How an Old Company Is Becoming New Again: Chapter 1

Published by Linda Rolf on 3/9/2018 and updated 12/13/2021

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Sometimes the best place to test that seemingly great solution is right in front of you. The right client is the one staring back at you in the mirror. In this case the client is one of my companies. We are literally living the commitment we make to treat each client's company as if it were our own.

For 27 years at Quest Technology Group we've immersed ourselves in the thinking like a customer mindset. We've grown with the changes, joined the discussions, followed the pundits, explored the tools and adopted the technologies.

What we have learned is the simple, practical truth that every customer-focused company knows. Today's informed customers have high expectations for our nearly flawless execution of their entire customer experience.

There is no easy, one size fits all roadmap to consistently create the value we seek to deliver. The path is one we design through iterative asking, listening, processing and adapting. As a company with a long history, we continuously challenge the comfort of "we've always done it this way".

Where Our Story Begins

When you hear "home medical equipment", does your heart race in delight? Probably not. Some businesses just aren't hanging out at the corner of Hot and Trendy. Quest Mobility Solutions is one of those companies.
At the corner of Hot and Trendy

My son Jason and I established Quest Mobility in 2001. Our simple mission was to responsibly serve an ever-growing population with medical and accessibility needs. The business climate for DME (the industry lingo for durable medical equipment) companies was very different nearly two decades ago. Reimbursements from third-party payers were generously above a company's breakeven point. The Medicare fraud that ultimately led to competitive bidding and the collapse of many companies was still unchecked.

As reimbursements shrank and the much-anticipated Medicare regulations became a reality, we knew it was time for change. In 2005 Quest Mobility became an early leader in the private pay, cash only business model. Even competitors acknowledged that we were wise to make the leap. Many of those companies chose to dive into the Medicare competitive bidding fray, suffering a swift and probably painful demise.

Business at Quest Mobility continued along in a steady sameness over the following years.

We were long overdue for a much-needed jolt of change.

As fate so often happens, I recently shared an article about Amazon with some of the Quest Mobility team. Amazon and other large retailers sell some of the same products we do at prices that bury a small company. While a customer might turn to a low-price leader for a transactional purchase, that same customer will seek advice from experts in a physical location.

What happened next propelled us on the journey that I've come here to share with you. One of the team initiated an email describing a customer service bottleneck we have. Thankfully, she didn't stop with the problem. She pinpointed the weakness in our day to day workflow and why it occurred. This is the kind of email that charges my problem-solving batteries. We scheduled a team meeting, and the customer experience journey began.

I can't help but wonder if that pivotal email would have been written had it not been for that single shared article.

The Journey Starts Here

You're invited to join us on a journey that has just begun. I am sure you will nod and smile at these all too familiar aha moments. Every company with a history seems to have more than a few of these in common. My hope is that I will spark a few ahas for you as well.

In our series of short, actionable posts I'll share with you actual challenges we faced. You'll discover how we broke these down into manageable pieces, tackled each of them, the solutions implemented and the results.

Next Up: This Really Old Software Has To Go

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Tags: Technology Strategy

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Linda Rolf is a lifelong curious learner who believes a knowledge-first approach builds valuable client relationships. She is fueled by discovering the unexpected connections among technology, data, information, people and process. For more than four decades, Linda and Quest Technology Group have been their clients' trusted advisor and strategic partner.

Linda believes that lasting value and trust are created through continuously listening, sharing knowledge freely, and delivering more than their clients even know they need. As the CIO of their first startup client said, "The value that Quest brings to Cotton States is far greater than the software they develop."

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