City: Little Rock
Category: Business Executive of the Year
Kevin Lamb is a textbook entrepreneur: He spotted a small but growing void in the market and jumped in to fill it.
Since he and his wife, Sharon, founded Advanced Tissue in 2000, its revenue has grown to "significantly" more than $10 million per year with no end in sight.
Advanced Tissue sells about 700 different products, but it really does one thing: ship precisely prescribed wound-care kits to patients, mostly for use at home.
Non-healing wounds can be caused by a variety of conditions, but about 70 percent of Advanced Tissue's customers have diabetes, the ballooning medical problem that has created a potential market of $1 billion and "keeps me in the gym every day, I promise you," Lamb said.
Lamb, 51, has worked in the health care field for almost 30 years. In the late 1990s, he was working with pain management and noticed that patients, some with non-healing wounds, were being pushed back into home settings.
"We got to looking around in this market and thought, wow, this is emerging. This was not even a trend then," Lamb said.
Thirteen years later, Advanced Tissue has 135 employees and operates in 50 states. Unlike other businesses that cater to the growing diabetic market, Advanced Tissue doesn't market directly to patients. Instead, Lamb's 35-person sales staffers cultivate relationships with doctors, who order the exact products needed for the individual patient, whose needs typically change from month to month.
Most of the orders are paid for by Medicare, Medicaid or private health insurance, and Advanced Tissue is "brand neutral," Lamb said, delivering whatever the doctor says the patient needs.
Twelve employees in Lamb's west Little Rock warehouse ship out 115,000 to 120,000 orders per month. Proprietary software developed in-house allows Advanced Tissue to turn over its inventory every three weeks, controlling inventory costs.
Lamb said he had no plans to expand into any other services besides wound care. Why would he? "Of all the companies like us, only about $200 million in revenue is being produced. There's $800 million not being serviced."