Audiology Systems and Otometrics: A True Partnership to Elevate Customer Care
AudiologyOnline: Are Audiology Systems and Otometrics the same company?
Kim Lehmann: Audiology Systems is a national distributor for GN Otometrics in North America. Otometrics is the manufacturer of advanced hearing and balance care instruments: MADSEN®, AURICAL® and ICS® brands - and more recently - GENIE™ sound rooms. Audiology Systems is the company and people responsible for the sales, service and education tied to these products.
One of the most important facts about Audiology Systems and Otometrics is that the two companies share a true partnership, yet operate as independent legal entities. Audiology Systems is owned by employee shareholders, with Otometrics taking a minority shareholder position. Other shareholders are audiologists, local leaders and industry veterans who share a common vision.
AudiologyOnline: How does this partnership between the two companies elevate customer care in the U.S.?
Chad Boerst: Otometrics has been helping hearing care professionals improve the quality of life for patients around the world for over 50 years. Audiology Systems provides access to innovative products, expert knowledge and professional training. The top tier products provided by Otometrics are now matched by best in class service, training and support. This partnership is unmatched in the industry and delivers great value to the hearing and balance professionals who invest in our products.
Mona Dworsack-Dodge: Audiology Systems was founded in August of 2012, as a response to industry consolidation. The primary purpose was to become the full-service distributor for Otometrics in states where those product lines did not have representation. We also saw an opportunity to rethink the traditional instrumentation distribution model. Since that time, we have partnered with other manufacturers to expand our product portfolio. Today, we have a team of over 160 industry professionals, audiologists and local instrument experts covering all of North America. This team is dedicated to our new customer-centric care model.
Kim: To Mona’s point, by combining audiology expertise with operational strategy, we elevate our customer’s experience. Our dedicated team of audiologists is the key factor to ensure we have the best trained sales and service channel in the industry. With this, we are able to offer scalable, engaging and meaningful educational experiences for our end-users. Our growing team of audiologists bring more than 100 years of collective audiology experience – and that resonates in our consultative approach.
Ron Taylor: Exactly. This is one of the many reasons I joined this company! The Audiology Systems' business model is based on three core principles: professionalism, consultative dialogue and accessibility. By focusing on a streamlined product portfolio, our national team is able to provide exceptional product expertise and personalized support that sets the standard in customer care. Since we are representing the best brands in audiology and vestibular care, we deliver a consistent sales and service model that is customer-centric across the nation. By having more streamlined processes and consistent services in place, we can better approach our customers in a professional and consultative manner.
AudiologyOnline: You mentioned, by "combining audiology expertise with operational strategy you will be able to elevate your customer’s experience." Can you tell me a little bit more about that?
Mona: Yes. When we launched Audiology Systems, we asked our customers to tell us what their greatest concerns and needs were in the midst of this change. They cited three key challenges. First, is keeping pace with new developments in hearing and balance care through personal and professional development. Second, is increased competition from the sale of hearing instruments on-line and through large chains. Lastly, is by adapting to new compliance requirements such as Electronic Medical Records (EMR).
These challenges persist today and Audiology Systems is here to be the resource to bridge the gap and overcome these challenges. As their full service equipment partner, we can help transform these challenges into new opportunities for growth. We accomplish this not only by delivering state-of-the-art hearing and balance care solutions but also with our ongoing commitment to training and education.
Chad: Education is key in this industry. Together with Audiology Systems, we have identified speakers to deliver innovative and relevant topics for today’s hearing and vestibular care professional. Since 2012, we have delivered more than 120 continuing education opportunities and have conducted thousands of hours of remote and on-site clinical support and customization of systems. Furthermore, we documented countless instances of clinical customer feedback for product workflow enhancement to keep our solutions rooted in clinical best practices.
AudiologyOnline: In addition to Otometrics products, does Audiology Systems represent other brands?
Ron: Yes, we have partnered with other manufacturers and industry leaders like Intelligent Hearing Systems (IHS), Pehratek Products, Oscilla, and PATH Medical Solutions. By expanding the Audiology Systems portfolio, and through consultative dialogue, we are giving our customers a significant selection to find the right equipment that fits the needs of their facility.
We are proud to represent other brands that are leaders in their own niche. For example, IHS has a 30-year legacy of developing and refining cost-effective methods for hearing evaluation. They are industry leaders for delivering new technologies in evoked potentials (EP). Another terrific example is Pehratek Products, which provides a selection of innovative visual reinforcement audiometry (VRA) products for pediatric testing. The Oscilla screening audiometers add to our portable hearing screening solutions including PC-based models that communicate with EMR and are Noah compatible.
Another recent addition to our product portfolio is PATH Medical Solutions. More specifically, the Sentiero Desktop is the first OAE device to offer diagnostic tympanometry, ipsilateral and contralateral acoustic reflex and pure tone audiometry in one portable device.
AudiologyOnline: Why should a hearing care professional consider working with Audiology Systems for their next purchase?
Mona: People. Our employees are the cornerstone to our success. Our team of audiologists are experienced clinicians seeking to help hearing care professionals be even better at what they do. We also invest in the right people to join our national sales and service team which are trained and supported by a team of audiologists and seasoned service professionals. We, as a team, are confident in our abilities to provide a solution to our customers at any time.
Consultative dialogue is one of the cornerstones of our new approach. We are passionate about assisting our customers to make the right decision for their business. This industry is a bit different because it is so diverse – a wide range of hearing and vestibular care professionals working out of different locations, from hospitals to physician offices to retail storefronts and schools. The Audiology Systems team has become an expert in serving these diverse needs.
Ron: Solutions. We represent innovative solutions from Otometrics and our other leading manufacturers. As the organization continues to grow, our ability to deliver integrated and customized services grows with it. We take everything we learn and incorporate it into solutions that support the needs of patient care today.
All services and offerings are designed with the hearing professional in mind. The Audiology Systems’ Webshop, (www.shopASI.com) offers our customers a convenient shopping resource for commonly used accessories and disposables for their equipment. We also offer commercial services that range from basic maintenance and repair, to comprehensive equipment and calibration Care Plans. Our key accounts division offer customized solutions for large scale facilities. We have also recently introduced our Software Integration Group (SIG) services that offers a unique solution for information technology specific to hearing care practice management, such as EMR and software integration, data security and recovery solutions.
I am looking forward to taking the VA telehealth projects technology along with the Otometrics (MADSEN, AURICAL, ICS and GENIE) and other leading brands into new markets. One of my goals is to educate and increase awareness of our completely focused product line to our sales, service and end users.
Kim: It’s all about ensuring that our customers have a stellar experience, and we have a team who will deliver on a promise of elevated customer care. Most importantly, Audiology Systems has the total support of Otometrics and the GN Group.
Chad: Because of our solid partnership, Audiology Systems customers have direct access to the expertise and resources of a global team, breakthrough technology and data that is derived from more than 50 years of innovative product research and development. We continue to invest in our company, our people, and our systems, because we want our customers to see a return on their investments for years to come.
AudiologyOnline: Thank You, Kim, Chad, Mona and Ron. More exclusive interviews with GN Otometrics and Audiology Systems are available at: http://www.audiologyonline.com/expo/natus/