The challenge for any company that has been around as long as SPS is to reach beyond its comfort zone into new areas and offer new services that fulfill the changing needs of our customers,” commented Ron May, president and COO of SPS. In SPS’ case, expanding its service offering to include custom products and custom fabrication is a major shift. But that is exactly where SPS has ventured.
With the evolution of advanced-technology products such as the bebionic™ hand, Proprio with EVO™ prosthetic foot, Plie® 2.0 MPC knee, PULSE i-LIMB hand, WalkAide®, and SMART Pyramid™, SPS has expanded not only its distribution centers, but also its internal technical support and education programs. The increased complexity of assisting customers with these products has demonstrated the capability of the organization to take on the added demands of custom products.
“The shift into custom products is not altogether new, as SPS’ customer-service organization has handled ordering of non-stock prosthetic feet for years,” SPS’ Vice President of Operations, Eric Craig, said. “While it presents challenges for our customer service organization because of measurement requirements, we have absolute confidence in their ability to ensure custom orders are taken and processsed correctly.”
Beginning in fall 2010, SPS will make available custom-fabrication services on the Charleston Bending Brace®, Scootz™, spinal jackets, and leather gauntlets to its customers through the National Fabrication Centers located in Anaheim, Tempe, Kansas City, and Orlando. Significant advances in technology and lean-manufacturing processes have enabled the fabrication centers to achieve a level of precision beyond traditional realms of fab services.
“We are fortunate to have the commitment of a great organization to invest in our future and challenge us to utilize new technologies to drive efficiencies and support customers while expanding our service offering,” said Ben Elliott, general manager of the fab services division.
As the diabetic market has grown, SPS was asked to provide broader product options for the disvascular, neuropathic, and diabetic sectors within O&P. In 2004, SPS launched the Answer 2 Line of therapeutic footwear to provide an AFO-accommodative shoe to save practitioners’ time modifying retail shoes for AFO wearers. In 2007, SPS purchased SureFit to enable it to offer custom diabetic inserts and shoes to its O&P customers. SPS’ Vice President of Sales, Connie Withers, said, “We have designed a new series of education classes for the fall to assist our O&P customers in handling the complexities of circumstances they face with this patient population. Dates, locations, and registration information will be posted on our website, www.spsco.com“
However, SPS’ major strengths lie squarely in its expansive inventory and service excellence. “Our mission to provide customers with the very best products and services available in the O&P industry is unaltered,” May said. “We remain committed to the philosophy and values which set us upon this path 59 years ago.”