Mark Neumeier founded an organization called Low Vision Solutions in the early 1990s. When LVS began operations, Mark carried one CCTV/Video Magnifier. He met with a firm in St. Louis, MO called Vision Technology. They manufactured electronic video magnifiers. After a meeting with their owner and other Principles, Mark purchased a CCTV/Video Magnifier called an InSight. He felt that this device would be of great help to people who suffer from a visual disability.
He took that unit to his personal eye Dr. who felt that there was a need for these devices. By the end of that next week, 3 of these magnifiers were sold to patients who were very pleased! LVS ordered 3 more..
Another facet that helped guide this company was Mark’s grandmother. She was a lady that led a very active life until she was diagnosed with a visual disease that took away her ability to enjoy life. The result of her visual disease was that she could no longer read, she could no longer travel on her own, she could no longer crotchet or participate in the many other activities of her daily life.
Mark says: I will never forget the day that she said, “Mark, I just wish that I would die.” Not long after making that statement to me, Grandma died. She gave up. Her visual deterioration had taken it’s toll on her.
During my meeting with Vision Technology, I could not help but think about how these products would have REALLY assisted my grandmother!
Over the next few years, we added additional products to our line, like hand held glass magnifiers, lights/lamps, computers and talking products.
Then we began to diversify and add other manufacturers’ products. Today we carry over 30,000 products for visually impaired individuals but we also serve the Industrial Inspection work place, Crime Scene Investigators, printers, photographers, collectors and the hobbyist, just to name a few.
Product diversification is a very important element for us. We want to assist the client find the device that will help him or her the most. All of our competitors sell the customer the one and ONLY product line that they have. This is not an approach that really benefits a person with the visual disease.
Think of it this way. Imagine you are shopping for a new vehicle. You plan to stop at the Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge, Honda, VW and Chrysler Dealerships. You first stop at the Ford dealership. You test drive a couple of vehicles but you really want to take a look at and test drive other vehicles at other dealerships to compare quality, features, comfort and price. The minute you tell the salesman that this is what you intend to do, the pressure is turned up to get you to buy their vehicle before you drive off!! At this point this dealership will do and say whatever they can to get you to immediately commit to purchasing their vehicle.
They do not want you to drive off of their lot and onto another dealer’s lot. They do not want to lose the sale. BUT who can blame you for wanting to compare. And wouldn’t you want to compare vehicles without all the sales pressure? I know that I would.
So as MRI has grown, my idea of expansion was to offer multiple lines of products by the manufacturers. We established Magnification Resources to carry the “Fords,” “Chevrolets,” “Dodges,” “Hondas” and “Chryslers” so that we could really meet YOUR needs.
During our time with you, we want to first learn about your individual needs and desires and then recommend products to you from our extensive line of devices. Because we carry multiple lines from the various manufacturers, we will assist you in finding the ideal product for you without the pressure or the bias caused by only being able to sell “Fords” not “Chevrolets” like our competitors.
I will say that there are product lines that we refuse to carry. These product lines have proven to be dysfunctional and unsatisfactory from a technical and support side of the business. If you purchased a device that has stopped functioning and the repair takes several weeks to repair, who are you going to be upset with? Most likely you will be upset with whomever you purchased it from. I would be too! After experiencing this we have decided that there are product lines we will not carry. If you would like more information on those manufacturers and the reasons we’ve discontinued them, please ask. We will be more than happy to share.
The ability to help a person regain their independence by once again being able to read and write, maintain their privacy and simply enjoy seeing family pictures once again, is really heart warming!
This is truly a meaningful career! I wish we that these products had been available while my grandmother was alive. It is my sincere hope that we can make a positive impact on the life of someone you know that is struggling like my grandmother did!