Domtar’s recent acquisition of Home Delivery Incontinence Supplies (HDIS) deepens our personal care roots and strengthens our connection with consumers.
Although Domtar’s Personal Care division is just 6 years old, the people and brands that make up the division have decades of experience and expertise in the industry. The Attends brand of incontinence products pioneered North America’s first wearable disposable brief more than 35 years ago and helped remove some of the negative stigma associated with incontinence.
HDIS has been selling adult incontinence supplies directly to consumers since 1986; it is the largest direct-to-consumer provider of absorbent hygiene products in North America. HDIS sells a wide range of products, including Domtar’s Attends products and its own brand, Reassure. In direct response to consumer demand, HDIS was the first company to introduce a discreet, disposable protective underwear product to the U.S. market.
Together, Domtar and HDIS will improve adult incontinence care and deliver it directly to consumers.
HDIS Offers Extreme Customer Care
HDIS’s ability to listen and respond gives it a strong reputation for exceptional personalized service. Highly trained customer care representatives speak directly with customers to help them choose the products that best meet their needs.
“HDIS has built its business around a high-touch, personal-service model that dovetails perfectly with Domtar’s vision,” said Daniel West, general manager at HDIS and vice president of digital business development with Domtar’s Personal Care division.
Mike Fagan, president of Domtar Personal Care, agrees.
“That intimate, firsthand relationship with those consumers gives Domtar a pipeline to better understand what it is that we need to do to make their lives better,” he said. “For our global Personal Care division, it’s about affordable, effective and available solutions for everybody. That’s our vision.”
HDIS Customer Care center team members don’t use scripts or pressure-sales tactics. If a first-time caller is trying to navigate the complicated — and sometimes embarrassing — world of incontinence care, a call might last 30 minutes, and the customer care representative might spend more time listening than talking.
Feedback Drives Innovation
Such service has benefits across the business. Customers feel cared for, employees are personally invested in helping, and product managers and innovators receive valuable feedback about product performance.
“If people don’t like a product, you’ll know right away,” said Angela Farrell, HDIS director of development and communications. “They know they can call, and they do. It’s like having thousands of focus groups every day.”
The feedback received is critical, says Mark Nedvin, managing director at HDIS.
“One of the benefits of this direct interaction is that we can identify opportunities in the marketplace for product improvements or innovations,” he said. “It enables us to be the experts in the industry. Now that we are a part of Domtar, it allows us to better influence product developments based on our customers’ needs.”
These insights are a crucial piece of the puzzle for Domtar.
“This customer feedback, coupled with regular communication with health care professionals, clinical researchers and others, informs our research and development, manufacturing and marketing,” said Steve Makris, group vice president of Strategy and Innovation for Domtar’s Personal Care division. “These capabilities help set Domtar apart in the market.”
One example of this collaboration is an incontinence care study that Domtar conducted with a nursing and rehabilitation facility in Kentucky that looked at how improvements in incontinence care improved patient outcomes and residents’ quality of life.
From Forest to Front Door
The personal service environment is also what draws employees to HDIS and keeps them there.
“It’s a great workplace,” said Farrell, who has worked with HDIS for 23 years. “It’s a diverse workforce that comes together around the everyday goal to make a difference to our customers. And we do. You can walk out of here feeling good about something you’ve done every day.”
The company’s Customer Corner bulletin board is filled with thank-you cards sent to the devoted HDIS staff by appreciative customers. One customer, after receiving a sympathy card from HDIS employees, wrote, “Thank you so much for making me realize the world is really a kind, thoughtful place.”
Farrell said she was pleased to hear that Domtar acquired HDIS.
“This really gives our customers a voice, from the forest to the front door,” she said. “No other manufacturer out there has this level of involvement from beginning to end.”