.”

The new 6,000-square-foot building had been in the plans already, but the strong sales are certainly an incentive, Blackmore said, as “it will allow us to ramp up production considerably.”

To date, Avid hasn’t advertised the Vector, although Blackmore said that’s in the plans for 2017. Rather, the company has opted to use its representatives already in the field to introduce the chair to therapists who can then work with their patients and help them through the process of fitting a specific chair to their particular needs.

“The unique part about the Vector,” he explained, “is that it’s a highly adaptive product.”

Also a factor in the Vector’s success, Blackmore said, is the fact that the complex rehab market, while protected from some of the reimbursement cuts that have hampered HME, is still under the pressure of tight margins.

“The option we offer consumers,” he said, “is a very strong and reliable chair that is also economically sound.”

As for what’s next for Avid, Blackmore said the company will soon be following up the Vector with a 450-pound model chair with a new, more narrow base.