December 2013

ACOR: Wholesaler offers wide variety to fit practitioner preferences

By LER staff

Cleveland, OH-based Acor Orthopaedic is a manufacturer and supplier of pedor­thic products, including foot orthoses, diabetic shoes, comfort footwear, custom orthopedic footwear, and orthotic materi­als. Acor is owned by brothers Greg Alaimo, CP, and Jeffrey Alaimo, CPO, and composed of a team of engineers and practitioners. All contribute to product design, selection, and creation.

Established in 1972, Acor began as a patient care company, and eventually expanded to include wholesale products. Today, Acor focuses solely on wholesale.

“Now that we’re a supplier for patient care companies, we understand the issues that practitioners face when look­ing for products,” said Jeffrey Alaimo.

As a supplier, Acor provides comfort footwear, prefabricated and custom foot orthoses, custom footwear, and fabri­cating materials for customers. Its comfort footwear encompasses a variety of brands, including Drew, Ortho­feet, Oasis, Keeping Pace, and Hush Puppies.

“We offer these brands because there are so many different types of shoes that people want,” Alaimo said. “This allows our company to have a superior selection from a variety of different manufacturers. This assortment also allows our custom­ers to order all the things they need—including shoes, foot orthotics, and other materials—from one supplier.”

Acor also test fits all custom foot orthoses into diabetic shoes. Customers receive shoes prefitted with orthoses and ready to dispense to patients who order off-the-shelf shoes and custom inserts.

Acor supplies a variety of custom foot orthoses, with a commitment to an extensive array of choice and designs. Though more traditional methods are still used, Acor aims to use CAD-CAM more and more for orthotic design.

“This technological advancement is supremely accurate and replicable. If a patient wants another pair, we have the image on file,” Alaimo said. “It’s been a challenging but successful transition to this innovative technology.”

CAD-CAM machining allows for materials with different densities and dimensions than traditional manufacturing methods. To meet this need Acor has introduced a new line of blockers for CAD-CAM milling. Materials including Microcel Puff, Plastazote, Multicork, and FM (Firm Material) are available in various dimensions and densities that are better suited to CAD-CAM production. Acor also tailors materials to customer specifica­tions.

Alaimo also emphasized that, when using a 3D scanner to scan pressed foams, the company doesn’t work from a library of molds, but instead uses an actual image of the patient’s foot. “We know we get the highest quality foot orthotic that way,” he said.

The company continues to make prefabricated foot orthoses in the US for better product control, Alaimo said. “We make all our products in Cleveland so they will be competitive in pricing and fit the standard billing code,” he said. “Continuing to manufacture these in the US is one of our corporate goals.”

Acor converts fabricating materials in Cleveland, as well. “My brother and I decided to manufacture our products in the US for better quality and inventory control and to help provide more jobs in the US,” Alaimo said. “You might find foot orthotics that are fifty cents cheaper, but something we always say is to buy local, live local.”

Acor uses a wide range of materials in manufacturing foot orthoses. The com­pany also fabricates different combin­ations of materials.

“This is one of our core competencies,” Alaimo said. “Our company helps out customers who want specific combina­tions—certain colors with certain thicknesses of certain materials. We are proud of our depth of material choices and fabricating options.”

Continuing its efforts to offer customers exclusive materials options, Acor has introduced DuraForm 35-40, a versatile low-density EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) that provides excellent elasticity, cushioning, and stability. Uses for this 35-40 Shore A EVA include foot orthoses, base layers, top covers, and prosthetic liners.

Acor’s many innovations are aimed at enhancing customer satisfaction.

“Whether it is laminated materials, QuikFormable orthotic blanks, or bringing silver into the industry, we are committed to continual product development. This commitment allows us to stay at the forefront of our industry’s pedorthic advancements,” he said. We’re trying to make it faster and easier for practitioners to provide for their patients. I think it comes from the fact that we were in the industry of patient care for so long, we have a firsthand feeling for what our customers need.”

In terms of goals for the future, Alaimo emphasized Acor’s efforts to continually improve customer fulfillment.

“It’s a very difficult business to consistently make products that aren’t always the same, but are consistently correct,” Alaimo said. “We want to be the best provider we can be for our customers so they can provide a flawless experience for their patients. Besides innovating and bringing new concepts to products, in the end, customers are the most important thing.”

Article sponsored by Acor

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