Sunrise Medical has acquired Ride Designs, known for its custom seating systems.
The manufacturers announced the news on Oct. 2, with each praising the other’s track record of innovative seating.
Sunrise called Ride Designs “a renowned industry leader in premium custom seating systems for wheelchair riders,” and a
dded that the acquisition “marks a significant expansion of Sunrise Medical’s custom seating offerings, clinical expertise, and service capabilities, perfectly complementing the extensive range of manual and powered mobility products Sunrise Medical already offers.”
Ride Designs CEO and co-founder Tom Hetzel said in the announcement, “We are thrilled to become part of the Sunrise Medical group. Ride Designs has always been dedicated to helping wheelchair riders achieve the best possible fit to enhance their quality of life. Thisaligns seamlessly with Sunrise Medical’s mission of improving people’s lives.”
Ride Designs also paid tribute to “a set of core principles backed by the in-depth expertise” of Hetzel and co-founder Joe Bieganek. The company operates Aspen Seating Clinic, known for working with elite wheelchair athletes as well as “the most discerning of wheelchair users,” Ride Designs said.
Last November, the company announced it would use 3D printing to manufacture its popular Ride Custom Back.
“The portfolio of Ride Designs benefits from evidence-based product and technology development supported by broad collaborations and research with reputable institutions and universities,” the announcement said. “This ensures that the company’s leading-edge innovations are always well integrated with [a] user-centric approach and science-backed data.”
Business As Usual for North American Customers
In an FAQ sheet accompanying the news announcement, Sunrise emphasized a “business as usual” approach for its customers and Ride Designs’ customers in North America.
“Please continue to work with your respective account managers and customer service representatives at Sunrise Medical and Ride Designs, following the same channels for placing orders, requesting technical service, or asking for support for evaluations,” the announcement said.
As for a potential integration of the two sales forces, the announcement said, “Nothing changes for now, but it is our intention to retain Ride Sales representatives and complement their efforts with the addition of Sunrise Medical Account Managers. By coming together, Sunrise Medical and Ride will be better positioned to enhance our service offerings, maximize efficiencies, and deliver a comprehensive seating portfolio which supports riders of all shapes, sizes, and needs.”
Consumers needing equipment service or repairs should continue to contact or visit the suppliers who provided the equipment.
Hetzel: “Sunrise Medical Is Our Strongest Partner”
Thomas Babacan, the President/CEO of Sunrise Medical, said in the announcement, “We are very excited to welcome Ride Designs into the Sunrise Medical family. We firmly believe that this acquisition has high strategic importance and offers mutual benefits for both parties. By joining forces with Ride Designs, Sunrise Medical adds a high-end custom seating offering to our seating and positioning product portfolio, similar to RGK for the manual wheelchairs range and Magic for the power wheelchairs range.
“The acquisition not only addresses and significantly expands the broad spectrum of seating and positioning requirements for wheelchair riders worldwide, but also brings highly valuable clinical expertise and advanced 3D printing technologies and competences into the Sunrise Medical group. Together with Ride’s seasoned management team and highly skilled workforce, Sunrise Medical now has an even stronger product range, clinical expertise, and operational competences to offer the best suited seating solutions to all wheelchair riders. This optimizes their mobility in terms of clinical functionality, comfort, posture, and skin integrity.”
Hetzel added, “Ride Designs and the Aspen Seating Clinic have long been pioneers in specialized seating development. We are especially proud of our latest 3D printing technology manufacturing capabilities. We are very passionate to bring our advanced, clinically differentiated solutions to as many riders as possible. The strengths of the two companies complement each other very well.
“Sunrise Medical’s existing comprehensive mobility offering, global sales networks, business resources, and infrastructure will significantly accelerate Ride’s global outreach and expansion. We are committed to providing uncompromising solutions to address skin and postural challenges, and we believe that Sunrise Medical is our strongest partner in achieving our mission.”