Alliance Seating & Mobility in National Expansion Mode

Alliance Seating & Mobility, the rehab division of The SCOOTER Store, is expanding nationwide, said VP of Business Development Scott Higley, in an interview with Mobility Management.

Alliance's higher national profile will include exhibiting at the International Seating Symposium in Orlando the week of March 9.

"We already have a nationwide presence to a great extent, but not at the level that we're looking to expand into," Higley said. "This will put us into basically every major market in the United States."

He indicated that the troubled economy has led to ATPs contacting Alliance and asking if the company was interested into expanding into their neighborhoods. While not all of those locations were in Alliance's original expansion plans, Alliance's leaders "felt we needed to look at this on a large level, and not just wait for people to contact us. We want to reach out there while there are some really good people who feel insecure with where the market is right now."

Higley said Alliance currently envisions a staff of 60 to 80 ATPs, with additional support staff for them.

He says while Alliance hasn't been aggressively recruiting ATPs in the last six months, he adds, "We've had people contacting us. They've been watching to see how serious the company was, and they hear that we're continuing to grow. A lot of them are very curious, some of them are skeptical. We like to meet with them to hear what their concerns are, and address those concerns, and I would say the majority of the time, we can come to some favorable conclusion for them and also for us, whether they're a fit."

Higley confirms that Alliance is able to handle rehab clients with a large range of complex seating & mobility needs: "We currently service pediatrics, we do a lot of very high-end electronics, we do a lot of ALS, MS business. We want to be a company that can supply all the needs of someone coming out of the hospital."

After this story was published on March 2, Mobility Management (MM) received several e-mails from providers who said Alliance has indeed been actively recruiting ATPs from other rehab businesses and has been directly calling ATPs. In response, Higley confirmed on March 6 that Alliance has now started working with a recruiting agency, but had not been working with that recruiting firm at the time of his original MM interview in early February.

Though Alliance has in the past been somewhat notorious for the number of vendors who refused to sell product to its ATPs, Higley says, "We're not really seeing product limitations. I would say every week I get a call from a vendor who didn't sell to us before, but who is now looking to work with us and partner with us. I know we can address what the needs of that customer are."

And though Alliance held a November rehab summit for its ATPs that Higley says included a sold-out exhibit hall, he adds that the company wants ATPs to be "well rounded" via a range of educational and networking opportunities.

"We're excited to be bringing a good-sized group of people to ISS," Higley says. "They're our best recruiters."

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