After nearly 30 years, Perkins Medical Supply still operates with the philosophy of providing personalized client service. “It’s about helping people,” General Manager Jeremy Lloyd declares. “That’s the main goal.”
Based in Vero Beach, Fla., the company provides home healthcare products, supplies and services. Perkins Medical Supply’s roots go back to 1970, when founder Louis Perkins opened a pharmacy that grew to provide medical equipment and supplies.
Perkins Medical Supply infoBut, in 1990, he put a greater focus on the latter. “He decided that the medical equipment and supply business was more personable,” Lloyd explains. “It needed a little more concentrated effort to get people what they need and help them through the insurance process.”
Perkins opened the company’s first location in a modestly sized office and later opened another that covered more than 7,000 square feet. With its location across the street from a hospital, “It grew pretty quickly,” Lloyd says.
In 2001, Perkins moved the operations of his smaller office into a 11,000-square-foot facility that has become its headquarters. Today, the company has two additional stores in Sebastian and Port St. Lucie, Fla., that maintain the goals of its founder.
“Mr. Perkins had vision and he had a lot of compassion for people,” Lloyd days. “He tried to make it a company that operated efficiently but also operated in the best interests of the people it served.”
Above and Beyond
Lloyd joined Perkins Medical Supply in January 1996, after working as a commercial fisherman and attending theological school. “I started as a tech and they trained me on how to set up equipment in the homes,” he recalls.
Perkins Medical Supply 1He later moved into sales before working in quality assurance, accreditation, licensing and eventually, management. “In 2004, I became general manager,” he recalls, adding that Perkins Medical Supply operates with the goal of delivering quality products even when it comes at a cost to the company.
For example, he explains, insurance providers do not cover fully electric hospital beds. “Some provide beds that have no motors, but we still provide a fully electric hospital bed,” Lloyd says. “We don’t get paid for that but we get paid for a semi electric bed in that instance.”
With this philosophy, Lloyd says, Perkins Medical Supply goes above and beyond the competition. “As long as we can do it, that’s what we want to do,” he says. “We don’t want to provide the bare bones for the patient. We want to provide as much as we can, serving the patient in the best way possible.”
On the Rise
Perkins Medical Supply is seeing product trends in its industry, including a rise in customers purchasing lift chairs. “We do a lot of luxury lift chairs in the $1,500 to the $2,000 range,” Lloyd says.
Its locations will highlight the comfort and quality of the product, while also competing against retailers on the web. “We try to match or beat online prices,” he says, adding that it has done this with nearly all of its chairs.
The company also has witnessed advancements in portable oxygen concentrators as well as in continuous positive airway pressure machines. “Those have come a long way as well,” Lloyd says, noting that many feature cell phone modems.
This allows physicians to view their patients’ use via an app on their phones. “A doctor can see everything that is happening,” Lloyd says. “Phone monitoring is so much easier now.”
A Friendly Place
Perkins Medical Supply operates with a friendly environment for its clients. “When customers come in, they are greeted,” Lloyd says, adding that employees often help them out to their vehicles.
Perkins Medical Supply 3“It still has that type of old-fashioned service,” he says, noting that this has nurtured a strong rate of repeat business. “Whether it’s on the insurance or the cash side, we have a lot of people we recognize on a weekly or monthly basis that come in.”
This requires Perkins Medical Supply to hire employees who are not only friendly, but have a strong work ethic. “They should be able to put their hands to work and be able to get along with customers and other employees,” he says. “If you sense there’s any negative attitude, you try to steer clear of that.” The company maintains a relaxed and easygoing environment for its employees as well. “We try to have an open-door policy and walk around and see what’s going on within the different departments,” he says.
Perkins Medical Supply’s employees have been critical to its success, along with its vendors, which include Pride Mobility Products Corp. “They’ve been a really good partner,” Lloyd says.
Pride Mobility Products has provided the company with scooters, power chairs and lift chairs that have benefited its clients. “They have a good warranty and they back their product,” he says.
Lloyd sees a strong future ahead for Perkins Medical Supply, which plans for slow but steady growth. “We’re not looking to do more than what we can,” he says. “We want to make sure what we do we do right.” +