Innovation Brings Custom Orthotics to Everyone

Miller Shoe Parlor

3. Good Health and Well-Being 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Overview

Custom orthotic devises help correct issues with walking. They allow the user to maintain or improve stability and mobility. Usually, custom orthotics require the user to visit a technician for consultation and fitment. Miller Shoe Parlor's innovative process allows users to seek a consultation and fit check from anywhere.

Author

keith hannen

keith hannen

School

Western Michigan University

Western Michigan University

Professor

Timothy Palmer

Timothy Palmer

Innovation

Steve Shotwell, owner of Miller Shoe Parlor in Jackson, Michigan, realized the need for virtual consultations and othotics fit checkups with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. He wanted to offer his customers his usual level of care while maintaining social distancing requirements.

Steve developed a method of using Skype to host virtual consultations. By offering virtual consultations, he is able to craft an orthotic device that meets the needs of the customer. He has expanded his service to include checkups to ensure correct fitment. By utilizing technology, and mail delivery, Miller Shoe Parlor is able to help customers maintain their stability and mobility.


Innovation Brings Custom Orthotics to Everyone

Inspiration

The restictions and executive orders resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic inspired the virtual consultation service. Steve Shotwell recognized the need to provide a touch-free service. According to Steve, "the consultations and fit checks are very popular. I've started to train [my son] Mike how to do them."

Overall impact

Short-term, the virtual consultations have allowed Miller Shoe Parlor to maintain relationships with customers. They allow the store to continue helping customers walk without pain or stability issues.

Long-term effects are yet to be realized, as virtual consultations are a new service. Miller Shoe Parlor expects that virtual consultations will continue to prove to be popular and will enable them to reach a customer base who may not have access to traditional orthotics services.

Business benefit

Miller Shoe Parlor sees virtual consultations as a means to provide customer service. In business since 1912, Miller Shoe Parlor has built long-standing relationships with its customers based on customer service.

Miller Shoe Parlor expects the virtual consultations to result in increased business. Using Skype, they are able to reach a broader customer base. They will be accessible to customers who don't have, or can't get, access to traditional orthotics services.

Social and environmental benefit

Increased stability and mobility are directly related to a person's independence. By helping people to walk without pain or impairment, Miller Shoe Parlor is helping them be independent. Steve's customers are more able to work or perform tasks that support their families.

Interview

Steve Shotwell, Owner

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Miller Shoe Parlor

Miller Shoe Parlor

Jackson, MI, US

Business Website: millershoeparlor.com

Year Founded: 1912

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

Miller Shoe Parlor in Jackson, Michigan is more than just a shoe store. Beyond shoes, they manufacture and fit custom orthotic devices, enabling their customers to maintain or improve stability and mobility.