Packer Perspective: Working Closely with Industry Leaders

Published in Complex Rehab on November 12, 2020

Ability Products shares a vision with U.S. Rehab to provide continuous value delivered by a team who understands what you face. Ability Products has been specifically created to collaborate with individual small businesses, not compete against them. 

Below is a brief history of the company:

Chelgren In 1994, Mark Chelgren befriended a group of wheelchair users and this sparked a 25 year passion for him to invent and manufacture products designed to improve the comfort and mobility of wheelchairs. Soon after, Chelgren and his wife, Janet, founded Frog Legs, Inc. whose flagship product is a shock absorbing front caster fork. Chelgren quickly determined caster wheels in the market were inferior and astounded the wheelchair market by launching a new “soft roll” caster design that would be wider and would not have tread to interfere with the wheel’s ability to pivot. Frog Legs’ products have become the gold standard for wheelchairs throughout the world.

Chelgren The saying “Imitation is the highest form of flattery” definitely played true and, after years of success, nearly every mediocre tire company in the world had a copycat version of the Frog Legs wheelset. While exhibiting at a European tradeshow, Mark and Janet noticed that Rolko, a German based company with an extensive variety of products, was the only wheelchair component manufacturer who had not cloned the soft roll concept. Recognizing that international marketing is an expensive and time-consuming proposition for both companies, Chelgren and Rolko’s CEO, Torsten Eikemeier, began discussing how they could merge their product lines and work together. In 2018, Frog Legs partnered with Rolko, agreeing to have Rolko represent their family of products throughout Europe. In 2019, efforts began to expand the relationship to utilize Chelgren’s companies as a framework to distribute Rolko products in North America. In January of 2020, Ability Products, Inc. was established as a formal entity dedicated to this effort.   

ChelgrenThe Ability Products vision is to establish themselves as the one-stop-shop of wheelchair parts, accessories, and product sourcing for dealers and wholesale suppliers within the durable medical equipment space. Ability Products will serve as the mechanism for supply chain, relationship development, and product education to promote the vast Rolko brand known for quality German engineering in North America. Their products are sourced from select global factories and distributed from a 22,000 square foot warehouse located in Bloomfield, Iowa.

Ability Products mission is to supply to DME, HME, and CRT dealers the best, most cost-effective:

  • Repair & replacement parts
  • End-user sccessories and product upgrades
  • Custom and OEM parts

Chelgren’s companies have a long standing reputation for exceptional customer care and hands on collaboration with our partners in the field.

We asked dealers across the country what they needed and built Ability Products to address these pain points. Ability Products will partner with U.S. Rehab members to offer: 

  • A large selection of quality parts at a competitive price
  • Quick delivery for high volume parts
  • Sourcing for aftermarket options 
  • Product compatibility and installation knowledge base
  • Tech support both on-line and live by phone and teleconference
  • A trusted sales team that cares about their success

Our priority is to assist in servicing the ultimate customer; a person with a disability and their family. A strategic partnership with Ability Products will allow members to focus on growing these customer relationships and improving their business operations. 
 


TAGS

  1. complex rehab
  2. vendor

From Our Experts

U.S. Rehab Tech Training Coming to Philadelphia and Birmingham, AL thumbnail U.S. Rehab Tech Training Coming to Philadelphia and Birmingham, AL U.S. Rehab is excited to host Tech Training in Philadelphia July 26-27, 2022, and Birmingham, AL September 13-14, 2022. VGM or U.S. Rehab members can register now online. VGM's 21st Heartland Conference Builds HME Community thumbnail VGM's 21st Heartland Conference Builds HME Community More than 1,000 people from across the U.S. and Canada converged June 13-15 in VGM's hometown of Waterloo, Iowa, for three unforgettable days at the 21st annual Heartland Conference. Complex Rehab Technology and Outcomes-Based Healthcare thumbnail Complex Rehab Technology and Outcomes-Based Healthcare The Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) industry, along with many others in the DME space, is moving to an outcomes-based or performance-based system versus the fee-for-service system we have been in for decades. DMERT Group Names Wayne Grau as Chair of Executive Board thumbnail DMERT Group Names Wayne Grau as Chair of Executive Board The DMERT Group has announced Wayne Grau as the new Chair of their Executive Board. Greg Packer, president of U.S. Rehab and previous Chair of the DMERT Group, announced his resignation to be effective upon the naming of a successor. Cybersecurity in 2022: What to Watch For thumbnail Cybersecurity in 2022: What to Watch For The landscape of cybersecurity is always evolving as new technologies come along and attackers become savvier. Jay Bracken takes a look at some of the biggest cybersecurity trends in 2022. Online Registration Closes June 6 for Heartland 2022 thumbnail Online Registration Closes June 6 for Heartland 2022 Online registration for VGM's 21st anniversary Heartland Conference will close June 6. Guests will still be able to register on-site for the in-person educational event June 13-15 in Waterloo, Iowa. Why the Right to Repair is NOT the Right Thing to Do to Address Delays in Wheelchair Repairs thumbnail Why the Right to Repair is NOT the Right Thing to Do to Address Delays in Wheelchair Repairs Right to Repair legislation has popped up in several states and is a topic that impacts all U.S. Rehab members. If passed, it could have devastating consequences to patients attempting to repair their own medical equipment. OIG Report – Medicare “Advantage” Organizations Restrict Beneficiary Access to Medically Necessary Services thumbnail OIG Report – Medicare “Advantage” Organizations Restrict Beneficiary Access to Medically Necessary Services Dan Fedor outlines recent report from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and how it confirms that many Medicare Advantage (or replacement) plans can lead to denials, underpayments, and delays in payment.