Based in Santa Monica, CA, with a 5000-square-foot warehouse in nearby Riverside, Algeos USA (algeos.us) can bring the materials world to your door if you’re involved in orthotics, prosthetics, or podiatry. In 2014 the company is focusing on expanding their materials offerings and anticipating the opening of an additional warehouse in the northeast US within the year.
Part of a global enterprise, Algeos USA offers a wide range of products under its own brand names of Aortha, Diaped, Nova, and Podotech. The combination of products and service Algeos provides sets it apart from other companies, said Bryan Schloss, chief executive officer of Algeos USA.
“One of our biggest strengths is our global sourcing, and to bring that access to practitioners, we’re building direct relationships with customers in the field. We’ve got a reach into the individual O&P practices on the materials side and into the custom labs,” he said.
Schloss said Algeos has built, and will continue to build, the best-run sales organization on the materials side of the O&P market in the US.
“We have several CPeds on our team and an orthotist. Together, they represent many years of patient care and sales experience in the custom foot orthotic and O&P businesses, respectively,” he said. Schloss himself has 19 years of experience in sales and marketing in the O&P industry.
Algeos USA is a wholly owned subsidiary of the 120-year-old ALG International Holdings, Ltd, headquartered in Liverpool, UK. “About five years ago the organization started a global expansion that included Dubai, India, Australia, the Philippines, and the United States,” he said.
Schloss came on board about two years before Algeos USA opened its warehouse in 2011. The US company’s focus markets include North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.
Algeos USA plans to open a second US warehouse, this time on the East Coast. “I would say, being conservative, we’ll have that up and running in the next 12 months,” Schloss said. “Having a warehouse to service the Northeast market is an important logistical piece of our business plan.”
Algeos USA has targeted three basic markets for growth: the independent O&P market, custom foot orthotic laboratories, and podiatrists, with the first two areas providing the strongest growth opportunities and the majority of sales, Schloss said.
“We’re highly focused on materials that will ultimately be used in the fabrication of custom orthotics, prosthetics, and liners in orthopedic bracing,” he said. “Under the Aortha brand, our material offerings include Plastazote, ethylene vinyl acetate [EVA], Poron, plastics, carbon fiber composites, and neoprene. We also carry an amazing line of adhesives that are very competitively priced.”
Matt Collins, CPed, joined Algeos in 2013 as vice president of business development.
“Some new materials are on the way to the Aortha line, including a new product we are exclusive with in the United States called Thermofelt,” he said. “By having unique products it will further differentiate us from others that are currently selling in the US materials market.”
In addition to Aortha materials, Algeos USA offers the Diaped brand, which features a range of diabetic-related diagnostic tools for podiatrists and other foot care specialists. The company’s Nova brand offers instruments for podiatric care, such as drills podiatrists can use for management of calluses and toenails.
Under the Podotech brand, the company offers possibly the largest selection available in the US of off-the-shelf foot orthoses for the O&P and podiatry markets, Schloss said.
“We have a global reach on sourcing for all of these products,” Schloss said.
Collins noted it’s this factor that sets Algeos apart from other domestic players.
“That’s a critical factor for pricing and quality—to get the best quality at the best price for our customers,” Collins said.
Schloss also pointed to the large selection of CAD-CAM products Algeos offers under the Aortha brand, including blocks and blanks made of multiple materials such as EVA and polypropylene.
He noted the US market lags behind its European counterparts in the use of CAD-CAM. “However, as the US market experiences a shift towards CAD-CAM over the next few years, Algeos USA will be strongly positioned,” he said.
Algeos is cutting out a layer of logistics for its customers, Schloss said. “Others doing business in the United States are currently buying products from somebody who bought them from someone else,” he said, noting Alegos’s global sourcing means big savings to purchasers of materials across the US.
“We have a chance to rewrite the book on how materials are sold and distributed in the US,” Collins said.
Larry Hand is a writer in Massachusetts