Jun 01, 2005
Company Name:Active Forever Location/Contact Info: 10799 North 90th Street Scottsdale, AZ 85260 800-377-8033; customerservice(at)activeforever.com www.activeforever.com Established: 1991
Types of products sold: “We research best choices of product solutions for practically every physical challenge you can image for daily living activities,” said CEO Erika Feinberg.
Size of Company (employees, clients per year): 4,000 new customers a month
Home Health Products spoke with Feinberg about Active Forever’s successful Web site and in-store business that operates with zero insurance billing.
Q:What is unusual/unique about the store?
A:All the customer service counselors are on wireless headsets, while they’re talking to someone about an order, they can walk over and play with the product and demonstrate it. The 5,000 square foot store is part of our corporate headquarters and it’s set up like Sharper Image. People can come in to try things.
What we carry is motivated by our local health care facilities; we’re surrounded by three Mayo clinics, Scottsdale Healthcare, St. Josephs Hospital and Bayer Neurological Institute.
Q:Describe your relationship with your manufacturers.
A:We always have a very detailed three-page questionnaire that we run our potential suppliers through before we’ll consider carrying their product. There are many things we require of them regarding returns, maintenance and what type of warranties or guarantees they have on their products. The number one is how quickly they can get us the products. Whether they’re shipping to our warehouse, or to our customer, we require that they ship immediately.
The reason I say that’s so important is because none of us plan for trauma. And when someone needs these things, they need them immediately. We have an arrangement with our shipping company, especially in Arizona, where the product goes out next day without any extra cost.
Q:What is something you have learned from your experience in the HME industry?
A:Most of it is driven by insurance and we completely understand why some HMEs are insurance driven. I encourage traditional DME companies to embrace that and work with us. We’re not competing, because we do absolutely zero insurance billing and we could be a wonderful complement. If their customers are coming in looking for products they don’t carry just pass them off to us and we’ll take care of them. Lots of times, we have people coming in saying, ‘I wonder if insurance will cover this,’ and we just send them to our favorite DMEs.
Q:What has brought you success in the past?
A:The Web site has been around for 14 years. It went through transformation two and a half years ago, and we’re only on the 10 yard line when it comes to vision for the Web business. We still have a long away to go to fulfill our vision of what we’d like people to experience when they’re there. But we’re still getting major awards and recognition for what we’ve done.
Our goal is to have the consumer rely on us the way they rely on a family member–a really smart family member.
Forget we’re in medical and rehab, it’s about thoughtful, wonderful, caring, honest service. Especially since we’re also dealing with trauma, it’s about helping guide the way to more normal living–instead of looking at what’s going to be reimbursed and what’s not going to be reimbursed.
Fun Fact: Anyone who calls into the call center will be greeted with, “How can I make your life easier today?”
This article originally appeared in the June 2005 issue of HME Business.