We welcome the opportunity to be of service to you!
Since 1952, our family has been providing quality medical equipment and replacement parts to the healthcare industry.
While our industry has grown to unbelievable heights, with an ever-increasing number of equipment and parts providers available to our customers, we at ALCO Sales and Service Co. still pride ourselves on helping each and every one of our customers on an individual basis in order to provide them with the right solutions to their equipment and parts needs.
ALCO first introduced our catalogs to the healthcare industry in the early 1980's, providing our customers with equipment schematics for easy parts replacement, wide varieties of equipment choices from quality manufacturers and a friendly, knowledgeable customer service staff to assist our customers in making the right equipment and parts purchases.
Today, from our state-of-the-art facility, located in Burr Ridge, IL, we provide our customers with multiple ordering options. Our four "full line" catalogs and various "product specific" catalogs compliment our new online ordering web site that offers over 70,000 products for your facility.
This easy-to-use web site has up to date information on pricing and product changes to help you in purchasing the right equipment and parts.
Through all of the changes and growth in the healthcare industry that have occurred over our last 50+ years in business, one thing has remained constant:
ALCO continues to offer our customers quality products at affordable prices while providing you with the best service in our industry.
Alvin Herman Sr., was one of the earliest manufacturers reps in the medical equipment field. Based in Ostrander, Ohio, he covered the Midwest in the 1940’s and early 1950’s. After several successful years in the business, he decided that his future lay, not as a manufacturers rep, but as a business owner in the home health care and wholesale medical distribution markets. So he took his family, wife Helen, and children Alvin Jr. and Darlene to Chicago to find a new beginning in the medical equipment business. What follows is the history of the Herman family’s commitment to provide quality medical equipment to the growing healthcare market. It is also a timeline for the evolution of our company, from a small storefront office, struggling to survive, to a nationwide supplier for every healthcare facility in the United States.
Alvin Herman Sr., and his wife Helen purchase a small, struggling home healthcare business called Koeber’s, Inc. from the widow of the recently deceased owner, Edward Koeber. The business, which was located at 59 E. Lake Street in Chicago, saw a few lean years before Alvin and Helen could turn the business around through a great deal of hard work. As Koeber’s Inc. progressed, not only did the Herman’s sell their products to the home healthcare retail market but also started to develop a small wholesale business selling to hospitals and nursing homes.
Koeber’s Inc. opens a second store at 5239 S. Kedzie Ave. in Chicago. In the early years, many deliveries were made by taking the bus or the streetcar to deliver products to their customers.
After completing his commitment to the United States Army, Alvin Jr. joins his father in running the family business. The wholesale part of the business continues to grow quickly as healthcare facilities look for quality distributors to provide them with an ever-increasing number of medical products.
As a result of their success in the wholesale distribution market, medical equipment manufacturers continue to put pressure on Koeber’s to sell more products to healthcare facilities. Alvin Herman Sr. and his son, Alvin Jr. decide to form a brand new company that will supply quality medical equipment exclusively to healthcare facilities and thus Alco Sales and Service Co. is formed. While Koeber’s will continue to service the growing home healthcare market in the Chicago area, Alco Sales and Service Co., with its’ new office located at 9120 Ogden Ave., Brookfield, IL, will be the Chicago and Midwest distributor for a wide variety of quality medical equipment manufacturers to the institutional healthcare market. Alco begins to hire sales reps in order to expand their market coverage in the Chicagoland area.
Due to the demands of the growing business, Alco moves into the building next door at 9116 Ogden Ave. to obtain more warehouse and office space. This building will serve as Alco’s home for almost 20 years.
In order to service a widely growing healthcare institutional market, Alco continues to expand its’ sales force to cover more Midwestern states. By now, Alco has sales representation in Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana.
Alco becomes one of the first healthcare distributors in the country to mail a replacement parts catalog to hospitals and nursing homes. With the initial success of that first catalog, Alco continues to increase their market by mailing catalogs to every hospital and nursing home in the United States. Alco’s success continues to grow and the addition of new staff in customer service, warehousing and operations is needed to service Alco’s widening market base.
Not to be outdone, Koeber’s, the once little home healthcare dealer, struggling to survive in the early 1950’s, opens an additional store in Skokie, IL, still under the direction of Alvin Herman Sr.’s youngest son, Ron Herman. Now with two locations, Koeber’s Inc. services several different geographic areas of the Chicagoland home healthcare market.
Alco begins to service their customers on a more national level with the addition of sales reps in Washington, Oregon, Florida and Georgia.
Alco opens a brand new, 30,000 square foot office and warehouse complex in Burr Ridge, IL to handle its’ growing business.
With the continued success of the medical parts catalog, Alco creates their first Medical Equipment catalog, which represents products from approximately 150 manufacturers. This new catalog receives great reviews from Alco’s nationwide customer base.
As the legacy of their grandfather, Alvin Herman Sr. continues, the third generation of the Herman family become involved with the business, lending a hand to their father, Alvin Jr. who is the President/CEO.
To increase awareness in the market, Alco begins to add a national network of medical equipment sales reps. This allows Alco to have a “face-to-face” sales presence in over two-thirds of the U.S. healthcare market.
ALCO celebrates 50 years in business!
ALCO also introduces their new exclusive line of folding, solid seat wheelchairs, called the Comfort Classic, which addresses the bariatric healthcare market.
Alco unveils their upgraded, fully interactive website www.alcosales.com allowing customers to place orders and get information on over 70,000 medical related products 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Check out our Online Catalogs too!
Alco reaches an all-time sales record and is looking to the future while expanding into new markets in the healthcare industry. As a leading distributor for over 250 manufacturers of quality medical equipment and replacement parts, Alco is not stopping at being satisfied with where we are at right now. A new, larger distribution center is being planned, the addition of an expanded sales force is in the near future and the diversification of our catalog offerings to our customers will continue to be our focus.
ALCO introduces a new line of CLASSIC Wheelchairs, budget friendly as well as sturdy and reliable. We are very excited for the launch of these new wheelchairs and expect a great number of orders from our customers!
It is hard to believe that Alvin Herman Sr., who started in this business over 60 years ago, could have imagined what his little storefront on Lake Street would become. From that modest start, trying to serve the residents of the local community to a nationwide manufacturer and distributor of quality medical equipment to every hospital and nursing home in the United States is truly amazing. No matter how large we are or how big we will become, we will never forget our humble beginnings in trying to serve our customers to the best of our ability.
We pride ourselves on giving our customers the best customer service support that we feel they truly deserve. With some of our staff working in the business for over 20+ years, we have an extensive wealth of knowledge on our customer's parts, equipment & product needs. Just call us and ask!
ALCO's Customer Service Team
ALCO purchases a new trailer to transport large product orders to our customers! Delivering our product in person keeps us face to face with our customers so we can give them the best service that they deserve.