Open For Business
We started out with humble beginnings. We were initially created in a borrowed warehouse almost two decades ago. On the days that it rained, there were twelve buckets scattered around to protect the ground and products. “Open for business” was a light term for us at that time. We were working long hours and probably not in the best conditions, but we made it work. During this time, we launched our company under the name Insulin Case Shop. We had a website and the main products that we focused on selling were diabetic bags and other healthcare supplies. This set the base for what would eventually become Group Medical Supply.
GMS Expands Product Line
We persevered through the rainstorms and started to grow. We had more ideas than water pales on the ground; however, in order to allow these ideas to become a reality we needed to become a corporation. Therefore, Group Medical Supply, LLC was started. As a unified corporation, we were able to take the company in a new direction. We were able to build brand name awareness and introduce quality products that consumers would associate with our brand. Throughout this process, we started to become more well known in the health and beauty marketplace.
As we continued to grow, we finally said goodbye to rain buckets and the borrowed warehouse. We had more employees and more products, which meant that we needed more room to work efficiently. It was also time to not worry about our products getting wet from the rain. Therefore, we started a new adventure in Plymouth, Minnesota. At a unified office in Plymouth, our company was able to start growing the family-feel culture that we admire so much. Having a collaborative workspace allowed us to generate ideas to continue to propel our company forward.
ChillMED Diabetic Bags
Shortly after moving into our new office, we created the ChillMed Diabetic bags. These bags were something that we took pride in and still do. By researching and understanding the diabetic community, it only seemed right that they had a bag to organize their supplies without it screaming “I’m diabetic!!” at everyone that walked by. At this time, we also had the DittiBag Diabetic wallets under GMS. The difference between the bags was that ChillMed held more supplies and was ready for a long weekend. Whereas, the DittiBag was only for a day out or lunch at the park.
After the influx of products and interest from consumers, we decided it was time for a name change. We officially became Group Medical Supply in 2007, but finally decided to switch the website name from insulincase.com to groupmedshop.com. Likewise, we changed our Amazon name to GroupMedShop. These changes were all made to increase user experience and brand cohesion. At this point, we were continuing to develop new brands and products to continue our growth. We spent time researching our consumers and their needs, which allowed us to come up with a new line.
During this time, we decided to create an optical line. This line was titled GMS Optical and also included some VisionAir products. These products ranged from nose pads, eye washing cups, temple tips, and blue light blocking glasses. We decided to join this market because we all know that vision problems are never going away. Whether you’re wearing contacts or glasses you will be dealing with them for the rest of your life. Even if you’re ahead of the game and got Lasik surgery you’ll still need to care for your eyes. Entering this market was a huge turning point for the company as it is a big player in the health and beauty marketplace.
Another New Office?!
After 10 years of progress and hard work, it was time to move offices again due to growth. From obtaining brands and more products, we needed more room again. We didn’t want to move very far because we wanted to keep our employees with us during the move. Therefore, we just moved facilities in Plymouth, Minnesota. This move allowed us to have more employees, more products, and a larger warehouse. During this time, we acquired the company VitaVault, LLC. VitaVault introduced us to medication lock boxes to keep prescription medications safe from those they do not belong to.
As we settled in at our new home base we continued to push forward. We manufactured our 100th SKU, which meant that our product list was continuing to grow. We had a plethora of products ranging from nose pads to pillboxes to diabetic travel bags. While we were succeeding in what we were already doing, we were continually looking at ways to improve what we already did and what we could be doing. The search for new innovative products was stronger than ever before.
Ideas, Ideas, and More Ideas
This was a year dedicated to our consumers. We spent endless hours counting numbers and analyzing products to ensure that we were giving our consumers the very best. We wanted to base our progress on inspiration from our consumers because the more we know, the more we can help. Throughout this process, we made improvements to our current products to ensure they were continuing to perform at their best. While gaining information from what our consumers wanted, we launched Cold Pax. Cold Pax are ice packs that can keep items cool for several hours. Most of the ChillMed bags now come with one to provide up to 24 hours of cool time for medications. The cooling time depends on the size of the bag and the ice pack.
After registering our brand with Amazon, we began to build a partnership with Walmart. Our partnership allows us to sell our products on their online store. This helped us gain recognition for our products. Aside from product new beginnings, GMS was starting a new beginning with branding and culture. We wanted to rebrand and reshape the entire company, internally and externally. Throughout this process, we aimed to strengthen our family-feel culture. We wanted each employee to come to work excited to see their colleagues. We focused on little incentives and basketball breaks to allow our employees to have some fun while working.