First Aid for Sales

Sep 01, 2004 9:30 PM  By

For Tonawanda, NY-based Medco Supply Co., new product introductions and a greater presence at trade shows helped propel overall sales by 6%-8% this year compared to last year.

The company, which mails the Medco Sports Medicine catalog to school and college athletic directors and the Medco School First Aid catalog to school and college nurses, scored this year with a number of new proprietary products.

For instance, the sports medicine catalog did well this year with Medco-branded Neoprene Braces for all parts of the body, says director of marketing Don Laux. In addition, Medco’s proprietary Pro-Trainer elastic tape sold well, “because it represents a good value for schools,” he says, with prices $5-$8 less per case than those of comparable name brands.

What’s more, Medco, which on April 19 was bought by the AbilityOne division of dental equipment cataloger Patterson Cos., in June debuted a Medco Sports-branded supplement selling AbilityOne products. The spin-off, which sells large-ticket physical therapy and diagnostic equipment, was introduced at a National Athletic Trainers Association meeting. It “generated a lot of strong interest and sales,” Laux says, “and there are a lot of things we’ll be able to cross-sell our products with” going forward.

Medco has increased its presence at industry trade shows this year, exhibiting at 10% more sports trainer shows and 5% more school nurse shows. “It’s important to get our name out there,” Laux says. “And it’s a good way for us to show our new products.”

As for catalog circulation, Medco mailed 5% more this year than last year. The company rented names primarily from the two major industry associations through its list broker, Direct Media. For schools in which it can’t obtain actual athletic director of nurse names, however, it’s easy enough for Medco to simply add an “attention school nurse” or “attention athletic director” to the address slug, Laux says.