Big things are happening for this “small” company
Palmero Health Care has been a player in the dental industry since 1931 when Joe Palmero became one of the dental industry’s first independent manufacturer’s representatives. Inspired by Dr. Kilpatrick’s teachings on the use of color coding and four-handed dentistry, Joe began his dental career by selling MiniMax Film Product, RINN X-Ray Products, Benzal, Dixon Color-Coding Products, and Chayes handpieces (the first high-speed). He traveled to most of the distributors east of the Mississippi and soon became known as much for his unique personality as he was for the products that he sold. Eventually Joe stopped representing other companies’ product lines and developed one of his own that centered around unique and inventive items.
“Rarely do we attend a trade show that someone does not approach us looking for Joe, with a new and innovative product that they want us to help them manufacture and distribute. It’s just what he was known for,” stated Ken Palmero, president and owner of Palmero Health Care.
J. Palmero Sales, as the company was known in those days, carried color-coding products, safety eyewear, paper tray covers, and the first-ever disinfectant towelettes. Just about any “niche” item that you could imagine, Joe had it in his bag. In 1969, the company went national, started attending the larger trade shows, and began building a product line that centered more on infection control.
PHC has come a long way since those days, but has not forgotten the hard work and sacrifice that was put forth by the late Joe and Gert Palmero. That innovative legacy continued in the early 1990s with the same family ownership (now Ken Palmero) and a lot of the same staff members who have worked to create an infection control-based company from scratch. Ken built the Palmero Health Care name by being a resource for information on surface disinfectants and barriers. He built and acquired a great product line, never wavering or taking the cheap way out, but by creating the best product that he possibly could. The company strongly believes that their products are the absolute best chemistry/delivery system available for their particular application.
The company was holding its own and moving in a positive direction, but its growth had begun to stall as the larger manufacturers and marketing machines moved into the infection control arena. In the late 1990s, a decision was made - it was time for a new company image to take hold and sharpen. Ken was looking for a business partner who could understand his concepts and assist him in making his visions a reality. He found someone who could not only handle the challenge, but someone who also grew up within the same industry, with the same business values/ethics and strength of character for which his family had become known.
In early 1999, Chris McDevitt was hired as the company’s director of sales and marketing. It was soon evident to both of them that for the company to continue its success and to grow further, it would require major upgrades to its infrastructure. The company reorganized the production facility, updating everything from pallet racks and the product identification system to lighting and fire systems. Next, computers were modified and phone systems were upgraded, incorporating many modern features that had been missing for years. They also moved forward to become ISO 9002:1994 certified, and later ISO 9001:2000 certified.
“The new certification by the International Standards Organization is just another example of our commitment to consistently providing quality products and services to our business partners,” explained Rhonda Palmero, vice president and ISO manager. “We have made great strides in this area and we look forward to future improvements such as the further expansion of our current facility.”
Palmero Health Care has also installed a new production/accounting software package, a new customer service software package, has added 15,000 square feet of warehouse space (with an additional 25,000 square feet planned for the near future), and has reorganized its entire production facility in an effort to better serve its business partners.
As a further commitment to the future of this family-owned company, the Palmeros have continued to build a team that can handle the workload with the same dedication they found in their marketing director.
“Chris has been an integral part of Palmero’s growth and reorganization efforts as well as continuing to fulfill his marketing and sales responsibilities,” declared Ken Palmero. “He is a dental industry veteran of more than 16 years and has held a number of positions covering warehousing, purchasing, marketing, and sales, which allows him to understand every aspect of our business and we are proud to have him as part of our team. We will continue to seek out individuals that can bring the same type of skill to the table.”
As the company and day-to-day responsibilities have grown, they have added key personnel who now handle accounting, purchasing, production, and operations. This has allowed Chris and Ken an opportunity to focus more on product development and the fulfillment of company goals.
The team has forged a new PHC that has more than doubled in size in those six years and has developed some of the best and most well known products in the industry. The company services every dental industry distributor - regardless of size - and has a pricing structure that levels the playing field for every one of their business partners.
“We are a small mom and pop organization that recognizes our roots and the roots of the dental industry, and now it is time to move forward again. We have developed very unique and aggressive marketing strategies that have made us successful, and we have been named by a few of our distribution partners as pound-for-pound the most supportive manufacturer in the industry,” McDevitt stated. “I feel that we are standing on the precipices of something great and I cannot wait to see what the next phase of our existence brings. We are growing rapidly, but strategically and in a controlled fashion that ensures that we never lose sight of our principles and priorities. We never want to stray from the family atmosphere we have created or lose our ability to understand the needs of every single one of our customers.”