Let’s Gel Inc. has a lot to be thankful for in 2016 and it all started on Thanksgiving day in 2002. Robb McMahan completed the tile floor in the kitchen of the home where he and his wife, Lisa, were hosting a family feast. Lisa had spent the day preparing the meal and everything appeared to be great, except for the leg and back pain she was having after standing on the hard tile floor for hours.
Lisa ventured to a home improvement store where she bought some foam mats that helped with the pain, but they were not durable and did not last.
Robb, an engineer, decided he could solve the dilemma himself. After countless late nights and hundreds of prototypes, he developed a mat design utilizing soft, shock-absorbing polymer gel as the cushioning element.
Fast-forward 14 years and Robb is the founder and CEO of Let’s Gel Inc.
Let’s Gel Inc., an Austin, Texas-based privately held corporation, is the leading manufacturer and provider of innovative ergonomic flooring products in the home, medical, and commercial flooring categories.
Robb explains how the company expanded from the residential market into the medical industry.
“The way we got into this business wasn’t some genius move on my part. We constantly had hospitals contacting us about buying mats,” Robb says. “We had a surgeon, Dr. Jamie Landman, M.D., contact us and he basically said ‘I absolutely love your product. It is wonderful. I won’t do a surgery without it. I want to do a study on your mat. Will you guys supply me with mats to do a study?’ We said, ‘Yes, absolutely.’ ”
“We did the study with him and through feedback from Jamie we actually made some modifications to the mat,” Robb says.
“We are the first and only manufacturer of ergonomic flooring with gel,” he adds. “Our mats have anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties. The top surface provides the necessary friction level for use with damp or dry surgical booties. They are compatible with hospital grade quaternary cleaners and are NFPA 260 and Cal 117 compliant. GelPro mats are also certified by the National Floor Safety Institute for high-traction.”
“The medical mat is a little more cushioned. It is 50 percent thicker than our standard mat that we sell in the residential marketplace,” Robb says. “It’s a little more cushioned because what we found is that a lot of the surgeons and a lot of the surgeries, particularly the orthopedic surgeries, tend to go for a pretty long time. Some of these surgeries go four to eight hours. With feedback through this study, we actually modified the product and made the product better.”
According to the randomized control study conducted by Columbia University’s School of Medicine, and led by Dr. Landman, it was concluded that the Let’s Gel products improved surgeons’ comfort and ergonomics during minimally invasive procedures, reducing the number of stretches and postural changes.
Robb says it is easy for people to understand how the mats benefit people in health care facilities. He compares it to a shopping trip to the mall. After walking on the hard floor in the mall and then stepping onto a carpet or padded surface relief can be felt almost instantly.
“Basically, the mat allows surgeons to stand in a more comfortable position for a longer period of time and have their focus on the work that they are doing as opposed to focusing on the pain they are experiencing from standing,” Robb explains. “As someone who has had knee surgery, and other surgeries in my life, I certainly want my surgeon to be pain free and focused on treating me.”
The Success of the Mats Led to Additional Product Lines
The entry into operating rooms was a big success, but the need for Let’s Gel products did not stop there. Nurses and other hospital personnel soon began to contact the company for comfort solutions.
Soon mats were placed at nurse stations and pharmacies as well as other areas of the hospital. These mats are the NewLife Eco-Pro Anti-Fatigue Mats. They are ergonomically designed to provide comfort and support. The company’s proprietary Cellulon Polyurethane Technology stands up to the tough demands of commercial environments while providing lasting comfort that won’t bottom out over time. Manufactured in the USA, this eco-friendly line of anti-fatigue mats is certified by the National Floor Safety Institute for its high-traction bottom surface.
“It is extremely durable, but the great thing about the polyurethane mats is that they have what we call a very high-energy return factor,” he adds. “They are very springy and very bouncy. So, they are super comfortable to stand on and they are great for walking back and forth on.”
The Company has Added a Medical Sales Veteran to its Leadership Team
To support the growing medical demand for comfort products, GelPro named Will Jones as vice president of medical sales in 2015. Jones brings 31 years of experience in medical sales, most recently at Barton Medical where he sold and promoted a comprehensive portfolio of safe patient handling equipment and services. Jones will be responsible for expanding GelPro’s health care division.
Since bringing Jones onto the team, he has been responsible for growth and brand strategies including the addition of multiple private-label medical distributors, attending trade shows and expanding GelPro’s international presence in the medical industry.
More Medical Products are on the Way
With GelPro’s extensive knowledge of foam and gel, the company will begin offering operating room positional aides by 2017. For additional information about these products, email Will Jones at email@example.com.