Marketing Manager, Limbs & Things Limited
Q: How long have you been with the company?
A: 15 years. I started in 1994, working as part of the R&D team sculpting body parts – having just qualified with a Degree in Fine Art Sculpture, this was a great job to find. I then took on the role of project manager for a large company with whom we were sub-contracted, and finally moved over into Marketing in 1999. Having the background and knowledge of model-making, and exposure to the process of product design has helped immensely in my role as Marketing Manager: when customers come to me with new ideas for products, it is very easy to know what is achievable and to have an idea of what it might cost.
Q: How did the company begin and how long has it been running?
A: The company was founded in 1990 by medical illustrator Margot Cooper, whose current role is President of Limbs & Things. She established the company in response to the growing need of healthcare professionals who needed to practise hands-on skills in a safe environment, away from the patient and operating theatre. Production started in Margot’s kitchen at home where she focused her efforts on anatomical models such as pelvises and spines. As interest grew amongst the medical fraternity, the inevitable move to appropriate workshops took place in 1991. Then, in 2001, we moved again to much larger premises where we now operate with a staff of over 70 people. The company is approaching its 20th anniversary and we plan to celebrate this milestone next year.
Q: Where is the company based?
A: The head office is in the St Philips area of Bristol (UK). Here we have a full team of Sales & Marketing, Customer Services, Research & Development, and Production departments. We have two subsidiary offices; one in Savannah (USA) and the other in Melbourne (Australia). We also have an ever-growing global presence through our distributor network of around 70 companies.
Q: What is the company focus?
A: Quite simply to provide products and solutions which help healthcare professionals acquire and improve their diagnostic and procedural skills. Our main focus to date has been on the Medical School market, as well as providing products for trainee doctors and midwives. We are aiming to do more with the Nurse Education market over the next few years, especially within the field of Paediatrics.
Q: How do you keep up with changes in the market?
A: We regularly attend trade shows and academic meetings which are great places to see first hand what new skills are being taught, as well as learning about any new devices/technologies which may affect the way our products will be used in the future. We have also built up a very strong customer base over the years, and as a result have a good ‘ear to the ground’ when it comes to changes on the horizon in healthcare education. Maintaining links with key decision makers in the field of healthcare simulation is key to the future success of the business.
Q: What is your top selling product currently?
A: In terms of revenue generation our PROMPT Birthing Simulator is by far our top selling product. It was developed in conjunction with the midwives and obstetricians from Southmead Hospital (Bristol) and the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. It was developed in part to address the need for improving the management of shoulder dystocia, and as a result has become an integral part of multi-professional training in many maternity units across the globe.
Q: Do you have any new products on the horizon?
A: Yes. Within the women’s health market the demand for a model which deals with the sensitive issue of female genital mutilation has been increasing, so a product which provides a platform for acquiring the skills for the reversal of this procedure (deinfibulation) will be launched early next year.
Q: What makes you different from your competitors?
A: We take great pride in the materials we use; focusing our efforts on developing materials which strike the right balance between soft tissue realism and durability. We position ourselves as suppliers and manufacturers of premium products within the market place.
Q: How can I find out more about the company and your products?
A: Please ring us, write to us, or email us for a catalogue. Alternatively, visit our website.
Nick Gerolemou is Marketing Manager of Limbs & Things, which supplies and manufactures medical training products. These include anatomical models using synthetic soft tissue and demonstration materials for healthcare education.
Limbs & Things
Tel: +44 (0)117 311 0500
Fax: +44 (0)117 311 0501