Sunrise Medical to Separate Into Two Companies

Sunrise Medical will form two distinct companies starting July 1, the DME manufacturing giant announced on May 10.

The two new entities will be known as Sunrise Mobility and DeVilbiss Healthcare, with the latter handling Sunrise’s current respiratory and sleep-disorder DME.

On the mobility/rehab side, newly formed Sunrise Mobility will supply Guardian, Hoyer, Jay and Quickie products. Sunrise Mobility sales associates will also sell products in the A.R.T. Group, Sunrise Medical’s high-end seating and mobility division made up of Adaptive Equipment Systems, KidKart, Rehabilitech/Shurshape and Whitmyer Biomechanix.

Sunrise Medical added a comprehensive section to its Web site to inform consumers, clinicians, suppliers and other stakeholders of the upcoming changes. A 12-minute video available on the Web site explains, “The future is everywhere. We can see it when we open our eyes. And we’ll prosper from it when we open our minds.” Among the trends impacting the world, the video explains, are the aging of baby boomers, the technological explosion and the faster obsolescence of new products.

Asked what improvements can be expected once Sunrise splits into two organizations, Sunrise Chairman/CEO Michael Hammes said, “The decision to evolve into two separate organizations was not a shoot-from-the-hip decision and in fact was developed over the last year. We started down this path when we began to project dynamic changes in the home health care market. Sunrise Medical had all the components to be successful, but those pieces weren’t operating in an optimal manner. We knew that if we wanted to increase our service levels to fulfill and exceed the needs of our customers — we needed to add more focus. The best way to do that was to operate as two independent focused organizations. This will allow each business to be more agile and flexible, and as a result better able to anticipate shifts in the marketplace and plan accordingly. We also anticipate acceleration to our problem-solving and increased solution innovation.”

Hammes also expects the company’s global presence to continue to grow. “Sunrise Medical has had success with leveraging manufacturing in China for over five years now,” he pointed out. “Given this success, we expect to increase our presence in China for power mobility products and will continually evaluate other lines as well. As we know, it’s a global economy, and with today’s pressures it’s critical that organizations keep their minds open to ideas and concepts that ensure their long-term health.”

Suppliers and clinicians currently working with Sunrise Medical will reap benefits as well, Hammes said. “Having a focused and dedicated organization will produce holistic solutions. Focus breeds creativity and innovation — there will be more ‘what if’ conversations that can now be translated into action plans. And because of this, Sunrise Mobility will be able to widen the gap in those segments, such as manual mobility, where we already have a leading position, and we’ll be able focus more efforts on those segments which require further attention, such as power mobility. Finally, we will be better able to leverage the knowledge and experience of the A.R.T. Group.”

To view the video or read answers to FAQs related to the new business plan, go to www.sunrisemedical.com.

This article originally appeared in the June 2007 issue of Mobility Management.

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