BraunAbility: A Conversion Company Profile

The Braun Ability story is one of those All-American, Horatio Alger-style tales that makes you believe in capitalism, apple pie and good old-fashioned Midwest virtue.   It starts with a kid in Indiana.   The kid had spinal muscular atrophy and by the time he should have been playing on the high school football team, he was no longer able to walk.

After tiring of struggling with this wheelchair, a teenaged Ralph Braun created a little scooter.   His “electric wheelchair” received a great deal of positive attention and he was soon using the personal scooter as the basis for a business, Save-a-Step.

That was not Ralph’s only plan, though.   He was running the business on the side while maintaining a regular job and he getting around on his own Save-a-Step.

When his chief employer moved down the road, Ralph realized that using his scooter would not be the most practical way to make the daily commute.   That is when he took an old mail truck and a homemade lift to create the precursor to the modern wheelchair van.

It did not take long for Ralph to realize he did not need to go back to work.

Business flourished for Braun and then the introduction of the Entervan mini man added more fuel to the fire.   The company continued its high-speed growth.

As time passed, Braun continued to grow.   Part of that was attributable to the company’s natural improvement, but much of it was fueled by Ralph Braun’s unique approach to dealing with the competition.   He bought them.
When Ricon was making headway with its Activans, Braun took note and bought his competitors.   He started making Activans under the Braun label and put the Ricon unit into the business of DOT public use vehicles.

When IMS was growing and inked an exclusive deal for conversions of its Sienna, Braun bought them right up and absorbed the IMS infrastructure and resources.   Braun is still making Sienna-based conversion wheelchair vans today, although its focus seems to remain squarely on its full modifications of the Chrysler Entervan.

Today, Braun Ability is the number one force in the industry and with relatively limited competition that is not likely to change any time soon.   The recipe for the company’s success has been a combination of the aforementioned smart management and equally impressive products.

The company’s Millennium series of wheelchair lifts is a perfect example.   These lifts are considered the ideal against which all other lifts are measured.   They are sturdy, utilize a strong hydraulics system and outperform the other products in the market space.

The company retains an obvious commitment to quality and its ideal of making the world more accessible to everyone.   Customers usually have nothing but good things to say about Braun products as the company continues to innovate and develop new conversion vans and technologies.