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Happy Anniversary to Us!

Written By: 
Marc Blitstein / President & CEO

Thirty-five years. If you asked me 36 years ago if I would co-own and manage a business this long I would have said you were nuts. After all, I was just 25, when Neal (who was a decrepit 28) and I cofounded ADC with a whopping $35,000 in start-up capital. My share was my life’s savings. I gave us six months before we ran out of funds. I guess I’m still waiting for that to happen. 

I can remember much of it like it was yesterday. We rented a dilapidated 700-square-foot storefront in Copiague, New York. Today our plant lunch room is bigger. We started with 31 items: a selection of leather and nylon EMT holsters and the instruments that go in them.  Today our catalog includes more than 3,400 products. About a dozen of the original items remain in our product line.

Like today, those 31 products were globally sourced and inspected and assembled in our New York facility. I was the lone assembler, warehouseman, and shipping clerk. Neal typed the packing lists and invoices with a Smith Corona typewriter. He did the books. Or book. Early on we would process a whopping five or six orders, then with nothing left to do, take a mid-afternoon nap.

When we began we sold direct to the EMT world. It was 11 years before the internet so we did it with a mail order catalog and by placing ads in the leading EMS magazines. Within six months we were the market leader. Unfortunately, we greatly overestimated the market size for holsters. And though our business plan didn’t include selling through authorized dealers, before long a number of them reached out to see if we would consider selling our products wholesale. We said yes, and that was the beginning of the ADC you know (and hopefully love) today.

Over the last 35 years we’ve achieved many milestones. Here are some of my personal favorites:

1985 Hired our first full-time employee.
1987 Relocated to a 4,000-square-foot facility in West Babylon, New York.
1987 Hired our first developmentally disabled employee.
1989 Opened sourcing office in Tokyo, Japan.
1989 Transitioned to traditional distribution model selling exclusively through authorized resellers.
1990 Produced the first sphygmomanometer aneroid gauges with luminescent dials.
1992 Voted one of the Top 25 Fastest-Growing Firms on Long Island by accounting firm KPMG.
1993 Opened quality/sourcing office in Taipei, Taiwan.
1993 Shifted much of the Japanese stethoscope component production to Taiwan.
1994 Launched the Adscope line of premium stethoscopes.
1996 Relocated to our present-day headquarters in Hauppauge, New York, then with 35,000 square feet of space.
1999 Registered the ADC trademark in the U.S.
2004 Hired our 100th employee.
2006 Digital stick thermometer line named the best in the industry by Frost and Sullivan.
2007 Awarded Acute Care Supplier of the Year (Small-Company Category) by the Health Industry Distributors Association.
2007 Awarded ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 13485:2003 quality certification. One of only two companies in our class to hold these quality marks.
2008 Expanded Hauppauge facility to 44,000 square feet.
2008 Introduced the Adimals line of pediatric scopes.
2010 Opened ADC Ningbo, a three-person quality/sourcing office in Ningbo, China.
2010  Launched the ADView, the first modular diagnostic station (blood pressure, temperature, SpO2) in a joint venture with SunTech Medical.
2011 Re-engineered our entire blood pressure line to be completely latex-free – one of the first to do so.
2012  Introduced the Adscope 606, the world's first ultra-lightweight cardiology stethoscope.
2013   Launched our completely redesigned website and published a dozen product videos.
2014  Launched our Designer Series print cuffs, Cuffs for a Cause, our fifth generation of Advantage Home BP monitors, and the industry’s first bariatric cuff.  To date we have donated more than $40,000 to the American Cancer Society and Els For Autism.
2014  Launched our expanded line of Diagnostix and Adstation 3.5V EENT instruments.
2014  Upgraded the Adscope line with new packaging, laser engraving, and Adsoft Plus snap-on silicone eartips.
2016 Launched the ADView 2 modular diagnostic station and our re-engineered line of Adcuff SPU blood pressure cuffs.
2017 Launched our PMV 3.5V Otoscope and doubled the EENT offering to over 1,200 SKUs.
2017 Opened a new office In the UK to support our European expansion.
2017 Entered into a joint venture to open a manufacturing facility in Suzhou China.  The 22,000-square-foot facility makes millions of machined parts for ADC USA.
2018 Launched the Adscope LE limited-edition line of decorated stethoscopes in 21 models.
2018 Worldwide employment tops 160.

There’s been a lot of blood, sweat, tears and laughs (and some really bad hair) along the way.  A special thank you to our staff, our vendor partners, our resellers, and our customers, for making it all possible.