Vancouver's Amfit expands its footprint

Maker of orthotics products for diabetics expands

By Cami Joner, Columbian retail & real estate reporter

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A little-known Vancouver company, Amfit Inc., continues to grow based on its ability to relieve the foot problems of diabetes sufferers, a fast-expanding global population.

"You could chalk it up to the baby boomer generation," said Trudi Traister, international accounts manager for the company, which makes diagnostic machines and software that measure feet for precise orthotic fittings and also makes custom shoe insoles.

Such aids often are essential for people with Type II diabetes, which afflicts aging adults.

Amfit, which had sales of more than $6 million in 2012, spent $2.2 million on an industrial building off St. Johns Road at 3611 N.E. 68th last month. It expects to move its 30-employee operation to the new site this April, leaving its headquarters of 10 years behind at 5408 N.E. 88th St., Suite D-406.

"We have expansion plans and we don't have room for that here (at the 88th Street building)," Traister said, adding that the company wanted to invest in its own headquarters. "When you have the opportunity to own your own building, it's something to look at."

Founded by Arjen Sundman in Santa Clara, Calif., Amfit moved to Clark County in 2003 when it became too expensive to lease space in the Silicon Valley.

"We needed a less expensive place to be," Traister said.

She said Amfit employees have a wide range of skills, including software engineering and information technology. The company has three pedorthists on staff, as well as production staff and lab technicians who make insoles Amfit sells through its retail division.

The company's diagnostic scanners cost about $15,000 apiece and are sold to hospitals, diabetic care centers and foot solution stores. Even high-end ski shops use Amfit equipment, Traister said.