All Press Releases for May 24, 2013

O2 Concentrator Company Thriving in Challenging Economic Times

Associates at the largest oxygen concentrator distributor in the world give their opinion why they have sustained unprecedented growth in the past few years.

    DENVER, CO, May 24, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The owners of 1st Class Medical recently treated the entire team to a delicious dinner in celebration of our best month ever. Although April was an amazing month for us, we have had a lot of months that came close to being that good as well, for which we are all extremely grateful. I'm one of the new kids on the block, I haven't even been here quite a year yet. I got hired on as part of the newly formed, in house marketing and website maintenance team started at the end of last summer. I came from a job that I had enjoyed for a few years but despite our best efforts and effective management, whispers of layoffs and darker days ahead got me looking around and I was lucky enough to land here. I grew up in a family owned and run business so the environment here felt very familiar to me right from the start and I settled in to the day to day of doing what I was hired to do. As the excitement built all of April about whether we were going to break the record or not I started trying to look from the outside in and wondering what had brought us to that level. Since I came just 9 months ago we have tripled our Facebook fans, hired on several more team members and outgrown our office space twice. The media is full of frightening stories about the economy and businesses going under. How are we thriving where others are struggling?

I decided to ask those who had been around the longest what they thought were the biggest contributing factors to our success. To cut the suspense I'll just tell you right now, none said the "new girl in marketing" but it's okay, I'm over that now. I did learn some very interesting things about management's unspoken mission statements and how someone in a higher up position can influence the direction a business is traveling without making personal values into official bylaws. Our sister company has been in business for over 30 years but the exclusive oxygen concentrator office has been open for approximately 3 years so I decided to talk to the owners and supervisors who have been here the longest to hear what they had to say. Some responses were more personal, some were more practical but I thought they all offered an interesting and valid piece to the puzzle.

Here's what they all had to say:
"We couldn't be growing as fast as we are without the team we have. They truly care about helping our patients and take a personal interest. I hear the respiratory specialists calling patients by name and discussing what the circumstances of their needing a concentrator are, a big trip coming up or a change in health or other things so I know they are taking the time to understand what someone's medical needs are as well as their lifestyle situation. They're not just sitting there running people's credit cards and shipping a concentrator off. I think patients appreciate that and just taking a few extra minutes to fully understand makes it possible for us to make a recommendation as to which concentrator is going to contribute most to their quality of life."
Cory Luckner

"We are a family owned and operated business. I'm not just talking about the people I'm related by blood to here, we're all family and I think that extends to our patients as well. We've all worked together to build this business and seen each other through some great times and not so great times. We legitimately want to help other families with someone who may be having health challenges live an easier life. We get letters all the time from patients that say until they received their portable unit they were pretty much homebound and cut off from their families, especially those that live out of state but now they can travel in the car or on a plane and reconnect with them again. We appreciate those ties every day and we like helping others keep theirs just as strong."
Michelle Luckner

"The business of oxygen concentrators itself is growing. 25 years ago few people had a cell phone or a computer and the internet didn't exist. Today the majority of people have all of these things and that's the way that portable concentrators are heading. Cumbersome tanks and expensive, inconvenient refill services are going the way of land lines and encyclopedia salesmen. I think the biggest reason we have grown so quickly is that we are taking the time to educate our patients on what benefits a portable concentrator will have on their lives and we're not afraid to tell people when we don't think it's appropriate for their health situation. We aren't just focused on making sales, we're making sure people understand how the machine is going to benefit them and how to use it correctly. We do very little advertising on TV or in print, our business was built on word of mouth advertising by our patients because I think they appreciate the time that we spend with them both before and after their purchase."
Gary Nelson
General Manager

"I think it comes down to small business service with big business buying power. We are the largest distributor in the world so we are able get the best value for our customers but I can still walk 10 feet from my office to go check on someone's order in the warehouse or see if a patient's doctor submitted their compliance paperwork and let a customer know when their concentrator is on its way. We've got no red tape, no call centers and our patients know if they have a question they can get it answered without getting transferred a million times or staying on hold forever."
Dan Battershell
Respiratory Specialist Lead

"I have an HR background and know the drain constant turnover and training replacements has on a business and how it limits the level of service that a company can provide. We don't have a huge turnover rate and we have a great group of core people that are good at their job and knowledgeable about the machines we sell so they can help new team members and along the way our service to our patients is enhanced instead of interrupted."
Danielle Taylor
Compliance Manager

"We treat everyone as family. If someone calls with a problem or an emergency, we will go way over and above to help them out. If something happens and they need something shipped or repaired by a certain date, we make it happen. We haven't grown so big that we've lost sight of knowing and caring about our patients."
Marti Luckner
Order Processing Manager

"We got to where we are today because of our company values and customer service. We stay true to our values and word day in and day out whether it's beating a competitor's price or telling a patient we will get them a unit by a specific date. That is one thing that has never changed since the day I set foot in the 1st Class Medical office."
Duke Reeves
SEO Manager

"All departments are in house. If I need to find something out for a patient, I can do it right away I don't have to wait for a phone call from another office somewhere. We don't have any corporate ties preventing us from doing what we have to do to get things done for our patients. Also, since we're the biggest distributor, we have good access to manufacturers and can get questions answered and problems solved quickly."
Kellie Zalesky
Customer Service Manager

The common thread throughout all of these, in my opinion, is treating people the way we would want to be treated. It seems a simple concept but it works and I think it's rare, especially in a predominantly online company. No matter how big we get, keeping sight of this ideal will allow us to offer the level of service we do now. Although we are celebrating growing bigger, our focus on helping one patient at a time has gotten us this far and continues to be our main goal. It's what makes us tick as individuals and as a company. Most of all we want to thank our patients, you are the reason we do what we do and you make it all possible!

If you have any feedback on any experiences with us, please contact us though our Facebook page, call us at 888-520-5726 or email

1st Class Medical is a leader in home and portable oxygen concentrators. For further information, please contact us at 1-800-520-5726

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Contact Information

Cory Luckner
1st Class Medical
Lake City, Florida
United States
Voice: 1-800-520-5726
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