The distance between Herford in Germany and Melbourne in southern Australia is more than 16,000 kilometres. The suburb of Boronia, 40 kilometres east of the city centre, is almost on the opposite side of the globe. But when Tim Cohen and Chris Pearson arrive for a conversation in the Stiegelmeyer showroom in Herford, the distance immediately disappears. The two men are managing directors of Innovate Care, the Stiegelmeyer Group's new sales partner in Australia. And the passion for the joint project is immediately noticeable.
Innovate Care will offer all important beds from the Stiegelmeyer and Burmeier portfolio. In the hospital segment, the choices include the Puro, the Evario and the Evario one, and in the nursing home segment, the Tereno, the Elvido and the Libra. For homecare, Innovate Care is interested in the Burmeier Regia and Dali beds.
Chris Pearson names the advantages that the individual models offer on the Australian market: "Ultra-low-height beds like the Tereno are number one in Australian nursing homes," he says. When it comes to hospital beds, the team focuses primarily on the Evario, but also praises the Puro: "Some of our big hospital clients like the European hospital bed design in Australia as well. In an environment full of American competitors, we offer the best and only product here with the Puro."
Shortly before our conversation, the guests had also taken a look at Burmeier's Dali homecare bed: "This bed has a lot of critical key advantages over the many Chinese import models on the Australian market. The safety sides, the Bluetooth handset, the general quality set the Dali apart."
How do customers in Australia become aware of the new offers? In addition to Innovate Care's detailed website, there are many opportunities to see the beds in person. "We have three showrooms," explains Tim Cohen.
On the one hand, there is a showroom at the company's headquarters in Boronia where you can explore all the models. On the other hand, Innovate Care is also presenting itself closer to the centre of Melbourne, a city of millions. Hospital beds from Stiegelmeyer will be on display there in an "Experience Centre", where around ten companies will exhibit their products in vivid showrooms. In addition to a bed ward, a modern bathroom, for example, can also be seen there. "Here, employees and managers from hospitals will get a good impression of what a modern hospital routine can look like," says Tim Cohen.
For homecare, the company uses a shop in Bentleigh, another suburb. "Here we can display eight beds on 400 square metres of space," says Tim Cohen. The plan is to showcase the Regia partner double bed, for example. The homecare showroom is especially designed to advise "occupational therapists", who play an important role in caring for people at home.
The showrooms are easily reachable for customers in a large catchment area, but the team is also accommodating prospective customers from further away: "We will take the beds on “roadshows” and for example rent a local hall in a country town," says Chris Pearson. "Then we'll make bookings with therapists and their clients, so word about our beds can spread as well."
The two managing directors humorously describe their young company as a "20-year-old start-up": Innovate Care was only started in 2018, but the two founders already brought decades of experience in the healthcare area with them. Today, twelve people work for the company. The portfolio includes beds of all divisions, bedside cabinets, transport chairs, patient hoists and much more. Equally important is first-class service: "We have the aim to look after the products we sell throughout their entire service life," says Chris Pearson. Maintenance contracts with major operators are also a crucial pillar and a good way to gain additional trust as a supplier.
Chris Pearson and Tim Cohen also have confidence in the Stiegelmeyer Group: "We are aiming for a long-term, reliable partnership."