by Sean Ruck
, Contributing Editor | August 01, 2014
From the August 2014 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
Not all independent service organizations are alike.
Experience and scope of practice can differ greatly from company to company. So DOTmed HealthCare Business News interviewed more than a dozen ISOs to get their take on how their business has developed and why and how they fit into the big picture. They also offer their insight into what customers should keep an eye out for and offer predictions about what the parts and service sector will look like five years from now.
When it comes to their value propositions, the ISOs all had strong cases to make. The organizations interviewed generally felt that their breadth of experience stretches beyond that of the in-house departments, but it’s delivered at a lower cost than what the OEMs offer.
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“Our experiences have made us an equal competitor, if not a better choice,” wrote Damon Kelley, VP of operating for Pacific Medical in an email to HCBN. Kelley feels the company’s team approach philosophy is another way they differentiate themselves from the competition. “Every transaction is with an assigned representative who supports [the customer] through constant communication, instant service updates and after-sales tech support,” Kelley wrote.
Price often comes in below the OEM tag by focusing on replacing single components on a board rather than replacing the entire board, according to Kelley. But replacing components rather than entire modules is becoming increasingly difficult as equipment becomes less mechanical and more sophisticated. “As a result, technicians are expected to be more advanced in their field,” Kelley wrote.
According to Kelley, recertified equipment has become a preferred alternative to brand new equipment and is one of the fastest growing segments of Pacific Medical’s business. For that process, equipment is evaluated by Pacific’s engineering team and then all common failure components are replaced and the piece is recalibrated and retested. It’s triple-checked by the QC department, cleaned and then either put into inventory or prepared for shipment, explains Kelley.
As for negotiating service contracts, Kelley suggested that facilities should educate themselves on the life expectancy of the product, its uptime and replacement parts costs. He also cautioned that they should be sure of the dependability of the company they’re dealing with and not let empty third-party promises or lowest cost be the deciding factor.