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

comments powered by Disqus

From Our Experts

Right to Repair Legislation: Just Say No thumbnail Right to Repair Legislation: Just Say No Over the past few months there have been several bills introduced at the state level titled "Right to Repair." The purpose of these bills is to give the consumer the right to purchase parts from manufacturers directly in order to repair their own products. This may be fine for some consumer goods, but it could have devastating consequences to consumers attempting to repair their own medical equipment for several reasons. The Q2 Buyer's Guide is Available Now thumbnail The Q2 Buyer's Guide is Available Now VGM & Associates is excited to announce that the second quarter Digital Buyer's Guide has been released. The latest edition can be downloaded now. Complex Rehab Legislative Update thumbnail Complex Rehab Legislative Update Legislation is always a hot topic in CRT and this year is no different. We have 5 major issues that we are working: Stopping June 30 Cuts to CRT Manual Wheelchair Accessories, Establishing Coverage for Power Seat Elevation and Power Standing System, Securing Permanent Remote Service and Telehealth Options for CRT, Establishing a Medicare Separate Benefit Category for CRT, State Medicaid Cuts, and the Right to Repair legislation that is currently being introduced in several states. Telehealth for Complex Rehab Technology: Is It Effective? thumbnail Telehealth for Complex Rehab Technology: Is It Effective? This report analyzes telehealth in the complex rehab technology (CRT) industry. In this report, we define telehealth in the current environment of CRT and how we see it moving forward post-pandemic. Then, we will summarize our feelings of how we see the industry moving forward and utilizing the tools that are available to better the industry and patient care. We also have a list of studies on this subject provided at the end of this report. U.S. Rehab Releases Whitepaper on Telehealth in CRT thumbnail U.S. Rehab Releases Whitepaper on Telehealth in CRT U.S. Rehab has released a whitepaper on the use of telehealth in the CRT industry, “Telehealth for Complex Rehab Technology: Is It Effective?” The First Quarterly Buyer's Guide is Available Now thumbnail The First Quarterly Buyer's Guide is Available Now VGM & Associates and U.S. Rehab has released a new resource for our members, our Quarterly Buyer's Guide. Telehealth in Complex Rehab: Part 3 thumbnail Telehealth in Complex Rehab: Part 3 In today's episode of Industry Matters President of U.S. Rehab, Greg Packer, and Vice President of Rehabilitation Program Development at HOMELINK, Kyle Walker, wrap up a 3-part podcast series on the importance telehealth has played, and will continue to play in the complex rehab industry. CRT Telehealth Update from NCART thumbnail CRT Telehealth Update from NCART NCART and the CRT Remote Services Consortium announced their continued efforts to secure a permanent telehealth option for people with disabilities who require complex rehab technology (CRT).