Tim Beacon

Sales Director, Advance Health

Q Who are you?

A I’m an ex-ODP and also have many years experience within in the Orthopaedic sales sector, principally dealing with trauma products.

Q How long have you been with the company?

A  Four months.

Q What made you choose a career in this industry?

A After many years working as an ODP, I was attracted by the fact that the medical sales sector is challenging yet still involved with healthcare teams and their patient care.

Q What is your professional background?

A I am a qualified and experienced ODP, an ex-ODP Training Co-ordinator, University Lecturer, published author and also run an adventure training business.

Q What was your job before this one?

A I was the National Orthopaedics (Trauma) Sales Manager for Zimmer UK.

Q What are your plans for the future?

A To date, the uptake of our spinal products range within the UK has been excellent so we’ve recently appointed two further regional representatives to increase our UK coverage.
In addition, we’re currently in discussions with the developers of two very exciting and innovative products. We expect the first of these to be market ready by summer 2008.

Q What do you think your experience can do to advance the interests of the company?

A I think that the combination of my healthcare experience, medical education and commercial background helps us to develop effective partnerships with our customers.

Q Do you find your job rewarding and if so how?

A Ultimately we are involved in making patients better and that will always be rewarding plus of course, we have to operate profitably as do all companies, which in turn helps to fund further product research and development.

Q Does your job involve a lot of travelling?

A Around the UK, yes – approximately 40,000 miles a year.

Q How did the company begin and how long has it been running?

A The company was founded in early 2007 by a team of experienced Medical Sales Consultants. They had previously built up one of the UK’s most successful medical recruitment agencies; the company was eventually sold on to the Hays group.

Q Where is the company based?

A Our head office is based in Ongar, Essex but like most of our competitors we have a network of regional representatives.

Q Does your company have branches abroad?

A Not yet but we are looking into some of the European markets.

Q  What is the company focus and what do you offer the Spinal Surgery industry?

A We focus on the provision of innovative products. For example our current range of spinal cages with locking blades (cervical, PLIF and ALIF) offer various practical, medical and economical benefits to both surgeons and their patients. As I’ve mentioned above, we are also at the early stages of introducing two very exciting new medical products, one of which should be ready for launch in summer 2008.

Q How many employees do you have?

A We only started in early 2007 so currently have a small team of seven but this is growing at a healthy rate.

Q Who are your customers and what products/services do you offer them?

A We supply to NHS and private sector based Spinal and Neurosurgeons throughout various regions of the UK.

Q What is your most popular product/service and why do you think that is?

A Our locking cervical cages are very popular for several reasons: they lock in place so the need for a retaining plate is reduced, the insertion wrench has a positive stop on it making that part of the procedure safer, we also supply ‘custom fit’ bone substitute.

Q How do you keep up to date with changes in the market?

A We develop and maintain very close contact with all our customers/suppliers and also regularly attend relevant conferences and meetings to network and identify any new developments.

Q Do you foresee much expansion in the coming years?

A We have big ambitions for Advance Health not only in the spinal market but other medical sectors as well. Product developments these days tend to be evolutionary rather than revolutionary particularly in terms of surgical implants, although one is regularly surprised!