We like to take you on a little journey behind the scenes of all the moving parts, the many capable hands involved, the different processes, the care, the cooperation, everything that needs to be made, managed, organized; all comes together to make the Alinkers. It takes one really good partner in Taiwan, who works with some 40 suppliers, to organize all the parts, and processes, of mostly custom work, to be orchestrated such, that when we order Alinkers, 4 months later they are in our warehouses in Canada, the USA or the Netherlands, or in the warehouses of our distributors in Australia, New Zealand, UK, Switzerland, Austria and Germany (so far).
Because the Alinker is not a medical device (not covered by insurances), but is mostly used by people who identify as active people, but do live with some kind of mobility challenge, people often wonder why the Alinker (in their words) is so expensive. We hope that this video shows how custom, manual and specialized the whole process is, and here is an insight in the margins in the world of bicycles.
Generally the FOB price (landed cost) is taken as the bench mark to calculate the retail price. In the bicycle world, with off the shelf parts and mass-production, the margin varies from minimum 3 times to up to 5 times or more the FOB cost. For medical equipment, the retail price is based on 5 or 6 times FOB up to 12 times the FOB price. The Alinker is sold at 2.5 times FOB, we have the lowest margin in the whole industry... we understand why people object to not having the funds to buy an Alinker, but we just wanted to show that the Alinker itself is not expensive.
Though, because we deeply understand that people might not have the funds to buy it, drives us to do our business differently. Why is it that I (BE - relatively and temporary abled body person) can go to any bike shop and get the coolest bike I want, pay up to $10,000 if I wanted to, to get something really cool, but the moment I have a mobility challenge, nothing cool, nothing that makes me feel really good about myself, is available.
Wheelchairs are great if you need them, but more than half the people who use them can still move their legs, but there is nothing designed for them to keep using their legs and be at eye level. There was nothing available between the wheelchair and canes, until the Alinker.
When a mobility challenge arises, be it due to a diagnosis or a stroke or accident, our western capitalistic society that measures money over people, tends to drive people into poverty.
You find yourself in a dwindling process of trying to comprehend what is happening to you, as well as dealing with the loss of employment, career, home, friends (because they are uncomfortable with it), loss of mobility, dignity, independence, freedom, and all as you see your bills increase and find yourself at the receiving end of a 'sickcare' system that does not operate to support your wellness, but seems to be motivated by making money over sick people.
There are thousands of people who have life changing experiences with the Alinker, stories of having their life back, build their muscle mass, are employed again (or not fired), feeling good at eye level again, connect with Alinker Family who know what they feel, forge bonds and create language and ease about the discomfort, the pain and loss we go through, the moment something happens to us. People who show up for each other, share tips about food choices that might help mitigate the symptoms, and share laughs and pain. Just being real with each other.
A disability is just the body that operates a bit different, but when there is a judgement attached to it, a rejection based on how you look or move, then the judgement is more painful than managing the body alone. What do you think, how much more wealthy our society can be, if we measure in humans, happiness, belonging, inclusion, diversity.
Join us Through these last 7 years developing and building the Alinker, I have met the most amazing people, people who are spectacular human beings, but had no chance in hell to survive the isolation we as a society put them in.
This is not about blaming individuals, but understanding and seeing systems for what they are, and what measuring in money results in.
Who are we, do we just follow what the system has conditioned us to do, or are we willing to be aware and change our own personal perspectives. That is a personal decision to be willing to be aware. Then chose who you want to be, then in all your actions be congruent with who you are.
I might be the founder of the Alinker, but the essence is, that I now belong to this group of extraordinary people who used to be discarded, dismissed, stigmatized just because we 'look' different and are uncomfortable for the mainstream, what ever that is.
This Alinker Family is where I found belonging. Don't change the system, change who we are, it will change the system
With love BE