by Barbara Kram
, Editor | September 30, 2009
As reported in DOTmed News, Block Imaging, a leading pre-owned and refurbished equipment company, has recently established a new subsidiary, Block Imaging Parts & Service, Inc. We interviewed Jason Crawford, President, about the impetus and focus of the new business unit.
DOTmed News (DM): What are the key trends in health care related to parts and service that gave rise to this new unit?
Jason Crawford (JC): Everyone is more cost conscious. Everyone. The hospitals that used to say "oh, we only use the OEM" now call us for service contracts. The facilities that have developed expertise in maintaining their own equipment are well ahead of the game today. They know that partners like Block Imaging can provide support and parts with a common-sense approach to solving problems.
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DM: What drove the strategic decision to form Block Imaging Parts & Service, Inc.?
JC: We have long-standing relationships with engineers and service companies worldwide. They come to us for equipment and for spare parts. Our weakness in the past has been the in-house technical support. We made the decision to form Block Imaging Parts and Service as a response to our customers. Now they have the confidence of knowing we can supply the equipment, the parts, the technical support, and the comprehensive service coverage they need.
DM: What is the Flex Service program mentioned in your press release?
JC: Flex Service is a pretty simple model: Buy a service contract from us and you can use whoever to you want: OEM or third party. Have service performed whenever you want: No fees for weekend and after hours service. Cancel anytime: That's right, no long term commitments. All of this costs less than facilities are paying today in their current service contracts.
We are risk managers, and when risk is spread across a broad book of equipment, everyone wins. An added benefit is the fact that a facility can have one phone number for a broad range of imaging modalities from multiple manufacturers. We will provide a service contract for any piece of imaging equipment, regardless of the modality or manufacturer.
DM: How will you staff your organization?
JC: My primary focus right now is on the domestic independent engineers out there who have some facilities that they perform services for. Many of these engineers don't have the ability to handle the risk of providing a service contract. I want to partner with those local engineers and provide a comprehensive service contract that they can work within. We handle the risk and they keep performing their service. The facility gets the risk covered without giving up the local engineer they have trusted for years. Everyone wins. I'm getting calls from brilliant engineers who are thrilled to bring service contract opportunities to us in exchange for the chance to be "first call" in doing field service.
DM: This is a crowded sector. What sets your apart from the competition?
JC: There are some great companies out there selling refurbished imaging equipment, and there are some great parts companies and great service companies. I believe Block Imaging is uniquely positioned to bring all three together in one house: Equipment, Parts, and Service.
DM: What markets will be your focus?
JC: Our parts sales are split fairly down the middle between our domestic parts sales and our international parts sales. Our customers are service providers and end user facilities. Our Flex Service program is a domestic program currently, though we remain open to designing programs for international customers and we continue building those relationships.
Read More on DOTmed:
Block Imaging Announces Acquisition and New Subsidiary Company
Read an industry sector report on medical equipment parts in the October 2009 issue of DOTmed Business News.