Austco Healthcare (ASX:AHC) - improving the experience for patients and caregivers


by Lauren Evans

Austco Healthcare Limited (ASX:AHC) CEO Clayton Astles provides an overview of the company, discussing technology and products, supply chain management, revenue and outlook.

Lauren Evans: Hi. This is Lauren Evans for the Finance News Network. Joining me today from Austco Healthcare (ASX:AHC) is CEO Clayton Astles. Clayton, it's nice to meet you and welcome to the network.

Clayton Astles: Thank you for having me, Lauren.

Lauren Evans: So, first up, for our viewers that are new to Austco, could you tell us more about the company?

Clayton Astles: Sure. Austco Healthcare is a healthcare technology company, and we design and manufacture healthcare communication equipment for hospitals and aged care facilities. We have a global presence. We have six offices around the world. We have about 4,000 installations in 60 countries around the world. Our focus is on designing solutions that help improve patient outcomes, improve staff efficiency, just solutions to make the whole care experience easier for patients and caregivers.

Lauren Evans: And how has a company that started in Australia created a global business, and where are the sweet spots in terms of geographics?

Clayton Astles: It starts with the design of our products. We've designed products that are flexible enough to work in just about any geography, so the system could be completely customised by our customers to make sure that they're meeting the unique needs of their region and their facility. But we've also hired great people globally that have helped grow the business and have contributed to the success of the company today.

For us, the growth markets are the United States, which is just a huge customer base for us, and Europe is where we're focusing some of our efforts. Parts of the Middle East as well. We're investing in growth there. But we've recently brought on additional sales resources in the United States. We're recruiting in Europe. So, we're strategically building the business organically by adding sales and marketing resources.

Lauren Evans: So, what are your key products and how do they compare with competitors' products?

Clayton Astles: Our flagship product is called Tacera, and it's a nurse call product, but it's also clinical workflow solutions, locating, integrations with third party systems. And what really sets us apart is the flexibility of the system, the innovation. So, we hold design studios, bring our customers in, they tell us what they like about their systems, what they dislike, and then we take that input and design a system that meets their needs. So, we've recently released a product with built-in real time locating, or RTLS. It allows our customers to track the location of staff and assets, and they use that data to drive decision-making so they can improve patient care, improve efficiencies, lower costs. That's really the main design elements behind the products we sell.

Lauren Evans: And your revenue took a bit of a hit at the beginning of COVID, but it's bounced back strongly. Do you see this continuing?

Clayton Astles: We do. We see that our sales funnel is continuing to grow. Our open sales order book, which we've reported on, is at all time highs. It currently sits at 23 million. And the industry is growing in itself. But COVID, a lot of the deficiencies in the healthcare system were made more evident during COVID. So there're great opportunities for us and the business is really starting to see traction with a lot of the new products that we've released. So, yeah, we're seeing some growth opportunities ahead.

Lauren Evans: Could you comment on any possible supply chain issues given how the global economy is at the moment?

Clayton Astles: Just like all manufacturers, we're working through some supply chain issues, and we're navigating that through strategic inventory purchases, working with our supply chain to find raw materials that may be in short supply. But we're seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. It is slowly but surely getting better. We think we'll have to deal with the supply chain issues through the rest of 2022, but we'll start to see some improvement in early 2023. But I think we're managing it quite well. Our margins have remained strong. And with the help of our supply chain, we've been able to keep prices reasonably low, given the circumstances.

Lauren Evans: And before we wrap up, what would you like to say to anyone that is considering investing in Austco?

Clayton Astles: Well, we're in a great position. We're in a growing industry. We're seeing a lot of interest in the products that we've designed and built, and there's growth in our sales funnel, in our open sales order book. And we have fantastic people in our organisation, and they're energised by what's happening, so we're really excited about the future.

Lauren Evans: Well, Clayton, thanks so much for joining us today. All the best. And we look forward to hearing from you again later in the year.

Clayton Astles: Thank you, Lauren.


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