On the move Featured

6:49am EDT June 29, 2005

Most people take cruising around town for granted, but hitting the road isn't always easy for people who use scooters or wheelchairs. That's where MobilityWorks comes in.

This Akron company provides converted vehicles worldwide and has the widest selection of adapted vehicles in the Midwest. Formed in 1997 by president and CEO William Koeblitz and principal Taylor Clark, MobilityWorks' revenue has grown from $2 million to $35 million with internally-generated capital.

Koeblitz says the biggest challenge is identifying customers and educating them about adapted vehicles. The company provides maintenance and repair capabilities at its Akron facility and a national service network program. It offers counseling regarding assistance and financing options, a 24-hour helpline, new and used vehicle inventories and trade-in availability.

MobilityWorks uses direct mail to educate customers, sending out newsletters with offers "so we're creating movement to action," Koeblitz says. The company's representatives also meet with occupational therapists, physical therapists, neurologists and rehab hospitals to show them products available to their patients.

Inventory is also featured on MobilityWorks' Web site so potential customers can get information on wheelchair and scooter lifts and on handicap-accessible vans.

"It's a high-dollar item. They want to see the vehicle or talk about it, so they usually do some research on the Internet and then call us," Koeblitz says.

His next move is to determine how much the company is going to grow and how to raise capital to achieve that goal. He's also considering franchising and company-owned locations.

"We're improving on the model of how we run each store so that we can take more risk out of opening new locations (and be) more certain of the results," he says.

HOW TO REACH:

MobilityWorks, (800) 638-8267 or www.mobilityworks.com