An interview with Donna Holpuch, Marketing Communications Manager

Q: Does Helmer Inc have a theme for AACC 09?

Holpuch: Yes, we are introducing our new brand image … Distinctly Helmer. This image is representative of how Helmer is a different kind of company. We take pride in the high level of customer and technical service that we provide. We take every opportunity to provide the customization needed to meet each individual customer’s need … whether that is the type of storage required or the color of their equipment.

Helmer has also initiated a “Global Initiatives” program. We have partnered in service with many organizations in our community and around the world. Our goal is to provide resources and expertise so that aid and justice may be achieved for the poor and marginalized. Some of our partners include:

The mission provides medical support to mothers and their children. It specifically focuses on children with disabilities and young mothers in crisis.

This organization works with local South African organizations to love and care for those hardest hit by the devastation of HIV/AIDS.

This group focuses on economic-development initiatives that bring job creation and provision for extended families.

Helmer has planned two work trips for 2009 to visit the Ukraine and Guatemala. Work teams will offer love and assistance while building homes and teaching disadvantaged orphans. These outreach programs are vital to fulfilling the missions and value of Helmer.

Q: Which products are you featuring, and why? Are you introducing any products or new versions/upgrades/updates of existing products?

Holpuch: Helmer is featuring refrigerators, freezers, and centrifuges for the clinical market. We are introducing our new undercounter refrigerators at AACC. These are available in laboratory/pharmacy and blood bank models. They will be available in both our i.Series™ and Horizon Series™ lines.

Q: Tell us about these products you’re featuring. What are the competitive advantages, and/or how do they represent advances over previous versions?

Holpuch: Our undercounter refrigerators offer several advantages.

Helmer undercounter refrigerators are the most feature-laden on the market, and they are available in i.Series and Horizon Series lines. They are undercounter, free-standing and stackable. Other features include: superior temperature uniformity and quick recovery, and exclusive Sure-Seal door design. These self-closing doors feature magnetic closure, which means no broken latches. In addition, they are field reversible and have key locks.

Helmer offers several upright refrigerators, including laboratory, pharmacy, and blood bank models available in i.Series and Horizon Series lines, with i.Center™ monitoring on i.Series units, reduced humidity levels, superior temperature uniformity and quick recovery, and Sure-Seal door closure.

Our freezers feature laboratory and plasma storage models available in i.Series and Horizon Series lines, with programmable defrost times, bacteria-resistant powder coating, cold-shield system, magnetic door closures, and i.Center monitoring on i.Series units.

Our clinical centrifuges feature application-specific packages, which make ordering simple; optimized performance for the lab; high-quality, quiet operation; and customized package for any application.

Q: Will Helmer be making presentations or demos in the booth during exhibit hours?

Holpuch: Presentations will be made by request. At this time we will be demonstrating the new undercounter refrigerators to the HealthTrust Purchasing Group members.

We will also be demonstrating the Prototype Hettich Autofuge. This is an automated, self-loading and unloading blood bank centrifuge. The basic features are: feed 130 blood tubes; 16-place rotor (8 x 2-place swing-out buckets); variable programmability; 300 tubes per hour based on 5-minute spin time; bar code recognition for traceability and tube location; and STAT feature for priority tubes. The Autofuge is in the development stage, and we will be seeking customer feedback on features and application.

Helmer will be raffling off tote bags handmade in the Guatemala highlands. This is also a part of our Global Initiatives. In addition, we will be raffling a Garmin GPS to those customers who provide us with information via our product surveys.

Q: Looking beyond AACC, what can laboratorians expect to see from Helmer in the future?

Holpuch: Helmer is reinvesting in product development during this recessionary period. We are completing our line of 4°C products and will be introducing several new products over the next 2 years. With the introduction of these new products we will be expanding into new markets, both clinical and research. Upcoming product launches will include undercounter freezers; pass-thru refrigerators; a new-generation i.Center that will address the needs of today’s clinicians, including access control and downloading capabilities; and ULT freezers.